NSW Government to acquire former Balmain Leagues Club site after giving green light to Western Harbour Tunnel project

Friday 22 January 2021

The NSW Government’s decision to proceed with the compulsory acquisition of the former Balmain leagues Club site will endanger Rozelle Public School, smash the local shopping centre and put the final nail in the coffin of Balmain Tigers plans to return to Rozelle.

With large swathes of Rozelle already suffering from demolition and construction impacts due to WestConnex, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said the decision will have a devastating effect on the local community.

“This project will have enormous environmental, health and amenity impacts on the local community.

“Opening the equivalent of a small mine just metres from a public school and in the middle of a local shopping centre will be a devastating blow for students, parents and local businesses.

“This is also a deliberate decision to kill off the Balmain Tigers who will now never be able to return to Rozelle and are not receiving a single cent in compensation from the Government.

“The Berejiklian Government would never subject a school in a Liberal electorate to this level of danger and they certainly wouldn’t recklessly kill off the Manly Sea Eagles. It’s one rule for blue ribbon electorates and another for everyone else.

“In addition to the four massive smokestacks and enormous motorway interchange already being built in Rozelle as part of the Stage 3 of WestConnex, this would see all the spoil from the 6.5-kilometre tunnel being removed and trucked out on local streets,” said Mayor Byrne.

“It is going to be like building a small mine in the middle of a densely populated inner-city suburb.

“Local people are understandably concerned that this project will have dire health impacts right across their neighbourhood,” he said.

“It’s not necessary to acquire this site. Tunnelling could be undertaken from the existing construction at the Rozelle Goods Yard. It seems the Government is ignoring that option and will instead destroy central Rozelle to save a few dollars.”

The State Government said work on the Western Harbour Tunnel project is expected to start.


For media enquiries, contact Bill Hawker, Mayoral Media Officer, 9392 5685 or bill.hawker@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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