I have successfully moved a motion in Council requesting that the Lord Mayor call on the NSW Government to rescind plans to charge commercial rates for the public to attend New Year’s Eve celebrations at Barangaroo Reserve.
I recently spoke to radio 2UE about the Barangaroo Development Authority’s (BDA) advertised fee of up to $29.50 for people to access public land on New Year’s Eve. Tickets to access Barangaroo Reserve on New Years Eve is a departure from the City’s policy of ensuring public access is always free. The BDA have stated that those with tickets will be able to access the space, however, a ticket does not guarantee a view of the harbour. 10 000 tickets have been released for the event.
This quarantining of public space is the latest move in a long line of incidents that represent the privatisation of public space at Barangaroo. Not long after the initial designs were released the amount of private floor space was increased. Today, private floor space is more than double what was proposed in the original designs. Furthermore, we have seen the BDA and the Government welcome the proposal for a casino from Jamie Packer that will dwarf our beautiful harbour.
Celebrating the new year is a wonderful time where people from across Sydney and the world come together. The event is free and accessible to people regardless of their ability to pay and it must remain that way. At New Years Eve I want to see our diverse and inclusive city celebrate the new year together.