The City Council has begun work on construction of a path in the area of Forest Lodge known as “The Gully”.

Unfortunately the path, which is designed to allow disabled access, will imperil the plans long supported by the Glebe Society and local residents to reinstate a bushland habitat in this special area that would attract back the wildlife that inhabited the area before the Children’s Hospital redevelopment began.

Work on the path has been temporarily stopped, but unless there is a major public outcry we can expect work to resume next week.

You can help by signing the petition below, or emailing your objecttion to

Click here for the petition

The text of the Society’s letter to the Lord Mayor on the subject is reproduced below.

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Dear Clover

The Orphan School Creek provides important open space in an increasingly densely populated area, and a vital corridor linking inland sites and watercourses to the harbourside and waterfront parklands. This corridor will in future be extended across Bridge Road to link with Larkin Street and the proposed park at the end of St Johns Road.

The Glebe Society has worked to create and improve this link since the early 1970s. Specifically, since 1984 it has lobbied for the acquisition of sites belonging to the Childrens’ Hospital. The Orphan School Creek provides a unique opportunity to rehabilitate a previously degraded and neglected industrial area and create a native habitat through bush regeneration. This proposal was adopted by Leichhardt Council in 1993 and subsequently by the City Council.

It appears recent design work by Council officers undermines the concept of natural habitat and bush regeneration. The Society requests the natural habitat concept and design be fully reinstated, and in particular, the zigzag path up the side of the gully be removed. The consequence of building this path would be a severe reduction in the type and size of vegetation that could be grown. It would no longer be the full range required for proper bush regeneration, but token planting only. This greatly reduces the extent of native habitat. The path would also be unsightly. One of the main attractions of the previous gully was its canopy, which gave a feeling of seclusion and enclosure. Recreating this feeling should be one of the aims of regeneration, and it is even more important now the area near the gully is more densely populated and the gully itself further overlooked. In the interests of fairness all access to the habitat should be restricted.

Please give us the original design without the intrusive engineering.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Macindoe
Planning Convenor

12 March 2009