How Insurance Works

Assurance Review on planning in the Ryde LGA, Listening Session 2

Hello and welcome everybody here tonight. Good evening. Thank you for coming. I would like to acknowledge the traditional
owners of the land in which we meet and pay my respects to their elders, past and present,
and emerging leaders here today. I’m Lucy Turnbull. I’m the Chief Commissioner of the Greater
Sydney Commission and it’s my honour to welcome you to this Assurance Panel Listening
Session. Assurance Reviews are designed to support
the effective implementation of strategic plans and, more importantly, to get the best
outcomes for the community and for the environment. As well as this Assurance Review, the GSC
is currently working with 33 local councils, including of course Ryde Council, to ensure
that the Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Environment Plans will deliver the
Greater Sydney Region Plan and the relevant District Plans, which is very, very important
to emphasise, were co-created with local government, with all local governments, and with stakeholders
and the wider community. The Assurance Review is relevant to tonight’s
proceedings – irrelevant to tonight’s proceedings – is being undertaken at the request of
the premier in accordance with the Greater Sydney Commission Act to provide advice and
to make recommendations to the premier on matters relating to planning and development
in the Greater Sydney region. The Premier asked the Greater Sydney Commission
to conduct an Assurance Review with regard to this LGA with a particular focus on Macquarie
Park Investigation Area and its broader impact on the Ryde LGA. The Ryde LGA and Macquarie Park are recognised
by the Commission as being critical areas for Greater Sydney. For example, in the North District Plan, the
strategic centre of Macquarie Park is noted as being part of the eastern economic corridor
and is identified as being a health and education precinct as well. It’s also already the largest non-CBD office
market in Australia and a significant centre for job creation and for economic activity
of all kinds. This Assurance Review is not looking at individual
development applications, and I emphasise that. It’s not looking at individual DAs or planning
proposals, but we’re looking at the broader strategic planning context for this LGA. As detailed in the review terms of reference,
which are up on our web, the Commission will provide the premier with a preliminary assessment
identifying key matters for further analysis later this month. We will then report to the premier in May
with an assessment of the current situation and any steps we think we recommend be taken
to improve outcomes for the current and future residents of Ryde LGA. Tonight’s session is an opportunity for
the Panel, being Geoff and myself, Geoff Roberts, Deputy Chief Commissioner, to listen to your
views and your perspectives. On behalf of my colleague Geoff and myself,
I would like to thank you for generously giving your time to participate. At least it’s not Chinese New Year like
Tuesday night was. I will now pass over to our facilitator for
tonight, Meredith Jones, who will explain how the session will proceed. Thank you very much, Meredith, and everyone
else. Thank you, Lucy. Good evening everyone and welcome. As Lucy mentioned, my name is Meredith Jones
and I work at the Greater Sydney Commission. I’m going to be facilitating tonight’s
session. This is our second Panel Listening Session. The first, as the Chief Commissioner mentioned,
was on Tuesday night. The assurance Panel comprises Chief Commissioner
Lucy Turnbull and Deputy Chief Commissioner and Economic Commissioner Geoff Roberts. Colleagues from the Commission are also providing
assistance tonight, including Kristin, who is sitting beside Lucy and will be taking
notes. Before I continue, I should state that all
Greater Sydney Commissioners must make an annual Declaration of Interest identifying
potential conflicts with their appointed role. For the record, we are unaware of any conflicts
in relation to the Assurance Review. You can find additional information on the
way we manage potential conflicts in our policy, which is available on the Commission’s web
site, along with our Code of Ethics and Conduct Policy. As you were advised in communication from
the Commission in recent days, this session is being filmed and may be made available
on the Commission’s website. The Listening Session gives the Panel the
opportunity to hear your views on planning in the Ryde Local Government Area with a particular
focus on the Macquarie Park Investigation Area and its broader impact on the Ryde Local
Government Area. As part of its process, the Panel has met
with local Council and State Government’s agency staff. The Panel has also participated in a bus tour
of some relevant sites in the Ryde Local Government Area. Before we hear from our first registered speaker,
I would like to lay some ground rules that we will expect everyone taking part in today’s
session will follow. Firstly, today’s session is not a debate. Our Panel will not take questions from the
floor and no interjections are allowed. Our aim is to provide maximum opportunity
for registered speakers to be heard by the Panel. Public speaking, as you would understand,
can be an ordeal for many people, though you may not agree with everything that you hear
today, each speaker has the right to be treated with respect and heard in silence. Today’s focus is about listening. The Panel is here to listen not to comment. They may ask questions for clarification,
but this is usually unnecessary. It will be most beneficial if your presentation
is focused on issues that are of concern to you. It is important that everyone who is registered
to speak receives a fair share of time. I will therefore be enforcing some time-keeping
rules. If possible, it would be appreciated if you
would provide a copy of your presentation or speaking notes to Greater Sydney Commission
staff. Amanda, who is in the room at the back, will
kindly take them from you when you have finished. This is purely for record-keeping purposes. Audio recording and photography of the session
is not allowed, except for the official recording, and you can see the cameras around you and
the speakers all have microphones and members of the media who can take notes for note-taking
purposes. If we have any members of the media here,
the Commission’s Media Director, Craig Middleton, can help you with any questions. Craig, if you could raise your hand, if you
have any questions? Okay. Now to the time-keeping. Everyone speaking today will have five minutes
to present to the Panel. I’m going to ring a warning bell at four
minutes and then a polite, yet insistent, tone will ring after five minutes. We kindly ask that all speakers cease speaking
at the end of their allocated time. When you present to the Panel, can you please
begin by introducing yourself and advise the Panel if you are speaking on behalf of a company,
organisation or community group. Housekeeping and safety: in the event of a
fire, we are all to leave by the entrance we came in, which is down to my right, and
then head around to the right and keep following and you will see a fire exit that will take
us immediately outside the building. Conveniently, the bathrooms are also just
in the same direction if you head out and head to your right. If you have a bag, can I ask that you either
keep it under your chair or on your lap. Speakers will be getting up and sitting down
and walking around and we don’t want anyone to trip over. There are lots of sandwiches, tea, coffee
and cheese and crackers, plus there’s also coffee, tea and water. So, if you’re hungry or thirsty, please
have something to eat or drink. Finally, I would ask that everybody present
please turn your mobile phones to silent and I would now like to invite our first speaker,
Jennie Minifie from Ryde Community Alliance to address the Panel. Thank you. Good evening. Hello, Geoff. Hello, Jennie. How are you? It’s been a long while. It’s been many years. Yes, indeed. I’ll just pop that up here. Ryde Community Alliance is an informal alliance
of community groups and concerned people across the LGA in particular. It was formed in response to planning issues
in the LGA and has been involved in a great deal of engagement sessions, consultation
and advocacy. It’s also a founding member of the Better
Planning Network and is a member of the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales. I have apologies on behalf of Noel Plumb,
who’s unable to attend. So, my submission, and I’ll make a copy
of that available, covers those issues generally as well. We actually had a system that was operating
with local controls and state controls and a number of very important State Environmental
Planning Policies, particularly Sydney Harbour Catchment and the SEPP 19 bushland in urban
areas and I’ll come back to them as we go. In addition, Ryde Council had already completed
detailed mapping of its vegetation types and threatened species before 2000. So, by the mid-1990s, the planning layers
or the planning laws were gradually becoming more complex with many layers of different
controls and approval mechanisms and co supplying, regardless of local environmental variations. So, Ryde had a very old planning scheme at
that time and – What sort of time are you talking about? 1999 through to 2005. So, for a long period of time for several
decades after 1945, the focus was on development primarily and environmental protection was
very much a secondary issue until around about the 80s when the Environmental Planning and
Assessment Act brought some changes overall. The State Government planning reforms since
the 90s has assumed economic development as more important than environmental and social
imperatives and, increasingly, the Council’s planning and development controls have been
overridden, including land use zonings, building heights and more. To put it simply, they’re not working. The community’s concerns have been repeatedly
ignored or overridden and really the worst excesses have occurred on publicly owned land
under the control of several different State Government agencies or identities. The two business parks, Macquarie Park and
North Ryde Business Parks demonstrate how these new powers have been used to approve
a massive scale of development and you can see that at – the Microsoft building is under
the original controls and 27 to 37 Delhi Road next door is under the current precinct controls. Also, just in passing, there’s a very distinctive
identity crisis occurring where Macquarie Park and North Ryde, the names are being used
interchangeably and that actually really does have to be urgently addressed. The rezoning of the tennis centre, again resulting
from large amounts of community action, has not been gazetted public recreation. It has been gazetted private recreation and
every development seems to require the removal of trees and a large part of these areas that
were public land have Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest and Macquarie Hospital has already
lost some STIF that should have been protected and I fear that the rest of that site is under
threat as well. So there has been a great deal of community
disillusionment and anger building. We have had some successes. We have got some urban bushland zoned environmental
conservation, but not a lot. So just in summing up, restoring the local
controls, protecting the urban bushland and that can be done within the context of the
LEP/DCP review because the state has funded that to $2.5 million. Thank you. And it would be good to have some of those
things soon. Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you, Jennie. I’d now like to call Councillor Edwina Clifton
from Ryde City Council. Thank you. Thank you. So as was stated, I’m Edwina Clifton from
Ryde City Council. I’d like to first thank the Commission for
actually holding this Listening Session. I think it’s great that you’re actually
hearing from the local people in Ryde and that you’re out on the ground. I have three areas that I think are of major
concern for me – one is cars, one is people and one is trees. Firstly cars, cars are obviously clogging
Sydney’s roads. In Ryde it is a nightmare. It really is a nightmare, it’s putting a
lot of pressure on people who are sitting in traffic jams. I’m quite sure that you have heard all this
before, but I think one of the problems is that there is an underlying assumption that
