The Minns Labor Government has cited dubious operational reasons to cut the proposed Hungry Point Cronulla clifftop walkway in half.

The previous Liberal Government had funded the entire clifftop walkway. A dedicated volunteer board (led by retired Sutherland Shire Council general manager John Rayner) had organised detailed planning and approvals for the walkway.

Now, with the walkway ready to go to tender, the Minns Labor Government has instead stood over Sutherland Shire Council, threatening the loss of the clifftop walkway and a takeover of the entire site by Marine Rescue NSW unless Council conforms to the Government’s conditions for Council to co-manage the site.

The part of the walkway that will still be built remains excellent news for the Shire community and beyond. However, the decision to cancel the rest of the walkway is a lost opportunity to have a complete walking loop around the South Cronulla peninsula.

The Government is relying on absurd ‘operational’ grounds to cancel half the walkway. Other rescue services like the SES, fire stations and surf clubs don’t require the closure of public land around them. Marine Rescue NSW supported a complete walkway when it was seeking to have a training academy built on the site and its own data suggest only several movements a day across a complete walkway.

At a time when the Minns Labor Government is pushing more housing density, including in southern Sydney, the last thing we should be doing is closing off public space. Instead the Government has blackmailed the Council by threatening the entire walkway project and threatening a Marine Rescue takeover of the entire site, if the Council didn’t capitulate to its bullying.