Some Inner West Councillors have refused to rule out legal action if changes are not made to proposed rezonings along the Sydenham-to-Bankstown railway corridor.
It comes as the new council, dominated by Labor and the Greens, submitted its report to the Department of Planning and Environment listing its concerns.
Labor councillor Mark Drury is critical of the government’s current proposal.
He said litigation could be an option if the final proposals did not match community expectations.
“I think we’ll look at all options, and get advice on all options”, Cr Drury said.
His sentiments were echoed by fellow Labor councillor Sam Iskandar and Greens councillor Colin Hesse, who said legal action would be “difficult” but that Inner West Council would “push back against the State Government until it backs off”.
Three of the 11 railway station suburbs in the corridor, Sydenham, Marrickville, and Dulwich Hill, fall within Inner West Council. Current government projections estimate that almost 10,000 new dwellings will be constructed across the three station precincts by 2036 if the proposed rezonings are implemented.
Council has established a Sydenham to Bankstown Working Group including two councillors and 10 nominated members of the community with representatives from Save Marrickville South; Save Dully; Marrickville Resident Action Group; and the Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance community groups.
Angel Ioannou, a long-time Dulwich Hill resident and member of the Save Dully community group, said that the community would “absolutely” expect the council to take the State Government to court if they remained unsatisfied.
“Let’s be clear here. This is about our homes… (and) this is about our lifestyle”, Mr Ioannou said.
The government’s revised plans for the corridor, released in June, downscaled some of the rezoning proposals for Dulwich Hill and Marrickville contained in its original 2015 plan. However, Cr Iskandar said that this had not resolved the fundamental issues of the proposals.
“(The changes were) very minor,” Cr Iskandar said.
“We are talking about the project itself, we are not talking about a band-aid here… we don’t think having more buildings in some areas is useful.”
Sydney’s inner west will be a significant hub for State Government-backed development in coming years, with the ongoing construction of the WestConnex motorway and the anticipated construction of at least 27,000 new dwellings along Parramatta Road over the next 30 years.
Inner West Council met in October to refine its submission which has since been presented to the government. Cr Drury, whose earlier successful motion also called upon the government to “hand over strategic planning control” over the corridor, said that the council’s submission should be more than a “technocratic response”.
“I think that we should be having a higher-level discussion with the State Government about whether what they really want to do is completely railroad the Inner West and Canterbury-Bankstown communities”, Cr Drury said.
“I reckon it would be hard to get 100 people in both those municipalities who think that the State Government’s doing the right thing.”
Central News contacted Liberal councillor and new deputy mayor Julie Passas for comment. Cr Passas stressed the need for more dwellings in the area to ease the housing affordability crisis, but declined to comment further until being more properly briefed on the issue.