if we build around public transport infrastructure that we are going to stop cars and I think
it’s a wrong assumption. One of the big contributors to people being
on the road are school children and mothers who are working. Mothers who are working need to get three
children, say one to child care, one to pre-school and one to school. In an area like Ryde, it’s not a walkable
distance. You’re often talking seven kilometres to
your pre-school, three kilometres to the drop-off zones and back to school. You are not going to bundle children onto
a bus that doesn’t even take you directly there. You have to then take them off with your eight-month-old
because that’s the age that a lot of working women go back to work, and then navigate back
around. You do the most logical thing; you get in
your car and you drive to your drop-off zones and that’s fathers, too, like, you know,
mothers and fathers work often together doing this. You are not going to go back home then after
you’ve done that drop-off and leave the car at home. What you do is you drive to your destination. Macquarie Park used to be a great zone because
the local people do their drop offs, they head up and it was a drive in-drive out business
park. That was what people liked about it. We are changing the dynamic of that. We are putting residential buildings in there
and that’s fine on one level, except that it has been too much and you’re never going
to remove the people in the cars. That’s the thing. If they’re not going to there, then they’re
going into the city. The other concern I have is the assumption
with who is going to work at Macquarie Park. If we are talking about executives and management,
and which we are to a certain extent, often those people have families. People generally don’t want to be raising
their families in two-bedroom flats and, unfortunately, this is what I feel we’re turning Sydney
into. We are turning Sydney into a place where we
think a lot of people are going to live in flats. Now, if you’re talking working age, you
know, people work up to a certain age and then they have their family. What happens to them then? Sydney used to be this city – the most beautiful
thing about the city was that we had – out in these suburbs, you had a lot of single
dwelling homes where people had a back garden. They didn’t have to be massive. They didn’t have to be luxurious, but that’s
what people like and I do think that that is what Sydneysiders liked and they are going
to start to resent the fact that they are losing that. I understand, you know, that there is a population
issue, but we’ve got to have a balance because once we start creeping into the single dwelling
residences, you have a problem and, again, if you have got high rises in Macquarie Park,
they are not necessarily going to be the people who are employed in Macquarie Park. So, again, what you have got is you’ve got,
say, the families in executive roles who are trying to drive in and you’ve got the people
living in high rises who may not even be working there. So, I think there’s a problem there with
the people and the assumptions. Again, trees: I don’t see trees as a luxury. They are, you know, something that is absolutely
fundamental to any suburb. They are what makes a suburb attractive and
more importantly than that, they take the heat out of a zone like Macquarie Park. I’ve sat on Panels and I’ve seen individual
DAs approved and every single one wipes out most of the trees and its sort of like, “Well,
that doesn’t matter because it’s just that one and that doesn’t matter because
it’s just that little one.” But every single one, and especially with
the level of development going on in Macquarie Park, wipes out – and often they’re just
newly established trees, often they’ve just been planted 20 years ago when it first got
built. We are losing it. If you drive around Macquarie Park it is not
attractive; it is turning into a concrete city, it is not a nice place for people to
live, you know, and we need to basically improve the quality of life of people there. Thank you. Thank you now. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Edwina. I’d like now to ask Samantha Czyz from Stockland. Hello, Samantha. Good afternoon, rather. Here we go. I only have a few slides, not too many. Chief Commissioner Turnbull, Deputy Commissioner
Roberts, thank you for the opportunity to address you. I’m here on behalf of Stockland. We own five sites in Macquarie Park and the
North Ryde study area, totalling about 16 hectares. This makes us one of the largest landowners
in the region. We’re also a partner in the Macquarie Park
Innovation District collaboration and currently have a DA in to renew one of our older sites
with a number of brand-new office buildings. As you know, Stockland has a long and proud
history of creating thriving communities, both residential and workplace. Our long-term investment and interest in Macquarie
Park is aligned to this purpose. Just quickly, my name is Samantha. I’m our head of planning at Stockland. So, my comments tonight represent our views
on good long-term strategic planning not necessarily the specific interests of any part of our
business. That said, my views have been informed by
our experts in the office and workplace delivery team, our mixed-use team, as well as our specialist
in leasing, asset management and research and the like. So, I’ll jump to our four main recommendations. I’ll keep this up on screen just so you
can reference where our sites are, although I’m not speaking about them specifically. First, we see Macquarie Park as a key part
of our commercial property pipeline. We believe it has the potential to evolve
and mature and play an even greater role as an economic hub. We believe some of the recent lower levels
of investment have partially resulted from a lack of conviction in strategic planning. A lot of nearby areas have seen rezoning and
various investigations have started and stopped. So, there’s been a lot of speculation. I think there’s little wonder that there
hasn’t been a lot of investment while a lot of that change was going on, but we believe
planning can play a major role to correct this. A clear strategic plan that defines a commercial
core, we believe, will send a signal to the market and attract commercial development
in jobs and workplaces. We believe the Waterloo Road spine is the
natural corridor to concentrate this growth, obviously then spreading to the edges of the
park. Not all of our sites are on Waterloo Road,
by the way, they are spread across the park. Second, we believe planning controls needs
to be updated to facilitate this growth, so height and FSR controls can be comfortably
increased across the park to encourage a higher density form of commercial. Currently, most of the park is limited to
about 30 metres and FSRs are between one and two to one. You know, it might take the market a bit of
time to respond, but with enabling controls rather than necessarily restricting ones,
we believe the investment will follow. It’s a pretty simple reason – there’s
ample supply of relatively unconstrained land for commercial development and that, we think,
will enable that critical mass in the core of the centre for business and activity. We think this new wave of investment spurred
on by enabling planning controls will see job densities grow and, as you know, Mac Park
has one of the lowest job densities in the entire Economic Corridor. With this growth, of course, we recognise
there should be a greater focus on amenity, a finer grain approach to streets and laneways
and the like, more public open spaces, child care centres and a broader range of uses so
as to create that destination beyond 5 pm. Really, that’s what will attract the key
workers, which will attract the businesses. It makes sense. The third point is that good town planning
tells us that areas benefiting from major city shaping, infrastructure investment like
the Metro, have a responsibility to shoulder some of the growth that that investment will
enable. If the government is of a view to explore
appropriate locations for mixed uses and residentials within the park, we believe a core principle
should be that that should be explored with a view to ensure the commercial core isn’t
compromised, therefore, we believe locations on the fringe or edges of the Park are most
appropriate to explore. I’ll use a quick example, being the North
Ryde Precinct, which is there in red shown on the map. This location has some fundamental structural
challenges compared to the Park itself. It’s essentially an island, as you can see
in red. It competes for tenants with Macquarie Park
and has poorer access. It doesn’t have a station at its core and
in fact all of the land around the station was rezoned to predominantly residential. So that essentially created a split between
that older business park and the core of Macquarie Park. Since then the commercial office market has,
you know, struggled to attract tenants. This is not only reflected in the rents, but
also in a lot of the tenant decisions to move and we think fringe areas like this adjacent
to land already zoned for residential would be appropriate to explore as opportunities
to bring in some alternative uses and blend them in. Obviously, prioritising areas like this is
also important to avoid impacts on existing residential areas and that’s just an example
of one where we think that could be achieved. The final recommendation is that planning
is completed quickly, a clear decision made and then implemented through the LEP. Thank you, Samantha. That’s it. Thank you very much. Thanks a lot. Thank you. Cheers. Thank you, Samantha. I’d now like to invite Mark Broomfield from
Macquarie University to address the Panel. Thank you for allowing us to come and speak
to you. My name is Mark Broomfield. I’m the Director of Property from Macquarie
University. I’m here to talk not only on behalf of the
University, but MPID, Macquarie Park Innovation District, which represents a number of key
business owners and other significant stakeholders, including about to open Venturi Café. Is that a particular site or is it a whole
– across Macquarie Park? Macquarie Park Innovation District represents
the whole of the park. Okay. And it’s essentially a number of industry
business partners who have come together with the university to create synergies with one
another. Okay. A little bit of background: Macquarie Park
was identified in the 1960s as a home for a new university, sitting alongside a planned
business park to emulate Stanford in California, an early form of an innovation district. The University has convened Macquarie Park
Innovation District for the last three years, which includes leading corporates from the
park, both Local and State Government agencies and CSIRO. Innovation districts, as you may know, are
known to accelerate growth in jobs and investment and are unique geographies where leading-edge
anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-up, business incubators
and accelerators. Macquarie Park is on a significant growth
trajectory that we need to capitalise on, and when I say “we” it’s just not the
University, it’s the broader community, so that we can transform a leading business
park into a world class innovation district for Sydney, New South Wales and Australia. To do this, we suggest the following: State
Government formally recognise and actively promotes the area as Macquarie Park Innovation
District as it is one of the very small handfuls of locations that really matter to the Australian
economy. PWC found that in its review of Australian
economic activity. State Government should take a greater role
in the coordination of State Government agencies to maximise not only employment and investment
in the park, but to support the vision of an innovation district that would help protect
and enhance the Macquarie Park district as a key contributor to Australian economy and
to innovation. The University, and partners, supports the
proposals by the Commission to secure a future for Macquarie Park Strategic Centre by developing
a 30-minute city, a city for smart jobs and a growing city. We do need to develop a more consistent approach
by both state and local governments to planning and approvals, as we are concerned with the
lack of overall plan for the area, a plan that is agreed by both state and local governments
and their respective agencies, that is resulting at the moment in spot rezoning and other decisions
