Randwick Councillors have once again clashed over a Greens initiated plan to alleviate the impact of the CBD to South East Light Rail project on local residents, businesses and institutions.
Citing the construction work now underway along Anzac Parade Greens Councillor Murray Matson appealed to Councillors not to impede the Council in the allocation of promised amelioration money.
The allocation will be under the Light Rail Support Plan set up by Matson and fellow Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey in May 2015 as a relief measure.
Last Tuesday night Labor Councillors Tony Bowen and Greg Moore along with Liberal Councillor Robert Belleli unsuccessfully voted to abandon revising the Plan in favour of starting another round of public consultation instead.
This has lead Cr Matson to claim that they imperilled the retainment of High Cross Park. He said,
“The Greens under Councillor Shurey saved High Cross Park by finding an alternative site for the interchange. The attempted blocking of this money by Councillors Bowne, Moore and Belleli would have seen TfNSW revert to using the park. This is because Council is going to spend $2 million on public domain works for the new interchange site the Greens found in High Street. Without that allocation by Council TfNSW would have called the deal off.”
Cr Matson further accused Cr Belleli and the two Labor Councillors of “ignoring the needs of Kingsford and Kensington” by forgetting that the Support Plan was also intended to buy the old Kingsford Market Site and replicate lost on-street parking. He said,
“I can’t believe that these three Councillors want to go back and repeat public consultation already done now that the construction work has actually started along Anzac Parade. We’ve had consultation with invited representatives of Bike East, South Juniors and various businesses along with ordinary residents sitting on a committee for over a year overseeing the allocation of the relief money. We can’t possibly now tell these key stakeholders and residents that all of sudden we Councillors have changed our minds about helping them even though they can see the construction works underway.”
The latest version of the Light Rail Support Plan endorsed last Tuesday includes:
- $2 million for further public domain works directly associated with the light rail line such as traffic signals, traffic changes, and a new transit plaza at the hospital.
- $0.95 million for additional new public domain areas in Kingsford and Randwick near the light rail interchanges;
- $10 million for new on-street parking to compensate for lost on-street parking along Alison Road, Anzac Parade and High Street;
- $30.5 million to purchase land and construct a multistorey car park in Kingsford;
- $8.5 million to future proof stormwater drains that cross the light rail line along Anzac Parade and downstream.
- $3.5 East to west aligned bike path connections to the light rail for sustainable mode transfers;
- $0.5 million for bike lockers; and
- $5 million for traffic calming in surrounding residential areas;
Also in dispute on the night was a recommendation from the General Manager that Councillors accept a Government offer to sell the Council its share of the old Kingsford Market site for $12.55 million. Councillor Matson said,
“It is a bargain that we can’t let slip by or the Government will revert to its earlier plan to sell the site via auction for possibly $60 million instead of the $12.55 they going to let the Council have it for. We have an international competition going to find the best urban redesign for the Kensington and Kingsford town centres and I want the Market Site available for playing a role in it.”