The state government is being urged to withdraw its support for three 19-storey towers above Kogarah train station and town centre before it becomes a major issue at the March election.
Kogarah MP Chris Minns has ramped up pressure on the government in a letter to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance.
Mr Minns said the proposal “flies in the face” of repeated recent assurances from Premier Gladys Berejiklian the government is pulling back on rampant development.
Giant construction company Ganellen, which holds a long-term lease on the town centre and owns and leases properties within it, has proposed the massive development.
Ganellen also owns the adjoining Budget petrol station site, and the combined land interests was among reasons given by the government for advancing the unsolicited proposal to the second stage of consideration.
Mr Minns’s letter to Mr Constance reads:
“I note with concern that an unsolicited proposal has been received by the NSW Government for a major development on the airspace above Kogarah train station.
“My understanding is that the proposal is for a major development involving three separate 19 storey towers on the site.
“I am resolutely against such a plan and judging by the near universal opposition communicated to me from my constituents after recent media attention, I am convinced that the community of Kogarah shares my opposition.
“The NSW Government’s unsolicited proposals website indicates that this project has progressed to the second stage. This implies that your Department (or / and the Department of Premier and Cabinet) has recommended that the proposal progress.
“You may be unaware that the area around Kogarah Station has recently been inundated with major residential developments right along the rail corridor.
“My concern is that the Government has not investigated the stress of a major inundation of new residents in such a confined space.
“It has been indicated to me that the proposal will also fund a refurbishment of the station – while such a upgrade would be welcome I am confident in communicating to you that doing it at the expense of massive residential towers would be thought of as a poor deal for the people of St George.
“I remind you that the ‘air space’ above the train station is not yours, or the Governments - you hold it in trust for the people of NSW.
“Forcing the remaining population to deal with the negative externalities of such an increase in population from effectively selling this air space to commercial interests is against the public interest.
“Taken together, the proposal would see (via a third party) the NSW Government become the developer with the highest residential tower in St George ever.
“This obviously flies in the face of repeated assurances from the Premier that she is pulling her Government away from rampant inflated urban consolidation in our communities.
“I urge you to instruct the Department to withdraw the Government’s support for this unsolicited proposal before the NSW Election so that the people of Kogarah can be assured that both major political parties are opposed to this level of over development in our community.”