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

Political Donations and State Elections

Hi SOS Members

Save Our Suburbs is participating in yet another protest on the question of political donations which has got so out of hand. Janine Kitson and Jean Lennane have alerted us to a forthcoming Federal ALP fundraising dinner, the tickets for which cost up to $11,000 each:

When: 6.30pm, Wednesday 28 January 2004
Where: The Westin Hotel, 1 Martin Place, Sydney (Pitt St entrance)

Labor notables including all the State Premiers will be in attendance and Mark Latham will be the special Guest Speaker of the evening.

Other organisations will be there including the Greens.

Here is another attempt to get yet more donations from those who stand to gain from government decisions. SOS members who can attend please do so and bring along any like-minded friends. It would be good if you can write up a suitable placard. We suggest placards be A3 size with a fold down the middle for carrying conveniently. Don’t forget to mention "SOS". I cannot attend as I shall be away.

For more information contact Janine Kitson on 9498 2402.


Council Elections

We are receiving inquiries from community organisations asking whether some candidates for the forthcoming Local Government elections in March can stand under the SOS banner.

SOS encourages like-minded folk to stand. Our website states:

State-wide council elections are due in March 2004.

In a visionary break from the left/right political spectrum, Save Our Suburbs encourages community activists who are engaged in protecting neighbourhood character, environment and heritage values to become involved in the political process.

New electoral laws stack the cards against candidates who are not members of registered political parties. It is therefore important that prospective candidates look at ways of levelling the playing field. The SOS political party is registered with the NSW State Electoral Commission. Resulting benefits for SOS candidates standing for local government, are that they can:-

We are delighted to accept as members and candidates folk who have objectives similar to ours.


Overdevelopment

The many articles and letters on the subject of overdevelopment that have been published in the press recently must be a sign that the issue is featuring more and more prominantly in the minds of the public. To keep members informed here follow some of the letters.

Our Hospitals

The distressing situation in our hospitals continues to feature in the press and the story of Campbeltown and Camden hospitals continues to unfold. An article by Paola Totaro reveals links between six of the non-medical members of the now sacked South Western Area board and the current State Labor Government. Two of these are - you guessed it- property developers.

In the Daily Telegraph Mark Skelsey reports that one of the whistleblower nurses said: "You would be surprised at the area administrators and their links with the State Government. ....These are the people that get the good jobs in the area health service".

I had the following letter published in the Sydney Morning Herald (13 Dec)::

Paola Totaro’s description of two pivotal hospitals falling apart under the strain of a burgeoning population highlights the irresponsibility of the State Government’s high-density policies ("Right response, wrong minister", Herald 12 December). The Planning Department refers to "the public sector and human service cost savings attained through urban consolidation". This is their official-speak for saving money by cramming more and more people into our suburbs without upgrading infrastructure.
The result is human tragedy in our hospitals, out-of control crime, stifling traffic congestion, crumbling public transport, overflowing sewers, water shortages, power outages and unaffordable house prices.

Our politicians probably assume that they can to be re-elected before the appalling consequences of such recklessness really hit home.

Tony Recsei


Ku-ring-gai

Ku-ring-gai Council refused to bow sufficiently to the State Government's demands to implement high density. As a result the Department for Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (formerly the Department of Planning, formally DUAP) had virtually taken over Council's planning powers in the areas where high density is demanded by refusing to exempt the Council from SEPP53. The result will be devastating. Anne Carroll had this letter published in the Sydney Morning Herald:

As we mourn a non working Sydney Harbour (Lament for our harbour SMH 28.11.03) and the
destruction of its suburbs (Block them Ku-ring-gai SMH 28.11.03) may I suggest the following:
the blackening of the Opera House sails at night, the turning on of vehicle headlights during the day
and the wearing of black armbands by the people until the Premier sees what he is doing and fixes
it. It is sad Sydney destroys the things we love.

Anne Carroll


And I had this one published in the North Shore Times on 19 Dec:

Good on Councillors Keays, Kitson and Coleman for steadfastly standing up against the State Government’s dictatorial demands (NST Editorial 10 Dec). The Ku-ring-gai community has repeatedly and irrefutably demonstrated that it opposes the dictatorial high-density requirements of the NSW Planning Administration.
There might conceivably be some excuse for these policies if the Planning Administration could demonstrate any benefit to the public at large. But it has not been able to justify its catastrophic urban consolidation impositions and has never credibly responded to any critical analysis.


The Government shamelessly hides behind councils and the Land & Environment Court to do its dirty work. I do not see why Ku-ring-gai Council or any other council should act as its Vichy Government. As you say – to hell with the consequences. Let the responsibility for the forthcoming planning disaster fall squarely where it belongs – onto our jack-booted State Government.

Tony Recsei


Trees

And one in the Sydney Morning Herald 15 Jan 04:

Sydney is losing many more trees than those obstructing water views ("trees losing in race for water views", Herald 14 Jan). Urban consolidation flattens attractive homes with their charming gardens, smothering the soil with concrete, bitumen and tiles.

Trees bestow tranquillity, peacefulness and beauty; they provide a sanctuary for wildlife; they control rain rainoff, they cool and purify the air. Urban consolidation not only destroys trees, it increases traffic congestion, so intensifying the concentration of atmospheric pollution – {particularly the highly dangerous PM10 particles. These particles are now considered to be the primary cause of all pollution mortality}. We thus suffer a double whammy – more pollution generated while our surrounding cleansing trees are razed.

We wouldn't dream of ridding our parks of trees, yet every day countless trees are removed for urban consolidation.

Tony Recsei

The words in brackets {} were not printed.


Public Safety


This letter, on the subject of air traffic safety and aircraft noise and pollution was published on 9 December 2003:

Paul Sheehan refers to the awful consequences of one shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missile, such as the Stinger, being fired from inside an urban area at a large commercial airliner (Herald 8 December). The aircraft approach procedures adopted by Airservices Australia over Sydney facilitate such an attack. These procedures force aircraft to fly in low and slow, on predictable flight paths, at predictable times, with engines blasting out large amounts of the exhaust heat that guides heat-seeking missiles to their target. The Sydney procedures also waste fuel and produce vast amounts of noise and pollution. With flaps extended, {this is like driving a car down a hill while simultaneously pressing both the accelerator and the brake pedals}.
It would be preferable for the descent procedures to allow aircraft to adopt "power-off" continuous descent approaches, such as are applied in London and Frankfort. With engines set to flight-idle, safety would be enhanced as aircraft would emit less heat and be higher for much of the descent to the airport. An added benefit would be a reduction of the aircraft noise and air pollution that is currently being inflicted on long-suffering Sydney communities.

Tony Recsei

Greg Bloomfield of Roadwatch:

An article on road safety "When safe enough is not good enough", Sydney Morning Herald 17 January says: " Greg Bloomfield, of the (community) lobby group Roadwatch, which is committed to road safety, does not think any irreducable minimum of injury and death should be assumed. ... The dead remain just as dead, whatever the cause, and Bloomfield believes the horror of the road dead and injured should be given far greater priority. ... Bloomfield maintains that government and the public have taken driving too lightly. .. He says the greatest threat to Australians is from dangerous drivers and road criminals".

Tony Recsei
President
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)


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