Thursday 18th of April 2024

the nasty bastards who see history in the way of their new toys, are at it again...


Construction of a new metro station and development at White Bay has cast doubt over the future of the nearby heritage-listed power station, with the state’s Treasurer suggesting it should be knocked down.

A day after committing to a mammoth $107 billion infrastructure pipeline in the state budget, the NSW government on Wednesday officially began work on the largest transport project in Australian history: Metro West.

“It’s full of asbestos, it’s a highly contaminated site, it really adds no value... but we’ve got to work through a process in terms of the decision of government.”

The government in 2016 indicated the White Bay Power Station was being considered by major tech companies, including Google, though by 2017 the plan had fallen through.

In question time on Wednesday Treasurer Dominic Perrottet suggested the building be demolished.

“What’s that building that’s behind it, the rave cave. Shocking building, it should be knocked down like the Sirius Building - I lost that one,” he said, referring to the brutalist harbourside building once used for social housing.

The longest-serving power station in Sydney, it was built between 1912-17 to supply power to the Sydney railway and tramway system before being expanded to the Electricity Commission of NSW. It was decommissioned in 1984.

The 24-kilometre rail line linking Parramatta to the CBD in about 20 minutes is set to open by 2030, including stations at White Bay, Five Dock, Sydney Olympic Park and Westmead.



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This is BULLSHIT! The site is like a CATHEDRAL to the history of this State of New South Wales. The Rozelle Power Station NEEDS TO BE PRESERVED AND RE-USED as a hub of scientific value for the future... Fuck off, Liberal VANDALS!


And either way, the "contamination" would have to be "displaced"... The SMART WAY is to seal-off the "contamination" under coatings of impermeous materials such as epoxy paints and waterproofing membranes. AND THIS WOULD COST FAR LESS that having to bury rubbles somewhere else... What about burying it at the new Sydney Airport site?

Imbeciles! Vandals! Idiots! Bonking Loonies!

this is a cathedral...


For a generation, Battersea power station has been standing empty, noble but slowly rotting, while all around it the unending boom in London domestic property has made its surroundings shinier and pricier. This is the land of "Soanlies" (as in " 's only 10 minutes from Sloane Square"), an almost-Chelsea with almost-Chelsea values. In the early 1980s, a lot of London looked as scabrous as the power station; now it is the capital's last great ruin. It is like a malodorous grandparent who refuses to do the decent thing and die, so that his heirs can put a Bulthaup kitchen in the family home.

Over the past few months calls for its euthanasia have gathered pace, prompted by the fact that bids are currently being considered for the site – of which the most eye-catching is Chelsea FC's proposal to retain fragments of the building and engulf them in a new stadium. The built asset consultancy EC Harris announced that the site would be worth an extra £470m if it were knocked down, and declared that "the economic situation requires practical thinking, and one should consider whether heritage is more important than profit".

The property journalist Giles Barrie said that "the only people who want Battersea power station retained are a few ancient hippies … in the worst financial crisis since the era of Harold Wilson and Ted Heath, it's time to drop Battersea power station – and provide thousands of new homes".

You might see Barrie's point. Battersea has now spent longer as an urban problem than it did producing electricity at full capacity. Except that the same argument was applied to St Pancras station, with its palatial neo-gothic Midland Grand hotel, which was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, grandfather of the power station's architect, Sir Giles. Indeed this argument was used repeatedly. In the Wilson/Heath era to which Barrie refers, the hotel was declared an impossible luxury, a drain on hard-pressed national resources, an unsolvable problem. It did indeed stand empty for decades. But last year it was triumphantly reopened, and no sane person would want it removed.

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And remember Brian immortal words in New Tricks: This is a CATHEDRAL...


The Rozelle Power station is EVEN FAR BETTER THAN THE BATTERSEA ONE...


the libs are toxic...

NSW's transport agency was in chaos on Wednesday night after the sudden resignation of its chief and the referral of the department to the anti-corruption watchdog about a toxic land deal in Parramatta.

