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You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Government, UG, SMDA & RWA Statements / 2013 / UrbanGrowth in Redfern-Waterloo

UrbanGrowth in Redfern-Waterloo

The state government authority responsible for delivering the BEP2 planning controls for public housing estates in Redfern and Waterloo and for planning on the former Eveleigh Railyards has made yet another transformation. The SMDA, which was formally the RWA, became the UrbanGrowth Development Corporation (UGDC) on January 1. The UGDC retains the SMDA’s Growth Centres powers which allow it to compulsorily acquire land and consolidate it in designated growth centres (currently Redfern-Waterloo and Granville). It will play a broader re-development role alongside a partner agency called UrbanGrowth NSW reports Geoff Turnbull in the February Issue of the South Sydney Herald.

The former SMDA CEO Roy Wakelin-King has been replaced as the head of UGDC. The old SMDA board has disappeared and long-term and respected human service and community liaison person Julie Parsons was also a casualty of the restructure. Administrative staff and those working on planning matters for BEP2 and North Eveleigh have been retained to deliver current projects.

The Australian Technology Park (ATP) remains a subsidiary of the UGDC with its own board answering to the UGDC CEO. The ATP still has blocks for redevelopment justifying its continued link to the UGDC. It is likely, however, that in time the ATP will be moved out of the re-development stable. It may have a better long-term fit in the new Government Property Authority or with bodies like SHFA and Olympic Park.

Heritage will continue to be handled through the ATP for that site or through the UGDC directly for North Eveleigh. In a statement to the SSH a spokesperson said: “Any works on the site need to ensure the very important heritage qualities of the site are respected and where possible enhanced. UGDC is also liaising with Carriageworks and RailCorp (the owner of the site) to facilitate integration of works and activities at the site.”

Redfern Station is not formally on the UGDC agenda although they will continue to assist Transport for NSW on this issue. A recent parliamentary committee suggested development over railway lines should be referred to UrbanGrowth but to date this has not happened.

Community input to the UGDC will continue as it has previously under the SMDA. The historical information on the SMDA website will be preserved and rolled into a SMDA portal to allow easy access to material relevant to the local community. While there are no plans for a designated local advisory committee the UGDC will continue to respond to issues raised and it will undertake engagement with stakeholders at key stages in developments.

The change is part of a wider amalgamation of the SMDA and Landcom to form what is being generically called UrbanGrowth NSW.

In reality it is two organisations with similar names, different functions and a highly complex structure. The Landcom part continues to operate as a State owned corporation under a new trading name of UrbanGrowth NSW (UGNSW). Landcom will continue to use its statutory Landcom name in its retail land sale business which will wind down over time as it completes the delivery of the governments 10,000 home site program.

UGNSW is currently seen as an implementation body where necessary partnering with developers to deliver projects. UGDC is seen as taking a more strategic focus on growth centres, setting planning frameworks and compulsorily acquiring sites if needed. Strategic functions already exist within Landcom so over time some functions are likely to shift between organisations.

The two organisations are held together by a common CEO, currently Landcom MD Sean O’Toole. When he is at UGNSW he is responsible to the UGNSW board chaired by John Brogden but when he is at the UGDC he is responsible directly to Minister Hazzard. A “Chinese Wall” separates the organisations but UGDC has a service agreement with UGNSW to undertake some functions for it. Sean O’Toole has announced he will not renew his contract when in expires mid-year and a search is on for a replacement for this pivotal role.

Information on Redfern Waterloo side can be found in a transition factsheet on www.smda.nsw.gov.au or www.ugdc.nsw.gov.au. More broadly consult Ministerial Memorandum M2013-01 on www.dpc.nsw.gov.au and www.urbangrowth.nsw.gov.au. Note there is no community portal on the UGNSW website as this body will primarily deal with government and businesses.

Source: www.southsydneyherald.com.au/urbangrowth-in-redfern-waterloo/#.URHxLGciuN4