MEDIA RELEASE – Urban Growth NSW lodge DA to Subdivide Australia’s History

NPRAG have been alerted to the fact that the State Government’s Development Arm UGNSW last week lodged the first Development Application with City of Parramatta council for the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct:   an ill-conceived proposal that will turn public land containing Australia’s oldest and most intact heritage buildings into a high density residential suburb of 3000+ units.

This precinct was placed under a total Greenban by the CFMEU and Jack Mundey in August 2015 after the community concerns went ignored by the State Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee.

“Dr Lee is ignoring constituents who have been working tirelessly to save our indigenous and colonial heritage from being desecrated, while he is gleefully handing it over to Mr Baird to sell for private residential development. Said Ms Meade President of NPRAG

State Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee continues to ignore the community who have been fighting against this inappropriate development for almost 2 years.   All we hear is Mr Lee promoting Mike Baird’s mandate to sell every remaining piece of public land in Parramatta for residential or commercial development.

Before our local government was unceremoniously sacked and replaced by a State Government-appointed representative Ms Chadwick, the former Lord Mayor Paul Garrard of Parramatta City Council wrote to Planning Minister Rob Stokes demanding this totally inappropriate development be at least paused until the National Heritage Listing was finalised.  Requesting further transparent consultation with the wider community and other interested stakeholders was carried out.  This fell on deaf ears.

How can the future of this most precious site be under the autonomous control of a State Government appointed administrator who is absurdly making decisions on a development application that is being fast tracked by a State Government department who’s only mandate is to reach maximum residential density on public land.

This sort of undemocratic decision making process is something we would expect in North Korea but not here in Australia. It is a disgrace – a slap in the face to the Darug custodians of the land, the tens of thousands of women and girls from 1818 to 1974 whose lives were changed forever after being incarcerated within this precinct.

If the Greater Sydney Commission’s Lucy Turnbull is fair dinkum about making Parramatta Australia’s next great city then she will step in and stop this State Government proposal to vandalise Australia’s most significant precinct by dumping a new high density suburb here.  Residents of Parramatta are calling on Lucy Turnbull to champion the peoples’ plan for the best and biggest arts and cultural precinct for NSW to be created in this world heritage worthy oasis on Parramatta River.

The residents of Parramatta demand that NO development application pertaining to the Cumberland Hospital site be accepted by City of Parramatta council.  No land sold and not a sod turned until we have democratically-elected representatives returned to represent the community in the Local Government Elections in September 2017 – demanded Ms Meade.

Contact – Suzette Meade (0412 990 880) smeade@nprag.org

NORTH PARRMATTA RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP          www.nprag.org

 

NSW government considers reopening Parramatta Jail

 

 

Parramatta jail could reopen, five years after the state heritage listed facility closed.  ParrmattaPrison2009The state government will consider reopening the jail to address record numbers of inmates and prison overcrowding.

Opened in 1842, it was the oldest serving correctional centre in Australia.

“The government is considering all options at the moment to address the need for new beds for corrective services,” Parramatta MP Geoff Lee said. “Ultimately, the decision about reopening Parramatta Jail will be guided by a sensible long-term solution that addresses the needs of whole of the community.”

The Deerubbin Aboriginal Land Council claimed ownership of the jail 12 months ago but haven’t revealed their plans for the abandoned site.

North Parramatta Residents Action Group welcomed the protection of the jail’s heritage but reiterated calls to press pause on developing high density residential around the Fleet Street heritage precinct.

“The Premier has an opportunity to be the leader that created a legacy of a world class cultural and arts precinct that will deliver long term jobs and economic growth for western Sydney, instead of just adding Parramatta to his long list of public asset sales in NSW.” president Suzette Meade said. 

“The Premier could show further strong leadership by calling on the federal government to fast track the declaration of the National Heritage Listing of the irreplaceable heritage assets in the precinct.”

Read the Full Article HERE