We’ve been done over by politics says Balmain Leagues Club developer

The developer behind the Balmain Tigers Leagues Club proposal in Rozelle will not appeal against a recent Land and Environment knock back.

Developer Ian Wright told The Weekly Times that politics and bureaucracy have killed hopes of the Tigers return to their spiritual home on Victoria Road.

Mr Wright say he has lost more than two million dollars to put forward what he said was “a fully compliant and commercially viable” 12 and eight storey residential and commercial development which would have included a new leagues club.

He said the former Leichhardt Council had opposed the fully compliant option in the Land and Environment Court.

“This was 100 per cent compliant and did Leichhardt Council support it, no it did not, in fact it opposed it in court,” Mr Wright said.

He said there is little hope the new Inner West Council can act before council elections next year, which could return Labor and The Greens to power.

“The Administrator of the new council wants us to return but it doesn’t even have the power to change the zoning so everything will have to wait until a new council is elected.” Mr Wright said.

“And why would we want to go through all of this again, with the same politics, after we’ve just lost two million dollars?”

Mr Wright acknowledged the support of The Weekly Times and hundreds of Balmain Tigers fans who he said had been let down by the system.

“Never mind the goodwill out there, we’ve been let down by the system and a process that was over politicised from the start.

“You couldn’t have scripted this any worse.”

He said Baird’s abolition of Leichhardt Council created “a ridiculous situation” which put a sudden full stop to on going consultation.

Balmain MP Jamie Parker was quoted in the media applauding the Court decision.

“This marks a significant win for the community and this decision should send a strong message that Rozelle doesn’t need skyscrapers,” Mr Parker said.

The decision leaves the Balmain Tigers with a small presence at the former Five Dock Bowling Club site.

“We’ve been a club in exile for several years .. It is as if we’ve been sent to Devil’s Island,” Balmain Tigers Chairman Dr Leslie Glen said.

“Wests Ashfield has been supporting us and it has my enduring gratitude.”