Sirius and the NSW Government on Spin Cycle


The Sunday Telegraph reported: “The landmark Sirius building, the brutalist housing commission block at The Rocks, could be replaced by 250 luxury apartments under a state government proposal to the NSW Heritage Council, to be released tomorrow.” The Department recommends demolishing Sirius and replacing it will 250 luxury apartments, and if its plans are thwarted, it appears Brad Hazzard claims to list Sirius as an item of heritage significance would cost his Department at least $100 million in revenue. 

This claim is based on an astronomical and fanciful figure for the value of the Sirius site, and the extra amount claimed to be in play for considering the Heritage Listing is far more than the total amount that the sale of the site could achieve. But it won’t just be for coming up short on the sale proceeds for which Brad Hazzard and Mike Baird will be remembered if this plan goes ahead.
Sirius is a monument to the Green Bans and the survival of a community. If the Millers Point community is destroyed, Sirius sold off and the site redeveloped, there will be a new tower that will forever stand for Mike Baird’s vision of central Sydney as a place only for the rich. In years to come when people ask what was Mike Baird’s contribution to Sydney, the answer will be, ‘Remember Sirius?’
Additionally, the Department claims via the article that Sirius needs major rectification works, but its own most recent High Rise Asset Strategy Report claims the existing building meets or exceeds nearly all current requirements for public housing tenants, and recommends minimal modification to and repair of windows, external lighting and external planting. 
The government appears to be running on Spin Cycle. Could it get any worse? The Sunday Telegraph reported Brad Hazzard’s Department of Family and Community Services wants to replace the 79-unit Sirius block with 250 luxury apartments on the same site. Since the Sirius building is ten storeys high, and the apartments within it are modest in size, is the government proposing a thirty-storey building to replace it? There is no other high-rise development north of the Cahill Expressway on the south side of the harbour, not even in Barangaroo. If the government pushes through the equivalent of a thirty-storey luxury apartment block on this site, it will show contempt for the people of Sydney and for the planning laws and regulations it demands others abide by.
Yesterday Myra returned from hospital for a visit to her beloved Sirius to meet friends and neighbours, but instead she met two uniformed security guards who quizzed her about why she was there. They did not explain who they were or why they were questioning her. These security guards were under instructions and stayed in the foyer of Sirius throughout the afternoon, questioning anyone who came into the building, in what appears to be further intimidation as the government leans on the vulnerable and elderly residents.
Petition to Save Sirius from Demolition – read about Sirius and sign the petition to send a message to the government.
More about Sirius – read about the proposed Heritage Listing and the S.O.S. Save Our Sirius exhibition.
Still More about Sirius – read about Sirius as one part of the Millers Point community.


4 Responses to Sirius and the NSW Government on Spin Cycle

  1. Margaret 21 September 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Have you ever been inside Sirius to see just how beautifully it has been kept with great respect by the elderly tenants who need to stay in place. There are units specifically designed to cater for the needs of the disabled and elderly. Who still live there and wish to remain there. This was a building which was built to house people displaced by the tearing down of houses in The Rocks. The government is not increasing the amount of housing it is selling it off. What makes you believe their spin about building more units else where? Its just a PR exercise.

  2. Gary Bennell 21 September 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    Green Bans … What are the building unions doing about this?

    The Leichhardt Branch of the ALP have moved that any building sold off should be bought back at cost price by a Labor Government. Buyer beware!

    • JohnD 21 September 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      Jack Mundey our patron confirmed that any move to demolish Sirius should result in the Green Ban being reintroduced in The Rocks and Millers Point. Don’t underestimate the power of such a move. Jack Mundey, like many of our residents, is not as young as he once was, but together we will campaign for a fair outcome for residents, and the only one that makes any real sense is allowing elderly residents who have lived in this area all their lives to age in place and remain part of their strong community. The MUA and CFMEU are great supporters of the Millers Point community, as well as Sydney and nearby local councils. Thank you Leichhardt ALP for passing this motion. We appreciate the support it represents. However, for some time the entire community of Millers Point has been calling on the government to sell the big old houses that it has shown it is incapable of maintaining and which are no longer suitable for public housing. The community will continue to campaign to retain the purpose-built workers flats and Sirius, which together are the majority of accommodation in the area, and we believe we can win with the active support of other communities and organisations, such as Leichhardt ALP Branch. But we need to draw together our community, including recent arrivals, and so we do not want taken back the sold Millers Point houses now occupied by many supporters of our community. United we stand.

  3. peter 23 September 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    Only people that haven’t been inside this great building would consider pulling this building down .I don.t believe for 1 minute that it costs so much for Housing nsw to upgrade the building’ this is a lie. to justify another public asset to be sold to the developers. it exceeded the last building inspection This is a morally Corrupt decision left over from the previous Lib Government. I thought Baird was supposed to stop this morally corrupt behaviour from Ministers in charge of our precious social heritage.

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