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NSW Sports Minister Steve Kamper has been grilled over the decision to halve a public golf course to create a new park in Sydney’s inner city.

On Sunday, the government announced that up to 20 hectares of the inner-city Moore Park golf course could be turned into public parkland once the operating agreement expires in June 2026. This would also halve the golf course from 18 holes to a nine-hole facility.

The announcement has been criticised by Moore Park Golf Club president John Janik, who said the club wasn’t consulted prior to the announcement.

During Tuesday’s first budget estimates sitting, Mr Kamper didn’t rule out more golf courses being converted into public housing when asked by Coalition upper house councillors Wes Fang and Scott Farlow.

Asked by Mr Farlow whether he could “guarantee the future of the remaining golf courses on Crown land in NSW,” the minister didn’t commit to an answer.

“There’s existing leases in place, but there’s no approach to interfere with any golf operation. There’s nothing on program,” he said.

“I can’t guarantee it, but a golfing club or golf organisation might not be able to sustain its particular site, so that’s not necessarily a decision that’s going to fall on my hand.”

This comes after NSW Premier Chris Minns ordered ministers to undertake a land audit to identify surplus or under-utilised public landholdings that could be used for housing, including a 30 per cent target for affordable and social housing.

While Mr Kamper said he had “not actively worked on removing any golf courses”, he acknowledged the audit.

When asked whether this could lead to golf courses being rezoned for housing in the future, he said: “I haven’t seen the evaluation of every property yet. We’re waiting to get the full detail of what the property audit will produce.”

On Monday, Mr Minns was also asked whether more golf courses on Crown land would be repurposed for housing.

“We don’t have plans for that,” he said.

Mr Minns defended the park conversion as a means to allow families to socialise “without putting their hands into their back pockets” amid a cost-of-living crisis.

Although Mr Kamper said he supported the announcement, he said he was not involved in Sunday’s announcement and it fell into the remit of Planning Minister Paul Scully.

Read related topics:Sydney

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