Barangaroo Casino still growing

packers barangarooWhile our Millers Point public housing tenants continue to suffer from being expunged from their community, around the corner, James Packer continues to treat Barangaroo as his personal playground, indulged by a Government that is a puppet to his purse strings.

The proposal for the casino now stands at 72 stories, an increase from 60. Most of these floors will become luxury apartments, with only a few floors for the casino. There is no doubt that a building of this scale, almost twice the size of towers planned for Barangaroo South, will dominate the landscape and have a significant visual impact on our iconic harbour.

Barangaroo Regulation 15, the most recent environmental impact statement, is now available for comment. Like its previously released documents, I am aghast at the level of apathy towards the current community, as well as the dictated needs of residents and visitors to the area for a high roller gaming environment. It is clear that this proposal is an attempt to cleanse the area, and, in the words of the social impact assessment, cater to “professional working couples with above average incomes” (p. 10). In other words, this development has made no attempt to foster an environment for public benefit. It has no benefits for people of lower socio-economic standing, and seeks to use public land for private purposes.

There is no attempt by Crown to rectify the expulsion of the many people from public housing nearby, which is fostered by developments like these; at their own admission to target the international, high income market.   The exclusive focus on financial gain is apparent not only through its attempt to cater to the rich international market, but further, through proposed exemptions to NSW health laws. The proposal to allow smoking in the indoor restricted gaming facility undermines our laws and says very clearly, that the health of workers and visitors comes second to financial gain. This is an outrageous proposal and it behoves the State Government to once and for all, stop pandering to the pockets of developers and excusing their own laws when enough money is dangled before them.

I urge you to view the released documents and make a comment before August 24, to tell the State Government loud and clear that this development, in its current form, is socially and environmentally insupportable. You can view the details at http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=6957

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