at odds with the overarching strategic plan for the park. Shifts to residential use must be carefully
managed so not to threaten the commercial core of the park. Beyond protecting the area and ensuring that
the district continues to be a key contributor to Australia’s economy, the university also
supports planning which will promote innovation. Connectivity is essential to the development
of innovation districts and the university has two specific concerns to do with current
planning issues that are worth signalling to this review, given their potential impacts
on the LGA. The first is the proposed development of Waterloo
Road by RMS and Transport for New South Wales. It is hard to see how the plan, which is essentially
a six-lane highway, can be consistent with a district being created for a place for people
and pedestrians. It only adds to a lack of clear identity to
the area and the lack of pedestrian environment, something highlighted in the Greater Sydney
Commission strategic plan. The second concern is with the current planning
for the Macquarie Park Bus Interchange, transport interchange. Again, it is essential that these plans are
driven by real consideration of place making and people rather than the creation of an
infrastructure hub requiring consideration and collaboration between all stakeholders,
both government and private. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, Mark. And while Ian Douglas comes up to present
to the Panel, I would just like to note that District Commissioner Deb Dearing is here
in the audience as well. Deb, would you like to stand up. Yes. We forgot to recognise our illustrious CEO. Sarah, could you please stand up. Hi, Lucy, hi, everyone. Thank you for coming. Thank you. Please go ahead. Good evening, Commissioners and community
members. My name is Ian Douglas and I’m representing
a local resident [redacted], who has recently moved into a new apartment in the North Ryde
residential precinct that’s been discussed. I will focus on some problems and improvements
to the waste management at her apartment block, which is 1 to 17 Delhi Road. Here’s a view of Network Place at the rear
of the new North Ryde station and, as you’re well aware, the Metro will be opening in a
couple of months and there’s some lovely developments in Network Place where Channel
Ten used to be with about a thousand apartments for a couple of thousand residents. It will be a very busy precinct once the station
reopens. [redacted] purchased an apartment off the
plan in 2015. She dreamed of living in a ground floor apartment
with a garden courtyard and growing roses and sipping tea. Her apartment would be the ground floor one
near the tree that’s closest. Late in 2017, early 2018, residents moved
in, but [redacted]’s dream was soon shattered. Each afternoon bins were wheeled down the
fire escape corridor next to her bedroom and from the waste storage room from the inside
of the building and left in the sun on the street, at a street side loading bay awaiting
collection the next morning. This seems to be an issue at several buildings
in Macquarie Park as well, I noticed yesterday when driving around, so it’s not just one
building; maybe five, six, seven or more. Rubbish was stored in the external loading
bay on Network Place for four or five days a week. I mean, I have a weekly service at my house,
but here it’s daily. There’s a lot of bins outside one person’s
apartment and it affects maybe 10 apartments quite drastically. There’s yellow bins, red bins, orange bins,
furniture, beds, throw-outs, all piled out on the footpath and the loading bay for the
last year and it happens around Macquarie Park and other places and I think if it’s
going to be the innovation park, we need to have a clean park as well, so it looks good
for people visiting. Putrid smells and sometimes flies affect residents. [redacted] said her apartment smelt like the
inside of a rubbish bin. The bins are a health hazard, stored just
a few metres from residents’ bedrooms because of the very small set back of these high-rise
buildings and note these are 14-storeys high, no internal loading bay, so rubbish must be
collected from the street. We’re talking about a station precinct;
traffic hazards will develop later as use increases. On November 7, the flies from the bin swarmed
in my face. I got gastric for five days. Sometimes the bins blow over. Often after collection, the lids are left
open. I estimate the bins were on the street for
approximately 80 hours each week during most weeks of 2018. 80 hours is a long time to have the smell
of rubbish outside your room and maybe 600 apartments can see these bins, so it’s a
concern to a lot of people. Network Place is also a major wind tunnel,
creating twice the ambient wind speed. On windy days, the bins can sail down the
road like the boats in the Sydney to Hobart race and rubbish can blow out of the bins
and truck during collection. I mean, it’s at the point where if there’s
high winds, you better not collect the rubbish that day. So, we’ve written to Ryde Council to implement
the development’s conditions, 65K of the DA or development consent says: Council is to be supplied with a key for its
contractor to access the waste rim so that they can go there, get the bins, put them
in the truck, put them straight back so the bins shouldn’t be left out on the street
prior. We’ve also asked the strata manager to follow
the waste management plan and not reduce the amenity and not put the bins out prior to
collection. This is a high-rise building. If it doesn’t have a storage room for the
truck to go into to collect the bins, the bins should just wait till the truck gets
there. So, our most important point we believe is
that these apartment towers and several others and future towers should always have an internal
loading bay if the towers are, say, over four or maybe seven storeys high. There’s a lot of precedence for very good
waste servicing loading bays in Macquarie Park. We recommend high rise buildings have internal
loading bays like these pictures and if it’s a loading bay, maybe it could have negative
air pressure, so it’s ventilated away from the car park, the lift wells so that the smell
of internal collection doesn’t go into apartments and common areas. Low rise developments could also do with a
lot of attention in the planning stage so that you don’t have storage areas very close
to residents’ apartments. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Ian. Thank you, Mr Douglas. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I’d now like to call Matthew Lennartz from
Meriton. Mr Roberts, Mrs Turnbull, how are you? Thank you for the opportunity to speak. Hello. My name is Matthew Lennartz. I’m Executive Manager Planning and Government
for the Meriton Group. We make this presentation within the broader
context of the process as we understand our planned proposal at 112 Talavera Road is excluded
from, but nevertheless has been a catalyst to this review which we see as a political
reaction in a pre-election environment. We note that only 400 people objected to our
proposal after six plus months of sustained political lobbying and inaccurate propaganda
that ended with this review. Put that in context with the 60,000 plus signatures
to save the ice rink at the AMP Centre after just a month. This speaks for itself about the community’s
focus in Macquarie Park and I think some of the other speakers tonight have really focused
on growth and growing the Park and this part of Sydney. Notwithstanding, we’re here and we look
to the GSC to invite certainty on the District Plans that underpin the future planning and
growth across Sydney and which have been prepared over many years by leading experts with extensive
community consultation. Like any other company, on the back of government
policies, we make significant investment on the fair and reasonable presumption that government
will maintain their position for at least the amount of time it takes to implement those
policies. Unfortunately, New South Wales, the planning
system is far from efficient, but that’s what we have, so we need years. This review, less than 12 months after the
plans were adopted, undermines the substantial work already completed and the extensive investment
by the industry to deliver on the government’s housing and jobs growth policies. As an industry, we are critical to the success
of the State. As outlined by the Property Council of Australia,
the property sector employed one in four people in New South Wales as the state’s largest
employer and the largest single industry contributor paying 54.1 per cent of all tax in New South
Wales. Accordingly, certainty and stability are critical,
not only for our industry, but for the broader State. It is unquestionable that Macquarie Park is
an appropriate place to plan for increased density and jobs creation. Macquarie Park identifies as the fourth largest
and one of the most significant centres in Australia, benefited by infrastructure, jobs,
schools, transport, universities, shopping centres and hospitals. In our view, one of the best development areas
in Australia and that is why we continue to invest here. Importantly, it’s also flanked by major
transport corridors, isolating it and placing it away from nearby residential neighbourhoods. The GSC’s plans state that Macquarie Park
is only second to Sydney’s CBD in terms of commercial office space, within the Eastern
Economic Corridor, which contains one third of all of Sydney’s jobs, an area to generate
opportunities for homes close to transport links and jobs, a major health and education
precinct where housing opportunities for students and workers be placed within 30 minutes of
the precinct. Accordingly, the GSC’s Plans identify Macquarie
Park as a strategic centre and the Department of Planning has identified it in their Planned
Precinct Program as being already an economic and employment powerhouse with the physical
scale to generate even greater capacity. We note that a Northern District Plan also
identifies North Sydney, Chatswood and St Leonards as strategic centres. These centres have FSRs in excess of 12 to
1 and heights in excess of 50 storeys, whereas Macquarie Park only has relatively low densities,
given the infrastructure and public transport, six to one and 38 storeys. So, the Department is right; there is greater
capacity. With our project at 112 Talavera Road, we
demonstrate that this area can accommodate increased height and density. Our density is endorsed at only six and a
half to one and we have CASA approval at 60 storeys, which was reduced to 42 storeys,
which is well within other comparative centres and only slightly more than the maximum densities
at the Macquarie Centre. The proposal demonstrates compliance with
prevailing strategic plans and strategies as verified by the Council’s planning reports,
as well as the gateway approval issued by the Department of Planning as a delegate for
the GSC and we also received support from major agencies, including Transport for New
South Wales, RMS and CASA. Importantly, we did not compromise business
or employment zones, as they’re already zoned mixed-use. We demonstrated that it could mitigate the
major concerns on traffic and height, deliver much better planning outcomes with new public
open space on the site and, importantly, deliver much needed funding for local plus state infrastructure
and affordable housing in line with respective policies. This can all be achieved with increased densities
in this location and it can be argued that this can reduce pressure on the suburbs of
Ryde where there is heavy resistance to the medium density code. There has to be growth somewhere and it’s
per good planning practice and the priorities underpinning the regional plans and District
Plans. It should be located closer to infrastructure,
transport and jobs, which in this instance Macquarie Park. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, and the next one? Thank you, Matthew. Our next speaker is Councillor Trenton Brown
from City of Ryde. Hi, Councillor. Commissioners, good evening. Can I start by thanking you very much for
your time and for the opportunity to present to you. Can I say that the disgust of the community
and the anger in our community is a longstanding one. This is not a political issue, this is not
a beat up, this has got nothing to do with 23 March; this is a long term 10 year plus
problem and we need to really deal with it. For people that are relatively conservative,
