Sunday, January 07, 2007

December Newsletter

Cut out the cancer source
Local residents band together to oppose an overdevelopment in their area. They stage protests, write letters and organise petitions and marches. They learn about planning issues, collect money and take their fight to the Land and Environment Court. After all these efforts the best they can usually hope for is a minor reduction in the overdevelopment proposal they oppose. What is more, this will not be the end of their problems. Like cancers, more and more overdeveloment proposals continue to spring up in their area. The result is stifling traffic and the destruction of their environment.

The primary cancer source is the NSW Department of Planning. This department spreads its despotic urban consolidation policy by means of issuing dictatorial planning policies and its officials making regular visits to the staff of councils
These secondary cancers will continue to spring up until the primary source is cut out.

Counteracting the spin.
The government tries to tell us that high-density is for the overall community benefit. It says we must all have "our share" of high density.

Under this blatant untruth the overdevelopment scourge is forced onto the community.
SOS is the only NSW-wide organisation that counters these Orwellian actions and falsehoods. In August we ran a public forum entitled "Sydney Planning - off the rails?" including Liberal Shadow Planning Minister Chris Hartcher and world authority Wendell Cox. Frank Sartor, Minister of Planning was invited to speak but was "too busy".

We continue to write letters to the press and get onto talk-back radio. With the assistance of SOS member Ted Webber we have produced a DVD that exposes Government lies and portrays what is really happening to our city. And we are active politically.

Campaign a great success

Developers are the major political parties’ biggest source of funds. In the last three years the two major parties have collected over $7.7 million in donations from developers.

It is now six years since Save Our Suburbs first turned the spotlight onto these developer donations, demanding that they be banned.

On Quentin Dempster’s ABC TV Stateline program, 30 March 2001, I criticised the policy of Urban Consolidation, which the then planning minister Dr Refshauge defended. After Dr Refshauge had said his piece Quentin Dempster said "But Tony Recsei smells a rat" and featured me bringing up the developer donation issue.

That program caused the facts to hit the fan, so to speak, and the next week Paul Keating and others, including the Greens, took up the topic. Developer donations is now a major public issue and even developer organisations have joined the chorus calling for a blanket ban on political donations, they say "to tackle public concerns that money is corrupting the planning process".

We now have the extraordinary situation of developers themselves actually asking for a ban on their political donations! Our campaign is turning out to be a great success.


Anonymous said...

I can't say I disagree with the developer donation issue, but that applies to many other lobby groups and rent seekers, so this is just a problem that plagues politics in general.

Your hyperbolic equation to development and cancer, is, however, wrong.

This year sometime, the world will cross the threshold into being an urban planet, this signals not only greater wealth, but also emancipation for women, much lower birthrates etc.

Urbanism (and new urbanism) is a good thing for the world, as is building walkable cities, which you wrongly claim is the cause of stifling traffic and the destruction of the environment.....all of this when evidence based research tells us that it's suburbanism and exurbanism and the lifestyle that comes with that is the real cause of those two problems.

Anonymous said...

Can Phil please provide just one example of a high-density world city that is a walkable city and does not suffer from stifling traffic and the destruction of the environment?

Anonymous said...

An example of Orwellian behaviour by the NSW Dept of Planning, as mentioned by Tony, occured in 2004.Di Beamer,Assistant Planning Minister, announced at the Annual Local Government Association Meeting that she had no problem with new definitions for low and medium density.Low rise/ low density was now to include villa,town house and dual occupancy developments as well as single residential housing.High rise was now to be called medium rise/medium density.The actual heights of the old high rise were not specified by Ms Beamer.Readers of the Novel ,1984,by George Orwell,will no doubt be reminded of Newspeak by the so called Dept of Truth .Ms Beamer,no doubt under the influence of the NSW Dept of Planning heirarchy,was attempting to redefine the English language so that we "Proles" would be forced to accept more of their densification policies by stealth and subterfuge. Sounds something similar to other Government Depts redefining, for example,Hospital Waiting Lists and Train Arrivals on Time.1984 and Big Brother is already happening in our community,not under a Facist Goverment as in 1984,but under a so called Democratic Socialist Government