PM wants Garden Island sell-off
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his intention to shut down the Garden Island naval base at Potts Point if he wins the Federal Election. Mr Rudd said on Tuesday he wanted to see the base scaled back or even closed, and its facilities relocated to other parts of Australia, chiefly Brisbane. The plan was criticised by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell who told ABC Radio it would spell job losses and economic disaster. “It’s going to be devastating for the state’s economy,” he said. But other commentators said redevelopment of the site could generate thousands of new jobs in construction, tourism and recreation, and bring new homes and parkland to inner Sydney.
Light rail plan for Inner West, Parramatta
Billions of dollars would be redirected to light rail under a fully costed plan launched by the Greens this week. Greens MP Jamie Parker said the plan called for the redirection of $2.2 billion in federal funds from private tollways to a new Inner West light rail network, and a new Western Sydney light rail network extending to Parramatta. “This is part of a broader strategy to boost public transport,” said Mr Parker. “Congestion is costing our economy around $5.1 billion each year, not to mention the stress it places on people commuting to work or picking up the kids from school.”
Fitzroy Gardens development heads to court
The redevelopment of a children’s playground in the heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens at Kings Cross is heading to the NSW Land and Environment Court. Andrew Woodhouse, President of the Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage Conservation Society, has filed a claim seeking an injunction, citing the City of Sydney Council’s lack of a DA for the project, which will involve the playground’s expansion and the possible destruction of a mosaic. “If I had a heritage home and wanted to demolish, I couldn’t just arrive with the bulldozers,” said Mr Woodhouse. “Council should also not be exempt.” The matter is currently listed for a September 13 hearing.