for them to make up placards, to petition and go on marches through streets, as they
did 10 years ago, and if the opportunity presents, they should do the same again for what are
some pretty outrageous proposals that are coming to our community from this sector. The notion that it’s all about politics
is just so far removed from reality and so far removed from our community that it beggars
belief that anyone would say that, and I want to contextualise the problem for you. It’s a long-term problem and we must deal
with it, not just at Macquarie Park, but in other areas where we consider in the City
of Ryde we have done more than our fair share of the heavy lifting and, yes, we must push
back against residential – especially residential developments. We must especially do that in what is primarily
a business park, an innovation precinct, call it what you will, Macquarie Park is not a
residential park, it is far from it. I’d like to start by suggesting some reform
areas, I think firstly with the Independent Planning Panels. At the moment we have a situation where there
are three independent members in the Northern Sydney Planning Panel. We’ve got two council representatives. It doesn’t necessarily apply to the Investigation
Area only, but broadly speaking, the community voice is not heard in this instance and my
recommendation is that a three-three split be engineered with a casting vote for a Chairman. I think it’s an important reform and it’s
one that gives a fair go to the community. At the moment the fair go is stacked against
the community interest. It’s like thinking that a level playing
field looks like that. If a cricket pitch or a soccer field looked
like that with a 45-degree angle, you just wouldn’t walk out there, would you? You’d start laughing with your cricket bat
on the sideline. And that’s what I think the planning proposals
look like here for the community representatives and I give them credit from the City of Ryde. You heard from one of our councillors earlier. They front up every time knowing full well
that the deck is stacked against them, so to speak. I think for the planning targets that we have
in this area of seven and a half thousand dwellings, I think you could identify about
that same number in only three or four proposals before the council, be it Ivanhoe Estate,
be it Meriton or Holdmark or AMP, I think we’ve done more than our fair share of the
heavy lifting and we’ve done so in the Business Park in many cases. There is no room for further accommodation,
in my mind, and the City of Ryde needs to push back strongly, and I hope you take that
message out of this deliberation. The Voluntary Planning Agreements concern
me. There is, in effect, a free option. If a property developer fronts up with a VPA
to council, there is an asset waiting or a negotiation for cash or for assets that is
lost to the council if we don’t agree and given that I’m relatively new to council
and the briefings I’ve enjoyed from previous Councillors seem to say that, “Well, their
view is typically, ‘Well, we don’t want this and we accept it’s against the community
interests, but we really want the cash.’” There’s a free option in terms of business
dealings. There’s a free option in favour of the developer
and against the council imbedded into that planning proposal and that cannot be allowed
to be sustained. It’s a flaw in the system and I hope it’s
corrected. The current two-year pause for the medium
density code should include current DAs and current VPAs that are entered into by the
council currently or being considered by both Council and Independent Planning Panels and
we should not have any further zonings permitted by the Council and we should have a freeze
on all the VPAs currently under way. Finally, I’d like to say a couple of matters
around the SEPP I consider especially greenspace and open space is precious and we cannot allow
other planning codes like a SEPP to override the community interest as well, whereby, you
know, property developers come, RSL clubs, come what may, use excess or spare land to
take away valuable open space and greenspace for a community that is massively pressured
from significant increases in residential accommodation and to not have an offset and
to lose our greenspace, and I cite the TG Millner Fields as a classic example of this,
which is not within the Investigation Area, but was less than a kilometre from the boundary
of it. So, it’s critical for that area and critical
to that zoning, that open space like TG Millner Fields is protected and that we ensure that
other planning mechanisms like the SEP are amended in that way. Thank you very much. Thank you for the opportunity. I’m delighted to present to you. Thank you very much. And I look forward to your recommendations
closing. Thank you very much. Thank you, Trenton. I’d now like to call Leonard Sharp to address
the Panel. Good evening Chief Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner
and staff and the audience. Were you here last time? Yes. Yes, I thought so. Thank you. Okay. My name is Leonard Sharp and I’ve lived
at the same address in [redacted] in Ryde for close to 40 years. I’d like to mention that in our area between
Quarry Road and Buffalo, which is an east-west corridor, they’re difficult to leave in
peak hour, especially in the afternoon. There are lines of traffic in Quarry Road
waiting to cross Lane Cove Road and the same in Green Avenue, which is a back street for
me, waiting to access Buffalo Road and then on to Lane Cove Road. These roads are used to bypass sections of
Lane Cove Road, Victoria Road and Epping Road due to the congestion there. There are two pinch points, the Victoria Road,
Church Street intersection where six lanes become four and on Victoria Road at West Ryde
under the railway, where once again six lanes become four. That congestion can only become worse if more
people live or work in the Macquarie Park area. I live in the middle area, the area between
Epping Road and Victoria Road, the land of mostly single storey detached dwellings and
for what I want to emphasise, with backyards. The backyard provides an environment for both
fauna and flora. Blue-tongue lizards either pass through or
take up residence. If they have somewhere for shelter, such as
rocks or even under a broken path, smaller lizards, such as skinks, run around our walls
and gardens and shelter under leaves or garden mulch, little Brown frogs live wherever they
can have some water. My little six-year-old neighbour was so thrilled
to see one in the spare bin, which had some leaves and dried vegetation with some moisture
in the bottom. It later moved to the gully under the garden
tap and one has been calling intermittently from near the driveway, however, they are
hard to pinpoint. Butterflies flit around the garden, the beautiful
sky-blue ones, the black with white speckles on their wings and pure white ones. Birds of all kinds come into the garden for
the bird bath, Noisy miners, the raucous Wattle birds, Indian mynas, Butcher birds, Doves,
occasionally a Crested pigeon and the first two birds mentioned for the nectar from the
flowers as well. A family of three Crested pigeons are always
to be seen at the bottom of my street and a lady who lives near there tells me they
nest in her pine tree. A Kookaburra occasionally comes and sits on
the rotary clothesline, eyes straight ahead as the line rotates and then diving down. One night I looked out the back door and there
was something on top of the clothesline. Closer inspection revealed a Tawny frogmouth. Just on dusk one evening, there was a great
commotion from the Noisy miners in the crepe myrtle in my driveway. Even two Butcher birds joined in. My neighbour came out with his little daughter
to see what it was all about and then his daughter spotted an owl. Each morning a King parrot gives its piping
call from a neighbour’s street, before moving on for the day. It calls on the way back in the evening. Magpies strut around the street and in the
gardens. Currawongs occasionally have their corroboree,
wheeling around a tree and calling to one another. Occasionally, previously once a year, a White-faced
heron. This is a wading bird away from water, but
it came into my driveway, but last year it came very bold, it landed in the backyard
and proceeded to march back and forth for a while before flying across the street to
neighbours’ front yards. If you look up into the sky, high up, there
are sometimes Swifts whirling around after insects. Up near Top Ryde shopping centre, there is
often a group of swallows perching on the electricity wires. We have Ring-tailed possums in small groups
walking up Ryde along the electricity wires at dusk and looking like tightrope walkers. My neighbour two blocks up tells me they like
his lychees. Brush-tail possums run across my roof and
into the crepe myrtle in the driveway. Our gardens have oranges and limes, bananas
and mangoes. What can be more neighbourly than my neighbour
sharing his mangoes with me? Some people have a dog or a rabbit hutch in
their backyard. The retention of backyards is part of an urban
environment. There is room for children to play, use a
trampoline, kick a ball – it is a safe environment. In short, we live in a dynamic living environment
and having a backyard contributes to and enhances the environment. Where do all the flora and fauna have a place
when their urban blocks are too small to provide a backyard? The introduction of the Low Rise Medium Housing
Code and the building of manor houses has already happened at the bottom of my street. The two buildings take up almost the whole
of their block. There is no backyard to speak of. Is this our future and that of the environment? The animals and birds mentioned above need
somewhere for food and shelter in corridors, such as our backyards, and also to move between
our parks, national parks and nature reserves. They can’t be compartmentalised any more
than only having fruit trees in community gardens. I hope the Commission will consider the above
when making their recommendation to the government and what the environment means in our terms,
the residents of the middle area. Thanking you for your time. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Leonard. I’d now like to call Annie Manson from Urban
Taskforce to address the Panel. Thank you. Hello. Hello. How are you? I’m good. I’m good. Good evening. My name is Annie Manson. I’m the Head of Policy and Government Relations
with the Urban Taskforce. The Urban Taskforce is an industry group. We represent property developers and equity
financiers, those who fund and develop homes throughout Sydney and Australia. Firstly, I’d like to thank both Commissioners
and the Greater Sydney Commission for taking the time to hear from us tonight. I would like to share with you an interesting
experience that I had this weekend, you may have experienced something similar. I was walking down the street in my suburb
in the Inner West, just running some errands, when a woman I had never seen before in my
life approached me and told me she had been looking for me and that I had to move my car
immediately. I assumed there must be some kind of emergency
like a tree had fallen over. So, I agreed, and we set off to where my car
was parked. Anyway, I discovered that there was no emergency,
that I had just left my car parked out the front of this woman’s house for several
days and she had decided this was too long and it was time for me to move. By the way, this is a public parking space. It wasn’t her sort of private property or
anything. And then, alarmingly, she went on to tell
me that she’d been watching me, and she worked out where I had lived and then suggested
in a somewhat menacing way that in the future I should park on my own street, definitely
not on her street and most definitely not in her parking spot. She then went on to say that there had been
a lot of new development in the area and she was having to spend more and more time guarding
her parking spot from would-be users. Although I thought this woman was slightly
odd, I did feel sympathy for her. I’m not attempting to belittle or dismiss
the valid concerns of the residents of Ryde, but to highlight that the discomfort associated
with growth and development is not unique to Macquarie Park, the Ryde LGA or even to
Sydney. Prosperous growing global cities around the
world would experience similar growing pains. It is an unfortunate side effect of success
that must be managed, but not a reason to retreat to a no-growth or a low-growth policy. We are also concerned that strategic planning
