Sydney Fish Market Redevelopment

Sydney Fish Market Redevelopment

(Question Without Notice, 19 October 2016, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

My question is directed to the Minister for Planning. Given that Pyrmont and Ultimo are already Australia's most densely populated areas, how will the Minister work with the local community and the City of Sydney to ensure that the residential mix at the Sydney Fish Market does not impact negatively on local amenity or overburden infrastructure and services?

Response from Minister for Planning:

I thank the member for Sydney for his question and note that he is very "well suited" to being the member for Sydney. In relation to the future of the Bays Precinct, and particularly the Sydney Fish Market as one of the districts within it, it is crucial that we develop and design those areas in consultation with the community. That includes the local community and the regional community. We must also be cognisant of the needs of future generations.

The member for Rockdale asked about the fish. Like George W. Bush, I too believe in a world where human beings and fish can coexist peacefully. But that is something of a red herring, because our focus is on the local community. Public participation is not just a fundamental objective of our planning system; it is also a fundamental principle of UrbanGrowth in the imagining of the future Bays Precinct. This is a timely question from the member for Sydney, who is a great advocate for the community he represents. Last night UrbanGrowth NSW won two major awards from the International Association for Public Participation precisely for its public participation efforts in relation to the Bays Precinct.

The Bays Precinct engagement program won both the Project of the Year Award and the Planning Award from that international association. That provides some clear, peer-reviewed evidence of the emphasis that UrbanGrowth and the New South Wales Government place on listening to the community and reflecting its values in planning for the future of important urban transformation projects and opportunities such as the Bays Precinct.

Over a twelve-month period UrbanGrowth led a unique ideas generation and public participation program for people to have their say about the transformation across the 95 hectares or more of the Bays Precinct. The program targeted both people and organisations impacted by the transformation, including property owners, renters, and property users in the area, but it also recognised the needs of the wider community and of future generations. It included large-scale events such as the Sydneysider Summit, bespoke meetings and localised participation. More than 30,000 people were involved and almost 4,300 items of feedback or ideas were submitted as part of that process.

In December last year UrbanGrowth established the Bays Precinct Reference Group as an ongoing forum for communication and information sharing between UrbanGrowth NSW and related stakeholders during the transformation of the Bays Precinct. The reference group has members representing a wide range of groups, including local communities, peak business organisations, groups interested in culture, heritage, social services, environment, sport and recreation, traffic, transport, urban design and maritime uses. In relation to the City of Sydney, which the member asked about specifically, we continue to work closely with the City of Sydney and the Inner West Council on the transformation of the Bays Precinct. We have a memorandum of understanding with the City of Sydney and we engage regularly with both councils to understand their perspective as well as the interests of their residents and ratepayers.

For example, we are working in partnership with the council on the active recreational lead study to understand current and future recreational needs of people who will live in, work in and visit the Bays Precinct. UrbanGrowth will soon be conducting a community survey for recreational needs. I encourage the member for Sydney to talk to his community about the opportunity to participate in the survey. The Government is currently in negotiations with the Sydney Fish Market and is yet to undertake detailed design and planning for the Bays market district, including the number of residential dwellings. There is likely to be residential development in the district, but the exact numbers will be determined through the detailed design phase and the very public participation that I have been adverting to. Infrastructure constraints, and how to respond to them, will be a central element of participation. As Jane Jacobs once said, cities have— [Extension of time]

I will take up the interjection of the member for Strathfield because those opposite did have a plan for the fish market. Hang on, we are too late; it has already been done. There was a news release from the Premier of New South Wales: "The iconic Sydney Fish Market is set for a multimillion-dollar facelift to secure its future."

Hang on, this has already happened. Ian Macdonald said, "The site will be significantly improved through better transport links, better pedestrian access, reduced odour, foreshore access and open space." So it has clearly all been done—or not? It certainly has been comprehensively announced. If there was an international organisation for public announcements, I would certainly put up those opposite. They are extraordinarily good at making announcements but not quite as good at delivering projects. This Government, through collaboration with local communities and genuine participation, can design a terrific future for all of Sydney and for local communities in the redevelopment of the Bays Precinct and the Sydney Fish Market.

Full Hansard record HERE

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