as well as loss of recreational assets. The promised jobs have been automated. A Disabled Access Fishing Platform would have been small compensation BUT the new private owner demonstrates no desire to be a good neighbour.
When the sale/lease of Port Botany was announced April 13, 2013 Brett Himbury the CEO of Industry Funds Management(IFM) was quoted as saying that he was “very conscious of the impact and the needs of the community”. One of the needs for residents and visitors to North Botany Bay is better access to recreational facilities. Just as the Port will grow from 2 million to 10 million TEU so too will demand for recreational facilities as residential densities increase around Matraville, Little Bay, Mascot, Botany, Hillsdale, Eastlakes, Pagewood, Green Square.
During the debate on the Ports Assets (Authorised Transactions) Bill 2012 requests were made to keep Molineux Point in public hands. See Save Molineux While unsuccessful, assurances were given by Treasurer Baird that the terms of the lease agreement would provide protections for the State and the local community that had not been provided when the Airport was ‘sold/leased’. Consistent with this undertaking, on February 8th, 2013, an officer from Fisheries advised that a Disabled Access Fishing Platform would be fully funded at Molineux. It was only a matter of fixing up the details when the new owner was known.
However, the new owner’s staff (ex-Sydney Ports staff) advised against such a facility at Molineux. This once public asset is locked up from sunset to sunrise and often not opened at sunrise for morning cyclists and walkers (see photograph).
What is intended for Molineux Point and Prince of Wales Drive? Whatever the plans it is clear that the assurances given to community have been worthless.
“Yes, we see increase in volumes (when ports are privatised). Yes, we see an increased return to our investors. But the communities at large are very happy.”
Complementing these improvements, the new port operator will be required to make a significant annual contribution to improving road and rail landside logistics. We have specifically asked for that, understanding the impacts around the local community, and we will ensure that it is part of any lease arrangements that are executed.