Green space a ‘great idea’ for old station

A NEW idea has emerged for Griffith’s old police station block –and there’s not a gangster in sight.
Nanjing Night Net

One of the driving forces behind a Don Mackay statue in Banna Avenue has called for a “sunken garden” to be built on the Ulong Street/Banna Avenue block as a major project to celebrate Griffith’s centenary in 2016.

The derelict site, on a prime parcel of CBD land, has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months amid calls for it to be turned into a “Mafia museum” or a museum honouring the city’s fight against organised crime.

But Allan Smith from Griffith Rotary, a key player in making the Mackay statue a reality, said such suggestions were “ridiculous”.

“It is completely unnecessary to give mention to the criminal shame of the past 35 years,” Mr Smith said.

“Perhaps the state government could grant it to the people of Griffith as a centenary gift.

“My preferred option would be for it to be converted to a sunken garden displaying sculptures, moss rocks, shade trees, paving, wrought iron gates and a complete waterfall feature.”

The idea has gained the support of former Griffith Concerned Citizens chairman Reg Fallon, who headed a group that stood against

organised crime following the Mackay murder.

“It’s a great idea and I think around the fountain we could have a display which tells the story of Griffith’s pioneers,” Mr Fallon, 86, said.

“Why would we want to feature the villains? I think it’s best we forget them.”

The block has sat vacant since the police station’s move to Railway Street and is currently the subject of an Aboriginal land claim.

Murrumbidgee MP Adrian Piccoli gave the proposal in-principle support.

“I think it’s important to have a bit of green space in the CBD and I like this idea,” he said.

“You could have some engraved sandstone with the story of the irrigation area and the soldier settlers and even a mention of the Mackay thing as part of our broader history.

“It would be very expensive and I’m not sure how it would be funded.

I’d certainly be doing whatever I could to get grants if it had the support of the community.

“It’s become an unsightly block and it’s been abandoned for far too long.”

The old Griffith police station

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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