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CALL TO ARMS ON MINISTER'S CUB INTERVENTION

The following report on Public Meeting regarding the CUB site and what residents can do to try and stop the CUB site being taken over by Planning Minister sartor is taken from CLOVER'S eNEWS - Friday 16 June 2006 - No. 301

Around 100 people packed Thursday's urgent meeting on Chippendale's Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) site to hear about the State Government intervention that has stalled public exhibition of draft planning controls and derailed negotiations to ensure public benefits.

At stake here is transparency and accountability. I believe the community is best served by the City proceeding with public exhibition of the draft controls so that you can have formal input into the proposals and full public debate on the issues before the controls are resolved.

$500,000 of public money is a conservative estimate of what has been spent on the extensive planning studies, public forums and negotiations with the site owner. The complex and balanced proposal could be compromised by the Minister for Planning's push to increase development density and the levy payable to the Redfern Waterloo Authority.

The Minister's intervention was a bolt out of the blue, despite domination of the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC) by four State Government appointees, including the Government Architect and the Director-General of Planning.

The Minister's letter states that Floor Space Ratio increases should be considered, despite expert advice that 4:1 is the extreme upper limit of acceptable and achievable FSRs on this complex site, and that this could only be achieved with demonstrable design excellence and community benefit.

In July last year, the City wrote to the Department of Planning seeking clarification of the affordable housing contributions for the site. We did not receive a response, but our officers were informed by Redfern Waterloo Authority officers that the State Government would separately negotiate the levy.

While the Minister has not yet taken control of the site, he has indicated his intention to do so. The Government members of the CSPC believed that we could no longer progress the project and last week voted (with the three City Councillors opposed) to ask the Minister to use his power under the Act to take over the site.

The CSPC also unanimously confirmed its endorsement for the draft planning controls for public exhibition, with an agreed range of densities from 3.5:1 to 4:1, contingent on public benefits and design excellence.

I have asked the Premier to urgently resolve this issue and find a way forward that does not delay the process or impose unsustainable density increases. I have also called on the Minister to tell us how much the State Government plans to take from the site, and to give assurances that the money will be dedicated to affordable housing.

I encourage you to contact the Premier and the Minister for Planning (and send me a copy of any letters) to let them know your concerns about this last minute intervention:

* The Hon. Morris Iemma MP, Premier, Level 40 Governor Macquarie
  Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000, phone 9228 5239, fax
  9228 3934, email thepremier@www.nsw.gov.au.

* The Hon. Frank Ernest Sartor MP, Minister for Planning and Minister
  for Redfern Waterloo, Level 34 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer
  Place, Sydney NSW 2000, phone 9228 4700, fax 9228 4711, email
  office@sartor.minister.nsw.gov.au.

Taken from CLOVER'S eNEWS - Friday 16 June 2006 - No. 301