In response to the announcement by Barry O’Farrell that his new government intends to press ahead with former premier Keneally’s controversial Barangaroo development without compelling any changes the Greens have labelled the Coalition Labor-lite on planning.

NSW Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This entire development is on 22 hectares of precious public land, and even juts into the public harbour.  Yet Barry O’Farrell will not even stand up and say the hotel in the Harbour must go.  The only promise from Mr O’Farrell is further talk.

“As land owner the Government should come out loud and clear and say no hotel will be built on Sydney harbour.

“While no law may have been broken in NSW Labor’s assessment of the proposal, the absence of community input, the confidential commercial contracts and the retrospective law changes used to push this project through were all criticised by the Coalition and Greens before the election.  These criticisms remain valid.

“Barangaroo was the first big test to see if this government was genuine about unwinding Labor’s corrupted planning process.  It hasn’t taken long for the Coalition to show their true stripes on planning reform and, like NSW Labor before them, they are wearing the big developers’ team colours.

“Barry O’Farrell is even repeating former Premier Keneally’s missteps by taking political control of this development from his own planning minister.  This shows a lack of faith in Minister Hazzard and overreach by the Premier.

“NSW is a big place and it cannot afford having its premier bogged down in the intricacies of a $6 billion development on Sydney’s western CBD” Mr Shoebridge said.