for Macquarie Park and the Ryde LGA has been hijacked by politicians in the lead up to
the state election. The local member has successfully pushed the
government to defer a new planning proposal in Ryde for the next two years, putting hundreds
of millions of dollars of investor from the property industry at risk. He has made many statements and videos actively
opposing development and has publicly called for the refusal of planning proposals which
are consistent with the Greater Sydney Commission’s strategic plans and have had the support of
Ryde Council officers. He has also successfully pushed the government
to defer the application of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code in the Ryde LGA. In this heated pre-election environment, these
backflips by the government undermine the Greater Sydney Commission’s strategic plans
for the Ryde area, undermine confidence in investment in the Ryde area and in Sydney
in general. The GSC’s North District Plan which incorporates
Macquarie Park and the Ryde LGA was developed after extensive community and stakeholder
consultation, informed by a clear and logical evidence base and endorsed by the New South
Wales Cabinet, which includes a Local Member for Ryde. Ad hoc politically driven reviews of key strategic
planning objectives place Sydney’s future at great risk. The Urban Taskforce considers that the planning
and development of Macquarie Park and Ryde is consistent with the Sydney regional plan
and the North District Plan. Ryde, particularly Macquarie Park, has been
correctly identified as an ideal location for investment and housing, particularly with
the addition of two new rail stations. However, our members are increasingly viewing
Ryde LGA as one of the highest risk areas to invest in and develop due to the lack of
support and certainty in the planning system and a scare campaign run by the local member
of parliament. One of the critical issues to address community
concerns is the provision of infrastructure to support the growth and development of Ryde. Developers in the Ryde area have played their
critical role in the provision of infrastructure through upfront infrastructure funding and
through providing infrastructure as part of their development. Hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure
contributions are paid by developers to Ryde Council and State Government agencies as part
of the development approval process and through Voluntary Planning Agreements. It is the responsibility of these agencies
to spend this funding as efficiently and expediently as possible to ensure that the parking, road
upgrades, schools, open space and community facilities needed by Ryde’s current and
future residents are provided in line with new development. In conclusion, we urge the Greater Sydney
Commission in its independent report to the premier to give equal consideration to the
concerns raised by developers and investors as well as the community, investigate ways
to ensure infrastructure contributions provided by developers are spent as expediently and
efficiently as possible and investigate the ways to improve the communication of planning
strategies and outcomes with the community to better understand the changes taking place
in Ryde and the benefits of growth and investment in their local area and to also consider the
impact of the current downturn in the property market and the critical role the property
industry plays in supporting the economy. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, Annie. I’d now like to invite Tim Blythe from Urbis
on behalf of the trustee for the Local Government Property Fund. Can you just tell me what is the Local Government
Property Fund? It’s a superannuation fund. Okay. Thank you, Commissioners. Hello. Hello. So, my name is Tim Blythe, the director of
Urbis and I, as was said, represent the Local Government Property Fund, which is a superannuation
fund, and I think at the outset it’s important to recognise that as a superannuation fund,
it’s a long-term owner of assets. It’s not a developer that’s going to come
in and out in a quick hurry. They take a long-term view. So, we’re looking at this as a long-term
asset investment. So, we look 10, 20 years out, not tomorrow. So that’s, I guess, the context. Our client has been through the strategic
investigation that the Department has been considering – underway the last couple of
years. It has been an active participant in trying
to engage and build thinking around the opportunities for the transformation of Macquarie Park. Our client’s interest is a site which is
down the bottom of Lyonpark Road, which is actually opposite the Optus Centre precinct
where Stockland own and it’s right adjacent to the Ivanhoe Estate. So, if you can get your bearings, it’s right
immediately to the east of the other side of Shrimptons Creek. It’s important to recognise that, whilst
there’s a lot said about developers and their aspirations, our client has actually
already engaged with the owners of Ivanhoe Estate and have actually created a new road
link that will actually facilitate the development of Ivanhoe. It will be a road that actually links east
west. It will connect across Shrimptons Creek into
Lyonpark Road, because one of the biggest constraints for Ivanhoe Estate itself is its
lack of accessibility, almost one road in, one road out, and that’s symptomatic more
of Macquarie Park generally, very large lots, very difficult access arrangements, which
obviously the council has been trying to break down through its planning, but it requires
a lot of partnership and support from the landowners to actually make those things happen. So, it’s very important to recognise that
the landowners play a pivotal role in actually good planning for the future of the precinct. The development industry and the landowners
are not all the bad boys in this argument. I think the other thing to recognise, given
where this precinct is also, that there’s a lot said about the need to pause or to contain
the planning. I mean, there’s a lot of lessons to be learnt
out of the Priority Precinct around Herring Road. I think it was an era when it was all about
housing. That was the primary and the only focus at
that review and, unfortunately, it led to a lot of new housing, certainly a lot of uplift
for housing, but without the infrastructure that supports it or even actually asking landowners
to contribute to that infrastructure. So, there was really some opportunities that
were lost in that review by the Department of Planning at that time and the developers
or the landowners – When was that done approximately? About three years ago. Yes. And I mean in honesty, that’s the lighting
rod of all – if you talk about the politics at the moment, that’s the lighting rod,
the Priority Precincts, and because we’re not asked to contribute to the uplift. So, there was significant uplift provided,
no sort of major infrastructure contributions sought, which would have been able to create
the opportunities for the parks, the schools, the other infrastructure that’s now been
– it’s all in this now being concerned about. I think if you look at Rhodes Priority Precinct,
now the Department has learned a lot of lessons and that’s an interesting model to consider
looking at in terms of the way that that precinct is now broken down into sub-areas and it actually
requires the landowners to get together to actually work out and support the precinct
planning. It can’t just be done by a blueprint by
government or council. It has to be a participatory exercise with
the landowners because if the landowners hold the keys, they hold the land, they hold the
ability to actually unlock the potential of these precincts. Our interest in this site in this local precinct
is on the basis that it is directly adjacent to what is the Herring Road mixed-use precinct. It is basically a corridor, a relatively undeveloped
site. The local government site is actually a modern
office building, but the precinct or the corridor itself is actually a run of relatively uninvested
sites. So, there is an opportunity at the periphery
of the precinct, as Samantha said, from Stockland, earlier sometimes the peripheral areas are
better for mixed use and centrally around the stations because we know even from the
BIS Shrapnel report that the Department commissioned the sentiment from office, owners and workers
is they want to be around the nose, not 800 metres walk from the station. So, there are opportunities within the precinct
to look at selective areas where you can transform the precinct, not erode the commercial call,
as we’ve heard before, and align up with the Government’s District Plan objectives. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you, Tim. Can I congratulate everybody for being so
on time and sticking to the time limits. It’s really helpful. It’s the insistent tone – No pressure on you. So next we have on behalf of Councillor Peter
Kim, Colin Waring. Waring, yes. Waring? That’s all right. Good evening everyone. Good evening, Commissioners. Thanks for coming and listening to us. I have scripted mine because I get a bit passionate
on these things, so I’ll try and be considered and not go overboard too much but – Are you a Councillor, too? No, I’m not. I’m a resident of the West Ward where Peter
Kim represents, and he asked because he had trouble preparing something and I had time
and he had a bit of – Okay, right. Okay. So welcome all. My name is Colin Waring and I’m a 50-year
resident of the Ryde LGA. I’d like to thank the indigenous custodians
who have looked after this land for thousands of years prior to European settlement. I’ve been educated, lived in, worked in
and participated in the community of Ryde for the last 50 years. I have travelled the length and breadth of
the electorate and I know its ins and outs. Most of my friends still reside in the LGA
as well. Ryde is one of the oldest British settlements
in the colony. It has expanded and changed and flexed through
the years to accommodate the expanding residential commuting and working population from within
and outside its limits. Ryde accepts all – it has no choice. It is at the centre of the traditional core
of transport to all directions in the Sydney basin, rail, ferry, trams, buses and major
vehicle arterials, as you’d be aware. It has been a residential hub and also a business
hub. It has open greenspace and has clusters of
business centres. Nobody that I know in Ryde is against development
or carrying the fair share of the burden of economic population or environmental aggregation. What we all have an issue with is the apparent
excessive burden of overdevelopment, traffic congestion, reduced local employment opportunities
and lack of facilities and services to cope with the unbalanced allocation primarily of
residential development in this district. I travel on both public transport and the
road infrastructure in the area and is struggling. I have friends that have families that utilise
the social infrastructure in the area, the parks, the libraries, the schools, the hospitals
and the care services are now stretched and that’s honest. Ryde Council has fought against this overdevelopment
to limit the burden, hoping the service that would come within the development would catch
up, but they haven’t. Now, I’m not trying to be political here. I’m just trying to point out where I think
the framework is not working. Piecemeal funds from developers are passed
on to the council through the State Government who administer provision of facilities under
their responsibility, things like roads, hospitals, schools, technical and further education facilities,
rail upgrades and other provided by the New South Wales State Government are sadly lacking. So, you know, these things like the TAFEs,
they’ve fallen by the wayside. You know, these are job creating things that
we need for this community, for the building skills and all that sort of stuff. Where has the revenue from stamp duty gone? Where has all the money from asset sales gone? There’s billions been liquidated into revenue. Where is it? It should be going in to support these facilities
that are needed on the ground where we’ve got this massive residential upscale. In Parramatta LGA, the community amenity has
been moved at the behest of developers, Putt-Putt, Parramatta Pool, parking areas, et cetera. The city centre was expanded rapidly up and
out with residential towers whilst the LGA was under a State Government administrator
