Informing the Summit of the community's principled approach

As the two day invite-only international summit got underway in Sydney, Greens MP Jamie Parker not only attended but ensured that other attendees were aware of the community's Core Public Interest Principles. 

Here's what Jamie distributed 

November 18, 2014
To Summit attendees

Is it any wonder that the people of NSW have lost faith in this state’s planning process and are concerned about the Government’s new real estate agent UrbanGrowth NSW? 

Regarding this summit the Minster for Planning says “We’re giving the experts a blank page so they can truly draw on their inspiration, imagination and experience” and the CEO of UrbanGrowth NSW stated we should start with “aspirations and needs”. Yet the reality was revealed at the first day of the summit, where local MPs and community representatives were excluded, by stating this site would “create approximately 16,000 new dwellings.”

So much for the blank page. 

The Treasurer has exposed the Government’s intention to hoodwink the community with this bogus summit and sham consultation. This announcement has been made before the summit had even begun and before we have heard a word from the international experts about what should take place in the Bays Precinct mega-project.

We have already seen the public interest trashed in the most recent urban development at Barangaroo and it is clear the Government has not learnt important lessons from this fiasco.

Over the past few months more than 1000 people have come together at several public meetings, including the recent Sydney University’s Festival of Urbanism to call for an open, democratic and transparent process.

We are determined not to have our voices drowned out by UrbanGrowth, financiers, developers and the conservative state government. The community has developed their own Public Interest Principles
for the sustainable, diverse and strategic planning of our community.

We encourage you to support these principles which have been backed by our communities as well as Local Governments and Members of Parliament who represent these areas. The Bays Precinct is a tremendous opportunity where local voices should be valued for their expertise. We trust our community will not simply become a playground for profit but we can salvage a genuine, inclusive, sustainable process which is in the long-term public interest.





Jamie Parker MP
Member for Balmain

 (The Bays Precinct is almost entirely in the electorate of Balmain)




The Bays Precinct is of extraordinary strategic significance, not just to its local community, but to all the people of Sydney and NSW.

There is much community anger over recent development of major public lands - most notably Barangaroo and Darling Harbour. The community has been ignored, decisions have been shrouded in secrecy, excellence in planning and design has been by-passed and public good has been blatantly overridden by private interest.

The Government's announcement of the Bays Precinct Urban Development Project excluded community participation until after the Summit and then offers token engagement through forums to inform the community of the Summit outcomes.


To call on the Government to ensure that the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project follows a democratic and open process which enables public and private interests to come together creatively and imaginatively to ensure that the outcome will be a worthy of the site and of Sydney's status as a global city and properly protective of the public interest.

To achieve this, the Bays Precinct planning process must ensure:

  1. Precedence is given to the public good as a driving overarching principle for the renewal of these publicly owned foreshores and bays;
  2. That the community of Sydney is able to fully engage in all stages of the planning process;
  3. Excellence in planning and design for all development proposals by designating clear, publicly endorsed planning principles developed by the Bays Precinct Community Reference Group and actively seeking local and international ideas for renewal;
  4. That all unsolicited development proposals relating to any Bays Precinct public land or waters be subject to open competitive tenders and proper public scrutiny;
  5. That there be no alienation of the Bays Precinct foreshores from public ownership by sale or long term lease;
  6. That high priority be given to the inclusion of social and affordable housing as a significant element of any residential uses;
  7. That continuous public access to the harbour foreshore be a core principle for all development in the Bays Precinct;
  8. That a significant proportion of the 80 plus hectares of publicly owned lands be retained for public uses including open space; and
  9. The creative adaption and re-use of key heritage items such as the White Bay Power Station and the Glebe Island Bridge.

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