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Draft Letter for Save Leamington Avenue Campaign

The text below has been provided for those looking for information to write to politicians to help Save Leamington Avenue. You can copy relevant text from this web page, add your own comments and send your letter or email to the addresses at the foot of this page.

Dear _________________________

I am writing to you as Premier, Minister for the Redfern Waterloo Authority and the local member for Heffron [insert other details as appropriate for other politicians].

I live at No.# Leamington Avenue Newtown.   I am writing in relation to article which appeared on page 2 of the Sydney Morning Herald on 4th June 2010 which concerned the possible proposed acquisition of properties in Leamington Avenue, Holdsworth and Pine Streets Newtown (‘Rail tunnel plan threatens historic homes’).  

I am sure you will appreciate our shock on reading this article in the SMH as this was the first time we had been informed about this proposal! 

The residents of Leamington Avenue and Pine and Holdsworth Streets also received an alarming anonymous flyer in their letterboxes at the same time the SMH article appeared, warning us of the possibility that our homes may be acquired.  

To our further surprise, we learnt the State Budget on 8.6.10 included:

  • ‘$1billion to commence work on the Western Express Rail Service’ (over next 4 years)
  • ‘$30 million for design and planning for the Western Express Rail Service’ (this year).

In case you are not aware, Leamington Avenue, Pine, Randle and Holdsworth Streets together form the ‘Pines Estate Conservation Area’ under the City of Sydney LEP.  That listing occurred in 1991. The Statement of significance for the Pines Estate reads:

The Pines Estate Heritage Conservation Area has historic significance as a highly intact 1887 subdivision of an early Villa Estate that developed in response to the expansion of the railway. Developed largely in the period 1890-1950, the area has aesthetic value for its harmonious streetscapes comprising intact rows of one and two –storey Victorian and federation terrace houses. … 

The 1887 subdivision of the Pines villa estate is highly intact and features wide tree-lined streets, regular allotments and rear lanes. Rows of one and two storey Victorian terraces and federation terrace houses were constructed on the narrow allotments creating harmonious streetscapes which have a high degree of integrity.   

Not only would the acquisition of our homes have a devastating impact on us, it will also have a devastating impact on the surrounding streets which together with Leamington Avenue form this beautiful tree lined heritage conservation area. 

In respect to our own home at ## Leamington Avenue, our personal situation is as follows: 

[Provide details of your circumstances e.g. how long you have lived in the area, what living there means to you, whether you are renovating or wanting to sell, and what impact compulsory acquisition would have on you]

Whilst we understand statements have been made by TransportNSW in response to the SMH article to the effect that the alignment of the City Relief Line as part of the Western Express Service is still being considered, with Railcorp looking at a number of design option, those statements are of no comfort to us. 

We have a problem RIGHT NOW because this information is now in the public domain (following the leak of Railcorp documents to the SMH and the publication of the article on 4.6.10).  Also, our own research reveals that this is a real and imminent proposal which cannot be ignored by residents.   

In addition to our own situation, there are also many other people in the street who are now placed in an equally difficult situation. For example:

  • (a) one owner was due to hold an auction on 23.6.10 but has had to pull her property from the market;
  • (b) one person was due to put their property on the market in the next few weeks but is now having to reconsider if they should do this in the current circumstances;
  • (c) two people have recently bought houses in the street and are due to settle on their purchases in the next few weeks; 
  • (d) at least two owners are undertaking substantial (and very costly) renovations – should they stop work? Or continue with the work with the possibility that they will not be reimbursed for their costs in the event that the properties are acquired? 
  • (e) there are owners who are about to lodge development applications with Council for renovations – should they continue?
  • (f) And, most importantly, there are people who have lived in the street for a very long time who actually want to stay because they have become part of the local community.

As you can see, people are already suffering immediate adverse effects from the current state of affairs: we are currently in a state of complete limbo.  The current uncertainty surrounding the status of this proposal has effectively rendered all of our homes worthless.

We require urgent confirmation that the Government will not acquire our homes for the purposes of the Western Express Service/City Relief Line.  The current state of uncertainty is totally unacceptable and is causing considerable anxiety for all affected residents. 



Contact list


1.            Kristina Keneally (Premier & Minister for Redfern Waterloo Authority)

Ph:            9699 8166 (electorate office)

                  9228 5239 (Governor Macquarie Tower)


Office:      Level 40 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney 2000.


2.            Carmel Tebbutt  (local member & Deputy Premier)

Ph:            9558 9000 (electorate office)


Electorate office:  244 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204 


3.            John Robertson (Minister for Transport)

Ph:            9228 56661


Office:      Level 35, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000 


4.            Tanya Plibersek (Member for Sydney, Australian Parliament)

Ph:            02 9379 0700 (electorate office)

                  02 6277 7780 (Canberra office)

Office:      150 Broadway, Broadway, NSW 2007. 


5.            Clover Moore (Lord Mayor and Member of Legislative Assembly - member for Sydney)

Ph:            9360 3053 (Parliament)

                  9265 9229 (City of Sydney)



Office:      58 Oxford Street, Sydney NSW 2021


6.            Sylvia Hale (Member of Legislative Council – Greens)

Ph:            9230 3030


Office:      Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW 2000


7.            Gladys Berejiklian (Opposition spokesperson on Transport)

Ph:            9439 4199


Office:      280 Willoughby Rd, Naremburn NSW 2065.