Australia News: Proposed Law Threatens $2B Sydney Upgrade

Sydney Entertainment Quarter
– Sydney Entertainment Quarter

A $2 billion ($1.4 billion) plan to turn the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park in Sydney into a buoyant live music, arts and entertainment precinct could be in jeopardy because of a proposed new law, a parliamentary inquiry was warned.

In late 2019, a consortium of high profile businesspersons and investors, Carsingha Investments, put forward the proposal to “revitalize a tired and forgotten part of Sydney.”
The 11-hectare site adjoining Sydney Cricket Ground would include music venues, festival spaces, offices for creative industries to tie in with Fox Studios, tree-lined boulevards, a cafe and dining strip, and a multi-story hotel.
Carsingha bought a 30-year lease in 2014 for A$80 million ($56 million) and hoping for a 99-year lease. 
But a new planning bill through independent MP Alex Greenwich and the Greens Party wants the maximum lease term reduced to 50 years, leases over 10 years to have open tender processes, and more decision powers for local community groups.
“It would take us back to square one and stop any major capital investment … probably over the remaining [24-year] lease term and certainly beyond,” said Entertainment Quarter chairman Max Moore-Wilton.
He complained “very restrictive conditions” pull back the Quarter’s potential.
“There is no point in reinvesting or putting lipstick on the pig. The pig has failed. We want to renegotiate, we want to do it in good faith, and in a way where the community benefits,” he said.
The revitalized Quarter would add to Sydney’s aim as a 24-hour global city, and could inject $800 million ($560.8 million) into the state economy every year. 
TEG chief executive Geoff Jones said the precinct could “really be a great asset for Sydney.”