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Advertising supports casino in weekend papers

Mon, Aug 26, 12:46pm by Staff Writer

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has lashed out at an advertising campaign by Star Casino to build public support for its proposed multi-storeyed apartment and hotel development at Pyrmont.

Cr Moore said the double-page advertisement in weekend newspapers misrepresented the Star Casino’s proposed tower as a hotel, when in fact, it was a 35 storey luxury residential apartment tower with a 22 storey hotel on top.

“Because the hotel is perched on 35 floors of apartments, the tower is eight times over the height controls for the area,” she said.

The Star and Ritz-Carlton took out a double-page advertisement in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday bearing the signatures of leading business and tourism lobbyists as well as New South Wales Rugby League chief executive officer David Trodden, Sydney Football Club chairman Scott Barlow and Peter V’Landys of Racing New South Wales.

City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster was also a signatory, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Now Sydneysiders from all walks of life are rallying together to get behind this,” the ad reads.

“So here’s your chance to join them. Doesn’t a city like ours deserve such a world class hotel as The Ritz-Carlton?”

Supporters are directed to the Star website, where they are encouraged to Rally for the Ritz, and submit their name in support of the development.

The advertisement appeared just days after the New South Wales Premier called a snap review of planning controls in Pyrmont.

Review of developments upcoming

Greater Sydney Commission has been tasked with the review, which is to be completed in five weeks and is expected to involve some degree of community consultation.

The review was called after complaints by the development’s supporters about the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s negative assessment of the proposal.

Planned to top the casinos’s western wing, the $500 million-plus development is for a mixed-use tower including residential apartments and 220 hotel beds.

The advertisement claims the arrival of the prestigious hotel brand Ritz-Carlton not only benefited tourists, it was a “win-win” for all of Sydney, potentially creating 1000 jobs during the construction phase, and adding $8000 million to the economy. Sydneysiders would get access to a Sky Lobby, bars and restaurants.

Cr Moore said: “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.”

The City of Sydney said it recognised the need for hotels in our city and had approved more than 5,700 hotel rooms in the past five years, including the 26 storey, six-star Yuhu Hotel.

“The City is able to deal with these applications effectively because they are submitted according to controls which were developed in consultation with the community, business and developers and applied consistently,” Cr Moore said.

While the advertisement said the proposal met all relevant environmental and heritage requirements, the Lord Mayor said the proposal had been submitted outside of these controls using the “discredited and now-defunct Part 3A of the Planning Act.”

A spokesperson for The Star said the casino was proud of its proposal and the cross-section of Sydneysiders supporting it.

“We are simply inviting others to express their support.”

New Pyrmont plans revealed

Plans to transform Pyrmont less than w week before the Premier showed off a new “strategic” vision for the areas caught senior planning officials off guard last week.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday that Pyrmont was ”ready for a facelift” when she ordered a review of the area’s planning rules to “ensure they are consistent with the government’s vision for its future.”

But just five days before, senior personnel at the Department of Planning, Environment and Industry said nothing had been planned for that area during a meeting with staff from an independent planning commission.

The transcript of that meeting, which is part of a process to determine the Star’s application to build a 237-metre tower, was first made public on Friday.

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