June 18, 2009 CUMBERLAND COURIER
NSW Planning Minister Kristina Keneally finally announced public consultation on the future of Bays precinct on Friday but Leichhardt councillors labelled it a sham and vowed to push ahead with their own - sooner.
Ms Keneally said consultation would last 18 months and include an interactive website, public submissions and a community reference panel.
“Bays precinct includes iconic places such as Glebe Island and White Bay power station,” Ms Keneally said.
“For the first time in generations the people of Sydney can put forward suggestions for new uses for these sites.”
But she caused consternation by approving a lease for Baileys Marine Fuels $8 million refuelling facility at White Bay until 2020. She also said that a permanent home for a cruise passenger terminal would need to be found “on the western side of the harbour”. Pushed to name possible locations Ms Keneally offered White Bay, its temporary home for up to five years, or Glebe Island.
Leichhardt Mayor Jamie Parker said the community was not confident that real consultation would happen after close to $50 million of development was announced “in the same breath”.
“We’re concerned that the process would not be listening to the community but more about fulfilling the government’s view of what it will put on White Bay,” Cr Parker said.