Monthly Archives: September 2010

Spring flowers are wunderbar

Spring flowers in Sydney Australia

Spring flowers in full bloom

Love spring flowers and the scents that come from them. It’s heady stuff.

My favourites are things like jasmine, mock orange and the bloom known as ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’.

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Redevelopment of Barangaroo needs to be for the people

What is the actual plan for the redevelopment? This image shows some building actually built over the Harbour.

I endorse Phillip Cox’s call that the proposed redevelopment at Barangaroo needs to be ‘seriously reviewed as pocket park development providing usable civic space for the people of Sydney who live and work there’ (Letters, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September, 2010).

We’ve completely lost the original winning design to a Lend Lease monstrosity that Mr Cox argues will end up a bleak ‘sunless series of residue spaces … dominated by an indifferent hotel that has no architectural possibility of being iconic’.

The whole process for the redevelopment of Barangaroo should start again with the goal to provide open public space, low-rise public and community buildings set into the existing landscape. The space is perfect for a series of spaces for community gatherings, places of entertainment, parks, gardens, places for celebrations.

One plan from 2006 put forward for redevelopment of Barangaroo with low rise buildings and lots of open space
The return on investment for Barangaroo should not be about how much money the State Government can get but about what the site can give back to the people of Sydney

It is too valuable a space in the city to destroy with overblown, sun-sapping high-rise buildings that will benefit the builder, Lend Lease, and leave the people of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia bereft of a central part of the city.

Barangaroo also needs to retain the passenger wharf for ocean liners. If these big ships can dock at Circular Quay in the heart of the city, there’s no reason why the passenger wharf can’t stay at Barangaroo. Moving it to White Bay is utter madness causing even greater conjestion on the Balmain Peninsula and making access to the city difficult for passengers. But of course, it is Lend Lease again who benefits from moving the wharf because they get to build on even more land. And let’s not forget that their design plans to reclaim some of Sydney Harbour.

Another view of proposed Lend Lease highrise at Barangaroo that will block sun and light
Say no to the overdevelopment of Barangaroo – write to a state politician today!

The question is: has the Labor Government got the strength of character to take notice of the criticisms from the people of Sydney, the Australian Institute of Architects, and other prominent civil citizens and stop the current over-development which will be a blight on our city for generations to come? It’s a long question but an important one. The waterfront of Sydney Harbour belongs to the people and Barangaroo should be developed for the enjoyment of Sydneysiders, all Australians and overseas visitors, not just a few wealthy business people and tourists.

Here’s another question. What is Barry O’Farrell’s position on this? I might be mistaken but we’ve heard nothing from him about his views. Given the cozy relationship in the past between the conservative Liberals and multinational companies such as Lend Lease, we all can expect the worst. Barry, do you endorse the Lend Lease monstrosity? Come on, Barry, tell us what you will do if you win the election.

Footnote: The public interest in Barangaroo is only going to increase as more people realize what a travesty the current Lend Lease project is. Public forums have attracted huge numbers of people who oppose the plans. Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, has resigned from the Barangaroo Delivery Authority overseeing the project. The Mayors of Leichhardt and North Sydney oppose the project as do many constituents in these electorates. We’re growing in numbers and we’re not going away.

Write to a minister of MLA member today

We can make a difference and make sure our harbour foreshore is developed for the people of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia.

Write to:
the Premier – currently Kristina Keneally
the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor
the local State Labor member, Labor’s Verity Firth

Ask the opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell, what he intends to do about the redevelopment of Barangaroo and reversing the decision to hand over control of the development to one multinational development company, Lend Lease, a company, one could argue, does not have the people’s interest at heart.

Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister may also be interested to hear what we have to say about this. Bob Hawke stopped the Franklin Dam. Julia could stop Barangaroo.