Afterwards, as I walked down Abercrombie Street I noted that all the rain that falls north of Redfern railway station makes its way down to Blackwattle Bay. Redfern contributes a great deal of water to this part of Sydney Harbour. Now the planners for the western part of the Harbour are asking for contributors from Redfern to come up with ideas about how they would like that water and the land around it to be used.
Continuing past the Fish Markets and over Anzac Bridge, the White Bay Power House lay before me. In a few hundred metres I have met the three pivotal points of the Bays Precinct “problem”. A lot of the land around here is about to come up for the next stage of its life – and a lot of it is owned by the people of NSW.
The Fish Markets and neighbouring car park and the wharf space along Pyrmont Bridge Road are ripe for input – but give it soon. West of Anzac Bridge, the White Bay Power Station is big enough to handle lots of ideas for future use, and so is the sweep of land that used to be the old train access to the wharves in front of it.
You have only until July 10 to say what you would like to happen. Consult the official website www.thebayssydney.com.au for ways to comment. Go to the Bays Community Submission workshop at Leichhardt Town Hall on June 7 (2.30 to 4.30pm) to help make sure that good community outcomes are at the centre of future developments. See http://bayscommunitycoalition.com (also on Facebook) for more information. The harbourside promenade is a welcome piece of the planning but there is so much more to think about – good public transport, achieving affordable housing, creating spaces for local jobs are examples.
I love that walk down from Redfern station, even now. I hope I will love it more in the future as the result of the good ideas being brought to reality. Without the community ideas coming forth, I dread that my walk will be under a wall of mediocre constructions. And I will share the blame for that unless I speak up for my city.