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City of Sydney Comment on the Carlton United Brewery site Anouncement

The following Media Statement was issued on 21 june 2006 by City of Sydney Council in response to the Minister's decision to declare the CUB site State Significant.

"This is all about looking after developers. It's at the expense of the community and open accountable processes.

No council or community is safe from this minister or this Government and the powers they have handed themselves to take over what they failed to win by democratic elections.

Experts have set the building density for this site, but the Government wants more. It's a formula for slums of the future.

It's the Cross City Tunnel up front payments all over again. The sole reason for this intervention is so the State Government can get its hands on at least $30million from this development in this blatant cash grab.

There's no reason to do this, through the state controlled CSPC the Government has been involved, and by condemning the process they are condemning themselves.

The Minister's actions show a contempt for professional advice and the democratic process.

How can the Minister claim to provide a balanced outcome for the community and the future of the City, when he is ignoring expert advice and advocating for an increase in the size of the development which will see his Government reap a cash bonanza.

The owner and the City were ready to sign off on a deal last month that would have seen public benefits taken into consideration, this unnecessary intervention will delay the project up to a year and put those benefits at risk.

The Minister for Planning must come clean on just how much money the State Government is planning to take from the CUB site, and to give assurances about how this money will be spent and accounted for.

The real issue here is transparency and public accountability, so the community can judge whether the Minister's actions are in the public interest.

On the lower density proposed by the City and CSPC (Central Sydney Planning Committee) for this site, the State Government will be taking about $30Million. If the density goes up, as the Minister has flagged, then this amount could increase substantially.

If the Minister has nothing to hide then he needs to come clean. How much money is he planning to take? How much higher does he want densities on this site? How will the money be spent and publicly accounted for?

The City has the fastest DA processing times of any Metropolitan Council in Sydney. The Minister took eight months to direct the Sacred Heart DA to the City which determined it within three.

Who's holding up development? Not us."