A MoD plan to develop more than 1,000 residence halls at Randwick Barracks has caught residents who claim they were deliberately left in the dark.
On June 21, a number of Randwick residents received a letter in the mail from local member Dr. Marjorie O’Neill. The letter referred to a future Defense development at the barracks which had been approved by Randwick council in 2001, unbeknownst to the local community.
According to the proposal, the first stage of the Sydney Live-In Accommodation project will begin in 2023 with the development of 64 two-storey units facing Bundock Street. A year later, 991 additional homes will begin to be developed on the site. The accommodation will house Defense personnel based at Garden Island in Woolloomooloo.
After outcry from Randwick residents who received his letter, O’Neill wrote to Defense Minister Richard Marles asking that all planning be halted until “genuine” consultation could take place. O’Neill did not respond to a request for comment.
Residents are concerned about the size of the project, potential contamination and lack of community consultation.
“The size and scope of the project is out of proportion to the quiet residential area and will certainly have a negative impact on the quality of life for residents, and while I accept that they will consult with us at some point, we should have be approached before planning begins,” Bundock Street resident Anthony Ryan said.
“The impact of a large number of additional vehicles using the streets each day will cause additional congestion on already very congested streets that see up to 10,000 cars passing through each day,” Ryan continued.
As long as the fill material is not excavated, there are no significant risks to human health.
Commonwealth Risk Assessment
Ryan and the other residents worry about development contaminating the area. A Commonwealth risk assessment of the site conducted in May 2016 indicated that the barracks contain two known contamination issues. “As long as the fill material is not excavated, there are no significant risks to human health,” he said.