Mon, 20 Aug 2018 - 15:03
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Constituency Statement: Support Lindfield

I rise to acknowledge the work of community group Support Lindfield in advocating for a revitalisation of the commercial heart of Lindfield through an intelligent development of the land behind the row of shops on the western side of the Pacific Highway in Lindfield. I specifically acknowledge the tireless work of the president of Support Lindfield, Linda McDonald, the vice-president, Stephen McKenzie, and all of the committee members and those who have lent their voices to the cause.

The genesis for Support Lindfield was a proposal by the New South Wales government in 2012 to spend around $34 million to build a multistorey car park in Lindfield for rail commuters. The reaction of the local community was, 'That's good, but can't we have more?' And, through its advocacy support, Lindfield made the case that the proposal for the stand-alone carpark should be put on hold while better alternatives were explored. Since that time, Ku-ring-gai Council has made some progress towards this vision of a redeveloped Lindfield commercial heart, purchasing some land to add to its current holdings where the present ground-level car park sits. Their concept plans feature a supermarket, multistorey car parking, parkland and public open space, smaller shops and a residential apartment block.

Recently, the giant supermarket company Woolworths, who have developed similar and successful projects in Double Bay and Lane Cove, put forward an unsolicited proposal to Ku-ring-gai Council. Woolworths argues that its unsolicited proposal would realise the vision set out by Ku-ring-gai Council in its concept plans. On 26 June the council voted, instead, to go out to market to call for proposals from any interested private sector proponent. I hope that secures a good response. Of course, Woolworths is free to resubmit its proposal through this process, and I certainly hope they do that. Council has committed that the expressions-of-interest process will close in October, and there'll be further community consultation as part of that.

After more than six years of deliberation and delay on this issue, since 2012, there is a strong desire amongst the community for action. I do strongly encourage Ku-ring-gai Council to progress this matter in a timely fashion. I very much want to congratulate Support Lindfield for the work they have done in advocating for an intelligent redevelopment of the commercial heart of Lindfield. There's been a lot of time, energy and thought put into their work. I would certainly be pleased to see council deliver on its commitment that there will be a clear and certain outcome from the expression-of-interest process, due by the end of the year, and I look forward to an achievement of the vision of the commercial heart of Lindfield being redeveloped to the benefit of the Lindfield community.