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."

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has lashed the tower design’s floors of apartments while ignoring the five-floor community centre. Picture: AAP
Lord Mayor Clover Moore has lashed the tower design’s floors of apartments while ignoring the five-floor community centre. Picture: AAP

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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.

Concept image images of the planned Ritz-Carlton tower at The Star Sydney. Picture: Supplied
Concept image images of the planned Ritz-Carlton tower at The Star Sydney. Picture: Supplied

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".

Christine Forster
Christine Forster

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.

The Lord Mayor 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. Picture: Supplied
The Lord Mayor 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. Picture: Supplied

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.

 

FAST FACTS

■ 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



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