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Council submits planning proposal to protect Macquarie Ice Rink

Published on 10 February 2020

The City of Ryde has prepared an urgent planning proposal to heritage list the Macquarie Ice Rink in an attempt to protect the iconic venue’s future once again.

The move by Council comes after the NSW Government confirmed it had no intention to heritage list the ice rink, despite placing an interim heritage order on the venue just over a year ago, prior to the 2019 State Election.

The interim heritage order was placed on the Macquarie Ice Rink by the NSW Government after a development application to redevelop the Macquarie Centre and demolish the ice rink drew widespread condemnation. 

Despite the interim heritage order, the State Heritage Register Committee concluded that the Macquarie Ice Rink was unlikely to be of state significance and recommended the NSW Government not proceed with listing the venue on the State Heritage Register. This is contrary to an independent report commissioned by Council that found Macquarie Ice Rink should be listed as a heritage item.

City of Ryde, Clr Jerome Laxale, said the decision by the NSW Government not to heritage list the Macquarie Ice Rink places its future at serious risk.

“The State Government promised to protect the Macquarie Ice Rink, but they have failed to follow through,” Clr Laxale said. 

“This is despite Ryde MP Victor Dominello being quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald on 2 February 2019 as saying:

‘The heritage order says we now recognise this (the Macquarie Ice Rink) as a place of significance - cultural or recreational significance - and if you want to modify it, you'll have to go to the NSW Heritage Council.’

“What makes this even worse is that Victor Dominello’s political grandstanding meant that Council could not proceed with its own interim heritage order to protect the rink. 

“The government’s decision not to protect the rink now leaves the venue open to demolition despite their promises.” 

Clr Laxale said the City of Ryde will proceed with its resolution from January 2019 to seek local heritage protection for the Macquarie Ice Rink under the Ryde Local Environmental Plan.  

“The Macquarie Ice Rink is an icon of our City, and the community has told us over and over again that they want it saved. Council will now do everything in its power to achieve this.”

The City of Ryde’s urgent planning proposal to heritage list the Macquarie Ice Rink under the Ryde Local Environmental Plan is on the agenda of the Ryde Local Planning Panel meeting scheduled for Thursday, 13 February.

Last updated on 24 February 2020