Domain Arts Precinct

Domain Arts Precinct

Many were shocked to see The Sydney Morning Herald report about a developer proposal for an arts centre on The Domain to be paid for by redevelopment in Woolloomooloo and East Sydney last Wednesday 7 September > HERE.

I immediately contacted the Minister for Cities and Lord Mayor Clover Moore to confirm that the plan is not supported at either state or local government level, and I welcome comments from the Botanic Gardens CEO against the proposal given the urgent need to expand not build on inner city public open space.

This development is a proposal only and there is no rezoning plan or development application. It has NOT been approved. In my view, the proposal represents ‘art-washing’ – using the promise of an arts precinct to sell adjacent overdevelopment for profit.

I had a meeting earlier this year with the architects of the plan and developers wanting to expand the CBD into East Sydney which caused me such offence, I walked out. The Herald reported on this meeting in a follow-up article the next day > HERE.

While I support revitalisation of William Street and East Sydney, this needs to be done through a strategic planning process that engages with the community and city experts to assess the needs of the region into the future. The City of Sydney’s planning review of Oxford Street is a great example and is delivering investment and reactivation. Sydney does not need any more ‘unsolicited urbanism’ where developers drive the changes to our city based on their own short-term private profit.

I am sorry that the article caused so many in the local community distress, particularly people living in social housing, but the outcry expressed so far shows that there would be a strong fight against any attempt to redevelop social housing communities. I do not support developer-driven “upgrades” to inner city social housing stock which only displace residents and produce very few additional social housing homes. I will continue to monitor this closely and to advocate for the protection of inner city social and low-cost housing.

Please let me know your feedback about this idea > HERE.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!