Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-124467
Hansard session: Fifty-Seventh Parliament, First Session (57-1)
Mortdale Master Plan
Mr MARK COURE (OatleyMinister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Seniors) (18:01:07):
— The Mortdale master plan in its current form, proposed by the Georges River Council, is strongly opposed by many residents who live and work in Mortdale. It aims to completely transform Mortdale by rezoning much of the area into medium- and high-density housing and commercial zones. Overall, the plan will see an additional 969 dwellings built within Mortdale, bringing the total number of dwellings up to 2,227. This will be achieved through the construction of multiple high-rise buildings within our community. Morts Road, Cook Street and Victoria Avenue would see six- to eight-storey developments, whilst council-owned properties would have a proposed height of 22 metres or 28 metres with the affordable housing bonus.
The predicted population increase of Mortdale by 2036 will only see an additional 600 residents, requiring 273 new dwellings to cater for this increase; however, the master plan proposes 969 new dwellings, which would accommodate 3,000 new residents. This is an unnecessary increase in my opinion and in the opinion of many other local residents. Not only would this influx of new residents put immense stress on our local infrastructure and put pressure on local families, it would also make parking within the local area even more challenging than it already is. Parking is already a considerable challenge within Mortdale, and the master plan would only further complicate the matter.
I have previously called upon the council to conduct a comprehensive traffic study of Mortdale to ascertain the impacts that the council's Mortdale master plan would have upon local roads, travel times and parking availability. This will ensure that the council and the local community are aware of the impacts that the draft master plan will have on congestion in our local area. The master plan has seen a significant amount of public backlash, with community groups and residents significantly opposing the changes that the master plan would bring to the Mortdale area.
I recently met with the Save Mortdale Village group, and together we discussed the impacts that the plan might have on the local area. The Save Mortdale Village group continues to host public meetings and consult with councillors and community members to advocate for reasonable changes to the master plan. I will continue to work with community groups like the Save Mortdale Village group in order to ensure that the concerns of local residents are taken into consideration and that the voices of the Mortdale community are heard loud and clear.
Last year, in order to further highlight the community's strong opposition to the draft Mortdale masterplan, I created a petition which, so far, has been signed by close to 1,000 people. I was also pleased to see that my representations to the former planning Minister, Rob Stokes, resulted in the extension of the initial community consultation period to 30 June this year. That is a massive win for the local community who felt that their voices were not being heard during the original, short consultation period, which was held only online and during the COVID lockdown of last year. That was simply ridiculous. The extension was designed to give locals the chance to have their say on the plan. However, for some time after council granted the extension, it refused to facilitate appropriate in‑person consultation.
Only recently has council agreed to provide in‑person consultation. However, the 30 June deadline is approaching, so local residents now have only a small window in which to have their say. I am strongly encouraging Georges River Council to give members of the Mortdale community the proper chance to highlight their serious and valid concerns about what the masterplan will do to our local area. I have also written recently to the new planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, to request that the 30 June deadline be extended. I truly believe that Mortdale is one of the best places in which to live, work and raise a family. I appreciate the need to prepare for the future. However, the Mortdale master plan is not the right plan for Mortdale. It never has been and never will be.