Please Don't Plasticise Penshurst Park

Plastic grass is being spruiked to councils all across Sydney, and enthusiastically embraced, with little thought for the health and safety hazards. The people who live in Penshurst don't want their naturally lovely and spacious park covered with plastic. Council is doing it anyway.

Penshurst Park is the only open green space within a 600-metre radius of over 700 apartments.  


Yet Georges River Council is pushing ahead with plans to replace the natural surrounds and play areas with a synthetic football field, grandstand, indoor cricket centre, and amenity buildings which will be run by a commercial sporting enterprise from outside the area. 

“Why take so much of this park for sporting clubs that aren’t from the area when there are larger parks such as Gannons Park, Olds Park, Renown Park and Peakhurst Park that could be used?” queries Julian Hare who lives 150-metres from the park in Arcadia Street.

“We don’t want buildings creeping into green space that has been available for residents and which will be needed even more with increasing new development.”

Local ratepayers say they have not been asked to comment on the extensive use of synthetic turf - a petroleum byproduct which NEVER biodegrades. It is being spruiked to councils across Sydney and enthusiastically embraced without attention to the scientifically researched fall out.

Once plastic replaces natural grass, the underlying bed of crumbed rubber tyres kills any living organism in the subsoil making it impossible without years of soil remediation to grow anything on that surface. So if a community goes with artificial turf, it has no choice but to install another artificial turf field when the first one needs to be replaced (within 5-15 years). 


Imagine the entire planet, or at least every park in Sydney covered with this toxic material, which is breaking down, but not biodegrading, and shedding plastic into our water systems, and thence the ocean, every time it rains. 

Furthermore, there is little question in the mind of many scientists that crumb rubber should not be a first choice material for children to play on. While the turf industry says it’s safe, we know that tyres contain established carcinogens. 

Another concern is that staphylococci and other bacteria can survive on polyethylene plastic, the compound used to make synthetic turf blades, for more than 90 days. Which means that all the things you usually find harmlessly biodegrading on any sports field  - blood, sweat, skin cells, vomit, gum, animal droppings, food and beverages - remain on the synthetic turf unless the fields are cleaned with detergent.


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