Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong has expressed disgust at the Government’s decision to forge ahead with the privatisation of the Australian Technology Park and Eveleigh Railyards site despite their important public and heritage value.
The Local Member has vowed to continue to work with the community to ensure that public access to the sites is not lost and that the living heritage and specialisation in innovation is maintained.
“This publically owned space should not be seen as a cash-cow for developers. We’ve seen this behaviour from successive NSW Governments, selling off valuable public assets with benefits going to their developer mates.
“This is an irreplaceable part of the historic fabric of Sydney’s inner city. Once it’s taken out of public hands we’ll lose it forever.
“It’s distressing to think that this innovation hub and heritage site could soon be branded with big, flashy ‘Comm Bank’ logos.
“The NSW State heritage listing for the Eveleigh workshops notes their national and international significance, stating that they are ‘of the highest significance in the development of the railway system and of the State.’
“Thanks to the strong, community campaign highlighting the social, industrial and living history of the site the Minister has put some protections of heritage items in place and has agreed to maintain public access. The Greens will hold him to his word. But that’s still not good enough.
“We know that heritage is not just about the built environment. Allowing retail and commercial outlets to overtake this community and heritage space will have irreversible impacts and will completely change the fabric of the area.
Also under the watch of the Planning Minister, Urban Growth has identified a location for a 20 story high-rise development in a low-rise residential area just around the corner from ATP.
“The Minister and the Mirvac-led consortium should be aware that local residents and innovation workers, along with the national and international community that value this site, have a long and strong history of standing up against greedy developers and short-sited governments seeking to impose bad planning decisions.”