Veteran Shoalhaven City Councillor Greg Watson and Kiama MP Gareth Ward have condemned a suggestion part of the iconic Marriott Park in Nowra be converted to a car park. It is understood, a report from staff to be presented to council later this month, will suggest part of the park could be used for car parking, throwing its future into the air. Cr Watson has submitted a notice of motion to the next strategy and assets committee meeting calling on council to abandon its plans to develop the all-day car park within the grounds of the park. “To develop any part of Marriott Park as an all-day car park is offensive to the memory of the pioneers and residents of Nowra who worked so hard to establish Nowra's first passive recreational area,” Cr Watson said. “The name also enshrines as a memorial the Marriott name, a family who played a significant part in the development of the Shoalhaven city area." Marriott Park is one of only two large parks within the Nowra CBD. Located within its grounds are the historic band rotunda and the equally historic Nowra Girl Guides Hall as well is the Memorial Gates. Cr Watson said the 2014 Local Environment Plan rezoned significant areas adjacent to Marriott Park to medium density, which in the future will require the valuable lung area provided by Marriott Park itself. "Marriott Park has always been a very prized passive recreational area for families with young children and it would be a tragedy and an absolute disgrace if any part of the park was converted into an all-day car park,” he said. Kiama MP Gareth Ward also condemned the move. “I can’t believe this,” he said “and I commend Cr Watson on his notice of motion to try and stop any such move.” Mr Ward will in fact mirror Cr Watson’s move in state parliament, saying he would move a motion to oppose any plans to remove public open space at Marriott Park. “I used to play in Marriott Park as a kid and it’s very important for the people of Nowra to reserve this public, open space, for families and people to enjoy,” he said. “I cannot believe this is even a suggestion.” Mr Ward said if council was serious about resolving parking issues it should construct a multi-level car park within the Nowra CBD. “Council should open up tenders for a multi-story car park and I believe it should be on either the Stewart Place or Egans Lane locations,” he said.