A new development precinct planned for Sydney’s north-west growth corridor is set to offer thousands of new homes to Sydneysiders.
The NSW government release of the Marsden Park North masterplan shows 6200 new homes will be built in the precinct over the next 20 years.
The masterplanned community, which will offer a mixture of housing options, sits approximately 12 kilometres from Blacktown CBD and 20 kilometres from Parramatta’s CBD.
Planning and housing minister Anthony Roberts said the plan includes three new local centres, a new primary school, 13 brand new playing fields and more useable open space proposed to benefit residents of the area.
“The new playing fields, public parks and the local centres will be easily accessible via new pathways and cycleways,” Roberts said.
“A wide range of homes would be provided for the diverse and growing community, easily accessed by new road upgrades and the Sydney Metro Northwest.”
Upgrades of Richmond Road, Garfield Road, Schofields Road and Bandon Road are planned to improve access to and from the development precinct.
Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly says Marsden Park North will eventually become part of the new suburbs of Angus, Marsden Park and Vineyard.
“Residents will also have access to the new Sydney Metro Northwest at Tallawong Station as well as existing Schofields and Riverstone Railway Stations,” Conolly said.
The Sydney Metro Northwest at Tallawong Station is scheduled to open in 2019.
The Marsden Park North Masterplan is now open for local community feedback until October 26.
AUSTRALIA’S largest metropolis has simply been “lucky” to avoid a city stopping disaster, a group of resilience experts have said.
But Sydney’s luck could be about to run out, and if the city isn’t felled by extreme heatwaves and terror attacks, more insidious creeping catastrophes such as housing affordability and chronic illness could do it in.
That’s the conclusion of a landmark analysis released on Tuesday that aims to shake Sydneysiders out of their stupor and prepare for a range of foreseeable disasters that could bring the city of five million to its knees.
The “Resilient Sydney” report, launched by City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, details a slew of “acute shocks” and “chronic stresses” that could or are already occurring, and how the city can avoid falling foul of them.
Sydney is the second Australian city to sign up to the global 100 Resilient Cities program, Melbourne has had a head start of two years to get its act together. Backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, the program aims to help cities manage disruption and respond to disasters.
“What we mean by resilience is how we adapt, thrive and survive from shocks and stresses,” Beck Dawson, Sydney’s nattily titled chief resilience officer, told news.com.au.
“A shock can be a short, sharp disruption, like a flood for a terror attack, but a stress is a long, slow burning issue that can turn in to a disaster or magnify those other events because of the underlying vulnerabilities in the city.”
SYDNEY HAS BEEN “LUCKY” SO FAR
But the city is facing a double whammy of issues that could prevent it from coping in the face of disasters, either acute or chronic, Ms Dawson said.
One was the city’s fragmented government, with Sydney having no single city-wide council; the other was the false sense of security that can pervade a city that has faced fewer disasters than counterparts overseas.
Not that Sydney hasn’t faced its own shocks — the report lists 2014’s Lindt cafe siege, the Cronulla riots of 2005 and the 1998 disease pandemic that left the tap water of three million people contaminated as well as ongoing extreme weather.
However, the Harbour City hasn’t gone through the terrorist attacks or natural disasters that have befallen other 100 Resilient Cities members such as London, New York and Christchurch, said the executive director of the Sydney Business Chamber Patricia Forsythe.
“Sydney has been so lucky up to now; often it’s said we’ve never been tested in terms of natural disasters or other issues that face other cities.
“But we have to ensure if we are ever tested we learn the lessons from other places and that is when businesses can’t open, when people don’t have jobs, when they are disrupted, that impact flows through not only those people if affect so many people. “
The report listed Sydney’s chronic stresses as the growing demand on health services, housing affordability, social cohesion, lack of employment diversity, financial inequity, chronic illnesses, transport diversity and drug and alcohol abuse.
The acute shocks, listed below, were harder, sharper hits that could throw the city into crisis at a moment’s notice.
THE ACUTE SHOCKS THAT COULD SPELL DISASTER
1. Extreme weather
2. Financial institution failure
3. Infrastructure ageing and failure
4. Terror attack
5. Cyber terrorism
It’s a similar problem to Melbourne which released its resilience strategy in 2016. It concluded the city’s acute shocks could be bushfires, floods, heatwaves, pandemics, infrastructure-related emergencies and cybercrime. A rapidly growing population was a chronic stress for Melbourne.
Organisers of the report recommended households download the Get Prepared app, developed with the Red Cross and insurer IAG, which enables Sydneysiders to store emergency contacts and identify their nearest emergency services.
Ultimately, Ms Dawson said, her job revolved around three key questions: “what will stop this city, who will bear the risks and what will the cost be when it goes wrong?”
Residents of the Sydney suburb of Lavender Bay are pushing for a linear park to be developed along side a historic rail line that would provide a pedestrian link between Lavender Bay and Waverton Station.
