Sydney is one step closer to having an iconic part of its foreshore sacrificed to a gambling tycoon with the Planning Assessment Commission giving James Packer’s Crown Casino project at Barangaroo the tick of approval.

Reports are suggesting that the NSW Coalition government has also signed off on PAC’s recommendations, meaning the project will proceed as approved.

Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge said:

“With the pending approval of Packer’s casino and luxury apartment, we are seeing the final surrender of the state’s planning laws to money and the influence that goes with it.

“This will become an icon on Sydney Harbour, but will be an icon of greed, mismanagement and a complete surrender to the public interest.

“The Baird Coalition Government, just like the Keneally Labor Government before it, has been literally bought by private greed.

“It’s clear from the PAC report that the political surrender of both Labor and the Coalition in 2013 that granted Packer the second casino license was the reason they green-lighted the casino development dispute it clearly not being in the public interest.

“You could not see a clearer example of how grossly politicised the NSW planning system has become.

“This is a phenomenal surrender of the public interest which all started when Labor tore up the international award-winning Hills Thalis blueprint and handed it over to Lend Lease.

“Ever since we have seen public space squeezed, public interest ignored and private developer interest overwhelming the site.

“This is now the umpteenth amendment to the Barangaroo site, with almost every single amendment favouring developers, increasing bulk and scale of the project and detracting from the public interest.

“While a 30 metre public passage is preferable to 12, we are still seeing overwhelmingly the public foreshore and overall Barangaroo site being gifted to a private developer and gambling tycoon.

“While this development has thrown a few scraps to the public, nobody is convinced that this is anything other than another approval in the interests of the Packer Empire.

“Whatever the Crown Casino group want to call this development, to the people of Sydney it will be forever be known as ‘#CasinoMikes’ tower.

“When people are remembering Mike Baird’s role in this, it won’t be for a public park or 18 metre concession on a narrow walk, they will remain horrified on this jarring addition on Sydney’s beautiful harbour.

“With a truly noxious mix of a property developer and a gambling tycoon, all of Sydney’s excesses are on display here,” Mr Shoebridge said.

For more information: David Shoebridge 0408 113 952