MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE COMMITTEE FOR NORTH SYDNEY
11 July 2018
‘Failed planning risks turning great civic opportunities into urban blight.’
So said leading city and regional planner, Jeremy Dawkins, at the launch of a new expert group, the Committee for North Sydney, today.
‘The North Sydney city centre has been getting steadily more bleak and congested. The building of a Metro station is the latest opportunity to kick-start its transformation into a great place. Instead, everything that’s been going wrong has been accelerated.’
Jeremy Dawkins, the Convenor of the Committee, said that many of Australia’s leading urban designers, architects, engineers and urban planners live in North Sydney, and together with community leaders they have formed the Committee for North Sydney to draw attention to a stark choice facing the North Sydney city centre.
‘The decision that the NSW Government must make is this – whether North Sydney remains an underperforming “office park with through traffic” or, over time, North Sydney becomes a great cultural, business and community asset for the state,’ he said.
The Committee for North Sydney strongly supports the call by the North Sydney Council for a pause in the rush to approve a massive private commercial building over the Victoria Cross station.
Last month the Council wrote to the Minister for Transport seeking further community consultation in relation to revised design options for development at the station site.
Former long-time North Sydney Mayor Genia McCaffery said, ‘Everyone welcomes a Metro station in the North Sydney city centre. But instead of this leading to much-needed public space and civic functions, the Government wants a commercial building occupying nearly the entire site.’
Prominent senior environment lawyer Bruce Donald AM of Waverton called on the NSW Government ‘to capture public value from this public transport project in a once in history chance to create a civic space for what has been a blighted North Sydney.’
The aims of the Committee for North Sydney are to facilitate public and expert contributions to the progressive improvement of North Sydney, through visionary strategic planning, good public policy and imaginative urban design.
It is supported by an Association that anyone can join. The Association and the Committee can be found at committeefornorthsydney.org.au and contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.