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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release July 2003

Electricity Price Increase

We are seeing daily news items about the fact that the cost of electricity has to go up because the reticulation system has to be upgraded. We are told customers will have to foot the bill. Two letters from SOS members on the topic have been published in the press:


Power Plays
The chickens are coming home to roost ("Revealed: the suburbs facing blackouts", Herald July 28) For a decade the State Government has been forcing high density dwellings onto unwilling communities. The claimed reason was that this saves cost compared to developing new urban sites.
But we now read that "the suburbs are facing blackouts" and that Energy Australia is proposing to impose a 25% "congestion surcharge".

It should have been obvious this would happen. The infrastructure of our suburbs was designed for the density of dwellings then built. Retrofitting higher density and power-hungry multi-unit structures onto communities originally designed for low density must overload infrastructure. It is more cost-efficient to provide new infrastructure on a clean slate than to upgrade existing installations, with all the obstructions, legal constraints and problems of obsolescent engineering which that entails.

High density imposed onto communities merely postpones expenditure. The ultimate bill, which will only become apparent when the current batch of politicians have moved on, will be much higher.

Tony Recsei,


Power-hungry planning
Perhaps its time architects, town planners and infrastructure providers started liasing ("Customers asked to pay for power upgrade", Herald July 29). Houses and estates are being developed with reliance on air-conditioning becoming essential. Maybe there's another way.

In our hot climate why do we continue to build huge houses with no eaves with protection from the sun? Huge houses that occupy the whole block leaving no room for shade trees?

Why do new housing developments raze every tree on the site before replacing them with the built environment that helps to increase the heat of the suburb? Why is every remaining soft surface paved or cemented over, adding more heat?

Carey Buls,


We have received many enquiries regarding what has happened to the former Director-General of Planning, Sue Holliday who was replaced following the last cabinet reshuffle. The Sydney Morning Herald of 26 July 2003 reports that she is doing special projects work in the Premier's Department together with the former chief of the Department of Community Services, Carmel Niland and the former head of the Transport Department, Michael Deegan.

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)

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