Barangaroo and overdevelopment?

1 Aug

The mainstream media has not really picked up on this yet but it is perhaps worth mentioning on this blog how large-scale development projects can cause the local community to sit up and demand for greater public participation.

An inner city suburb of Sydney, Barangaroo, named after a prominent Aboriginal women in early Sydney history, is located on the north-western part of the Sydney central business district and the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Touted as the last harbourside Sydney CBD location for redevelopment, the NSW government has plans to convert the former industrial site to a supposedly vibrant area consisting of parks to office spaces and restaurants. As the official website claims, it

‘will be climate positive and will reflect the extraordinary context of Sydney– its harbour, diverse communities and globally competitive business leadership. It will be a place designed for play and work alongside living and learning’.

This initiative has however been questioned by a community group, Friends of Barangaroo who are demanding for greater consultation with the local community; and government openness and accountability. Its supporters include the former Supreme Court Justice, Barry O’ Keefe and Mayors of North Sydney and Woollahara who would be present in a rally on  the 3rd August (Tuesday) speaking on the ‘overdevelopment’ of the planned site.

In the community group website, a former government architect, Professor Peter Webber, has also criticised the project, stating that ‘we want a place for people – not a place for corporate monuments’.

It also features a post on the lack of safety regulations and concerns for workers who are the backbone of such building projects:

‘Every week a building worker is killed and often these workers are not properly covered for insurance. When Tom Pardoe was recently killed at work, it was revealed his superannuation, and those of his workmates had not been paid. That meant his widow was denied access to a $200,000 superannuation death benefit.

Underpayment and non-payment of wages is also widespread through the industry. With many of our building workers coming from non-English-speaking backgrounds, they are subject and open to extreme abuse and exploitation. In the tiling sector, 90% of workers are paid between $7-$8 per hour and receive no award benefits or superannuation.

Then there are the shonky builders and dodgy developers who sub-contract out work and then leave debts behind them. In a recent collapse, 150 small sub-contract building companies employing 1000 workers lost $26 million’.

References:

1. Friends of Barangaroo, <http://www.friendsofbarangaroo.org/>

2. Barangaroo Sydney, <http://www.barangaroo.com>.

3. Barangaroo, wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangaroo,_New_South_Wales#cite_note-1>.

4. Rally for Save Sydney from Barangaroo overdevelopment, <http://www.friendsofbarangaroo.org/?q=node/153>.

5. Poster for Save Sydney from Barangaroo overdevelopment

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One Response to “Barangaroo and overdevelopment?”

  1. publisher August 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Thanks Charles for the positive comments.

    Our site is always expanding as we cover the latest developments in the Barangaroo debate and we’re always adding to our research archives.

    Submissions welcome.

    Friends of Barangaroo

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