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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release February 2006

Another Two Big Wins

Hi SOS Members

For years we have been working to get rid of the influence of Sydney sustainability commissioner, Professor Peter Newman, and metropolitan strategy convener, Professor Ed Blakely. We have been to all the public meetings at which they appeared that we could manage to attend in order to public ally challenge what we consider to be their misleading claims about the supposed benefits of their policies.
 
Summarising what we have mentioned in past news emails:
 
The first time this occurred was at the Sustainable Sydney Conference, November 2000 when Professor Newman was the keynote speaker, his subject being "Understanding Sydney's future as a sustainable city." During question time I asked him where in the world can he point to a high density city that did not suffer from the ills he claimed his policies would eliminate. He could not point to such a city of course.
 
A discomforted Department of Planning and Urban Affairs made sure I could not repeat this at the following conference in 2001. Questions had to be submitted in writing beforehand.   Naturally, the question I submitted was not put the speakers.  As you know I was subsequently prevented from attending public consultation sessions for the Sydney Strategy.
 
The final confrontation of many was at the CityTalks2005 seminar of 8 November last year at which Peter Newman was one of the keynote speakers.  As usual he could not answer the question that I posed, nor subsequent questions from members of Sustainable Population Australia. The meeting ended up in disorder.  At the first of the CityTalks2006 seminars (last Thursday) the chairman Adam Spencer announced measures to try to prevent this happening again.
 
Similarly I challenged Professor Ed Blakely when he addressed seminars. You may recollect that at an Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies seminar at the University of Sydney Professor Blakely spoke about the focus of the Sydney strategy being the Centres Policy, that is centres in Sydney of high density. I asked him to what extent Sydney traffic would be reduced by this policy. He said he does not know. But he said the benefit of centres will be localised jobs for residents there. How many jobs I asked. He said he does not know. I asked him where can one find a centres policy that does work. He does not know.
 
I wrote an article for the Monash University Journal People and Place entitled Pipe Dreams: The shortcomings of ideologically based planning.  Professor Newman replied to this article in the next issue.  I responded to him in the following issue and have heard nothing further.
 
THE END RESULT
Please refer to that attached article "Parting shot from axed planner".  Professor Newman has been sacked and it seems that this is also the de facto case with Professor Blakely.
 
This tops a long list of wins against people wishing to impose high-density on the Sydney community:
and now:
 
I am reminded of the old song:
 
    Ten green bottles   
    Hanging on the wall
    Ten green bottles
    Hanging on the wall
    And if one green bottle
    Should accidentally fall
    There'll be nine green bottles
    Hanging on the wall

    Nine green bottles
    ..........................
    etc
 
 
    One green bottle   
    Hanging on the wall
    One green bottle
    Hanging on the wall
    If that one green bottle
    Should accidentally fall
    There'll be no green bottles
    Hanging on the wall.
 
We have yet to reach the stage of no green bottles, or maybe we should say "no green waffles", hanging on the wall.  We hope it will not take too long to get there.

 

Tony Recsei

President, Save Our Suburbs

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