Our meeting with Mirvac 1 May 2018

Community Reference Group Meeting, East Carrington Rd

Save Marrickville Notes

Date:   Tuesday 1 May, 2018



  1. Site Tour

- A tour of the East Carrington Site took place at 5:00pm.  Kelsie and Carolyn attended and can update further


  1. Adoption of Terms of Reference

- Determined that we would take on notice as we only received the revised Terms of Reference the day prior to meeting.

Non-Agenda Item:  A question was raised about the workshop with Tenants that was held last week. 

- Ross (Chair) stated that the purpose of the workshop was to reassure the businesses of the timeline, and to “myth bust” what would happen then in regard to lease arrangements etc.  The workshop was interactive focusing on the businesses there today and appetite for redeveloped precinct in the future.  They will show outcomes and numbers from that survey when they are ready, however there was a level of interest in terms of staying on the site and the tenants provided information around how plans could enable that.  They received feedback on what business are keen on in terms of access, design, market and customers.

  1. Architects overview and urban design process (David Haseler, FJMT)

- David Haseler is the Principle of FJMT – Francis Jones Moreten Thorp) which is a multi-displinary design studio that are interested in the enhancement and contribution to the public realm and includes architecture, interiors, urban design landscape and community (placemaking and engagement).

The way that they approach a design for project:

  • Understanding site characteristics, morphology (natural systems, fall of land)
  • Place (stories of site and meaning)
  • Community (aspirations of community and what is valued).
  • Idea (conceptual approach to challenges, guide design through the process to deliver).

How they go about it:

  • Analysis (data)
  • Design Principles (guide the design through the process; will discuss more in the next session)
  • 3D exploration (level changes etc.)
  • Design integration (use all skills and disciplines to get best overall outcome

Other Projects by FJMT

The Mint – Sydney Living Museums

The Harrington Collection in The Rocks

Newcastle Museum

Wonderland Apartments – Central Park, Sydney

Inner City High School – Surry Hills

200 George St

Darling Quarter

Marrickville Metro Entrance

East Carrington Rd

- In approaching this project, they have started with the Character of Marrickville based on previous research and discussion from our last workshop.  This was broken out in slides covering:

Impressions of Marrickville:

  • It has an inclusive community of people with varied backgrounds.
  • It has a strong industrial heritage and embraces a market culture.
  • It sees value in and embraces locally sourced goods and is therefore a good place for businesses to start up.
  • It has a maker spirit and this is strongly represented in East Carrington Rd.
  • It has a passion around sustainability and many initiatives have taken place in Marrickville.

Opportunities for Site:

  • Maker Spirit
  • Unique Landscape in terms of organic relationship to Cooks River.
  • Understand how the natural systems influence the site.
  • Connection to transport hubs.
  • Build on traditions and character of the Inner West
  • Embrace technology, creativity and individuality
  • Create a vibrant space and community.


  • Currently it is an island site that creates barriers to the transport hubs. You don’t move through, but move around it.
  • FJMT were involved in the previous plan, but want to get more detailed community involvement this time around.
  • Carolyn suggested that we share the Save Marrickville Character Report with them.
  • A number of people in the group raised heritage concerns and in particular the indigenous heritage of the site and the migrant waves.
  • There was a suggestion by Ross that the CRG group could travel to Harold Park/Tramways to see a live environment. 5 hectares were returned to the City of Sydney for parklands.  There are 1300 apartments and up to 8 stories.
  • I raised a question about the residential and density aspects of the design process as this was missing from the presentation. Domenic Hunt from Mirvac responded that the number and density of dwellings would depend on the amount of public works that they decided on and therefore how much revenue would need to be raised to pay for it. He explained that the agreement has non negotiable and negotiable aspects:


  • must address the flooding and roadwork


  • Open Spaces
  • Affordable Housing
  • Community Facilities.

There are no height restrictions in place.     

  1. Forward meeting structure, dates and agenda
  • The proposed meeting structure and dates are as follows:

Meeting 3:             9th May

  • Presention and Workshop: Draft urban design principles
  • Workshop: Draft landscape design principles (Aspect Studio: Landscape Company).

Meeting 4:                            23rd May

  • Workshop: Traffic, transport and connection.
  • Workshop: Social Infrastructure and Community Benefits.