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples told staff in an email on Wednesday afternoon that he knew the news of his departure would come as a surprise and that he had "mixed emotions" about the decision. He gave no explanation for his departure.

It comes two days after revelations by the Herald that the NSW government paid three times as much as the Valuer-General's estimate for a parcel of highly contaminated land in Camellia that earned Sydney property developer Billbergia a $15 million windfall in a matter of months.

NSW Labor finance spokesman Daniel Mookhey said remediation of the land could cost taxpayers anywhere from $100 million to $700 million.



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Gladys should resign. Read from top.


moving the goal posts of rezoning, for developers...

Premier Gladys Berejiklian moved the Greater Sydney Commission under her control against the advice of a key departmental boss two months after a secret lobbying push by a group including big business and developers.

A group of prominent Sydney identities wrote a confidential letter to the Premier in March 2018 urging her to seize ministerial control of the commission, which then fell under the Department of Planning.

Among the signatories were Sydney Business Chamber directors and the president of the peak body for developers.

It was delivered just weeks after Department of Planning secretary Carolyn McNally vehemently opposed the move, warning it risked creating uncertainty and confusion, and that it offered no obvious benefits to NSW.

The letter was penned in the same month the Greater Sydney Commission released a report that was unpopular with developers because it recommended industrial land be protected from being rezoned for high-rise residential purposes.

A few months earlier, Ms Berejiklian’s secret lover, disgraced MP Daryl Maguire, had been intercepted by ICAC complaining to her that the Greater Sydney Commission was causing “big problems” with his prospective land deal near Western Sydney Airport.

Ms Berejiklian delivered her verdict in June 2018, opting to take control of the commission.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for the Premier said that the decision was “based on a request from the Greater Sydney Commission”.

A spokesman for the commission confirmed it was supportive of its relocation, saying the move allowed for better coordination of the implementation of its plans.

“It is standard government practice for whole-of-government and cross-agency work to be driven from the centre of government, as is the case with Infrastructure NSW,” he said.

Legislation had also been changed, removing the commission’s powers to rezone land and determine development applications, he noted.

The commission sets the blueprint for development and growth across Sydney.

The 2018 lobbying push can be revealed after the letter was tabled in parliament - and obtained by the Herald - following a call for papers by One Nation MP Mark Latham.

Its signatories included Arthur Ilias, then NSW president of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, which represents developers, and Michael Rose, chair of urban policy think tank Committee for Sydney.

It was also signed by Sydney Business Chamber directors Patricia Forsythe and David Borger and Christopher Brown, chair of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.

A physical copy of the letter was mailed to the Premier, but Mr Brown also emailed her an advance copy because of “pressing timing issues”.

"This is intended as private correspondence to the Premier and we will not be making it available to the media,” Mr Brown wrote.

The non-profit Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue aims to stimulate discussion between a broad cross-section of community leaders, its partners including councils, government agencies, universities and businesses.

However the letter was so confidential Mr Brown said it would not be shared with the dialogue’s partners.

"Obviously I cannot speak for my colleagues who have membership bases they represent and possible need for further disclosure,” Mr Brown wrote.

Mr Brown argued the relocation of the Greater Sydney Commission would add greater certainty to the delivery of urban renewal precincts and bolster community confidence in planning.

The letter said the change would remove the confusion for industry navigating often “conflicting relationships” between the Department of Planning and Greater Sydney Commission.

“We do not believe the GSC should be beholden to any single department,” the letter said.

The view was countered by Ms McNally, who listed more than a dozen reasons why the Premier should not remove the agency from her department’s control, according to advice published by TheAustralian. 

Aside from his role with the Western Sydney Dialogue, Mr Brown is the executive chair of Taylor Street Advisory, a corporate advisory, strategy, public affairs and communications firm.

The firm’s clients include Lendlease, John Holland and Celestino, the development arm of poultry empire Baida which has plans for a $5 billion science park next to Western Sydney Airport.


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Gladys and her cabinet of philistines should have resigned and called new elections for NSW. They are toxic. Read from top.

constance is an idiot...

