Labor won’t support golf course at Penrith Lakes site

Penrith Councillor John Thain (File Photo). Photo: Melinda Jane
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Plans for the Penrith Lakes Scheme could now include a private golf course, but it may not be a hole-in-one for supporters, with Labor Councillors opposing the potential inclusion claiming it’s not in the “spirit” of the original vision for the site.

Labor Councillor John Thain said Penrith residents have had to put up with millions of truck movements, noise and dust from the former quarries for decades and were lead to believe Penrith Lakes was going to be “some great water wonderland” for the public to enjoy.

“I just think it’s the wrong thing for the area and it still limits the amount of people who can actually use it, because you can’t just go walking into a golf course and sit down and have a picnic or do whatever around a lake,” he said during a recent Council meeting.

“It seems to me that the community has been thrown out the window and it’s going to all be commercial enterprises now.”

Other proposed amendments to the Penrith Lakes SEPP include a film studio precinct and heliport, which would take up 41 and 11 hectares respectively of the almost 2,000 hectare site.

There are six existing golf courses in the Penrith LGA.

Labor Councillor Todd Carney worried the NSW Government, which owns the land, was positioning itself to do a future land swap deal and called for transparency if this was the case.

“They’re not going to build housing on the Lakes, but are they going to use another golf course in Penrith to build homes in a swap for this?” he queried.

Liberal Councillor and self-confessed golfing enthusiast Bernard Bratusa said it would be a “lost opportunity” if a golf course was wiped from the plans.

“This will be a magnificent addition to our tourism landscape out there,” he said.

Bernard Bratusa. Photo: Melinda Jane.

“I find it amusing that we’re happy to see a private helipad out there but we’re not looking to see a golf course in our backyard, which given the land out there and its available uses, it’s a good fit.”

Kylie Powell, Council’s Director of City Futures, said the notion of the additional uses was “generally supported” by Council given their valuable contributions to the city and economy, however this support was subject to further detailed assessment and consideration.

A “fundamental concern” outlined in Council’s submission to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) remains the absence of the development of a parkland that is accessible to the public, which has been consistently promised to the Penrith community.

Cr Thain raised an amendment that Council not support a golf course in its submission to DPIE but it was ultimately lost, with Council’s five Liberal Councillors and three Independents voting to leave it in, narrowly trumping the seven Labor Councillors.

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