Last Tuesday, the Inner West Council moved to demolish two heritage cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt. The Federation cottages are slated to be destroyed to make way for parking spaces – mostly for council staff. 

Council will also destroy a commissioned artwork by indigenous artist Blak Douglas which the cottages bear.

The cost of the demolition has an allocated budget of $300,000.

Council’s recommendation to demolish passed at last week’s meeting with support of Liberal and Labor Councillors including the Mayor. This was despite a Greens motion to use the property for a community centre for Leichhardt Youth and a Women’s Shed.=

A petition against the development has received over 1,000 signatures since being set up on Thursday 1 March.

Commenting on the decision, Jamie Parker MP for Balmain says:

“These beautiful heritage cottages have stood on Marion Street for over 100 years. It’s disgraceful that Labor has joined forces with the Liberals on Council to destroy them.  If a private owner tried to change the shape of a window on these cottages let alone destroy them, Council’s own heritage regulations would prohibit it.

“It’s disappointing that Labor is indulging the Liberals in their worship of the all-mighty car, discarding a priceless piece of Leichhardt’s history just to put in a staff car park.

“I am contacted constantly by local residents in desperate need of public housing and artists seeking creative spaces. This decision totally ignores the community’s need for more public and cultural spaces, not to mention the majority of public submissions which did not support this proposal.

“Yet again, our community has been let down by the partnership of Labor and the Liberals on Council.”

In November 2017, the artist responsible for the art on the cottages, Adam Hill aka Blak Douglas said:

“Having been invited to contribute those artworks on those buildings, I was quite dismayed to learn of the consideration of demolishing them…this would be the first time that a significant contribution by an aboriginal artist in making an artwork on a building, would be removed.”

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