This week, I presented a petition with close to 12,000 signatures to parliament highlighting community concern about Barangaroo.
The petition, coordinated by Australians for Sustainable Development, responded to the Premier's election commitment that he would agree to a parliamentary debate on any issue raised in a petition signed by at least 10,000 people.
While presenting petitions on behalf of constituents is an important responsibility of elected representatives, I also have serious concerns about the planning process for Barangaroo. This process has lacked accountability and transparency and has resulted in a proposal with serious overshadowing impacts on adjacent city areas - particularly on the public foreshore, unresolved contamination issues and inadequate transport.
I have written to the Premier asking him to make changes to the development. Notwithstanding previous approvals and contracts, I have asked him to make changes to the development that would enable Barangaroo to become a truly world-class redevelopment. In particular I asked that the new Government to:
- demonstrate effective site remediation;
- provide new public transport, including light rail;
- relocate the hotel onto land;
- retain the cruise passenger terminal; and
- remodel and reduce the impact of future commercial towers.
While I am aware that the new State Government has not endorsed the petition's proposed Special Commission of Inquiry, I also asked that, at the very least, the Government undertake an expert review of the project, appointing those with relevant design, financial and administrative expertise to identify further practical strategies to improve the project's outcomes.
Barangaroo is a significant site adjacent to our harbour as well as the CBD, and its redevelopment will provide much needed commercial, retail, housing, recreation and cultural venues, as well as parkland. It is an opportunity for a new sustainable, low carbon precinct and needs a considered and open process of planning and assessment.
It is now up to the Premier to honour his election commitment, debate the Barangaroo redevelopment in Parliament and commit to changes that would address major community concerns.