Liberals break ranks and take stand against their own State Government on Light Rail
Comment on story from independent observer:
I can understand the sentiment ‘enough is enough’ since a majority of Liberal Councillors voted to spend nearly $70m on the light rail. Yet did they do due diligence? Did they demand to see the financial analysis justifying the huge spending on a project that is slower, less safe, has longer journey times and just a fraction of the capacity of the existing bus services? Did they see the cost/benefit study or modeling of the light rail train’s capacity or traffic congestion? Did they notice the wrong number used for UNSW student numbers now and in the future? The answer is no. They made this decision without seeing any of these fundamental documents as the State Govt refused to make them public. Given the State Govt’s abysmal infrastructure record – Airport rail line – bankrupt 2x, Cross-City tunnel – bankrupt, Lane Cove Tunnel bankrupt etc – I wonder why?. Aren’t elected officials required to exercise a Duty of Care before authorising the biggest ever single project spend in Randwick’s history? Yes they are and no they didn’t. Even the City of Sydney, who’s contributing $220m towards the project, has not seen one of those documents? What has the State Govt got to hide other than the truth that the light rail is destined to fail the community. Independent modelling has shown NET COSTS to NSW (not developers) $$billions larger than the claimed but never justified $4bn benefit. Follow the money trail – read the newspapers – see reality not the spin.
ENOUGH is enough: This is the sentiment from within the Liberal ranks taking a stand against their own State Government on the CBD-South East Light Rail project.
Coogee state Liberal MP is vowing to fight a plan to redevelopment unused land on Randwick Racecourse (see page 23), while the Randwick Liberal councillors are promising to vote against signing the light rail development agreement that will be released by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) today.
“We believe we can influence outcomes more on outside of tent with a megaphone instead of inside with a pen and paper,” Randwick Liberal councillor Brendan Roberts said.
Liberal councillor Harry Stavrinos is moving a motion at the June 24 ordinary council meeting calling for changes to be made to the development agreement.
Labor’s Tony Bowen has confirmed his party will also be voting down the development agreement in its present form.
Randwick Mayor Scott Nash said with no development agreement in place the State Government would be forced to go down the path of compulsory acquisition for all land associated with the light rail project, including median strips, footpaths and High Cross Park.
Cr Nash said there were five main points of contention that Randwick Council was calling for action on, including design improvement to High Cross Park and the acqusition of land at Rainbow St site for a mulit-storey carpark.
“We want a contractual assurance that there will be no adverse visual impacts caused by the light rail project,’’ Cr Nash said.
AT A GLANCE
Five outstanding issues:
• Rainbow St carpark: Council wants to acquire TfNSWs interests to build a multi-storey carpark
• The undergrounding of power lines: To stop a multiplicity of poles, including catenary poles that charge the light rail
• High Cross Park: Council wants stop moved to High St or a substation here with drivers amenities moved
• Randwick stabling facility: Flooding concerns