Restore Inner West Line

Property Developers in Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s boardroom

#BerejiklianBoardroom

Property developers like Joseph Alha accessing Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s office isn’t a one off.

In 2019, property developers involved with astroturf group Locals for Metro Southwest had a meeting in the Berejiklian Boardroom with no minutes/notes taken.

Below is Roydon Ng’s GIPA request to Premier Gladys Berejiklian for any contact with Axis Strategic Advisory and Wells Haslem Strategic Public Affairs regarding the Locals for Metro Southwest etc.


Why this matters?

Sydney Metro Southwest will seriously impact commuters west of Bankstown not receiving the Metro. As Transport Minister in 2013, Gladys Berejiklian removed direct trains to the City via the Inner West from Berala, Regents Park, Sefton, Chester Hill, Leightonfield, Villawood, Carramar, Birrong and Yagoona.

The recent NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the Sydenham-Bankstown Metro has been presented with evidence suggesting that the real reason for 2013’s removal of the Inner West Line (City to Liverpool via Regents Park and City to Bankstown via Regents Park) was discreet early preparation for the introduction of Sydney Metro City & Southwest.

If the Inner West Line is not fully restored from City to Liverpool via Regents Park and Bankstown via Regents Park 19,000 commuters from West of Bankstown could be completely cut off from Sydney after already having lost the Inner West Line in 2013.

1 Direct Train to become 3 Separate Trains to reach City Circle with commuters from West of Bankstown forced to interchange twice at Bankstown then Sydenham or Central, or potentially at Birrong then Lidcombe.

Concerned residents along the Bankstown Line (and former Inner West Line) have been unable to have a meeting with the Premier or the Premier’s office despite many requests since 2013, yet property developers associated with an astroturf group as clientele of a registered lobbyist has access to the Premier’s boardroom. It would appear that property developer’s interests matter more than ordinary residents and commuters who simply need basic train services!


GIPA (freedom of information) Request to Premier Gladys Berejiklian/her office for any contact with Axis Strategic Advisory and Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs regarding the Locals for Metro Southwest (i.e. property development along the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro corridor) etc…
The Premier’s office decided that just one document was found for the GIPA request. Very odd that no minutes were taken for such a meeting. And very interesting that the meeting involved Harry Hughes (Axis Strategic Advisory) and several property developers in the Premier’s boardroom. Was the Premier aware of the meeting? What was discussed in the meeting?
The Premier’s office did not make a decision on whether to include this GIPA request in her Disclosure Log for matters of public interest/special benefit to the public. One would think that a meeting involving a former staffer of Planning Minister Anthony Roberts/nephew to Lucy Turnbull who was the former Chief Commissioner in the Greater Sydney Commission with several property developers in the Premier’s Boardroom would be of the public interest. Why the secrecy and why redact the name of the advisor(s) in the Premier’s office involved with the meeting?
Meeting record of the Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Office with the Locals for Metro Southwest on 28 June 2019. The meeting was held in the Premier’s Boardroom and was attended by Harry Hughes (Axis Strategic Advisory), Chris Tsioulos, Chris Evans, Eran Rimmer, Michael Katz, Aris Dimos. Harry Hughes is a registered lobbyist, former staffer in former Planning Minister Anthony Robert’s office, and nephew to Lucy Turnbull who was the former Chief Commissioner in the Greater Sydney Commission. Chris Tsioulos is the chairman/spokesperson of the Locals for Metro Southwest. Eran Rimmer and Michael Katz are directors of CRK Properties. Aris Dimos is a director of Omada Property Group. In July 2020, ABC News revealed that the Locals for Metro Southwest appeared to be funded CRK Properties and had covered up the involvement of property developers in their lobbying for the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro especially in Canterbury & Belmore. The Premier’s office claims no minutes exist for the meeting.

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Who’s Who in the Locals for Metro Southwest

Harry Hughes – Axis Strategic Advisory (ex-staffer of former Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, nephew of Lucy Turnbull – the now ex-CEO of the Greater Sydney Commission, arrested for cocaine possession).

Chris Tsioulos – chairman of the Locals for Metro Southwest (LMS), director of CMT Architects in Kingsgrove, and former president of Sydney Olympic Football Club.

Chris Evans – possibly a Transport for NSW staff member – possibly part of Commercial Support Team or Manager of Regulatory Agreements. Transport for NSW denies that Chris Evans is part of the agency despite the Premier’s office referring questions about him to the agency.

Eran Rimmer – co-director of CRK Properties (Double Bay), builder who lives in North Bondi (according to ASIC records), owner of 65-67-69-71 Jeffery St in Canterbury, and owner of 45-47-49 Leylands Parade in Belmore, soccer player with Maccabi Hakoah Sydney City East Football Club.

Michael Katz – co-director of CRK Properties (Double Bay), developer who lives in Darlinghurst (according to ASIC records), lecturer at Sydney University and UNSW, owner of 65-67-69-71 Jeffery St in Canterbury, owner of 45-47-49 Leylands Parade in Belmore, and retired soccer player now President of Maccabi Hakoah Sydney City East Football Club.

Aris Dimos – property developer with Omada Group (cofounder/director) and BINAH Group (property development manager) – Omada developments in Canterbury include:, 1-3 Charles St, 1a Charles St, 15 Charles St, 9-15 Robert Street, 12 Robert St. Omada developments in Yagoona are: 18 George Street & 350-352 Hume Highway. Omada is also involved in the Bankstown Airport redevelopment. Yagoona and Bankstown Airport are potential future Metro Southwest stations when the line is extended beyond Bankstown.

Axis Strategic Advisory and Wells Haslem Strategic Public Affairs are registered lobbyists with the NSW Electoral Commission, both list the Locals for Metro Southwest as clients. Very interesting that CRK Properties and Locals for Metro Southwest became clients of Axis Strategic Advisory on the same day – 4 September 2018…