- Posted by IanMuttonAdmin
- On March 19, 2023
Wollstonecraft and Berry met on a boat travelling to Lisbon in 1812 – they struck up a friendship that morphed into a partnership – that partnership was an oddity of the 19th century with its twin focus on building a business and addressing social issues. They moved the epicentre of their business to NSW.
In 1889 David Berry, the surviving “head” of the partnership, bequeathed much of the partnership’s landholdings for use as a hospital with the rest dedicated for public purposes, including wharves, railways, recreation reserves, and public roads and places.
So significant was the bequest that it was the subject of enabling legislation passed by the NSW State Government in 1906 – David Berry Hospital Act.
The partnership’s land included much of the Waverton Park.
The Land that was the site of the Waverton Bowling Club was given to the people of NSW as part of a bequest by David Berry.
Over the years the State Government meddled with the status of that part of the Waverton Park that became known as the Waverton Bowling Club.
Then in 2019 the Waverton Bowling Club appointed an administrator – the State Government should then have facilitated the return of the Bowling Club site to Council and that would have been the end of the matter.
The State Government wanted time to think about what it might do with the site so did, in the exercise of its boundless wisdom, licenced the site to North Sydney Council for a purpose not contemplated by David Berry and thereby opened the land for a claim under the Aboriginal Land Management Act.
Against that background I moved in Council for the following resolution – For Council to
1. Exercise its powers .. to compulsorily acquire the Waverton Bowling Club site.
2. Request the State Government to reimburse Council for its costs of compulsorily acquiring the Waverton Bowling Club site and re-incorporate the site into Waverton Park.
The intent of my motion was to:
• honour David Berry’s intention when he gave the partnership’s land to the State Government to be used for public purpose, recreation reserves and public places.
• whilst at the same time recognising the land claim with the payment of compensation.
I was a lone voice – my motion was amended and, as passed, simply required Council to write to the:
1. Premier asking for the State Government to acquire the Waverton Bowling site, properly compensate the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, and transfer care and control to North Sydney Council.
2. Leader of the Opposition seeking a commitment that, if elected, they would acquire the Waverton Bowling site, properly compensate the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, and transfer care and control to North Sydney Council.
Where to now?
Council has handed the matter to the Government – it’s anyone’s guess as to what the Government will do but, for my part, I will continue to look for ways to have the Waverton Bowling Club site reincorporated into Waverton Park as David Berry intended.