Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Call to the Minister to Stop Destruction of Merewether Surf House and Public Reserve

The Honourable Tony Kelly ALGA MLC

Minister for Planning and Minister for Lands
Minister for Infrastructure
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council
Leader of the House in the Legislative Council

Dear Minister,

Stop destruction of Merewether Surf House and Public Reserve No. 56681

Parks and Playgrounds Movement urgently request that you call in all matters dealing with Merewether Surf House and Public Reserve No 56681 Newcastle.

The Newcastle City Council are Trustees for this public reserve and are proposing to destroy the Surf House building. This is an activity that should only be performed if there is a proper publicly available registered lease containing guarantees that the Crown Lands Act 1989 will be complied with and the Merewether family Deed of Transfer honoured.

As Minister for Planning and Minister for Lands we call upon you to consider the architectural and historic association of this property with the Merewether and Mitchell families who gave the land to the Council for public recreation.

The Trustees of the will of Edward Christopher Merewether transferred most of the Merewether beachfront to the Merewether Council in 1930 (Deed No 944 Book 1617). The Deed binds Council and its successors and assigns at all times to use and maintain the land as a public park or public reserve and not permit it to be used for any other purpose whatsoever.

As Minister for Lands you have held the title to this land as Public Reserve No. 56681 since it was transferred to you in September 2008 and would be aware of the Deed of Conveyance. As Minister for Planning your Heritage Branch will be able to inform you of the negotiations with the City Council and the required restoration of the Surf House building.

The Parks and Playgrounds Movement respectfully asks that you will call in this matter and allow the Government to assess this matter within the principles stated in Sec. 11 of the Crown Lands Act of 1989.

Yours faithfully,

Doug Lithgow
Freeman of the city of Newcastle
President of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement

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