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Save Our Sydney Suburbs Inc. newsletter April 2002

Registration of Party

At the AGM of 10 October 2001 it was decided that Save Our Suburbs should form a political party. To be eligible for full participation in the 2003 election the SOS party would have had to be registered by 4 March 2002.

We recruited some 950 people who signed party membership forms to join our political wing. A party is required to have 750 members. The State Electoral Commissioner decided to check whether we have 750 members by writing to 300 of our members and requiring 225 replies back confirming membership.

Unfortunately many people do not reply to such letters received out of the blue. At the cut-off time for registering for the next State election 220 of the SOS members written to had confirmed membership which is 5 replies short. Therefore we were not registered in time.

This method of checking membership numbers is faulty and does not employ a statistically valid method. A bogus party with members disciplined to answer mailed questionnaires could be engineered to pass the Commissioner's test whereas a genuine party with thousands of members who have not been so disciplined and who are less inclined to answer mailed questionnaires would fail.

We have resolved to become registered and are considering our options regarding what to do next on the State registration issue. We have also resolved to become registered as a political party for Local Govt elections.

The advantages of being a political party for LG elections include a position 'above-the-line' on the voting paper, beneficial tax arrangements for donations and wide voter recognition.

The time is approaching for us to select suitable candidates. We request members to consider searching for local SOS candidates to contest the 2004 council elections.

SOS will continue the fight against the disastrous planning policies of the State Government which are causing the irretrievable destruction of Sydney's suburbs. These policies of overdevelopment and overcrowding are resulting in the "meltdown" of the rail and road systems, infrastructure, hospitals and crime control.

Our efforts are bearing fruit. But we have a long way to go. Developers make huge profits on multi-unit development - typically over 100%! Compare that to the return that you and I get from investments. And the developers make huge donations to the political parties - the NSW ALP received $1 million from them during the last electoral cycle which is more than four times that received from the unions, their traditional support base.

Membership

2002 subscriptions are due. SOS supporters can be members of our incorporated body as well as being members of the SOS party. SOS Inc. members participate in our activities and receive newsletters. To enable us to carry out our functions SOS Inc has a $10 annual membership fee and we rely heavily on voluntary donations. We urge you to join/renew your membership of SOS Inc for the year 2002. Membership form.

SEPP66

A new menace threatening our quality of life is lurking over the horizon - the draft State Environmental Planning Policy 66 (SEPP 66) called "Integration of Land Use and Transport" has been on public exhibition.

This policy is a Trojan Horse for urban consolidation. It declares that "compact cities" is a "critical objective of the policy". It says that 15 dwellings per hectare are necessary to be viable for public transport. No background justification is given for this number. "15" appears to be plucked out of the air. Nor is any information given to show to what extent it is claimed transport would be improved by this number, or what the downside will be.

If we thought SEPP5 and SEPP53 are destroying our suburbs, SEPP66 will be much worse. It will induce much more damage to our quality of life. SEPP66 means residential lots of 400 sq metres or even less. There will be hardly a tree in sight. Trees clean the air, cool the city and control water flow and absorption. Around St. Mary's we are already starting to see creeping salination. Forget heritage, forget trees, forget environment, forget amenity. Just pack us in like sardines in a tin.

As each month goes by, Bob Carr's conjecture of "wall-to-wall apartments from the coast to the mountains" becomes ever closer to reality. Save Our Suburbs has made a submission on SEPP66 to the government..

St George

The State Government's urban consolidation policy is being rejected by St. George area residents in their three local government areas.

  1. Rockdale residents have rejected the planned "Cooks Cove" Development, which would remove 50% green space in an already highly occupied suburb. Latest news is the Council, which has proclaimed that they have not decided what they will do, have had their plans in place since September 2001.
  2. 98% of Arncliffe/Brighton residents surveyed say "NO MORE HIGH RISE- NO MORE OVERDEVELOPMENT - LEAVE OUR PARKS AND WETLAND ALONE.
  3. Kogarah residents are fighting against over-development at South Hurstville and Kyle Bay. They have had a major victory against over-development at Oatley where a two storey gym was to be replaced by a multi-storey development on unzoned ex-railway land in a basic one storey precinct. The land has now been designated two storey only.
  4. Hurstville residents are fighting the redevelopment of Narwee High School site with 98% wanting no more than one or two storeys & leave the hall and playing fields as much needed community facilities. There has been a strong backlash against political statements by the Member for Georges River and the Member for Lakemba (Minister for Public Works) who have been forced to backtrack on their statements.

The future is in your hands

It is up to us ordinary folk, you and me, to force the government to do what is best for us and not what is best for developers. We have to unite across NSW. Subscriptions and donations provide much-needed funds to allow activities such as this newsletter.

Please renew your SOS Inc membership (or join SOS Inc) by filling in the Renewal/Application Form. (We encourage those supporters who backed the formation of the SOS political party wing to also join as members of SOS Inc.). We also encourage members of SOS Inc to join our political party wing. Please print out and complete this "Registration of Party" form on this website.

As soon as our Party is registered, donations up to $100 pa will be deductible for taxation purposes. Once our Party is registered we need 750 rock-solid members to remain registered and be in a position to exert pressure on politicians who are too influenced by developer donations to listen to the community.

Tony Recsei President

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