Call for consultation on future of Old Gasworks site

GASWORKS FIRE: The scene of a fire at the Old Gas Works site on Friday evening. Cr Bobby Bourke said the community should have some input on the site. Photo JACINTA CARROLL

GASWORKS FIRE: The scene of a fire at the Old Gas Works site on Friday evening. Cr Bobby Bourke said the community should have some input on the site. Photo JACINTA CARROLL

THE Old Gasworks is “the ugliest site” in NSW, says Councillor Bobby Bourke, adding the community should have a say about the future of the Russell Street building.

Cr Bourke has again raised concerns about the security of the site, reinforced by a fire which broke out in an outbuilding on Friday evening.

Lower Russell Street was shut down on Friday night as emergency crews worked to contain a fire in the roof of one of the outbuildings.

Acting Station Officer Fire Fighter Tim Anderson said firies got the call out at 7.20pm and responded with multiple resources, including their Hazmat unit.

While the fire was only minor, because of the older building, Station Officer Anderson said there were concerns with asbestos.

Councillor Bobby Bourke, who has long petitioned for improved security at the site said it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed there.

He said urgent action needs to be taken to secure the site, or consider the possibility of knocking it down.

Cr Bourke said  energy company Jemena had agreed to update security and fencing back in September, but said clearly that had yet to happen.

“Urgent action needs to be taken.

“If people are still getting into the site then clearly the security isn’t good enough.

“Now there has been a fire there; there are gases, and asbestos, it’s bad for everyone.

“Something needs to be done to keep people out.”

He said the other option was to knock down the building and clear the site.

“It’s the ugliest site in NSW.

“I think it’s time to put it out there, what do people in the community think should happen?

“Do they think it should be knocked down, I think it’s time the public had a say in this.

“It’s just a matter of time before someone gets killed there, the whole place is dangerous.

“It’s like a horror show going through there, it’s literally an attraction for misspent youth.

“For them it’s like a theme park, they go in there for an adventure, and access to the site has to be stopped.”

“With gas there and flames God knows what it could trigger. I’ve been trying to tell them for the last 12 years since I’ve been on council.”

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