Harold Park First Precinct Opening

(9.55am, Thursday 24 July 2014, Wigram Rd & Ross St, Harold Park)

Thank you, John [Carfi, Mirvac CEO]. Good morning, everyone.

I'd also like to acknowledge the Mirvac representatives, as well as those from the Glebe Society and the NSW Harness Racing Club.

Today marks the opening up of a site that has been closed to the community unless of course you were a keen harness racing enthusiast, for more than a century and creates new open space and linkages across the local area.

It will be home to more than 600 people who will be able to access the city, the universities and the harbour front via light rail and by new cycling and walking networks, allowing them to leave the car at home.

There will be additional open space created as part of the scheme: you can begin to see where the City will develop a new park of almost four hectares and the networks that will deliver a 20 hectare green space made possible through our Voluntary Planning Agreement with Mirvac.

Over one-third of the site - 38 per cent, to be precise - is dedicated as public open space, with the company contributing $8.7 million towards high-quality open space.

We need greater densities for a more sustainable city, but those densities must be balanced by quality open space.

We also need more affordable housing close to the City, and our agreement with Mirvac includes dedication of land for 5,500 sq m of affordable housing and housing for seniors.

Importantly too the historic tramsheds are being conserved and restored and will include dedicated space for a community facility, and we've now approved a DA for adaptive reuse of the building.

It has been quite a journey to give a new and very different life to a significant site in a long-established area with such a distinctive character and ethos. Today marks an important stage on that journey. New housing is being opened and the communities of Glebe, Annandale and Forest Lodge will now be more closely linked by the cycling and walking networks, gain more usable green space and better access to the harbour-front.

I'm delighted to be here for the completion of Precinct 1 Locarno and this first stage of the new connecting networks and public domain.