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Registration of the Save Our Suburbs Party - a remarkable and historic story

  1. Court Action by Save Our Suburbs
  3. Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act Amendment Bill
  4. Registration of Save Our Suburbs - final victory
  5. The final page on our party registration victory



This is the inaugural newsletter of Save our Sydney Suburbs.

On 9 March 1999 a group of residents and councillors representing local community groups from all over Sydney met at a Sydney hotel. There and then we resolved to join together in the fight to save our suburbs from an orgy of over-development. Five days later, on 14 March, SOSs was incorporated.


Then on 21 March 1999, with the State election looming, SOSs held its first public meeting at First Fleet Park at Circular Quay. Speakers included:

  • Genia McCaffery, the Mayor of North Sydney Council,
  • Maire Sheehan, then an independent candidate for the NSW Upper House and currently Mayor of Leichardt Council
  • Stephen Davies, The Deputy Director of the New South Wales Branch of the National Trust
  • Helen Caldicott
  • Peter King, President of the Heritage Council

Speaker after speaker denounced the destructive urban development policies pursued by successive state governments and sounded warnings about the harm it was causing to the suburbs of Sydney.

Then residents in the audience had their say. Many told horror stories about the reality of what development was doing to their streets and neighbourhoods. Others expressed frustration that the laws were so stacked in favour of developers that even if the residents in an area convinced the Council to refuse an unwanted development, the developer would get its way in the Land & Environment Court.

Local action groups were well represented at the rally, including:

  • The Burwood Community Voice
  • Shire Watch Independents (Sutherland)
  • Auburn
  • Residents from Girraween and Homebush residents
  • Rockdale Ratepayers association
  • The Kuringai Preservation Trust

The rally received significant media coverage, featuring a full page in the Sydney Morning Herald and a slot on the Channel Nine 6pm News.


Since that time, Save Our Sydney Suburbs has given support to several actions and initiatives of community groups, including:

  • Attending the launch of Shire Watch Independents
  • Support of Kuringai Preservation Trust
  • Attending rallies such as the one held by residents in Ocean Street Bondi to save their open space.

There are plenty of other good groups which we haven't had time to be directly involved with yet but which we really want to support, such as:

  • Residents fighting the re-development of the ADI site at St Marys
  • Residents fighting to Save Manly Dam
  • Homebush residents fighting mass re-zoning
  • Kuringai Residents fighting to stave off State Government intervention under SEPP 53
  • Residents of the inner west, fighting higher density zoning

If you are in a local action group fighting to save your area, we want to hear from you


Since the rally in March, many of our key members and supporters have been working flat out on the local elections. The results have been stunning. In fact it has been widely acknowledged that the most striking feature of the local government elections was the emergence all over Sydney of groups and canditates running very stongly on protection of suburbs from over-development and the success those groups acheived. Some examples of this include:

  • Shire Watch Independents, emerging as a party earlier this year, coming from nowhere to win a third of the seats in Sutherland
  • The Kuringai Preservation Trust emerging in late 1998, to win 8 out of 10 seats in Kuringai
  • Maire Sheehan being re-elected as Mayor of Leichardt
  • The landslide re-election of Genia McAffery and her community-based team in North Sydney

SOSS Residents' Assembly

There has been a lot of quiet work behind the scenes to put together a a good constitution for SOSS and to put in place a structure which will make us truly representative of Sydney's residents and a force to be reckoned with. The Structure of SOSS includes a Residents Assembly, which will help determine policy and which will elect the Executive. There is a seat available on the SOSS Residents Assembly for one person from every local government area in Sydney. For SOSS to become a really powerful force for residents, what we need is for you, your family, your neighbours & friends to join us. When all of the local government areas are represented on the SOSS Residents' Assembly, we will be geared up to move ahead and force major changes to State Government laws and policies. That is the only way to Save our Sydney Suburbs.

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