Yesterday morning, the Inner West Council began demolition of two heritage cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt despite looming legal questions.
The Federation cottages are being destroyed to make way for parking spaces – mostly for council staff – along with a commissioned artwork by indigenous artist Blak Douglas.
Tonight’s Council meeting would have heard a motion by Greens Councillor Rochelle Porteous that Council seek legal advice on the failure of Council to assess the aesthetic and cultural value of the aboriginal artwork, the legal validity of consent for the demolition and whether the consultants were provided with all the relevant information to be able to assess the demolition proposal.
A petition against the development has received over 1,400 signatures in a few short weeks.
Commenting on the demolition, Jamie Parker MP for Balmain says:
“Anyone who has dealt with a Council knows they can work at a snail’s pace so it’s astounding that the Inner West Council has managed to rip these cottages down before tonight's meeting.
“Greens Councillors were sufficiently concerned about the legality of this demolition that they gave a notice of motion for tonight’s meeting which would force Council to seek legal advice before demolition begins.
“I’m gravely concerned that Council have ripped these cottages down, despite massive community opposition, and before their own Councillors could even consider if legal advice is necessary.
“Democracy can only work if Councillors are able to make informed decisions, armed with all the facts. It seems like this Council is so keen to close the matter by bulldozing the Marion St cottages that they have forgotten their obligation to act transparently.
“Yet again, our community has been let down by the partnership of Labor and the Liberals on Council.”
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