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No bridging credibility

The failure to include a pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting Carriageworks to South Eveleigh in the recent North Eveleigh exhibition is the latest in a long line of broken promises from the NSW government about providing this infrastructure.

Since 2006 the NSW government has been collecting developer contributions towards the bridge’s construction, along with other local facilities, that have not been delivered. The Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) Contribution Plan is still current on the Infrastructure NSW website.

In 2006 the RWA proposed two bridges, one near Carriageworks and another just west of Redfern station, as part of its vision of “a research and technology zone”. The current Tech Central Place Based Transport Strategy still has investigating an Eveleigh bridge as a priority.

Of the Carriageworks bridge in 2006 the RWA said: “The RWA and its subsidiary company ATP [Australian Technology Park] have recently committed $6 million to the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.”

In April 2007 the RWA submitted a preliminary plan for the Carriageworks Bridge. Under pressure from RailCorp, it dropped the bridge near Carriageworks and changed the application to cover the bridge near Redfern station. This bridge was in RWA’s 2008 North Eveleigh master plan.

The community push for the eastern pedestrian and cycle link as part of the Redfern Station Southern Concourse was rejected. The Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE) has confirmed a bridge near Carriageworks is technically possible but it does not want to pay for it, even though it is planning to sell both North Eveleigh and the Large Erecting Shop that the bridge will connect.

When the government sold ATP, the contributions plan still said “the bridge will also be part funded by the Australian Technology Park”. The NSW government pocketed the sale proceeds including the funds promised towards the pedestrian bridge. It included an easement to allow a bridge to land on the ATP side if ever built.

So the NSW government has reneged on its promise to build the bridge, pocketed the promised ATP contribution, is holding, and still collecting, developer contributions towards it, but is now saying the bridge is “outside the project scope and does not have NSW government funding”!

You can support a campaign to Build a Bridge on Action Network (https://actionnetwork.org/letters/build-a-bridge/) or write to Minister Stokes asking about the Carriageworks Bridge and the funds collected towards it.

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Geoff Turnbull is Urban Design editor and a co-spokesperson for REDWatch.

 

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