and what new or additional provisions have been allocated for the expanded population
other than more than retail space? I have friends in Parramatta and the answer
is “almost nothing” and that’s what they tell me. In Ryde, the Mayor and the current Council
attempted and successfully provided community amenity and modified things, and I reiterate
some of what the Councillor said here because I agree with some of that, things like bike
tracks, saving the Macquarie ice rink, Meadowbank skate park, all weather sporting facilities,
trying to retain the three TAFE campuses, community markets, recover and retain land
for parks, schools and amenity, greenspace, bushland and natural habitat, swimming beaches
on the river, shopping and transport, parking, additional local bus services, like the Top
Ryder, which transports, you know, the elderly around to shopping and things like that, and
community meetings, halls, libraries. An attempt to save the relocated Putt-Putt
to the LGA, but no support was provided by the state to retain the icon of the Sydney’s
Northern District, which a lot of people around Sydney were gutted about. I mean, you saw the uproar about Macquarie. It was probably worse for putt-putt, but it
just didn’t work. I love Ryde. I love its dynamism, its welcome attitude,
its beauty, its greenery, its waterfront, its natural parks, even its cemeteries. My dear old dad and a lot of old acquaintances’
friends rest in them. For many of those people, my friends and acquaintances
that live in Ryde and outside the area would be appalled by the shocking lack of foresight
allocated to developments such as Rhodes, Meadowbank, Parramatta, Kogarah, Chatswood
and Norwest to Macquarie Park, as you know, is a greenspace converted by its name “park”. It is supposed to be an advanced learning
technology area and a hub for innovation. It has become a cluster of congestion with
poor arterial motorway traffic flows, excessive residential development in the place of departed
businesses, such as Network Ten, Global TV, low density social housing estates and hotels
removed or departed. The rail link has been shut down and connected
to a new corridor will neither service the expanded residential or commercial in the
area or pass people through to other employment locations and what studies have been undertaken
by the State Government to ensure that Metro Line will service the movements to, from and
through the area? That’s what I want to know because I don’t
know that that’s been done properly. So, you know, is it going each way? Sorry. The M2 expansion allow the inadequate access
to eastbound and most traffic is forced on to Lane Cove and Epping Roads, like the M2
and Parramatta. It only flows on to but blocks flows into
and out of Church Street and can cause problems there. I better wrap up because I don’t want to
hold everyone else up. What we’re worried about is the jobs in
the area, too, because all those things where those building apartments are going were industrial
or commercial premises, like over at Rhodes and Meadowbank and stuff. So that’s the issue. I’ll leave the rest. I couldn’t get it finished. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks a lot. Thank you, Colin. I’d now like to ask Lyn Fletcher to come
and address the Panel. Thank you. Hi there. You’re a local? I’m a local resident. Yes, okay. Yes. Thanks, Mrs Turnbull and Mr Roberts for the
opportunity to speak tonight. I’m not a town planner, an architect or
an engineer. I’m not a member of a political party. I have lived in the Ryde Council area for
42 years. I raised my family in Eastwood. My kids went to Eastwood Primary School and
I worked for many years in Macquarie Park, walking to work most days as this area developed
in the early 2000s. I’m also a grandmother, so I’m not just
concerned about the past and the present, but I’m also looking at the future. I’m passionate about this local government
area and have appreciated the amenity and the character of the area, especially its
pockets of natural vegetation, its parks, open spaces and its domestic gardens. It was what made it a great place to live,
a place of heritage. I’m a keen observer of the changes that
have occurred in the area over the time I’ve lived here, and I have become concerned at
how these changes have occurred in the local area and the impact that they have on the
lives of many ordinary folk. I could have sat at home tonight and let this
opportunity pass, but nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he
could only do a little. So, I hope the little that I have to say is
meaningful and will have an impact along with all the other good folk who have come to speak
tonight. I do understand that Sydney is growing in
population and is hampered by its geography from spreading further. So, apartments become one of the means of
solving the housing shortage. Some of the early apartment developments that
occurred in the early 2000s, such as the original ones around Shepherds Bay at Meadowbank, were
designed around open spaces and terraced up the slope from the river were reasonably well
designed and not very tall, I think five storeys at the maximum, however, the rate of change
and the numbers of such developments that have occurred in the local area in the past
few years has mushroomed. The apartment blocks built more recently have
little to recommend them in terms of design and appear to be built to minimum requirements
and to maximise the number of dwellings and therefore profits. This is particularly so in the Priority Precinct
around Macquarie University, Herring Road, Macquarie Park, Meadowbank and now near North
Ryde stations as well. Development in these areas are massive compared
with the earlier developments and have little or no architectural merit. They look more like a stack of Lego blocks
or cardboard boxes. They are primarily built of concrete and steel,
are cladded in who knows what to make them look less austere and are much bulkier and
taller than most of the other buildings in the surrounding area, making them stick out
like sore thumbs. Many places in Ryde now feel like crowded
inner city areas rather than suburban communities that most of us came to live in. Beside their lack of good design or anything
to recommend them aesthetically, they have little designated outdoor space for recreation
or common use and in some instances have little space between the buildings, restricting views
and reducing the capacity of breezes to circulate. Trees have been removed and not replaced and
these are therefore places where heat builds in the summertime, increasing the need for
air-conditioning and the carbon footprint of the building and many of these areas become
sunless, wind tunnels in winter. Many of these apartments, even smaller ones,
are occupied by families and I feel for the children who are being raised in these places
with nowhere to play but their balconies. In spite of Ryde Council’s efforts to improve
parks and facilities, you only have to visit any of the parks in the neighbourhoods of
these massive apartment blocks to see how crowded these spaces are out of hours. I’m also concerned about the impact of these
developments on local infrastructure, such as schools, roads, health centres, shopping
centres, libraries and other community facilities. These have just not been able to keep up with
the rate of these developments and the lag will take years to overcome. In relation to schools, Victor Dominello boasted
in a letter to his constituents this week that he has achieved – note the past tense
– the building of seven new schools. Most of these are not built; most of these
are building sites. They’re not built, and they don’t provide
opportunities for the thousands of kids who have moved into the area. Poor planning of these areas has also resulted
in huge changes to traffic patterns and continually congested roads. At the present time, 100 plus buses a day
go past my house to replace the Metro while it’s being developed and now it is impossible
at times to get out of my street to turn right. Poorly planned medium-density is not always
the answer either. We’ve lived through several DA processes
in our immediate neighbourhood where two or three houses are demolished and anything up
to nine residences are being built on that same land. Bringing additional cars to our narrow road,
more children into our already overcrowded schools and additional pressures on community
facilities. In finishing, I note that Ryde Council’s
planning controls state that the council’s policy is that development should enhance
the local character and the desired future character, ensuring change in the area is
gradual and change is distributed across the city. I hope that any further development would
always be aesthetically pleasing and in sympathy with the neighbourhoods and the environment
in which they sit. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Lynn. I’d now like to invite Marcello Colosimo
from the Governor Hotel. Hello. Hello. How are you? Good, thank you. How are you? Thank you for allowing me to speak. It’s a pleasure. Where’s your hotel, if you don’t mind
me asking? Waterloo Road. Waterloo Road? Macquarie Park. So, my family and I own and operate the hotel. It’s an upmarket pub called the Governor
and it’s located in Macquarie Park. It’s the only pub in the park. It represents an investment by us into the
local economy of over $35 million. We currently employ over 80 people, both full
time and casual. Our concern relates to the underlying opposition
to trading after midnight. It’s not coming from the elected representatives. The pub’s operating hours is limited to
12 midnight and it’s forcing patrons to leave the area or to book their functions
elsewhere. This limitation is not based on any strong
planning foundation. It’s quite contrary to Council’s aim that
the redevelopment of Macquarie Park contributes to the creation of a vibrant night time economy
and a world class business park. Ryde LGA is in the bottom 10 per cent in the
state for alcohol related issues and we’ve never had an issue at the hotel. It’s proven to be a very population destination
with the business community and the Premier herself has been there. Macquarie Park has for a number of years now
promoted by Council as a world class business park and any business park promoting itself
needs to include complementary facilities. We need to provide opportunities for both
workers and surrounding residents to enjoy late night dining, functions and entertainment
without the need to go outside of the area. The community needs late night trading venues
not just ours and especially as other businesses open up and other residents join the area. Unfortunately, the theme of opposition to
trading after midnight does not permit an appropriate level of service commensurate
with the intended purpose of Macquarie Park and it regulates our hotel to that of a restaurant
as opposed to a high class hotel and for the Governor and other similar venues to offer
a level of dining and functions and entertainment options expected by residents and business
customers within a business park it is essential that they be able to operate sometime post-midnight. Our direct experience with other business
parks is that this would lead to further hospitality service development and investment and employment
and it reduces people’s need to leave the area, whether by car or public transport to
get the services they need and want. Council officers have so far taken the recommendation
of police to limit hours and Councillors unfortunately don’t get an opportunity to represent the
community with this. A community is built not just on office space
and apartments, but places to go, things to do. Our hotel has provided a major net benefit
to the area, but it could add so much more if it was allowed. The Mayor and majority of Council and community
want to see late night activity and we respectfully believe a direction by this Commission needs
to be given to support that activity, to establish a night time economy that doesn’t end at
midnight, where the development happens in the future, resi, commercial, they need social
night time facilities. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. I’d now like to invite Nicole Lasky from
John Holland Group. Hi. I’m Nicole Lasky from John Holland. I’d like to thank the Chief Commissioner,
Commissioner Roberts and the North District Commissioner, Dr Deborah Dearing, which I