Minister stumps staff with order to chop down millions of trees


Tom Rabe


More than 140,000 football fields of NSW land, including sections of national parks and state forests, would have needed to be cleared to adhere to a sweeping ministerial direction issued after the Black Summer bushfires.

The ministerial directive to create a 40-metre clearance zone on either side of every state-run highway was issued by Transport Minister Andrew Constance last year after fallen trees wreaked havoc through the bushfire-ravaged South Coast, including in his own electorate of Bega.

Then-Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples received the order in late February 2020, and later contacted the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for advice.

In an extraordinary letter, tabled to NSW Parliament yesterday evening, planning department secretary Jim Betts warned Mr Staples in April last year that if the government were to carry out the direction in full, it would need to clear 104,000 hectares of land ‘‘or roughly 145,000 football fields’’.

Mr Betts said that the mass land clearing could include ecosystems that help protect national parks and state forests, and added the plan could cost the state financially if forestry assets were impacted.

‘‘Clearing at this scale would also create barriers to protected animals passing through the landscape,’’ Mr Betts said in the April 16 letter. ‘‘There are legal and pragmatic considerations which would need to be resolved.’’

Mr Constance revealed to a state parliament estimates committee last month he issued the directive after watching thousands of people cut off along the state’s highways during the bushfires.

He said he was unhappy Mr Staples had not complied with the order, he had raised it with him on several occasions and he did not find it ‘‘particularly acceptable’’.

‘‘I think the point that I would make is that what has gone on there is a classic example of what needs to change,’’ Mr Constance told the hearing in late February.

Mr Staples was fired as Transport for NSW secretary without reason in November, six weeks after a positive performance review with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, taking with him a severance package of up to $830,000.

Less than four months before he was sacked, Mr Staples wrote to Mr Constance telling him that Transport for NSW had ‘‘limited power’’ to cater to his specific request of a clearance zone 40 metres on either side of every highway under its control.

Opposition roads spokesman John Graham said the directive would have scarred the length and breadth of NSW, and resulted in more clearing than the amount of primary forest cut down between 2010 and 2018.

‘‘This would be a land clearing record,’’ Mr Graham said, questioning the legality of the measure.

Mr Betts also warned in the letter that if forestry land was cleared, the government may have to compensate Forestry Corporation, the timber industry and the Commonwealth either through payment or purchasing land.

NSW Regional Roads Minister Paul Toole revealed to an estimates hearing yesterday he was not consulted before Mr Constance issued the directive.

Mr Toole also agreed the directive given by Mr Constance would have been either impossible or impractical to fully implement.

‘‘If you looked at it black and white, I think anyone could understand that it would actually mean a lot more thought and processes, it would probably have to have legislative changes as well,’’ he said.

The deputy Nationals leader said Mr Staples had likely informed him about the direction, which had prompted serious concerns within the department.

Mr Constance on Monday said he issued the direction because he was worried someone would be killed and stressed he welcomed any recommendations to ensure trees didn’t obstruct roadways.


Read more: SMH 11/03/2021


las vegas barangaroo...

Plans to install brightly lit billboards on a footbridge in central Sydney have triggered tensions between the owners of a heritage-listed pub building and the NSW government, which is pushing to erect more of the signs across the city to raise revenue for the state’s transport agency.

Sydney Trains is pursuing plans to attach 12-metre by three-metre digital advertising billboards to both sides of the Wynyard Walk pedestrian bridge that goes over Sussex Street and links Barangaroo to the western side of the CBD.

The owners of the Federationstyle Sussex Hotel, and a residence that shares the state heritage-listed building on the street beside the footbridge, are arguing their outlook will be ‘‘severely impacted’’ by the signs.

‘‘These huge commercial signs will clutter the streetscape with Las Vegas-style advertising and poison the main pedestrian entrance to Barangaroo,’’ said resident Bill Lloyd.

He says one of the signs will sit just seven metres from the windows of his property on the upper floors of the building, which was built by the Sydney Harbour Trust in 1915.

The City of Sydney council is also opposing the proposed $800,000 ‘‘digital super signs’’ being affixed to the glass and concrete bridge, which is owned by Transport for NSW, because they would add ‘‘visual clutter’’.

