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5/2/05...Sydney Morning Herald letters re working Sydney Harbour/Port Jackson

Discussion needed on harbour plan, and that's the point

February 5, 2005

Before we greet Bob Carr's Darling Harbour redevelopment vision ("Dozen skyscrapers could cram Darling Harbour", Herald, February 4) with either cheers or catcalls, aren't there three aspects worthy of public debate: are we sure we want to end Sydney Harbour's life as a working port; if we do, would we prefer a smaller park with more lower buildings; and what kind of iconic building, if any, would we like to see at Millers Point?

Norm Neill, Leichhardt, February 4.

Bob Carr has a vision for Sydney. But it is not appropriate, nor sustainable. The cranes from Millers Point will be transferred to iconic Botany Bay and more of the bay will be destroyed and southern Sydney subjected to further pollution and congestion.

The founding fathers of modern Australia - Cook, Banks and Phillip - all walked the northern shores of Botany Bay. Millers Point is best remembered for its first miller, Jack Leighton, who met an untimely death when he fell drunk from a ladder. Perhaps Mr Carr senses a greater affinity with Mr Leighton than those visionaries who walked in his own electorate.

Lynda Newnam, La Perouse, February 4.

I'm rather puzzled by the assertion that at least 50 per cent of the former Patrick terminal has to be sacrificed to the gods of development to pay for the remainder becoming park. What are we having to pay for?

Surely the most expensive component of the proposed park is the land, which is already owned by the people of NSW. I realise the site has to be cleared and reinstated, landscaped etc, but does it take the equivalent of 12 Australia Squares to pay for it?

Perhaps we need to get Jamie Durie and the gang from Backyard Blitz to do a makeover?

Santo Calabrese, Cherrybrook, February 4.

While devoting more harbour foreshore to parkland is a lovely thing, something irks me every time another piece of our working port is lost. Whilst we want our imports, exports and our petrol etc, we don't want to see any of the shipping or other industries that go along with this. Sydney is no longer a true, living, working, practical metropolis.

Libby Stock, East Ballina, February 3.

These new skyscrapers on the harbour couldn't be anything to do with all those donations by developers to the ALP, could they? One would hope not, but the suspicion is inevitable that developers don't make these donations out of altruism or an interest in democracy, but because they know it buys them influence and access - government influence and access not available to the communities and local councils whose concerns and views are ignored.

Why else would developers be the largest and most generous donor group?

Such donations are a blight on our society.

G. Lewis, Lindfield, February 4.

Before proceeding with the development of 12 47-storey tower blocks at Darling Harbour, Bob Carr should visit the hideous South Horizons cluster of residential tower blocks overlooking Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong. Put simply, they are high-rise monstrosities. One would not wish a similar architectural eyesore on Sydney.

State governments have given Sydney the Cahill Expressway and elevated railway, the Black Stump State Office, and let's not forget the East Circular Quay Toaster.

If The Rocks can be saved from the whims of politicians and developers, Sydneysiders must act now to save Darling Harbour from the grasp of Premier Carr.

Peter Sinclair, Hong Kong, February 3.

Is the Government serious? More exclusive waterfront apartments; boxes on stilts with no trees to soften the landscape. More offices that increase the congestion in the city.

I have participated in three functions held at the Wharf 3 site in the Patrick container terminal and was impressed by what the site offers and how it showcases Sydney.

It offers sweeping views of the harbour in an open area with parking, in itself unheard of in downtown Sydney. For organisers, it offers ease of access for large equipment and staging.

Now we may lose this facility to more $1 million-plus units and offices which may be empty for months, replicating what we already have.

Sydney has its harbour and the wonderful Botanic Gardens, but the city has sadly lost much of its earlier character and is becoming a concrete jungle with a New York skyline.

Please, Bob Carr, allow some diversity in this wonderful city of ours. Leave what open space is left and if a function-cum- entertainment space is going to be allowed, not another theatre or closed space; we have enough now.

Alexandra Conway, Lindfield, February 4.

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