SAVEBERRYSBAY COMMITTEE CALLS FOR PROMPT ACTION TO TERMINATE THE AGREEMENT FOR LEASE OF BERRYS BAY MARINA PTY LTD (AKA MERIDIEN)
The community (both Precinct and political groups) have been persistently lobbying and engaging with members of the Government for the termination of the BBM (Meridien) Agreement for Lease, which has always been on condition that BBM achieved a successful DA, The incumbent has had almost a decade to develop a compliant design concept and have it approved, and they have repeatedly failed. They have failed because they did not listen to the community and produce a concept which would fit with the character and scale of the Bay. Their right to continue the Agreement for Lease has therefore ceased.
At the site meeting in March the Premier indicated her office would take advice on termination. The reports below of use of Berrys Bay for the proposed tunnel must mean the Government has decided to terminate the Agreement for Lease. It is now time for action to terminate but this must not be conditional on any tunnel proposal or be delayed further while that process proceeds..
We now call on the NSW Government to ensure that taxpayer money is not handed over in this termination process. BBM should not be compensated for this decade-long display of commercial hubris. Rather, it has not been able to fulfill what must be the conditions of the Agreement to obtain a DA in order for a full lease then to follow. This should give the Government the right to cancel the Agreement without compensation. And even if compensation were to be considered it should merely reflect the value to the Government and community of any studies and surveys completed by the proponent which can be put to use in the future to achieve an outcome which is in harmony with this most important place.
RMS PLANS TO USE BERRYS BAY AS A WORKSITE FOR THE WESTERN HARBOUR TUNNEL REVEALED
Residents will be aware of plans for a new road tunnel, slated to travel under Waverton after crossing under the Harbour from Birchgrove Point. At the last Precinct meeting the RMS representative stated that all their planning is based on a concept line that starts at Rozelle (where it joins West Connex) and ends at Falcon Street/Warringah Expressway. From there another section of tunnel will cross under Middle Harbour, with links to the Burnt Creek Deviation and Warringah Road.
In a press release dated 18 July, the ABC issued a story based on leaked confidential Government briefing documents, about plans for this project, for which initial geotechnical investigations are currently under way in our area. Apart from the headline that the price tag for this project is estimated at $14b, the report also stated:
“Much of the foreshore at Berrys Bay, Waverton, will close to become the home of a dredging operation, removing thousands of tonnes of sludge and mud from the harbour.”
The above story was followed up on the 20th with details that included:
The closure to the public of foreshore areas is flagged at White Bay, Berrys Bay, Balls Head and around Middle Harbour for the construction of large worksites, including heavy equipment sheds on land…
The plan considers the removal of the historic Balls Head Coal Loader Wharf to allow barge operations and a work-plant to operate from the foreshore….
Whilst these news releases might be regarded as speculative because RMS claims that no firm decision has been made on the alignment or form of harbour tunnel (buried tubes or deeper, drilled tunnel) to be used to cross from Birchgrove Point to Waverton, the community should be aware that this incursion would be likely if the whole project proceeds. The SaveBarrysBay Committee will be watching this closely to ensure the interests of the area are not trampled by this mega-project. As a first comment, we support the call by North Sydney Council for an investigation of public transport options including a metro line from Chatswood to Dee Why.