Meeting 5:                            Late June

  • Presentation and Workshop: Preliminary design for the revised proposal (at this point we would look at density and height of planned proposal).

- Members of the CRG raised concerns that there was not enough time between meetings to go back to stakeholders and gather responses/concerns/questions.   Ross said that they would review whether they could move meeting 4 out another week (TBC).

General Motors factory up for heritage listing

General Motors factory facade in1926

Carrington Road’s industrial past 

Save Marrickville is campaigning against a proposed 35 storey residential development along Carrington Road, which includes the last Australian General Motors factory (listed by the National Trust), but found a much bigger history.

In 1926, the American motor vehicle firm General Motors (Australia) Pty Ltd established assembly plants in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney to produce motor vehicles for the Australian market. Sydney architects Ross and Rowe were commissioned for the Sydney plant (6-10 Carrington Road). The design was to comply with all the conditions of a modern assembly plant and to provide the best possible conditions for all employees, according to GM’s Motor Progress.

The NSW Premier, the Hon JT Lang, opened the factory declaring:

“Factories were the milestones along the road Australia must travel to become a self-contained nation whose secondary industries would absorb her primary products… there is no market like that created by the employment of local labour… and it will be striking advertisement to the world of this country of ours.”

General-Motors purchased Holden in 1931 during the Depression (fearing it would be snapped up by a competitor) and continued to operate there until 1939. The factory then produced tyre cord until 1961 after being taken over by Davies Co-op, a significant corporation in the Australian textile industry in the Twentieth Century.

Other businesses established close to General Motors. AH Peters (16 Carrington Road) made bodies for trucks and utilities including ambulances used all over NSW. Duly & Hansford (20-28 Carrington Road) made automotive parts including under the Dufor brand.

Rega Products took an order for 30,000 pumps from General Motors to be produced from its 1937 Art Deco factory designed by AM Bolot at 47 Carrington Road. Rega Products, Duly & Hansford and Davies Coop all manufactured munitions in the Second World War. Aircraft equipment and a technical school for the RAAF and United States Air Force were also established by ETC-Tecnico (49 Carrington Road).

After the War, Tecnico transitioned to producing electrical goods for the civilian mass market including vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers. Tecnico was taken over by Pye in 1959, and built new headquarters in 1962 (57 Carrington Road).

Not only does Carrington Road showcase industrial design and manufacturing, its workers mirror Australia’s Twentieth Century cultural history. The 1920s motor vehicle industry attracted eager young men (Duly & Hansford was known locally as Boystown for its hiring practices), while women were conscripted to work during the War often under deplorable conditions. The post-war labour shortage and demand for mass-market goods then provided opportunities for migrants as they established their future in Australia. The current businesses in Carrington Road continue to be part of that story.

A nomination for State Heritage listing has been made.

Know more about the history of Carrington Road, email [email protected]

First published by Marrickville Heritage Society 2018

Media - Carrington Road

High density, high rise is not what we want for Marrickville and many other suburbs are saying the same thing.

Rezoning of industrial land in Sydney is pricing industry out. We need to preserve our industrial lands in Marrickville.

This is the type of density and bad design that Save Marrickville oppose.

Some of the businesses we will lose with the rezoning of industrial land for high rise development.

What is the Carrington Road planning proposal?

Mirvac’s planning proposal is for 7.8 hectares of land on the east side of Carrington Rd. As the planning proposal is commercial in confidence we have not seen the proposal, however the Inner West Councils’s response to Mirvac’s proposal is public.

The planning proposal is a request to rezone the land. It is currently IN1 which does not allow residential development. If the rezoning is approved the development moves into the development application stage.

The proposal is for towers of residential apartments reaching heights of 105m. The council notes that this could mean buildings up to 35 storeys. This flood prone land is currently home to manufacturing, creative and auto businesses employing  approximately 1800 people.

What can you do? First, attend the community meeting on 30 November at 7pm.



The last GMH plant under threat from high rise

History under threat at Carrington Rd. This podcast tells the history of Holden and Australia's love affair with the sturdy, economical car. The GMH plant in Carrington Road was designed by established Sydney architects Ross and Rowe who also designed the Downing Centre and Commonwealth Bank building in Martin Place.

We'll be watching the proposed Mirvac development of the GMH plant to ensure our cultural heritage is preserved.

What can you do? First, attend the community meeting on 30 November at 7pm.