By Joe Bourke
The City of Sydney is reportedly being investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over its Development Application (DA) policy.
President of the Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage Society Andrew Woodhouse referred a DA for outdoor seating from the Sugarmill Hotel to the commission, asking if Council was breaching ICAC planning guidelines.
“I sent a reference off to ICAC and they emailed back saying ‘we are undergoing an assessment’, which is a polite way of saying they are having a look at it or they are investigating it,” he told City Hub.
On being approached by City Hub, a spokesperson for ICAC said they were unable to confirm or deny that an investigation was taking place. A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said they were unaware of an investigation.
Mr Woodhouse said the Sugarmill Hotel DA “alienates public land for private profit”, accusing the City of having a conflict of interest in the DA process.
“It confirms our view this council is part of the continuing problem to increased alcohol-driven problems in Kings Cross. Kings Cross has already reached saturation point,” he said.
A City of Sydney spokesperson said there was no vested interest and that Council abided by its protocols.
“As no individual Council employee has a private or financial interest in the outcome of footpath dining applications, there is no conflict of interest to prevent staff from assessing them. Council abides by its protocols regarding independent assessment,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also told City Hub that the City had received nine submissions opposed to the Sugarmill Hotel’s footway application.