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Controversial Barangaroo talks begin -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: This is a story of intrigue, billions of dollars, some big players and
great harbour views and 22 hectares of concrete wasteland. Barangaroo is the controversial massive
urban redevelopment planned for the former Sydney shipping and cargo area just west of the Harbour
Bridge. Today a $6 billion memorandum of understanding was signed with construction giant Lend
Lease and tonight the preferred designers explained their vision for the site to a large gathering
of Sydneysiders. Karen Barlow was there for Lateline.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: Lord Richard Rogers is responsible for modern and functional designs such
as the Millennium Dome and Lloyd buildings in London and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. He says the
French threw tomatoes at him when the Pompidou design was unveiled in 1971, but now they love it.

Lord Richard Rogers got a different reaction tonight in Sydney.

RICHARD ROGERS, ARCHITECT: Sydney, in my opinion, is probably the most beautiful modern city that I
have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of cities.

KAREN BARLOW: Currently used as a cruise ship passenger terminal, Barangaroo is a desolate 22
hectares of public land. This large parcel will be reshaped and reused under a $6 billion proposal
by the construction giant Lend Lease.

The former Prime Minister Paul Keating is a chair of the design review panel for Barangaroo. He
abhors the current utilitarian shape of the site, which was created in the 1960s by the Maritime
Services Board.

PAUL KEATING, FORMER PRIME MINISTER: This was a piece of industrial vandalism. There's a sicko
phrase called "industrial determinism". That means that if some quango put that there at some point
in our history, you are bound to love it and keep it.

KAREN BARLOW: The preferred design revealed in December has three stages. The north headland will
be radically carved to resemble its original dimensions, while in the south there's high-density
offices, residential towers and a 215 metre-high hotel jutting into Darling Harbour.

KRISTINA KENEALLY, NSW PREMIER: Now what we're doing here will unlock this site after a century of
industrial use and it will also lock the private sector into delivering public infrastructure and
public parkland for the people of NSW.

PHILIP THALIS, ARCHITECT: Which major city in the world is actually proposing such drastic
intrusions into its harbours' waters? Is the City of London doing this? Is New York proposing
buildings, commercial private buildings for profit thrusting into its harbour? Is Paris proposing
to bridge the Seine for commercial purposes? No, of course they're not. It's an absurd concept.

KAREN BARLOW: Sydney architect Philip Thalis says the use of this much public land for a private
enterprise is extraordinary. Mr Thalis has been critical of the Barangaroo planning process since
winning a competition to redesign the site in 2006 and then being replaced.

PHILIP THALIS: We have never really received any sort of feedback from the Government about why we
were excluded. Rather like Jorn Uzten, one day they simply stopped contacting us and so we became
in a sense a non-person.

PAUL KEATING: Those people made a substantial and important contribution to this. No doubt about
that. But it was only, of its essence, an ideas and concept competition.

KAREN BARLOW: At a media conference today to announce public transport to the precinct, as well as
the concept designers for the headland Park, Philip Thalis took an unscripted opportunity to air
his concerns with his replacement, Lord Rogers.

PHILIP THALIS: So, I think in Sydney, it's incapable of following the same processes which have
made certain people's career, and I think that's something that needs to be brought to your
attention if it hasn't already been.

KAREN BARLOW: It was an uncomfortable meeting for the CEO of the Barangaroo Authority, John Tabart.

The Barangaroo Authority and State Government say it's time to move on. Lord Richard Rogers doesn't
believe this reshaping of such a prominent waterfront will shut people out.

RICHARD ROGERS: There's a slight misunderstanding about public spaces; public space are lungs where
people go, but if there's no people, then those public spaces are useless. What we're doing is
we're putting quite a lot of development in this one small area, quite high density in this one
specific area, which will create that vitality. I've seen it in many places and I've done it many

KAREN BARLOW: The Premier says Barangaroo is about cementing Sydney as a truly international city.

KRISTINA KENEALLY: Well, this is about adding office space to the CBD, it's about adding
residential space to the CBD, it's about adding new hotel space to the CBD. This is about growing
Sydney's economy, this is about growing Sydney as the financial services capital of the Asia

KAREN BARLOW: Lord Rogers has advised on big urban projects in New York, San Francisco, Paris and
Barcelona and he says he wants the best for Sydney.

RICHARD ROGERS: I think we can supply that. We've done it in many other places. We are, I think I
can say very well known, shall we say, for doing this sort of work. So I'm sure it'll be a success.

KAREN BARLOW: All that concrete is expected to start being broken up in December.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.