The leasehold owner of the hotel, Garry McGrath, said the south-facing sign would ‘‘obscure and distract’’ from the hotel, while the north-facing sign would be a ‘‘distracting eyesore’’ from the windows and rooftop garden.

He said in a submission to the NSW Planning Department that the proposal threatened to ‘‘do irreparable damage to the amenity of the area and the building’s heritage values’’.

Sydney Trains said it had revised the initial proposal to include a 1.5 metre shield on the edge of the northern sign in response to concerns that light from the billboards would spill into Mr Lloyd’s home.

The City of Sydney submitted there were no other signs of the scale proposed in the immediate area and it was concerned the plan would set ‘‘a detrimental precedent’’ for similar infrastructure across the CBD.

The council argued that the proposal was a ‘‘questionable application’’ of the relevant state environmental planning policy, known as SEPP 64, which permits advertising in railway corridors.

Sydney Trains argued in its response that the bridge could be considered as ‘‘associated rail infrastructure’’ given Transport for NSW built it to provide a link between Wynyard train station and Barangaroo for commuters.

A visual impact assessment, prepared for Sydney Trains by consultants Ethos Urban, said the billboards were “not out of character” for the area and the

“robust nature of the hotel” meant it would not be compromised.

The NSW Heritage Council argued the billboards would further erode Sussex Street’s historic streetscape, which had already been diminished by overhead road and pedestrian bridges.

A heritage assessment, prepared by NGH Consulting, said the impact on the building was considered low and the proposal was driven by Sydney Trains’ need to ‘‘maximise use of some of their assets’’ to raise revenue.

Sydney Trains has prepared applications for 10 new digital advertising billboards to be installed at other sites across the city, including the Western Distributor at Pyrmont and the Eastern Distributor at Woolloomooloo.

A spokesman for Sydney Trains would not say how much revenue the government hoped to generate from the proposals because of commercial-inconfidence. He said the public would have an opportunity to comment.

‘‘The community can be assured that all revenue from advertising is reinvested directly back into running a safe and reliable public transport network for greater Sydney.’’


Read more SMH 11/03/2021


"The community can be assured that all revenue from advertising is reinvested directly back into running a safe and reliable public transport network for greater Sydney.’" — What is this BULLSHIT?  More idiots in the NSW government, where money is more important than style...

an appalling heritage architect...


“Bays West is so central and historically significant to Sydney that it is time to revitalise the area and make it a desirable place for people to live, work and visit,” Mr Stokes said.

“We have the chance to explore so many possibilities for this incredible location, such as extending the Sydney Harbour foreshore walk, creating a great new public space and repurposing the White Bay Power Station.”

The strategy potentially breaks decades of inaction on what to do with the decrepit power station, decommissioned in 1984 and heritage listed in 1999. The area has been subject to a raft of failed ideas, including a casino and naval base.

White Bay is already home to a future Metro railway station, which was the prompt for Mr Constance and Mr Perrottet to suggest in November that the power station, built between 1912 and 1917, should be knocked down, describing it as a “shocking building” and a “rave cave”.

The comments garnered a backlash from various sections of the community, with Mr Stokes moving to quell demolition fears, describing Mr Perrottet as an “excellent Treasurer but ... an appalling heritage architect”.

The draft strategy envisages a town centre with apartments, businesses and a night-time economy hub centred around the Metro station and a restored power station transformed into a cultural building such as a museum, with improved access to the harbour for the public...


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free assange, president biden...




no cruise ships at yarra bay, please...


“Ideally, would there be a cruise ship terminal there? Absolutely not. But we have to see how we can integrate that into the wider neighbourhood,” Mr Stokes told The Sydney Morning Herald this week.

“The obvious spot to put a cruise terminal would be Garden Island.”

Debate over allowing cruise ships to dock at the Sydney Harbour naval port was shut down by the federal government after previously being raised as an option by the industry and former NSW tourism minister Adam Marshall.

Mr Stokes said he also had “real concerns” about placing a cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay, south of Port Botany.


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