NSW Premier Berejiklian To Be Sued Over Controversial Development

Gladys Berejiklian has been summoned to appear in court and is being sued in relation to a Sydney development spearheaded by billionaire Harry Triguboff.

Triguboff, Australia’s largest residential property developer, said he was suing the Premier and other government agencies, as he fights the blocking of his development at Macquarie Park, in Sydney's north.

Meriton construction arm Karimbla Constructions has requested several state government heads -- including Berejiklian, planning minister Anthony Roberts, and other planning officials -- appear in the Land and Environment Court regarding the planned development.

The NSW election is set for March 23.

"Australia’s largest residential property developer, Mr Harry Triguboff AO, is suing the Premier of NSW and other government agencies in an effort to compel the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to approve a planning proposal that Mr Triguboff’s Meriton applied for in 2017," read a statement from the company.

Berejiklian's office directed enquiries to deputy Liberal leader Dominic Perrottet. In a statement to 10 daily, he said the government was "fixing the issue, following a review by the Greater Sydney Commission".

"We stand with local communities on keeping councils in check on this issue," Perrottet said.

"Under the Labor-led Ryde Council, led by Labor’s election candidate Jerome Laxale, development in Ryde has been allowed to get out of control.

"We will of course let any legal action play out but I want to assure the local community that we are on their side.

The proposal had been rejected by the local council in December, with Roberts now considering the future of the development in his capacity as planning minister.

Laxale, Ryde's mayor, shot back at Perrottet's response.

"The Ryde community has a simple question for Victor Dominello and Planning Minister Anthony Roberts. Why did you not reject this monstrosity when you had the chance?" he said in a statement.

"This is typical of a duplicitous local member. Victor Dominello says one thing in Ryde and does a completely different thing in Parliament."

The Talavera Road proposal includes three 42-storey towers.

Photo: Meriton

“Meriton is seeking a declaration and orders to compel the NSW Department of Planning to undertake its public duty and make a Local Environmental Plan increasing the floor space ratio and height control applying to land Meriton owns at 112 Talavera Rd, Macquarie Park," the company's  General Counsel, Joseph Callaghan, said in a statement.

Triguboff claimed his development was "entirely consistent with all of the government’s publicly stated planning strategies and policies" and claimed the blocking of the plan was politically motivated.

Berejiklian recently announced a public inquiry into development in the Ryde area. The developer accused state politicians of "stirring up anti-development sentiment" for electoral gain.

Image: AAP

"Those policies should not suddenly change because the seat of Ryde is in contention at the upcoming election. They can’t move the goalposts like that," Triguboff said.

"These developments take years to plan and build. The whole industry needs some certainty that the rules at the start of the process are going to be the same at the end."

"There is $78 million worth of community benefits wrapped up in this deal - 27 affordable housing units so that essential workers can live in the area, cash for roads, parks and sporting facilities."

There is a bigger picture here. A thriving residential construction industry is a key indicator of the economic success of NSW, but both sides of politics seem to be in a race to the bottom when it comes to sThey show no real leadership on this issue and I tell you one thing, they’re going to miss the stamp duty when it’s gone.”

More to come.