Thursday 17 May 2018
‘Special interests’ continue to get government favours with approval for Macquarie Bank’s two towers over the Martin Place Metro Station despite planning breaches for excessive floor space and shadowing of Hyde Park and the public domain. To deal with the breaches the planning minister just changed the Local Environment Plan to make the development compliant – a process known as spot rezoning that encourages a culture of development deals for mates. Meanwhile the minister has been sitting for two years on the City of Sydney’s proposed amended LEP that would protect CBD open space while setting aside areas for higher development.
The government supported Macquarie Bank’s unsolicited proposal for the Martin Place towers without a public tender even though it is part of a major public infrastructure project. Last week in Parliament I opposed a government bill to make Sydney Metro a statutory corporation with powers to develop land around stations. The change in structure is likely about getting Sydney Metro ready for privatisation, which will incur a huge price with its new ability to maximise the development potential of metro land.
From WestConnex to Packer’s Barangaroo casino to the knockdown of Aussie Stadium, it is time NSW stopped giving private interests carte blanche to do what they want with our neighbourhoods. My speech is HERE.