believe is here in the room, for listening to our concerns today and thank you also to
the audience for listening. I’d like to go through just a couple of
matters today, first just to explain a little bit about the development that we’re working
on and put that in the broader context of our concerns for both access to major facilities
and also the 24-hour economy. So first of all, the project, as you can see
here – I’ll probably go back here – it’s a 2.2-hectare site which includes a 7000-metre
park that we are handing over as a public park. The allowable use is both office and also
retail. I’ve heard a lot of concerns in the last
– the session I came on Tuesday and also today – about lack of public infrastructure
seems to be one of the largest concerns in the area, which I can understand. There were no parks at all within the Macquarie
main business district area, which is quite surprising, and mainly green open space is
a big issue. So that is exactly what we are providing to
the public. We are really excited to be able to provide
this park, which will be a very active park with lots of active uses, like sunrise yoga,
fitness, family picnics, sports, all sorts of uses within the park. The issue though, however, with this is access. So, this park fronts Waterloo Road and the
issue that we have at the moment is that people that are – sorry, along here – they cannot
get across the road, basically. So, if somebody is on that south side of Waterloo
Road, there’s actually a physical barrier between and people would have to walk all
the way down the road – do you mind if I just stand up and point to it? Yes, go for it. It might be a little bit easier. Okay. So, people would have to walk all the way
down this road until they get to Lane Cove Road and then they would have to cross at
a light and cross here and then walk all the way back here. I actually met with MPID representatives on
Tuesday and they have their offices right here in the Macquarie University offices and
they were saying they were excited about this park coming and they said, “Oh, yes, I don’t
even know how we’re going to get there. We’d have to walk all the way around the
back through.” So, this relates to the planning priority
N20 delivering high quality open spaces and also planning priority N12, which is delivery
of integrated land use and transport planning of the North District Plan, so it will allow
people to access spaces and this is a major piece of public infrastructure. There’s also an issue here of access for
motorists who like to go to this park. There’s only a left in and left out. There’s no right turn into this park and
there’s no right turn out of the park either. So, we’re trying to solve a major infrastructure
problem within the Macquarie Park region. We are very well supported by Council, which
is great. They have asked us to put in a submission
for a right turn in and right turn out and also a pedestrian crossing, which we’ve
done. So where would that be, in Waterloo Road? Yes. It would be at Coolinga Street. So Coolinga Street comes off here, so it’s
at that intersection right here. So, it would be able to turn here, here and
that would be a pedestrian crossing to that street. It was promptly rejected by other authorities
in the area. So now we’re at an impasse where we’re
just wondering how people are going to get across and we would like some support in being
able to get people to the park. So that’s our major concern. Our secondary concern, not as big as this
issue, but it’s the 24-hour economy. What we’re seeing is when we drive around
here at night, it’s dead. It’s actually a little bit scary. I feel lack of security because there’s
nobody around. So, we would like night time activation within
this area and that could be facilitated with vibrant mixed uses and we would like to be
able to keep the retail going at night time that’s there, too, and provide good amenity
to people within that area and we feel that with mixed uses, that would help keep the
city centre alive. Okay. That’s everything. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thank you very much for listening. Thank you, Nicole. I’d now like to ask Tim Blythe from Urbis,
who is this time speaking on behalf of Pathway Properties. Gosh, you’re busy. Thank you, Commissioners. No need to introduce myself, although I will
introduce who I’m acting for, which is actually Pathway Properties, as mentioned, but they’re
actually the official receiver and managers appointed on behalf of Horizons Property Unit
Trust. So, this is a property in receivership which
is located in the Riverside Corporate Park, which is the area in North Ryde, so if you
can get your bearings. You will recall the earlier submission from
Samantha from Stockland about the case study, which is that little precinct to the far east
of Macquarie Park, which is really, as mentioned before, an isolated portion at the far eastern
end or south-eastern end of Macquarie Park. I guess the key message, and I’ll try to
take a slightly different angle for you for the benefit of everyone here, I think it’s
really important to recognise that Macquarie Park isn’t just one park. It has multiple different characteristics
and facets to it and Riverside Corporate Park needs to be looked at as a separate component
of the broader corridor area. As was earlier alluded by Samantha from Stockland,
Riverside Corporate Park does struggle, it is not part of the core of Macquarie Park. It does struggle by comparison compared to
the rest of the precinct and our property asset is certainly no exception in that context. The area has struggled in terms of loss of
key tenants. There’s a number of vacant or unutilised
sites, which includes our own asset. There’s obviously the competition in the
broader park, draws opportunities away from the Riverside Corporate Park area, the lack
of amenities and obviously traffic congestion. There’s only limited ways in and out of
this part of the precinct. So really this part is quite physically isolated
and separated, as I said, from the core and has a separate identity. So, what we are seeking to do is to recognise
the opportunities of this part of the precinct to be considered for urban renewal, but obviously
managed and planned in a considered way. In earlier discussions our client has had
with a number of the major landowners that comprise this precinct – and there’s probably
only about 10 in total – so it’s actually – whilst it’s a reasonably large area,
it’s not really fragmented in that sense. What’s the site area? That’s probably a good question. It would probably be – the whole Riverside
Corporate Park? Yes. It would be at least a couple of hundred hectares,
I would think. Okay. But I’d have to check that actually. I haven’t really worked that through, but
basically what – the landowners did actually get together and started discussing the prospect
of a landowner led structure plan for this precinct, but part of the challenge for the
landowners is the lack of clarity about the forward planning for this precinct. As the Commission would be aware, the department
did initiate strategic investigations a couple of years ago. That did actually prompt the development committee
to get interested and actually banding together and considering the options and bringing forward
plans and ideas for the precinct in a considered planned way, so not individual plan proposal
or individual development proposals. This was about a group of landowners that
hold pretty much the balance of the land ownership in the park to actually redefine. So, this is true urban renewal, not just piecemeal,
but the lack of a structure plan or the lack of direction from the government, unfortunately,
has left that wallowing with a lack of certainty. So really, I think for the purposes of this
Park or this part of the precinct, what I would be advocating on behalf of our client
is the opportunities for actually a consider structure plan in process for this part of
the Park. There are numerous opportunities. Putting aside land uses for the minute, it’s
well connected to the North Ryde station and obviously we know around the North Ryde station
we’ve seen some very significant development, but most of that is within about 200 metres
of the station, so the subject site that I’m talking about is within 400 metres of the
site. Stockland’s site is also within walking
distance, as is many others. So, there’s huge opportunities to really
connect and create a new precinct, but it does require landowners to get together. It does require clarity in terms of a structure
planning process to actually make this happen, but again, I probably reiterated in my earlier
comments because the urban renewal need to be so significant to deal with, the infrastructure,
access and the like, it will require a real partnership approach and I think if the government
can facilitate, as I said, a broader structure planning process for this precinct then there
is an opportunity to create something special going forward. Thank you. Thank you, Tim. Thank you very much. Are you on again or is that it? No, I’m done. Thank you. Just checking. I’d now like to ask John August to come
and address the Panel. Hello, good evening. My name is John August. I’m going to talk about problems I see in
the Ryde area, although many of them also occur in the rest of Sydney. There’s a lot of concern overdevelopment. People point to the stress and disruption
it causes, applications claim that there will be no impacts on neighbours and those neighbours
note in letters to the editor saying that there are indeed consequences without any
clear recourse. It’s a consequence of certified development
with direct control being taken from Council. In principle, this means that developments
which would otherwise be approved merely happen faster, but in fact means valid concerns which
would be brought up at Council can be bypassed, not to mention the sort of false assurances
that I’ve just mentioned. It also means that deeper issues can be papered
over and ignored. At the extreme, we have outcomes like what
we have seen in the Opal Tower where it seems, quite apart from residents being steamrolled
by the current framework, developers are steamrolling purchasers. As I understand it, medium density developments
can be done anywhere in that zoned area, but from the residents’ point of view they would
expect that development would be evenly spread without concentrations of development and
considerations of the cumulative effect of nearby development, but I can’t understand
how certified development allows for these sorts of considerations, apart from which
when development is overseen by Council, it is my feeling that developers ignore the conditions
of the Development Applications and get away with it because there are insufficient resources
into ensuring they are followed. We had an earlier speaker that commented on
that. The question needs to be asked: where are
these pressures towards population growth and always towards the development we see? The question is not whether you are pro or
anti-development, but rather asking where these pressures come from and whether they
are being recognised. If the pressures are being set by the state
or federal government, this should be resentfully recognised on every page, rather than something
that is just accepted. Quite apart from the general concerns I’ve
mentioned, recent arrivals to Sydney talk about how we are getting more and more competitive
and less community oriented. I feel that development that we’re experiencing
is one pressure towards this track. We’re seeing infrastructure deficit where
the development comes first and the infrastructure lags behind. It seems that we have promises of schools
which lag well behind the population increases, when in fact the schools should have been
built, not talked about, parallel with the developments taking place. It would be interesting to find out how the
ratio of population to related infrastructure has changed over time and, indeed, how it
relates to policy changes by government, but the idea that you will somehow solve the question
of road congestion when you are building developments surrounded by already congested roads just
makes no sense at all. Priority Precincts, Urban Activation Precincts,
or whatever they are called now, were set up with the promise that after proper community
consultation about what the community goals were, the development would then go ahead
without problem. The only sensible reply is: what could possibly
