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

Ryde and Greenhouse Gases

The rally in Ryde this weekend to protest against the proposed 900-unit overdevelopment on the Royal Rehabilitation Centre was a great success. There must have been 400 people there. Placards and the SOS banner were on display. We recruited 30 new members. After the speeches the crowd marched to the site of the proposed development. The area is in a marginal electorate and the politicians and bureaucrats jumped to attention. The protesters will certainly attain significant concessions.

Unfortunately it will be a fleeting victory as the government’s urban consolidation policy stipulates that 70% of future population increases will continue to be crammed into our suburbs. There will be another such development proposal somewhere in the area and then yet another. The politicians make their hypocritical utterances about preventing overdevelopment knowing full well that the policy they support makes high-density inevitable in the longer term.

The rally, understandably, did not get media coverage due to the attention given to the Cronulla uproar. But some sections of the media actively promote urban consolidation. The Sydney Morning Herald for example never prints letters criticising high-density. An example occurred the previous week.

On 8 December the paper printed an opinion piece by Professors John Pucher and Adrian Bauman which contained several misstatements. One such misstatement was that almost all the difference in greenhouse gas emissions between European countries and Australia is due to greater car dependence in Australia. In actual fact less than one tenth of this difference is due to road transport. This can be verified from official 2003 emissions inventory data submitted to the International United Nations Convention on Climate Change, These professors frequently advocate high-density and the real figure alters the gist of the opinion piece.

Wendell Cox sent a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald pointing out these errors. You can see the letter on True to form, it was not published. One would think that a newspaper would make sure it takes steps to publish corrections to its articles.


Tony Recsei

President, Save Our Suburbs

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