Street fights for itscommunal backyard
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
CHRISTMAS day cricket in Lismore's Murray Street has been a Steele family tradition for more than 40 years.
In fact, three generations of Steeles have played some sort of sport on the vacant block at number 10 without fail almost every day since 1964.
So, when the Lismore City Council released plans to reclassify the site for potential development, the en- tire street's residents decided to put up a fight.
Some suggested the land should be officially named after Ray Steele, 83, who lives next door to the block with his wife Joyce.
"The land was donated for the community by Mr Hereford who built nearly all the houses around here ? so it should stay for the community," said Mr Steele.
"When we came here it was just a lot of rocks, but myself and Alex Butcher covered it with top soil and cut the grass before the council started to maintain it."
Children who live close to the land spray-painted a nearby fence with the words: "LCC hands off our park!"
Six-year-old Jye Beardow said he would be very upset if the land was lost.
"I met my best friend Callum here and we play red rover cross over here," he said.
"My backyard is too small to play red rover cross over."
Jake Mills, 12, said the lot was the meeting place for the neighbourhood's children.
"We play football here every afternoon," he said.
"Everyone meets here because their yards aren't big enough for proper games."
As a result of the uproar, council staff have recommended the land not be reclassified, but an official decision will be made by councillors at a meeting next month.