According to members of the SydneyCENTRAL design consortium (which won an international urban design competition for Sydney’s Parramatta Road Corridor in 2001, and then were commissioned to prepare a 200-page plan), their copyright has been breached. They claim that a newly released Urban Taskforce plan for the Parramatta Road corridor is identical to their 2002 SydneyCENTRAL plan. SydneyCENTRAL consortium member Mr John Choi (Choi Ropiha Fighera) said, “we are shocked that a near identical plan could be released without consulting the original authors”. Another consortium member, Adrian McGregor (McGregor Coxall), said: “its like music piracy, plagiarising design hurts Sydney’s efforts to become a global creative city”.
The CEO of Urban Taskforce, Chris Johnson, recently stated that previous plans were “blue sky and not grounded in reality”, but Choi and McGregor dispute this. According to their media release: “Far from blue sky, the completed 2002 SydneyCENTRAL plan involved extensive input from 11 local councils, state government, property groups and local community. The plan proposed strategic transport initiatives including the Western Metro, light rail and M4 East connection together with detailed urban development plans for the entire corridor. SydneyCENTRAL proposed a 23 km linear urban renewal corridor housing 250,000 people by 2030. It was estimated economic benefits of $50 billion in construction and $100 billion in development resulting from the plan could fund $4 billion in public infrastructure such as metro, light rail, creek restoration and new parklands through a new development authority.”
Choi and McGregor continue: “Additionally 10,000 construction worker jobs per annum would be created for thirty years, 185,000 new long-term jobs and $10-12 billion in net GST revenue benefits would flow to the Federal Government with $5 billion in stamp duties to the State Government. Despite extensive research, broad ranging local consultation and community input, the completed SydneyCENTRAL plan was never publicly released by the previous government.”
They conclude: “Now ten years on and still with no outcome, the time is right for the new state government to take a lead role and pull the original plan off the shelf.”
NOTE: Original SydneyCENTRAL team members were Choi Ropiha Fighera, McGregor Coxall, Vim Design [now DRAW], Stanisic Associates, Hill PDA, The Revolution, TTM and King & Campbell.