Balmain residents furious over Minister Keneally’s rushed approvals

White Bay industrial site for proposed refuelling depot

White Bay industrial site for redevelopment could look worse than this or better …

The Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally MP, has approved a refuelling depot and international cruise ship terminal in the White Bay area without a skerrick of consultation with the local council or the people of Balmain.

The refuelling depot is smack in the middle of a residential area yet the Minister chose not to consult with any locals despite a commitment from the NSW Premier that there would be an extensive consultation period to develop a master plan for the White Bay redevelopment.

The Joint Subcommittee to the Bays Precinct Consultation Group has proposed a far more appropriate redevelopment plan that will enhance the residential nature and the heritage value of the Balmain peninsula.

From the submission

Parklands and trees in East Balmain

This is how it could be: trees and parkland for White Bay redevelopment

As White Bay is part of the Balmain Peninsula it has the potential to enhance the very significant heritage on the peninsula.

Being on the inner-city foreshores, the Bays Precinct offers the opportunity to complement the CBD environs in a way that will showcase the inner-harbour and set out a visionary plan for the next century rather than the next decade.

Our community wants a balance of social, environmental and economic elements that will encourage community interaction including:

  • parkland and open space
  • recreational, community and sporting amenities
  • childrens play areas and facilities
  • café/kiosk
  • using the power station for wider benefit
  • increased transport services (ferry, buses, light rail, bike tracks & walking tracks).

Public access to the harbour foreshores is essential and 24/7 industrial/commercial operations are unacceptable. If there is any land that deserves the best planning focus and outcomes it is the foreshores of Sydney Harbour.

The locals are fighting back

The Leichhardt Council has launched a legal challenge to the approval of the refuelling depot on the basis that Minister Keneally’s approval completely disregards a commitment made by the NSW Premier for a new master plan for White Bay. In addition, both Sylvia Hale (Greens MLA) and Cr John Stamolis (Leichhardt Council) were advised last year that a decision on the refuelling depot would not be made before the Bays Precinct consultation occurred. Minister Keneally has shown complete disregard for process by approving the proposal without any consultation.

If you want to voice your objection to the refuelling depot and cruise ship terminal in favour of parklands, recreational and sporting amenities, and other social and environmental enhancements, contact the Minister, Kristina Keneally, The Premier, Nathan Rees and other members of the NSW parliament.

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