Bullying government grabs more power for almighty Barangaroo

The state government has once again intervened to remove one of the last areas of control that the City had over Barangaroo – the multi-billion dollar development taking place on prime public land in the heart of our local government area.

The latest move has seen control of sections of  road adjacent to the Barangeroo site handed over to the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA).  This means the City will have no input into how a trial of SISCO, a new method of decontamination to be carried out in these areas, will take place.  The land is highly contaminated by past industrial use and the BDA want to trial this largely untested method of remediating it. 

This move is totally unneccessary and amounts to nothing more than wanton bullying on the part of the government.  The City had been undertaking discussions with the BDA on the decontamination trial and were open to the idea of it going ahead as long as there was appropriate environmental monitoring.  Given the very reasonable conditions the City was looking to apply to the project it makes one wonder what the BDA have to hide by cutting the City out.

This also creates a massive conflict of interest for the BDA.  While the City’s only interest in the decontamination trial is making sure that the environment and human health is protected the BDA has an interest in delivering Barangaroo in a way that produces maximum profit – they therefore have an incentive to cut corners in the potentially very expensive process of land remediation.

It is a disgrace that planning laws in this state allow this type of thing to happen.  It is a sad indictment on NSW politics that just two months out from the election the Greens are still the only party with a plan to overturn these laws and replace them with something fair, accountable and transparent.

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