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You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Rail Corridor Expansion / REDWatch Update on C2E - 22 Jan 2015

REDWatch Update on C2E - 22 Jan 2015

This is the text of an email update sent to Central to Eveleigh stakeholders. It deals with the EOI for Sale of the ATP; ATP Information Sessions on the sale; UrbanGrowth Community Engagement; What was on the Blank bit of paper at the Dec UG session; and A Guide to acheiving good outcomes in precinct developments.

This is a quick note to bring you up to date on some issues relating to Central to Eveleigh. Sorry it is rushed but we have heard from some people that they know nothing about the ATP EOI sale sessions.

EOI for sale of ATP

In early December we notified you about the launch of an EOI process to sell the ATP. This was announced just days before UrbanGrowth C2E were to hold their first broader consultation meeting about planning for this site and other government owned land in the Central to Eveleigh corridor.

The proposed ATP sale has received some publicity in the SMH with Australian Technology Park sale: call for expressions of interest  and more recently Eveleigh Locomotive Workshop collection at Australian Technology Park to be sold. REDWatch was also successful in requesting City of Sydney Council to undertake an assessment of the sale and its implications, and this is to be made public before the end of January when the EOI process closes. We will place the Lord Mayoral minute on the REDWatch website.

We have been unable to get a satisfactory explanation from UG of the reason for the proposed sale or an explanation about how UG proposes to handle the sale of this important site so its heritage will be protected and interpreted if it is sold – lots of “trust us” but no real details that will protect a privatised ATP.

ATP is holding two drop in sessions to answer questions about the proposed sale and we encourage anyone with a concern to drop in and ask your questions of the experts they promise to have on hand. It will be display board and question asking exercise so it is important that people come along and ask your questions especially about why this is happening before the C2E planning exercise, how access to and improved interpretation of heritage can be preserved and why the process is being done over the Christmas New year break when people are away!

Further details are available at this section of the ATP website: http://www.atp.com.au/News---Resources/Latest-news/EOI-information-sessions and as follows:

  • Session 1: Thursday 22 January, 10.30am–12.30pm - Venue: Meeting Room 5C, Locomotive Workshop, accessible through the entrance at Bay 4
  • Session 2: Wednesday 28 January, 6–8pm - Venue: Meeting Room 6A, Locomotive Workshop, accessible through the entrance at Bay 6

The NSW Greens announced on Wednesday that they will be making an application on behalf of the people of NSW in the EOI process that the ATP stay in government hands. As part of the Newtown campaign The Greens have launched a survey to collect input on the importance of the ATP - www.jennyleong.org/atp_survey . Hopefully saving the ATP will be a bipartisan issue between the ALP and the Greens in Newtown given the government proposal to sell this iconic site.

UrbanGrowth Community Engagement

The UrbanGrowth Central to Eveleigh consultation in early December raised some major concerns for REDWatch, as well as for many others, about the community engagement experience. One community member who does training in engagement and group processes said it was one of the worst community engagement exercises they had seen in a long time. We were told on the night it was a clean sheet of paper exercise, but the detail had been workshopped by non-community stakeholders a few days earlier and presented to the community who were asked to comment in a process that gave insufficient time for people to go into the details. About a third of those present were paid $100 each to attend  to represent the broader community (many of them often looked lost in some of the planning discussion because the process did not give them the background they needed), while a large number of interested locals were turned away because that section of the community were over-represented. Resident groups with broader involvement were engaged into a process that meant they could not raise their concerns nor seek information about the processes because they were again asked to “react” to preformed proposals presented to them on the night. Community groups and interested members of the community were not offered payment for their attendance.

Following the session REDWatch wrote to the UrbanGrowth’s Community Engagement Manager who had met with some of the local agencies to discuss how community engagement should be undertaken. The response to our letter from the C2E Project Manager did not give REDWatch any confidence that UrbanGrowth wants to listen to community input and to take groups like REDWatch, who are concerned about good process, with them. You can see our letter to UG and their reply on the REDWatch website at -  REDWatch Comments on C2E Forum and UrbanGrowth Response.

Having tried hard to encourage a best practice community engagement approach by UrbanGrowth over the last 18 months, REDWatch has no confidence after the December session that UG has the interest or will to implement the best practice community engagement necessary to take the community with them. REDWatch was set up to encourage broad community consultation and while we remain prepared to work with UG if possible, we will not support processes which are manipulative and do not provide proper opportunities for community views to be listened to.

What was on the ‘Blank’ bit of Paper?

UrbanGrowth has posted the presentations that they made to the 9th December forum. You can see the direction they are taking in C2E from the presentations they asked for feedback on below:

·         Presentation One: Project Background and Community Engagement

·         Presentation Two: Draft Themes

·         Presentation Three : Draft Vision Statements 

·         Participant Agenda

A guide to achieving good outcomes in precincts

Roderick Simpson, Peter Phibbs, Julie Walton & Mike Harris from University of Sydney have produced a good article on planning for precincts like C2E. It makes specific reference to the Bays Precinct because they have distilled the messages they heard from the international speakers at UrbanGrowth’s Bays Precinct International Summit and mapped out the key points for such a process. It provides a check list for achieving good outcomes and you can read their excellent article at www.thefifthestate.com.au/articles/a-guide-to-precincts-the-bays-in-particular-to-achieve-good-outcomes/70572.

We note item 2 in their Overarching Principles deals with Public Engagement and Participation and we do not think UrbanGrowth Central to Eveleigh have heard this message. Maybe someone would like to flesh this principle out a bit further as clearly REDWatch has not been successful in doing this in our December letter to UrbanGrowth Central to Eveleigh.

Please let both REDWatch and UrbanGrowth NSW know of any concerns or feedback you have about the EOI for the sale of ATP or the issues raised about C2E.