In response to questioning from Greens MP Jamie Parker, the Minister for Planning has finally released the Bays Precinct Taskforce Plan.
Mr Parker welcomed the report’s five priority tasks, including greater public access and a review of leasing, but emphasised the need for ongoing community involvement in the process.
“The priority tasks are positive but the government needs to include local councils and community representation to ensure the tasks are not derailed by the demands of developers or the narrow short-term objectives of a particular government agency.
“The community has been campaigning for many years to stop the privatisation of the area, to improve public transport access and to expand active transport options such as pedestrian and cycle paths.
“I welcome the move to undertake a study into the future use of the Glebe Island Bridge, as there is strong community support to reopen it for pedestrians and cyclists.
“This Plan presents a great opportunity for important community uses such as child care, community and cultural spaces, and sporting and recreational facilities. It is also important to maintain a commitment to an appropriate working harbour.
“The government must also ensure that the existing goods line corridor to White Bay and Balmain is retained to allow for the potential extension of light rail.
“The absence of a comprehensive plan for the use of public land under Labor created a shambolic and ad hoc process, which allowed inappropriate developments to be approved.
“I will continue to work to ensure this site remains in public hands and is managed for the long term benefit of Sydney as a whole.
“This government has continually promised transparency and genuine community consultation in planning and I work to hold them accountable for these promises. Planning should be about the entire community, not just for the developers,” Mr Parker said.
The Bays Precinct Taskforce Report is available here
Mr Parker’s speech to the NSW Parliament
More: Alison Martin 0432 941 533