Clover slams rival Ritz-Carlton ad after her $60k spend
SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore has attacked advertisements supporting the Ritz-Carlton tower in Pyrmont - despite signing off on her own ratepayer-funded $60,000 ad campaign a week ago.
And she has lashed the tower design's floors of apartments while ignoring the five-floor community centre, which her council staff have dismissed as "sugar coating".
The Independent Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the development on Tuesday.
City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster on Sunday said: "The Lord Mayor should be supporting this but she is anti-big development and anti-tall buildings - if she had had her way Barangaroo would not have been built."
Last week the City of Sydney approved spending $60,000 of ratepayer money supporting the "voices of the community in opposition to the project", including a full-page advertisement in Nine Newspapers. Those voices comprised just 83 of more than 5000 people who attended the public exhibition of the proposal.
"In other words, she is spending $60,000 of ratepayers' money to push her own political agenda," Ms Forster said.
The campaign was planned almost a week before The Star took out an ad in Saturday's Daily Telegraph bearing the signatures of business and tourism leaders and calling for the $500 million project to go ahead.
Ms Moore attacked that ad, saying: "If The Star is serious about contributing to Sydney's tourism industry, they should go back to the drawing board, scrap the residential tower and submit a proposal for a six-star hotel of a more reasonable scale."
On Monday her spokesman said: "The Lord Mayor did not criticise The Star for taking out an ad, she criticised the ad because it represented the proposed tower simply as a hotel when in fact the bulk of the development … is luxury residential apartments."
City of Sydney planning and development director Graham Jahn has dismissed the community centre as "sugar coating".
Ms Forster said: "Pyrmont has fewer community facilities than any other area of the city. They are desperately needed."
The Star has also written to the IPC and guaranteed the community space will remain dedicated to the public until at least 2093. The proposal includes 1700sqm of digitally enabled meeting spaces for community and start-ups, a public hall and areas dedicated to families and children.
In addition to a badly needed new six-star hotel, the tower would boost tourism, with up to 15 new food and drink outlets and a publicly accessible sky terrace.
The Star's food and tourism chief Michael Hodgson, who is a former food and wine adviser to Tourism Australia, said: "It seems to have been forgotten by many that the development plans include more than a tower and an extraordinary new hotel for Sydney.
"We are also creating an iconic open-air, rooftop dining and entertainment precinct overlooking the Harbour and the city skyline as part of the ribbon development alongside the tower.
"Our ambition is to establish a range of restaurants, pop-up dining concepts and bars to create a destination for locals (and) domestic and international tourists that will be known around the world," Mr Hodgson said.
■ The $500 million Ritz Carlton tower will not house any gambling facilities but will boost tourism and the economy with:
■ A badly needed six-star Ritz Carlton hotel.
■ 1000 jobs during construction and 750 jobs thereafter.
■ Up to 15 new restaurants and bars to create a new dining precinct for locals and tourists.
■ A five level neighbourhood community centre with a community hall and meeting spaces.
■ A publicly accessible spa and wellness centre.
■ Publicly accessible sky lobby in the hotel tower
■ Improvements to public spaces and improved accessibility to Light Rail on Pirrama Rd.
■ Improved traffic management