Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deceitful campaign against cycleways exposed

Businesses along Bourke Road, Alexandria have been misused in a deceitful campaign to attack the City of Sydney cycleway program.

CEO of the City of Sydney, Monica Barone, said a legal letter from Mahoney Dominic lawyers to the City of Sydney had falsely claimed 102 companies and businesses were joined in a class action against the Council's cycleway.

"The alarm bells began ringing when the lawyer's letter arrived with a list of the companies supposedly against the cycleways.

"I was surprised to see the names of companies the City had worked closely with and who had long been supportive of cycleways and cycling.

"There is significant support for cycleways, as was indicated by the extensive research and process of consultation the City engaged in before beginning construction of the cycle network.

"I responded by contacting representatives of four organisations on the list. They included Fairfax, Westpac and the Australian Museum. They were completely unaware that they had been included on a list of alleged claimants.

"No-one had consulted them to be on the list and the legal letter in which John Mahony claimed he acted for them was utterly false.

"I have been informed that a further five companies have contacted Mr Mahony to require him to remove their names from the list and that John Mahony has written to Council advising that in fact he only acts for one person who owns a business on Bourke Street and not 102 people."

Ms Barone said the level of environmental assessment undertaken by the Council in relation to the Bourke Road cycleway, prior to the construction of the cycleway, was appropriate and in compliance with the relevant requirements of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act.

Should a legal action be mounted, the Council would strenuously defend its position and would argue not only that its actions have been lawful they have been made in accordance with the Act.

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