Tue, September 18th 2012 | News

Big ideas for the Shire flood in

THE call for 3 Big Ideas to make Sutherland Shire an even better place to live has provoked an overwhelming community response.

Other big ideas to stimulate the shire economy included opening a shire international zoo, an international-standard entertainment complex and a light-rail system from Menai to Sutherland.

At the other end of the spectrum, ideas for better welfare and community services included more crisis accommodation, more aged housing, more affordable housing and a Neighbourhood Watch program for the elderly.

Big ideas for more arts, culture and entertainment in the shire include a modern art museum to attract international exhibitions, an international Sutherland Shire film festival, an Australia Day festival at Kurnell, a Big Day Out-style event in the shire, an IMAX cinema at Menai and staging Shakespeare plays at Gunnamatta Park.

Big ideas for youth and education in the shire include opening more under-age venues, launching a youth radio station and building a recreation centre at Kurnell for the shire’s young people so they could learn skills ranging from driving to riding a surfboard or skateboarding.

Suggestions for better sport and leisure facilities include more football fields and bike tracks, a mini-Olympics event for youth aged 13 to 15 and a rowing centre based in the Royal National Park or Gunnamatta Bay.

Radio 2SSR 99.7 FM is running the 3 Big Ideas initiative, which invites residents to send in their ideas for making the shire a better place.

The best will be discussed at a forum of community leaders at Gymea Tradies on Friday, September 28.

Ideas collected range from building a Birthplace of Australia Museum at Kurnell to constructing a light-rail system from Menai to Sutherland and a world-class entertainment centre in the shire.

"To say we are blown away from the response is a very mild understatement," 2SSR.99.7 FM presenter and 3 Big Ideas organiser Bob Birkhead said. "There are a range of issues that newly-elected councillors and our parliamentarians will need to take notice of for the future."

Former Cronulla MP Malcolm Kerr, who instigated the 3 Big Ideas forum, said many of the ideas were exciting and provided a real vision for the shire's future.

‘‘While some of the ideas may have been suggested before, we now live in a changed world,’’ Mr Kerr said.

‘‘There have been major advances in technology and I don’t think they had been given due consideration previously.

‘‘I believe they deserve consideration by government at all levels; state, local and federal.’’

Organisers grouped the responses under five headings: youth and education; sport and leisure; business and economic activity; arts, culture and entertainment; and welfare and community services.

There were almost 100 big ideas to stimulate business and economic activity in the shire, of which Kurnell featured in many.

These include building a Birthplace of Australia Museum and Old Sydney Town-type attraction, an international hotel, or an overseas passenger terminal at Kurnell.

One resident suggested a ferry service across Botany Bay from Kurnell. Another called for a tunnel from Kurnell to La Perouse, exiting onto Anzac Parade, and incorporating a light rail system terminating at Taylor Square, all to be paid for by selling land above railway lines to developers.                    http://www.theleader.com.au/story/340776/big-ideas-flood-in-for-the-shire/http://www.theleader.com.au/story/340776/big-ideas-flood-in-for-the-shire/