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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release December 2005

Metrostrategy release

Hi SOS Members

SOS member Warwick Armstrong and I had the following letters published in the Daily Telegraph today (7th December 2005):

Also interesting is the piece on Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush becoming involved in action against the overdevelopment of the Camberwell Station precinct in Melbourne. He is asking Victorian voters to signal their opposition to higher density development at the forthcoming council elections. It would be of great assistance to us if we could persuade someone with such a high public profile to assist our cause in Sydney.

SOS member Barry Hadaway sent in the following letter to the Sydney Morning Herald:

SMH article "West is Best" quotes Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, as saying, " It is vital we put our housing in the right places, close to centres, services and public transport to ensure the city grows in a sustainable way". This is errant nonsense. There is no aspect of the City of Cities Plan that does any more than pay lip service to true principles of sustainability.

When did Sydney's water crisis disappear? Our public transport system is grossly inadequate to the needs of Sydney's existing population. We need a plan for making Sydney sustainable with its current population. This would require a major investment in new public transport infrastructure and major infrastructure to capture storm water and re-cycle grey water. Even this may not be enough.

Sydney's existing sprawl and heavy reliance on fossil fuels almost certainly means that Sydney is already well beyond its sustainable limits in terms of both area and population. There is no way that Sydney can sustainably support another million people. City of Cities isn't a plan for a sustainable future, it is business as usual and a recipe for disaster.

The letter was not published. I find the SHM does not publish letters critical of high density. Its editorial of 6 December indicates the reason:
"The Herald, and the private sector generally, have long called for a plan along these lines (the Metrostrategy). The approach adopted follows the Herald's blueprint set out in Campaign for Sydney: contained serviced development on the edges and new jobs, housing and activities concentrated in a heirarchy of existing centres along transport links".

Ashfield will be severely impacted by the Metrostrategy announced this week. SOS member Councillor Monica Wangmann of Ashfield writes:

These plans will INCREASE HOUSING DENSITY, damage local urban amenity, worsen traffic congestion AND add MORE trucks to our roads. Most alarming of all, the documents allude to sub-regional governance and planning mechanism and greater interference in local planning by state government especially for designated "corridors" and sites including Parramatta Road. This implies Council's planning powers may WELL be removed or reduced.

The Metro Disaster DOCUMENTS demonstrate clearly that some isolated community groups' participation in the project has been used, TO JUSTIFY COMMUNITY CONSULTATION, WHICH HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE IN ASHFIELD.

Please remember about the protest rally against the 900 unit overdevelopment on the Royal Rehabiltation Centre in Ryde this Sunday. This will provide a good opportunity to demonstrate our opposition to forced high-density, coinciding with the release this week of the MetroStrategy high-density plans.
Time: 11 am on Sunday 11 December 2005
Place: Putney Public School, Parry Street, Putney


Tony Recsei

President, Save Our Suburbs

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