Thank you very and congratulations to everyone for rallying here and letting the Council know what the community really feels about this proposal.
My late father Bruce was a very wise man and one of his many wise sayings was that there is a difference between scratching your ear and ripping it off. And I have to say that the idea that..., the sentiment in the community that this beautiful park needed a refresh would be met with the proposition to demolish it and build something completely different is really quite extraordinary.
It reminds me of the soldiers who said in the Vietnam War that we have to burn the village down to save it. It is really right over the top.
This park is of enormous importance to this community, for our community. It is like a series of rooms. It offers an opportunity for intimacy, where people can meet and have a chat in a very busy world.
In a world where despite the fact that we live in the eastern suburbs more densely that anywhere else in Australia, there is a real issue of loneliness, of separation. People are busy, they are rushing off to work, like the two people that Louis Nowra pointed out in the Council picture.
What this park is about is about lingering and it's about chance encounters. It might be a chance encounter with somebody else's dog, it might be a chance encounter with somebody who is visiting the Cross. It is a place to slow down, to reflect, to have a spell, a breather, an opportunity to do something different, to meet someone you haven't seen for a long time.
It is a remarkable living room for this whole community. It should not be tampered with. It needs refreshing, that's to be sure. We need to preserve it. Thank you very much.