Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Paradise Lost


According to surveys about fifteen per cent of people in Sydney prefer to live in units. Through its draconian dictatorial actions the State Government is trying to force more of Sydney's population to live in units. Councils that do not rezone single residential lots to multidwelling get their planning powers taken away. The horrifying consequences are described in over 1 1/2 pages in the Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 2007).

The Herald describes how a resident and strata manager who tried to get the developer of the units he is living in to fix defects was bashed by two men with baseball bats. As a result he was in hospital for several days, is convalescing at home and has resigned as strata manager. This is not the only such case.

Sydney's deputy Lord Mayor is quoted as saying "Noise, partying all night, people throwing up on your doorstep or in the communal spa pool, illegal short-term rentals, parking rage and squashing 10 people into a two-bedroom apartment are just the tip of the iceberg. And don't forget, as you drag your neighbour through the often ponderous Fair Trading complaints system, you still have to live next to these people. It must be like living through a divorce where neither party moves out."

The articles report the biggest problem is that the Government's decisions are skewed to favour developers, who are by far the biggest donors to the main political parties. The state ALP has received more than $9 million from developers since 1998-99, according to calculations by the Greens, and the NSW Liberals and Nationals received almost $6.5 million.
"You don't hear much about the problems because the people who are affected are terrified bad news will harm the value of their homes," says Ray Newey, chairman of the Highgate apartment building in The Rocks. "And the people who should be speaking out for them - their MPs - have been bought off with the millions of dollars donated to party funds."

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