Parramatta Road development: Opposition to force release of secret plans


By Anna Patty

Originally published: Sydney Morning Herald, 16 November 2014.

The NSW Opposition will try to force the release of key government documents revealing the state government's secret plans to renew development along Parramatta Road.

Fairfax Media revealed on Sunday that the Baird government's plans for property development along Parramatta Road will not be released until after the state election in March next year.


The Labor Opposition's spokesman for planning, Luke Foley, said he will be moving an order for papers in the upper house on Tuesday.

"[I] am seeking the support of the minor parties so that communities from Granville through to Camperdown can find out what the government has in store for them," he said.

"We know that the government promises over 50,000 new apartments along Parramatta Road. There is no word whether those apartments will be accompanied by adequate parks and playgrounds, and new childcare centres and schools.

"Ten local councils have worked co-operatively with the state government on this issue. They were all promised that the government's plans for Parramatta Road would be revealed by now.

"Yet [Planning Minister] Pru Goward has now chosen to keep her government's plans under lock and key until after next year's state election."

Mr Foley said Parramatta Road was open to increased density, "but it has to be density done well".

"Labor wants to see guarantees around design excellence and there must be adequate provision of essential community infrastructure," he said.

"With Pru Goward determined to keep her plans hidden from public view, Labor will use the powers of the parliament to force disclosure."

Fairfax Media reported that the government agency with the job of driving development through the city, UrbanGrowthNSW, will hold off releasing its strategy for 50,000 new apartments along Parramatta Road until the middle of next year.

The delays could also extend to the government's entire metropolitan strategy which should set the direction for employment and housing growth in Sydney for the next 20 years.

Originally published as: Parramatta Road development: Opposition to force release of secret plans