Georges River Council calls for a fair go for Riverwood home owners

Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene says the Webb Street residents have concerns about the process undertaken by Transport for NSW.
Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene says the Webb Street residents have concerns about the process undertaken by Transport for NSW.

The Georges River Council has asked the state government for 'procedural fairness' in its actions over the Riverwood home acquisitions.

On February 16, three homeowners in Webb Street were told by Transport for NSW representatives their homes would be compulsorily acquired to build a four-level commuter car park.

The state government gave owners of the properties 90 days to agree to a price - half the time given to nine similarly affected property owners at Jannali, who successfully fought to save their homes. The deadline is May 16.

Home owners say they want more time to negotiate with the state government over acquiring their homes.

State government members say they are sympathetic to the homeowners' claims.

The council says it supports the development of a commuter car park in Riverwood; however, the Mayor said it was important for the council to stand up for these residents.

"Council is advocating for the residents to be provided with procedural fairness and the opportunity to engage meaningfully with the NSW government," Cr Greene said.

On Saturday, March 13, the Mayor and Councillor Symington met with the residents of the three properties identified for compulsory acquisition.

Webb Street Riverwood home owners want 90 more days to negotiate with the state government over acquiring their homes. Picture: Chris Lane.

Webb Street Riverwood home owners want 90 more days to negotiate with the state government over acquiring their homes. Picture: Chris Lane.

The Mayor says the residents have concerns about the process undertaken by Transport for NSW.

"While it is a state government matter, I have previously indicated to these residents that I would offer my support," Cr Greene said.

"It seems the usual process has been condensed and that is not fair to the residents."

"The negotiation period for compulsory acquisition is usually a minimum of six months and, in this instance, it was reduced to just three months."

Member for Oatley Mark Coure said Riverwood residents had lobbied the NSW government to construct a commuter carpark for several years.

"The need for a commuter car park in Riverwood and providing ease of access to the train station has consistently been raised with my office since being elected in 2011," he said.

"The proposed multi-storey car park on Webb Street in Riverwood would provide around 140 additional car parking spaces for customers who need to drive for part of their journey before catching public transport."

Mr Coure said he understood acquiring property can be stressful on the affected property owners.

"Three residential properties need to be acquired for the Riverwood commuter car park project and Transport for NSW is currently liaising directly with the owners and tenants," he said.

"They have all been provided with a Personal Manager to guide them through this process and offer support.

"We understand that acquiring property can be stressful on the affected property owners, which is why we assign dedicated personnel to ensure that the property owners and tenants have access to the information and support services they may need throughout the process.

"All negotiations are confidential and ongoing, and compulsory acquisition will only occur if a mutual agreement cannot be reached."

The Mayor and Councillor Symington also met with a resident of a fourth property on Webb Street not identified for acquisition but whose property value would significantly decrease by developing the commuter car park.

The Mayor says he is hoping that the Minister for Transport will include the fourth property in the acquisition plan and also open the negotiation period back up to the usual minimum of six months.

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