TO THE skirl of the bagpipes they marched and rode and trundled down Sydney’s premier street.
Redcoats, colonial ladies, wild colonial ‘‘boys’’, a coachman and of course, Governor Macquarie and his wife, Elizabeth.
It wasn’t 1812. It was November 14, 2012.
These ‘ghosts from the past’ had returned to the street named after Australia’s most significant governor, the ‘Father of Australia’, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, to deliver 12,000 signatures to the NSW Parliament in opposition to plans by the state government for Windsor Bridge Option One.
The march was organised by the Community Action for Windsor Bridge group, who believe option one for Windsor Bridge would destroy historic Thompson Square.
Greens MP and heritage spokesperson David Shoebridge said if Thomson Square was on the banks of Sydney Harbour it would be protected without question.
‘‘However, as it is in Western Sydney, miles from Macquarie Street, we are seeing this government planning to desecrate Thompsons Square with a multi-lane highway,’’ Mr Shoebridge said.
Shadow minister for heritage, Barbara Perry said the decision to ‘‘destroy’’ Thompson Square and ‘‘demolish’’ Windsor Bridge was both illogical and showed an ‘‘appalling’’ lack of values.
Londonderry MP Kevin Conolly described the statements as ‘‘misleading’’. ‘‘Thompson Square is being protected,’’ Mr Conolly said.
‘‘No buildings will be demolished, no park area lost and no ‘destruction’ of the square is proposed.
Community Action for Windsor Bridge is now working on a response to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Government’s preferred Option. The EIS was released on the same day as the protest, November 14.
Submission to the Department of Planning in reply to the EIS must be lodged by December 17.