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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release February 2005

Donations, donations

Hi SOS Members

The electoral office has released a report of acknowleded donations to political parties. This has been given wide publicity. What is especially noteworthy is the importance that property developers have become as a source of funding for political parties. As the editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald of 3 February quotes "Whoever makes great presents expects great presents in return". Some of our members may remember that the scandal of developer donations to political parties was first widely publicised when I was given the opportunity to appear on Quentin Dempster's ABC TV Stateline program on 30 March 2001. We subsequently found that the press was not keen to take up the issue - perhaps property advertising revenue had something to do with this reluctance. However the subject has gradually loomed larger in the public mind and hopefully action will eventually be taken to curb this blight on democracy.

The Strathfield Council ICAC inquiry about the machinations surrounding the videotaping of the Mayor allegedly accepting a bribe is hitting the headlines. A Mr. Saklaoul is accused of taking the video in order to try to control the mayor. Interestingly there is a DIPNR link. As SOS member Anthony Meaney points out that Mr Kerry Keogh, Saklaoul's partner and former Strathfield General Manager is now NSW Planning department's project officer for the Parramatta Road task force which is examining a major increase in building heights along the road.

The supporters of high-density developers continue their attack on SOS unabashed. Our latest reply to these attacks, published in the North Shore Times (2 Feb) reads:

Protecting neighbourhood character and opposing enforced urban consolidation does not make me, or Save Our Suburbs, 'anti-development' (Opinion, NST Jan 14). Most citizens appreciate the need to vigorously protect those values that make our neighbourhoods attractive places to live in.

Unfortunately, some people would sell their mother let alone their neighbourhood if they can turn a quick dollar.

Unable to assemble a reasonable defence for urban consolidation, its proponents resort to name calling. But if I'm to be labelled 'anti-development' for standing up to the predatory opportunists who would destroy our neighbourhoods, so be it!

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs

Thanks to word wizard SOS member Gordon Hocking for his assistance with this letter.

Another letter, published in the Hornsby Advocate, Feb 3 reads:

Richard Hart asks why the general public does not have any real say in the development of our area (Advocate 27 Jan). The reason is simple. Sydney’s high-density madness is driven by huge profits from high density developments, coupled with developer donations to political parties. The State Planning Department forces councils to accept high-density despite the fact that 83% of families would prefer to live in a free-standing home. We will continue to cop this until voters wake up and force a policy change through the ballot box.

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs

And a third, published in the North Shore Times of 4 Feb (we had a good innings this week!) reads:

The aircraft noise in Pymble objected to by J Fuller (NST 26 January) could be largely alleviated by power-off aircraft approaches. Current Sydney procedures require aircraft to come in "low and slow". This forces pilots to extend flaps and apply considerable engine power - equivalent in a car to applying brakes and accelerator at the same time when travelling down a hill!

If Airservices Australia were to adopt the "power off" approach procedures used for example in London and Frankfurt, for each landing the acoustic energy emitted would be halved and a considerable amount of fuel saved. An additional bonus would be less pollution.

Tony Recsei
President
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)


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