NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has taken a swipe at the state planning department’s rejection of The Star’s proposed development of a new luxury hotel at Pyrmont, saying it would make a “real difference” to Sydney’s international standing.
The plans that included a new Ritz-Carlton hotel were knocked back for “unacceptable visual impacts due to its scale” and cited as not being in the public interest.
But Perrottet said he was concerned by a lack of discussion to “iron out” the issues between The Star and the planning department.
“We can’t also have a ‘nimby’ mentality that ensures that hotels like this one which will make a real difference to tourism in our city and state and our country don’t go ahead,” he told 2GB on Friday.
“You would think common sense would prevail and that you would get a development that works and at the same time delivers the world-class hotel that backs-in tourism opportunities for our city and state.”
Former Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan also weighed into the debate, calling the decision a “tragedy” for Sydney.
“To be a global city in the international tourism game you need to have five-star, six-star brands,” he told 2GB.
“You’ve got this great opportunity with this precinct … to really bring the city alive and I think it’s just an absolute disgrace and tragedy.”
But Planning Minister Rob Stokes stuck to his guns, saying The Star “risked everything” on just one “very big proposal”.
“This was a proposal for a luxury hotel and also luxury apartments and the hotel was only part of the proposal and the proposal had to be considered in its entirety not just the hotel on its own,” he said.
“The department’s assessment reflects the consistent and widespread opposition to the scale of this proposal.”