If you live in the inner west, chances are you have heard about the Greenway Project. What you probably didn’t know is that the project started with a handful of passionate people. Jug Agius was one of them.
Friends of Greenway is a community group that started a campaign which has now spanned years. Their vision was to preserve a greenway – a kind of linear park – along the side of an old railroad track. The greenway could be used by cyclists and walkers.
The track itself is earmarked for development and a few years ago the group thought it had scored a major victory when the Labor Government announced it had approved the Greenway as part of the light rail development.
The current NSW Liberal Government has since shelved the idea but Friends of Greenway believe the government has no intention of developing the park.
Jug, a local Dulwich Hill resident, said he got involved in the campaign because he was tired of riding his bicycle to work everyday in the traffic.
‘I thought there has to be a better way.’
Jug says that at the height of the campaign he spent at least one day a week organising rallies, writing emails and attending meetings. The group sustained about eight months of high-energy campaigning against the Liberal Government decision. Over three or four years he spent about three hours a week working for the campaign.
So what drives his passion for the Greenway?
‘For me, I have three kids. My desire to build the greenway started because I used to ride on busy roads but the more I got involved I realised this was about my kids, my neighbours, my community. This was about providing them with something for their future. We live in a very urban part of Australia. The ratio of concrete to greenspace is probably ten to one, so we really need these green spaces in our area.’