Established in 2016, the Sydney Harbour High Line Association describes itself as “a group of like-minded people that sees the importance of building on the amenities to support the huge growth in the number of people living in Sydney in general and the lower north shore in particular.”
According to the Mosman Daily, earlier in April the association met with a State Government committee, where it presented its detailed plans for the publicly held land that lies beside the railway. If the project goes ahead, the park would be operated by North Sydney Council.
The heritage-listed rail line is not used for a passenger service, but is used by Sydney Trains for driver training. The site is significant due to its connection to artist Brett Whiteley, who famously painted scenes of Sydney Harbour from his home in Lavender Bay, adjacent to the railway tracks, as well as the “secret garden” created by Brett’s former wife Wendy. The Whiteleys’ house and garden were both recently added to the state heritage register.
Local state MP Felicity Wilson, who supports the project, told the Mosman Daily that she had “secured an agreement from Sydney Trains to explore the feasibility of installing a segregated walking track alongside the current active line.” The proposal is inspired by and takes its name from the High Line in New York City, an elevated railway conversion designed by Diller Scofidio and Renfro. This was in turn inspired by the first rail park, the Coulée verte René-Dumontin in Paris, which opened in 1993.
Sydney has seen an explosion in urban beekeeping with a 20 per cent increase in the number of people taking up the hobby in just a couple of years.
That’s great for the environment, with bees our most valuable pollinators for agricultural crops and even urban backyards.
But what if you have an allergy or reaction to bee stings, or a backyard pool where bees like to get their water and you need to make a complaint?
Tony Deguara lives in Sydney’s inner west with a backyard bee enthusiast neighbour over his back fence.
Tony told Curious Sydney his neighbour started out with two beehives, but the number increased to six meaning he was living next to thousands of bees as a result.
He asked: “Why do Sydney councils encourage urban bee keeping but appear to have no regulations to manage the hobby? Consequently if you have problems you have to go to the Department of Primary Industries [DPI]”.
That was the question ABC News in Sydney was asked to investigate through Curious Sydney, our series that reports on stories based on your questions.
“I started having major problems with my neighbour — not because he was keeping bees but because he was keeping what I thought was an inordinately high number of bees,” Mr Deguara said.
“I made an enquiry with the local council to find out but they really didn’t want to know anything about it. They didn’t have any guidelines or regulations in place. They didn’t prosecute and they didn’t set up any situation where you could discuss this with your neighbour.”
Tony has a bad allergic reaction to bees. While not anaphylactic, they leave him with infections and swellings that last for weeks.
After the last sting, an infection in his foot required antibiotics.
When he asked his neighbour to reduce the number of beehives, initially his neighbour complied, but over time the number of hives crept up again.
Tony sought advice from his local Inner West Council to help him manage the issue, but the council redirected him to the DPI.
Curious Sydney found that the answer to Tony’s question is complex. Councils can manage bees if they choose to classify them under the companion animal act like pet dogs and cats, but each council has different rules.
It was love at first sight when Sydney and I met properly a dozen years ago. I fell hard with the sort of giddy infatuation that makes it easy to overlook the odd flaw or two, and to blithely ignore those flaws even as they crumbled into mighty chasms over the subsequent years.
But now I’m ending things and moving out. And let me be clear: it’s not me, Sydney. It’s you.
But that wasn’t the tipping point – well, not completely.
There’s also the way that the city has been blithely looking to make a quick buck by selling off priceless pieces of its heritage – whether it’s the Sirius Apartments or the Powerhouse Museum – with no plan other than “how swiftly can we convert this public asset into private profit?” It used to horrify me, but that shock has long since curdled from anger to sorrow to deep, unrelenting disgust.
So has the deliberate scuttling of public transport corridors in favour of WestConnex, with the state government essentially imposing a new tax on the western suburbs for the privilege of being able to get to work. That perhaps more than anything shows precisely how little this place cares about the environment, its people or its own future.
There are a lot of little things that have been bugging me for a while. The wholesale destruction of the night time entertainment scene, especially for live music, on exaggerated public safety grounds that just so happened to free up prime real estate at firesale prices to be picked over by the government’s developer mates, was one sign of how little this city cares for the people that live in it.
Even the things that I love about the place aren’t enough any more.
Getting to the beach or the Opera House or the Art Gallery or Taronga has become longer and more difficult with roadworks and the future white elephant light rail. And trying to get about on the overcrowded trains with a toddler usually involves carrying prams up stairs at the station – a massive wheelchair accessibility problem which just about every other Australian city dealt with decades ago – making it comprehensively more hassle than it’s worth. What sort of city penalises its inhabitants for wanting to actively enjoy living there?
The biggest factor, though, was the most predictable. Housing prices – specifically, the spiralling rent increases since buying had long ago ceased to be an option for our two professional income household.