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

Here's the future - if we dare

Hi SOS Members

In a double page spread on Saturday 11 June the Sydney Morning Herald printed, with photographs, the opinion of 20 "opinion leaders, councillors and experts" on what they envisage for a strategy for Sydney. Included were contributions from Genia McCaffery (Local Government Association), Cate Faermann (Nature Conservation Council), Clover Moore (Sydney Lord Mayor), Jeff Angel (Total Environment Centre), Peter Newman (NSW Sustainability Commissioner), Gordon Hocking (Sustainable Population Australia) and me. What I said is reproduced below.

Sydney Morning Herald 11-12 June.

Here's the future - if we dare. Campaign for Sydney
Tony Recsei, President Save Our Suburbs

Australia is characterised by a sense of space. Space: to relax; for children to play in our ideal weather; to distance oneself from the noise and emissions of jam-packed human activity. This wonderful asset must be not be squandered. Retrofitting high densities onto residential areas designed for lower densities overloads existing infrastructure and destroys the heritage, gardens and remnant bushland so delightfully characteristic of Sydney.

Save Our Suburbs believes that, if it is necessity to accommodate an increasing population, new self-sufficient satellite cities adjacent to Sydney should be developed. These cities should have effective local public transport and be designed from scratch to encourage walking and cycling - shops, schools, recreation areas and workplaces must connect with nearby residential areas. And these cities should be sensitively sited with green belts, underground electrical cabling, energy-efficient buildings, drought-resistant plants and water reuse downstream. Further, they should be linked to Sydney by very fast transport and communication facilities.

The Commonwealth - because it is responsible for immigration - must provide some leadership. It should fund, or significantly subsidise, necessary infrastructure and employment opportunities. There should be workable incentives like income tax concessions for those who set up a business or work in these cities.

The debate continues in a lunchtime forum on Saturday 25 June with speakers from the Total Environment Centre, SOS and Sustainable Population Australia. A good turnout by SOS supporters is essential. Most of the gatherings I speak to are stacked with high-density advocates who are hostile to anything we say without regard to legitimacy. This creates a false impression of the real public point of view. Please attend the event, details of which are:

Urban consolidation ... sensible planning or unfolding tragedy?

Fran Kelly -- Coastal campaigner, Total Environment Centre
Dr Tony Recsei -- President, Save Our Suburbs
Gordon Hocking -- President, Sustainable Population Australia, NSW Branch

Ms. Kelly argues that urban consolidation is an environmentally responsible way of accommodating Sydney’s growing population. Dr Recsei argues that, if Sydney’s population must grow, satellite cities should be built and the neighbourhood character of existing suburbs should be preserved. SPA NSW Branch President Gordon Hocking, however, argues that environmental imperatives demand that population must be allowed to stabilise.

Time: 1.00PM
Date: Saturday 25 June 2005
Venue: Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, SYDNEY
Entry: Families $5, individual $4
Information: Gordon Hocking:
phone:02 9528 6091, email web:

Tony Recsei

President, Save Our Suburbs

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