Submission guide - Australian Technology Park

Mirvac has lodged a Development Application with the Department of Planning and Environment to redevelop Australian Technology Park, primarily for commercial space to be used by the Commonwealth Bank.

Public submissions to the development plan closed on 29 February 2016. 

You can read the submission made by Jenny Leong MP here.

Below are some of the key concerns about this development, which were provided as a guide for public submissions. 

Heritage significance

  • Australian Technology Park is a site of national and international significance.  According to the NSW Government, the “Eveleigh workshops are the best collection of Victorian period railway workshops in Australia and are considered to have world heritage significance… They represent the pinnacle of manufacturing achievement in NSW and the equipment was once (and remains) the best collection of heavy machinery from the period. The buildings are fine examples of workshop architecture and are an important part of the historic fabric of the inner city.” [Source:]

  • The heritage significance of ATP extends well beyond its buildings and artefacts, to the sites immense social and cultural heritage which is also of national and international significance.

  • The EIS claims that “no Aboriginal sites are recorded in or near the site, and no Aboriginal places have been declared …. The works are unlikely to have any impact on Aboriginal objects of sites.”  This is an offensive statement that willingly turns a blind eye to the continuous occupation of the site by Aboriginal people over thousands of years, and the deliberate genocide and displacement of Aboriginal people. 

  • The EIS also ignores the significant social history of Aboriginal people who were employed in the workshops and involved in trade union activities on site.

  • The EIS is light on detail and provides only a broad overview of the project.  The architectural drawings are too schematic to determine whether this building will do justice to the wealth of cultural and architectural history of the site, or whether it will just another mediocre office park.

  • The sale of the site to Mirvac means that there is an increasingly fragmented management of the site – which makes it imperative that there is an independent heritage oversight body with the responsibility of protecting the whole area, including the ATP, Eveleigh, the Chief Mechanical Engineers Office, and related sites of significance. 

  • An independent heritage body would be responsible for interpretation of heritage displays, house all existing archival materials under one roof, and provide a mechanism for the various owners of the adjoining sites to manage the heritage in a consistent and ongoing way. 

  • The existing Conservation Management Plan must also be adhered to, and not watered down.  Funding must be allocated to ensure its implementation.

  • An in situ archive of the history, including the oral and artefacts should also facilitate access for the public and historians. The still functioning blacksmiths shop should remain, and could form part of a heritage trades centre.

Loss of innovation and technological focus

  • Using the site for Commonwealth Bank headquarters fundamentally alters it's original purpose as a centre for technology and innovation.

  • Current tenants are required to demonstrate that they have a focus on innovation and new technologies.  It is unclear as to whether these tenants will be allowed to stay, or whether space will be let on a purely commercial basis.  If start up tech companies are evicted from the site, there will be significant brain drain from the inner city, and potentially Australia.


  • Traffic congestion on local roads and parking pressure is already too great in this area. In one of the most congested areas of the inner city – which also faces huge risks from proposed plans for WestConnex – we need integrated, transport planning and solutions that prioritise public and active transport. We need to ensure that this massive increase in activity doesn’t push our local roads and local streets beyond breaking point.
  • The EIS states that approximately $19.9 million will be spent on “Road, Public Transport and Access” in lieu of making S.94 developer contributions.  This money should be spent on upgrading Redfern Station to cope with the additional 10,000 workers who will be working at the site, not on building car parking that will add traffic and congestion to local roads.

Impact on local residents

  • Residents living near the site are rightly concerned about impact of increased traffic and parking on local roads, overshadowing by tall towers and lack of public access to the site.
  • Inadequate consultation with local residents, local community groups and key stakeholders in the local area means that many of the impacts and concerns have not been taking into consideration in the preparation of this EIS.

Public access and facilities

  • The ‘Community Building’ referred to in section 3.6.3 comprises of a childcare centre, gym, retail tenancy and commercial office.  These uses do not facilitate public access, and should not be considered as such.

  • Expensive retail outlets, for-profit childcare centres, cafes and supermarkets are commercial spaces, and exclude anyone who is not there to spend money.

  • The redevelopment of the site provides the perfect opportunity for construction of a bridge over the railway line.  This would provide a much needed pedestrian and cycling link between Darlington and Alexandria.  

  • It is imperative that the crossing of the rail line is for bicycles and pedestrians only, not cars. Without these bridges being included in this construction, there is little hope of them ever being built given the fragmentation of the site due to privatisation.

Affordable housing contributions

  • The EIS states 2% of the total cost of the development will be spent on delivering 17 affordable housing units in the Redfern-Waterloo area as per the Redfern Waterloo Affordable Housing Contributions plan. This is unacceptably low.

  • A serious commitment to affordable housing targets in areas of urban growth and urban renewal, in the order of 30% affordable housing targets for new dwellings should be mandated in order to address the housing affordability crisis in our city.


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