Edward Mandla
COUNCIL SPEECHES
South Sydney Employment Lands

Published On: 26/10/2015
Iíve had a great deal to say on this over the course of the last year. Iíve read over a thousand documents, seen analysis from our own and others experts on the matter, and have always arrived at the same conclusion. This is some of the worst policy I have ever seen come out of this chamber.

The starting position on this item was our own peer reviewed consultantís report that recommended mixed use for the precinct by SGS Consultants. Itís quite amazing that when we use SGS to criticise Westconnex their word is taken as gospel, but when we they give us advice we donít want to hear, we never hear of the report again.

You donít need to read many reports to see what utter folly this is, you just need to visit the area and see what a wasteland it is. With 20% vacancy, itís hardly what can be described as the heart of employment creation. We have waxed lyrical that there will be 5,000 jobs created, which adds up to a princely 1 job for every 400 square metres.

We are trying to sell the people of this city a pup.

Under the pretext of employment generation, we have opted for a low growth model of yesteryear. There are plenty of alternatives available such as Barangaroo and the Bays precinct but of course in our proud tradition of they were not invented here, we donít want to know about it.

If affordable housing is permissible, it makes sense that all forms of housing should be permissible.

Land use planning affects the allocation of resources. To leave South Sydney zoned as a commercial zone, will only result in the status quo being maintained, as there is no pressure for commercial development because there is limited public transport and Council has adopted a restrictive parking regime. So as a commercial precinct it will never activate. Ours is a recipe for inertia.

In point of fact, the governments Metro Strategy suggests that South Sydney should be a mixed use precinct. The sub-regional strategies for Sydney are yet to be prepared, and will be a matter for the Greater Sydney Commission. To ignore the opportunity for South Sydney to evolve into a mixed use residential and commercial precinct will be a very great tragedy for South Sydney, which could otherwise support some 30,000 houses and 50,000 jobs.

This is precisely the reason that areas like Barangaroo have been taken from us, and I have little doubt that this will be taken from us also. Not only are we not fit for the future as far as scale is concerned, we are not fit for the present in our approach to dealing with it. This is exactly why the City of Sydney Act was amended last year to give a broad community voting franchise.

Finally, I have to pass comment on the 50% benefit sharing fee where the City of Sydney government would share in the uplift of private property values as the sole mechanism to allow some restricted residential development. I incorrectly labelled this approach last week as Marxism, on reflection itís Fascism.

Itís also a ham fisted attempt by a local government to levy a capital gains tax.

I oppose this and suggest to anyone else in this chamber that if you do not understand it, do not vote for it and if you do understand it, you would never vote for it.

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