Community action group REDWatch is urging the residents of inner city suburbs to engage with the State Government about its plans to revitalise the Central to Eveleigh rail corridor.
Geoffrey Turnbull, the spokesperson for REDWatch, said community engagement with government initiatives such as the Central to Eveleigh project is necessary if residents can have a say in shaping their own community for the future.
“At the present moment, we have the Department of Planning and Infrastructure wanting to have a conversation with the community about the nature of this community – where do you want this community to be in 20 or 30 years,” he said.
“That’s the challenge at the present moment and it’s a long-term one.
“The community should be engaging with the [Central to Eveleigh] project – what sort of things do we as a community want to see happen and how it fits with what is currently there.”
Brad Hazzard, the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, also outlined that the Central to Eveleigh project was one “for the long-term, not short-term.”
Mr Hazzard called upon the private sector to lead the urban transition.
“What is needed are visionaries in the private sector who can make urban renewal happen,” he said.
However, REDWatch member David James claimed that a one-dimensional approach to continuously enlarge the CBD is flawed.
“The concept of Central to Eveleigh is flawed because it’s based on the wrong premise,” he said.
“Why do we want it to grow anyway? Having all these radical routes only increases congestion.”
Mr James urged the government to look at alternative ways of dealing with growing cities by looking at other high-density areas around the world for inspiration.
“I was very impressed when I visited Tokyo a few months ago,” he said.
“It’s a city of about 13 million people and it doesn’t have one main central CBD like we’ve got here. It’s got a series of smaller CBDs, about Chatswood/Parramatta size plonked around, but they are all linked together by multiple tube lines. For a city of that size, it works remarkably efficiently.”