Posted by & filed under Inner West Independent.

Birchgrove’s Ballast Point Park will remain open to the public on New Year’s Eve, after Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) denied plans to restrict numbers on the evening.

The suggestion numbers may be limited at Ballast Point Park was originally raised at the Birchgrove Precinct meeting on November 3, attended by Leichhardt councillors Jamie Parker, Gordon Weiss and John Stamolis, along with over 30 members of the public. A Police representative indicated to Leichhardt Council staff that SHFA was considering restricting entry to the park to around 500 people on the night, with 200 invited by SHFA.

But contacted by the Inner West Independent, SHFA said the park would remain open and unticketed on the night.

Cr Stamolis described his notice of motion on the issue at this week’s Council meeting as a ‘preventative measure’, to clarify the situation.

“This park was fought for very strongly by the community, and for them to be excluded on New Year’s Eve, [for] an event that’s very popular, would be inappropriate,” Cr Stamolis said.

Balmain state MP Verity Firth said SHFA was in the process of organising amenities and security to ensure the park was comfortable and safe for residents and guests. “I encourage any local resident to make use of the park in enjoying their New Year,” she said.

In Sydney’s east, a proposal to charge revellers wanting to watch the fireworks from Yarranabbee Park in Rushcutters Bay was recently approved by Woollahra Council. Mayor Andrew Petrie said the move was an attempt to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

by Shant Fabricatorian and Jeremy Brown