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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release December 2004

Metrostrategy

Hi SOS Members

We had a great response from members regarding their suggestions for our draft comments on the Metrostrategy. Many constructive ideas which could be incorporated were received.

We have sent in the final submission - see http://www.sos.org.au/new_fallacies.html. Copies have gone to media contacts, all parliamentarians and to council mayors in NSW. Many thanks to all those members who assisted.

PARLIAMENTARIANS

Our covering email to our parliamentarians read as follows:

Planning matters are fast becoming the central issue with the electorate. Decisions seen as wise will yield long term dividends for all party members. Self-serving ministerial decisions can lose good MPs their seats.

Voters' fears have been fuelled by fake DIPNR "community consultation" on issues affecting households. The traditional Australian way of life is seen as under threat:

Electorate Community groups are reading the attached document (which is virus free), so we are making it available to you too.

SYDNEY FUTURES FORUM 2

As you know I was prevented from attending any consultative meetings held by DIPNR on the Metropolitan Strategy. SOS member Ashfield Councillor Monica Wangmann made such a vigorous protest to DIPNR about this blackballing that she was contacted by DIPNR Director of Metropolitan Planning, Kate Foy. Kate is now trying to arrange for me to see Minister Craig Knowles. Also, magically I was allowed to attend the Sydney Futures Forum 2 held yesterday at Darling Harbour. This was reported on in the press this morning and was attended by about 500 people.

At the Forum I pleaded for a correct approach to planning to be adopted. Basically I said we must decide what our objectives are, look at all alternatives, evaluate the alternatives thoroughly and objectively and then make a decision. Instead of using such a commonsense approach, DIPNR is taking a back-to-front approach! They decision has already been made, however they go through the pretence of consulting and deciding!. 60 - 70% of the population increase will be forced into our suburbs and 30 to 40% in new release areas. Meanwhile there is much community anger and infrastructure is disintegrating.

Director-General Jennifer Westacott's response was the well-worn emotive fiction that there are no other possiblitiies as Sydney is hemmed in by mountains and parks.

Only one possibility is under discussion, the one they have already decided upon and other realistic options such as our satellite city suggestions have not even been thought about. What is the use of all this "consultation" if they have already decided? Do they take us to be complete fools? (Maybe developer donations to political parties has something to do with it but I did not mention that aspect).

LETTERS TO THE PRESS

Our letter to the Sydney Morning Herald regarding the train service was published on Friday 3 November. Surprisingly a letter sent in yesterday on electricity (below) was also published the following Monday. This is most encouraging as it is very rare for successive letters from the same author to be published within such a short space of time.

Our latest infrastructure crisis throws the spotlight (if the power has not failed) firmly onto the high-density zealots who have been promoting urban consolidation. They have suddenly gone quiet.

Retrofitting higher density onto areas designed for low density overloads infrastructure [and decreases sustainability]. Energy use escalates in power-hungry high-rises, which depend on lifts and clothes driers. Units increasingly rely on air-conditioning as they mostly can't be shaded by trees or eaves and windows are often kept closed to exclude the noise, odours and excessive neighbour intimacy associated with crowded conditions.

It would have been more energy-efficient and cost-effective to house an increasing population in properly designed accommodation in new-release areas. We are now threatened with electricity surcharges to pay for the inefficient upgrading of existing installations, with all the obstructions, legal constraints and problems that replacing obsolescent engineering entails.

The words in square brackets [ ] were omitted.

Tony Recsei
President
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)


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