go wrong? In any case, they represent a definite source
of development, population growth, and possible infrastructure deficits that needs to be identified. The ability of Ryde Council to deal with the
impost made on it needs to be considered. Then there are various large developments
that are taking place with changes to height limits based on so called Voluntary Planning
Agreements. If the height limits can be changed, you wonder
why were they there in the first place? I have heard other stories about this, that
councils have a gun pointed at their head because if they refuse, the developer will
then challenge their decision at court and they will end up even worse than they were
to start with. It does have a feeling of the Wild West with
the threat of an outcome having almost the same force as that action itself. There are claims that development is needed
to keep prices down, however, the focus is on new development rather than considering
land banking and otherwise useful land which is not used to live in. It is generally acknowledged that 90 per cent
of the investment flowing through negative gearing is to make existing property more
expensive not in any meaningful way increase supply. The urban form we have, apart from other issues,
stands in the shadow of a much-contested perverse system of taxes and incentives that hinders
rather than helps. Thank you for this opportunity to address
you. Quite apart from any issues I’ve brought
up, I look forward to finding out detailed statistics on the area, for example, population
to infrastructure ratios, amongst others. I think the problems around us are quite clear,
but to have extra numbers will certainly help and I look forward to them being revealed. I’ll also say, sorry for not addressing
you and looking you in the eyes, it’s hard to fit it all in five minutes, but thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, John. Thank you so much, John. I’d now like to ask Jason DeVos from JDV
Group to address the Panel. Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, ladies
and gentlemen, good evening. Thank you for your time. My name is Jason DeVos. I’m a property owner in a property at 6
to 8 Byfield Street in Macquarie Park. It’s a strata-titled property and I’m
one of the owners of the property. I’d just like to – So, you own the whole property? No, I’m an owner of a strata plan. We have nine owners. Okay. There’s nine lots. We believe that it’s a strategic and logical
rezoning opportunity. Recent history: we have retained Urbis as
our town planners. We have prepared an urban design study that’s
been submitted to the Department of Planning in the context of the Macquarie Park Investigation
Area or study, rather. The subject site, as you can see, I’ve highlighted
in orange there, it’s opposite Wilga Park, adjoining Shrimptons Creek and in close proximity
to Macquarie Shopping Centre. Key statistics: it’s a large site. It’s a very significant parcel of land,
some circa 23,000 square metres and it does border the Herring Road precinct and surrounded
by land that has been recently rezoned mixed use before and either redeveloped or under
construction. It’s located within a 400-metre radius arc
of the Metro station and there’s some other proximity details there of its easy walking
distance to Macquarie Centre and the University, et cetera. Current land use and improvements: the current
land use and improvements on the site are circa 1979 buildings and in the context of
the evolving vision for Macquarie Park, we as the owners have to concede that it’s
a rather ugly development and its land use is increasingly obsolete. When viewed from any of the adjoining redeveloped
sites or across the creek, it’s brutal, to say the least. The current land use, as I say, is increasingly
obsolete. We have a lot of heavy vehicle movements going
in and out of there contributing to street congestion, et cetera. We believe that if it were to be rezoned to
a B4 mixed use, there’s – So, what’s its current zoning? It’s B7 business park, so it’s not commercial
core, it’s business park. If it were to be redeveloped, there’s no
loss of quality commercial space. It’s a relatively low-generator of employment
at the moment with its warehouse and industrial use. It’s a logical extension of the B4 mixed
use and we believe that the exclusion is, I guess, quite notable from the previous Herring
Road study. There’s a significant public benefit to
rezoning that. Currently there is a public pathway down the
side of a Holiday Inn, if you’re familiar with that site there. It’s basically a pathway to nowhere. The 80 Waterloo Road site, which is currently
under construction, will also have a creek side pathway, but again it ends at our property
boundary. So, if the site were to be redeveloped, we
believe that the site facilitates the extension of pedestrian pathways, cycleways, both along
the creek and across through the site. As a concept vision, we see a pedestrian link
possibly over the Creek to Wilga Park and thus the site becomes quite permeable to pedestrian
and cycle activity. B4 use, active ground floor uses, of course,
would contribute to a sense of place and increased pedestrian activity would likely sustain such
businesses as an active ground floor use. Obviously, a redeveloped site removes entirely
all the current large vehicle movements that go on with the site daily as part of its warehouse
use. Obviously to facilitate that, the existing
zoning there shows that it’s B7 business park. It would need to be included in the B4 mixed-use
zone to facilitate such a vision. In summary and conclusion, we believe that
a redevelopment on the site and change of use to B4 has significant public benefit in
terms of its pedestrian access and what it may provide, an opportunity to create a precinct
that is away from Macquarie Centre, which is lacking in the park at the moment and obviously
provides housing. It is well within the accessibility radius
to the Metro station. Thank you. That’s all I have to say. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thank you. We have our last speaker. Thank you, yes. I’d like to invite Giovanni Cirillo from
Planning Lab to come and present to the Panel. Thank you. Hello, Giovanni. How are you? Hi Geoff, Hi Lucy. How are you? Very well, thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to
speak. Good evening. As your last speaker, I will pay you the courtesy
of not speaking for too long. Thank you. I’ll just get my slides going. I speak on behalf of Investon. They’re a long-term property owner of this
commercial property at 27 to 33 Waterloo Road in Macquarie Park. It’s located immediately across the street
from Macquarie Park station and we see it as, I suppose, an ideal opportunity for urban
renewal and densification and for mixed use development. A lot of your presenters today have spoken
about overdevelopment and possibly inappropriate development in certain locations that are
far afield and not well served by infrastructure and certainly I share that concern. As a practitioner in the planning space for
probably 25 to 30 years, I think I’ve made a bit of a mission for myself in championing
good mixed-use development in appropriate locations and certainly I’ve done that as
Chief Planner for South Sydney Council, for the City of Sydney and also as the former
Head of Urban Design and Urban Renewal for the Department of Planning as an executive
director some years ago, now almost six years ago. So, in this particular site, we see it as
a great opportunity for vertical mixed use. The planning controls are somewhat dated. You’ll see the site here at the corner of
Lane Cove Road and Waterloo Road. So, our site is 27 to 33 and it’s shown
in yellow. You can see the station is immediately across
the street. It’s a very significant site in the sense
that it’s at a strategic intersection at these two major roads. There’s also significant bus infrastructure,
but most importantly the Metro station is immediately across the street and we have
an 8000 square metre site, so it’s very large. So where is the bus interchange supposed to
be? It’s across the other side of Lane Cove
Road, as I understand it, and there’s also bus infrastructure planned immediately in
front of the site. Okay. We’ve also explored the opportunity of bus
interchange facilities beneath the site as well, subject to obviously easements and whatever
else that exists for the station itself, but we are immediately across the street. So, we see this as a great opportunity to
work with government, both the transport agency as well as the planning agency, to actually
achieve an excellent opportunity for, I suppose, maximising the opportunity presented by the
station itself and the upgrade of the station. Bearing in mind also, it’s a very large
site, so it presents quite a unique opportunity. The current planning controls are particularly
dated, and I think they allow a floor space ratio at present of only two to one. Now, as we know, over station development
is part of the redevelopment of this line and in fact the augmentation of this line
has resulted further closer to the city very significant towers over or near to the stations
and we see this as also a great opportunity to do a non-car based development that also
includes some residential development, in fact, we would hope the majority being residential
development. Now, there have been different views presented
to you tonight about the importance – different views to mine about the importance of Macquarie
Park as a commercial core, but I think – and certainly as I’ve alluded to earlier, it’s
really important not to miss the opportunity to provide some meaningful mixed use. One of the things this place lacks is actually
a nightlife or any sort of buzz outside of business hours. You certainly don’t often get asked, “Did
you go to Macquarie Park on the weekend or after hours?” and certainly it’s not the
sort of thing you hear people saying over the water cooler that, you know, “We’re
going to bring the family down to Macquarie Park on the weekend.” So, I would have hoped that in the review
of the planning controls that have been taken as part of the Priority Precinct that some
serious consideration gets given to proper vertical mixed use. It’s been done in the City of Sydney before. It’s been done in the old South Sydney,
which now forms part of the City of Sydney, and I think there’s a great opportunity
to provide that next level of – – – Give us an example of where you think it’s
been done well. Yes, exactly. Recently? Wherever you want to say. A very good example being the lower City of
Sydney in and around the Haymarket down towards Carlton United Brewery, which is now Fraser
Central Park. We have excellent examples of mixed use where
you’ve got commercial development, you’ve got major infrastructure – major institutional
floor space, notably universities, similar to here and you’ve got incredibly successful
residential development. So, I think the lower part of the CBD of Sydney
is an excellent example. I would hate to see the opportunity missed
for a bit of vibrancy in this place. So, there’s the site. I’ve already got the bell and I promised
not to talk too long, but it’s to the left of the photo behind that van and to the right
there. This is the site and we’re anticipating
buildings that could be as high as 140 metres, so that would be, you know, in the vicinity
of about 40 storeys. The current height controls allow about 65
metres, but only two to one is floor space ratio. Being a B zone or a B3 zone, I think in this
case, it precludes residential development and we think that, you know, there’s a great
opportunity for doing something that works in really well with the station. So, we’re thinking of a floor space ratio
that works out somewhere around the vicinity of 11 to one, which is not certainly out of
keeping with other over station developments along this line. So, I’ll leave you with the slide and thank
you very much. Thank you, Giovanni. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. That was our final speaker for this evening
and this is our final Listening Session. So, I would like to, on behalf of the Greater
Sydney Commission, and in particular of behalf of the Panel, I would like to thank you all
for giving up your time for coming and speaking and for coming and observing. Please, if you want to, if you know anyone
at home or you, yourself, are hungry, take a sandwich with you and travel home safely. Thank you.

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