Minister Stokes supports a bright future for Camellia

The NSW Minister for Planning and his Department (DPIE) has today rejected the recommendations of the Greater Sydney Commission which had proposed to limit the development of Camellia to industrial and employment uses for the next 20 years.

Minister Stokes has listened to the unanimous pleas of Parramatta Council, industry representatives, the Rosehill Racecourse and the University of NSW, and has determined that the Greater Sydney Commission’s Greater Parramatta and Olympic Park Place Infrastructure Compact (GPOP-PIC) be only an “input” into DPIEs Strategic Plan for the precinct.

The NSW Government’s response to the GSC recommendation that Camellia be preserved as industrial land alone is a clear repudiation of this the GSC recommendation number 7:

“DPIE will work with Council, agencies, community and industry to further investigate alternative development scenarios for Camellia Rosehill that retain productivity and long-term investment, but also considers alternative place outcomes that contributes to the critical development of Parramatta as the Central City. In order to support any land use planning outcome in Camellia it is essential to resolve key environmental constraints in a coordinated manner. This includes remediation, flooding, and hazardous pipeline risks. Further work is also required to be carried out to consider traffic and transport issues and the infrastructure required to support the whole precinct, and how it may be funded.

See page 6 of the attached:

Today’s decision will mean that alternative development scenarios will be examined which include proper remediation, mixed-use development including high rise residential uses and significant employment opportunities.

The expensive de-contamination and remediation of the site (the legacy of its industrial past) can only happen with high value development, or Government funding (which is not likely) – otherwise the site will sit there as an ongoing stain on Parramatta and the riverside.

It is the high-rise residential development that will ultimately pay for the remediation of the contaminated land on the old James Hardie site and surrounding area.  This will convert this contaminated dump into a vibrant community precinct with employment and life – making it a worthy eastern gateway to the Riverland City – Sydney’s second city, Parramatta.

The Parramatta Light Rail already runs through the Camellia site.  Today’s announcement makes clear that this Government investment should be utilised to support new homes for the growing population of Western Sydney.

A decision to include an underground Metro Station at Camellia (the path of the route identified by Sydney Metro runs directly underneath Camellia) would further support the transformation of this riverside precinct.

The GSC is now under new leadership with a new Chair (Geoff Roberts) and new CEO (Elizabeth Mildwater). This new direction for Camellia is welcome and will assist the realisation of the GSC’s vision for the development of Sydney’s three cities.

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