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Save Our Sydney Suburbs Inc. newsletter October 2000

Save Our Sydney Suburbs Annual General Meeting

7.30 p.m., Wednesday 15 November 2000.

Venue: North Sydney Council Chamber Gallery, 200 Miller St, North Sydney

Our AGM provides an excellent opportunity for members to present their point of view on the daunting challenges facing Sydney's future. You will hear interesting viewpoints from other members. We intend our discussions to coalesce into a viable strategy designed to trigger changes in the present disastrous so-called planning policies of the State bureaucracy.

Diarise the date right now!

Formal agenda:

  1. Election of office bearers (President, Vice-president - Treasurer, Vice-president - Secretary, Vice-president - Campaign Director, and three committee members)
  2. Financial Accounts
  3. President's Report

Topics to be discussed at the AGM:

Bureaucratic arrogance

The Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (DUAP) continues to bully and intimidate local communities into accepting its dictates to impose high-density development on our Sydney suburbs.

DUAP unable to justify policies.

We have repeatedly given DUAP every opportunity to justify its policies. We have:

DUAP does not respond to these challenges. It cannot quote any valid research to justify its policy. It cannot point to one high-density city anywhere in the world that does not suffer from severe congestion problems. The department has been completely discredited. Yet it persists in imposing devastating dictatorial policies upon communities.

Warringah Council

The latest act of tyranny occurred when DUAP threatened to take away Warringah Council's planning powers unless, by August 31st, a previously agreed safeguard in its local environment plan (LEP) was removed. This safeguard protected its residential strategy against undesirable developments. Council was not permitted time to submit this removal to public scrutiny. Minister Refshauge, in a "terse" letter to Council declared further delays unacceptable and advised that SEPPs 53 and 60 would be imposed on Council if the LEP was not approved. He also made it clear that attempts to restore the safeguarding provisions were "futile".

Who benefits?

Presumably the safeguards would have made passing developments unwanted by the community more difficult. It is noteworthy that the 6 member DUAP "Residential Strategy Advisory Committee" is comprised of 3 developers, two bureaucrats and the sole remaining member represents local government. It is difficult to envisage how such a body, even with the best of intentions, can be expected to provide representative objective advice to the Minister.

The Invisible Tyrant

The public needs to realise that DUAP hides behind councils and the Land and Environment Court to force onto us undemocratic policies it cannot justify or substantiate. These bodies have borne the brunt of community anger. In many municipalities councillors have been thrown out of office as a result of their area being overrun by excessive medium and high-density development. This anger needs to be focussed onto the real culprits, the unrepresentative bureaucrats of DUAP.

The Law must be changed

We must push for change. The public must identify the real culprits behind the destruction of the beauty of Sydney. Then the ballot box can end this tragic process. The isolated despairing voices across Sydney must unify into a tide of successful transformation.

Renewals

Membership renewals are now due for members who joined in 1999. Please use the combined Renewal/Application form when renewing your membership.

Reminder: Diarise the AGM date 15 November right now!

Please advise us if you are on e-mail; it's our most effective means of communication. Also let us know of any Residents' Action Groups that you know of. We'll invite them to join our ever-growing network, and put their contact details on our website.

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