BAYS PRECINCT URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT
PROTECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST
RESOLUTIONS FROM COMMUNITY MEETING
The following preamble and resolutions were overwhelmingly endorsed by 200 plus members of the Bays Precinct communities at a public meeting held on the 4th August 2014 in Glebe Town Hall to protect the public interest in the planned urban renewal of the Bays Precinct foreshores and waters.
The Bays Precinct is of extraordinary strategic significance, not just to its local community, but to the profile of Sydney. It constitutes over 80 hectares of land along 5 kilometres of the Sydney Harbour foreshore around the Blackwattle, Rozelle and White Bays. It includes major heritage items with great potential for creative adaption: the enormous White Bay power station, the Glebe Island Bridge.
It is all publicly owned.
As such, the Bays Precinct project provides a once-only opportunity for the imaginative reshaping of a large part of Sydney Harbour in the public interest.
There is great community anger over recent development of major public lands- notably Barangaroo and Darling Harbour. The community has been ignored, decisions have been shrouded in secrecy, excellence in planning and design has been by-passed and public good has been blatantly overridden by private interest.
The Government’s announcement of the Bays Precinct Urban Development Project excludes community participation until after the Summit and then offers token engagement through forums to inform the community of the Summit outcomes.
This is patronising, undemocratic and unacceptable.
This public meeting of the Bays Precincts communities has been called to begin a campaign to ensure that the people of Sydney are able to engage meaningfully in the planning process for the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project and to ensure that the public good is given due precedence in the redevelopment of these publicly owned harbour foreshores lands and waters.
As a first step in the campaign this public meeting of the Bays Precincts communities resolves:
Resolution 1: Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project Core Public Interest Principles
To call on the Government to ensure that the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project follows a democratic and open process wh ich enables public and private interests to come together creatively and imaginatively to ensure that the outcome will be a worthy of the site and of Sydney’s status as a global city and properly protective of the public interest.
To achieve this, Bays Precinct planning process must ensure:
a) Precedence is given to the public good as a driving overarching principle for the renewal of these publicly owned foreshores and bays;
b) That the community of Sydney is able to fully engage in all stages of the planning process;
c) Excellence in planning and design for all development proposals by designating clear, publicly endorsed planning principles developed by the Bays Precinct Community Reference Group and actively seeking local and international ideas for renewal;
d) That all unsolicited development proposals relating to any Bays Precinct public land or waters be subject to open competitive tenders and proper public scrutiny;
e) That there be no alienation of the Bays Precinct foreshores from public ownership by sale or long term lease;
f) That high priority be given to the inclusion of social and affordable housing as a significant element of any residential uses;
g) That continuous public access to the harbour foreshore be a core principle for all development in the Bays Precinct;
h) That a significant proportion of the 80 plus hectares of publicly owned lands be retained for public uses including open space
i) The creative adaption and re-use of key heritage items such as the White Bay Power Station and the Glebe Island Bridge.
Resolution 2: Building a People’s Campaign
a) This public meeting urges community organisations within the Bays Precinct area to come together to contribute their particular expertise and local knowledge to the wider people’s campaign.
b) This public meeting of the Bays Precinct’s communities endorses the development of a wider campaign alliance incorporating interested community organisations and individuals across Sydney to ensure:
- that the people’s voice on the renewal of the valuable and publicly owned harbour foreshores and waters within the Bays Precincts is heard and respected by the Government and its agencies
- that the Government conducts the planning and renewal process transparently and consistently with the community endorsed principles reaffirmed by this meeting
- and that the public good is given precedence in this major urban renewal project – as is appropriate for publicly owned lands and waters in our democracy.
Resolution 3: Community Engagement and Participation
a) The Premier and the Minister for Planning meet with the representatives of this public campaign before the planned Summit in November to brief them fully on the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project and to discuss the community’s anger and concerns about the announced process and the developer dominated composition of the UrbanGrowth board
b) The Government invite a significant number of community representatives, including from the Bays Precincts communities, to the November summit so their expertise and the views of their communities can be incorporated directly into the proceedings.
c) The NSW Government -in collaboration with the City of Sydney and Leichhardt Councils- convene a People’s Summit preceding the November summit to allow direct and democratic participation in the shaping of the urban renewal process for the publicly owned foreshores and bays encompassed by the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project.
Resolution 4: Organisation of Next Steps
This public meeting of the Bays Precinct’s communities authorises a working group consisting of the four organisers of this meeting and a nominee from all interested community organisations within the Bays Precinct area to carry the decisions of this meeting forward and to report to the community regularly through their usual communication channels. Early consultation with the Better Planning Network, parliamentary representatives and development of a social media campaign and should be priorities.
Carolyn Allen (BPCRG member and President Balmain Association)
John Brooks (BPCRG member and Pyrmont Action Inc)
Dr Lesley Lynch, (BPCRG and BP Taskforce member and Glebe Society)
Professor Jane Marceau (BPCRG and BP Taskforce member and White Bay Joint Steering Committee)