The state government's decision to abandon the compulsory acquisition of nine homes for a multi-storey commuter car park at Jannali is being hailed as "a win for people power".
Residents are elated but also angry at the three-week nightmare they have had to endure.
Transport for NSW advised property owners on Thursday morning compulsory acquisition notices were being withdrawn.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance ducked for cover when it came to advising the media.
It was left to Miranda MP Eleni Petinos to issue a statement confirming the decision to cancel the acquisition of homes and that Transport for NSW would resume working with Sutherland Shire Council on including a commuter car park in an integrated development with Woolworths on the council-owned car park at the rear of the shopping centre.
Tom Richards, a leader of the residents action group Save Our Homes - Jannali 2226, said residents had mixed emotions.
"The overriding response is relief - we've all been through so much in the last three weeks," he said.
"I also feel that we have been used - that there is something else going on, which is very disappointing."
Mr Richards said the "community outpouring of support has been amazing".
"This is a win for people power," he said.
Mr Richards was critical of statements made by Miranda MP Eleni Petinos, including, "I will always stand by the people of my electorate".
"This situation should never have happened," Mr Richards said.
"The truth is that Ms Petinos and her office haven't stood with the people of her electorate here, from the moment doors were knocked to today she hasn't supported or represented our community.
"That's what has hurt the most and won't be forgotten".
Liam Mulhall, whose home in Mary Street was to have been acquired, expressed his feelings in a Facebook post:
"You can imagine the kaleidoscope of emotions we are going through, from the tremendous relief that our homes will not be taken from us, to anger at the meat grinder we have been put though over the past three weeks, from the joy that the heart of our neighborhood will not be destroyed, to the shock that it so nearly was, from bottomless gratitude at the truly extraordinary support we have received from neighbours, shire, NSW, Australian residents and beyond, to a determination that others not be treated in the same shameful way.
"I hope that this becomes a line in the sand, that the politicians fear to cross.
"From the bottom of our hearts, thanks to one and all. It's your victory, a victory for commonsense, a victory for 'fair go'. How good is Australia?
"From 9 little precious homes in Jannali."
Ishpal Singh said his family received a call from Transport for NSW about 8am.
"I was pinching myself, saying, 'Is his real?'," he said.
"We went out outside and everyone was hugging and congratulating each other."
Mayor Steve Simpson said the news would come as an overwhelming relief for those residents who had faced the threat of having their homes compulsorily acquired.
Cr Simpson praised those who had led an effective campaign against the move.
"Since this saga began, my fellow councillors and I have met almost daily with the local residents who stood to be impacted by this development, and we know just how challenging it was for them to deal with the threat of being forced from their homes," he said.
"Through their effective opposition to these plans, they have achieved a hard fought victory and deserve tremendous congratulations for the dignified and determined way they have campaigned for the right to stay in their homes.
"Walking away from plans to compulsorily acquire homes sees the state government deliver a win-win situation for all parties involved in what has been an arduous process, but one that looks set for an overwhelmingly positive resolution."
Cr Simpson said, while it was a major victory for those residents who had campaigned against the compulsory acquisition process, for council the challenge posed by this development had only just begun.
"Council will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to aid the state government in delivering this piece of infrastructure in a way that benefits our whole community," he said.
"We again have to stress, this plan is still reliant on a number of hurdles being cleared in terms of planning approval, land rezoning and community consultation.
"But if given appropriate priority by the state government, I am confident this project can clear these stages of approval in a timely manner.
"If done right, the inclusion of a 200 space commuter car park as part of a revitalised retail precinct at Jannali will not just deliver lasting benefit to local rail commuters, but also help us to deliver an incredible asset to our community."
State Labor's transport spokesman Chris Minns said Mr Constance's "embarrassing backflip comes after massive community outrage at the ham-fisted attempt to create the commuter facility".
"It also comes after Sutherland Shire Council put forward an alternative plan to build the car park faster and cheaper, and without unnecessarily acquiring the nine family homes."
Mr Minns said the government had used taxpayers money to buy one of the properties, which was set to go to auction, for $952,000. The property was no longer needed, he said.
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