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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release March 2004

High-rise over Railways Stations

Hi SOS Members

Last night I had a call from Elaine Shields of Victoria who has contacted me as a result of the ABC Radio National Ockham's Razor talk of 1 February which she much appreciated. Elaine has been involved for a long period with an anti-overdevelopment group in Camberwell, Victoria. They oppose the Victorian government's high-density plan termed "Metropolitan Strategy" or "Melbourne 2030". The group's current battle is to oppose building over the Camberwell railway station.

Her group has been encouraged by support from the well-known actor Geoffrey Rush. Refer to the newspaper report below, courtesy of SOS member Anthony Meaney. As you can see Geoffrey opposes this overdevelopment. The involvement of such a well-known personality gives a huge boost to our cause.

Elaine has seen the atrocities that have been done to Hurstville Station in Sydney and wishes to find out if she can be put into contact with any Sydney groups who oppose the selling of "air rights" over stations and then building over them. Please let me know of any such contacts that you may be aware of who I can pass on to her.

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs NSW Inc.

NINEMSN ENTERTAINMENT 18:51 AEDT Wed 10 Mar 2004 Geoffrey Rush bemoans urban clog. He's the voice who breathed life into plasticine, but now Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush is speaking out against suburban over-development. Rush, the narrator in the Oscar-winning short animation film Harvie Krumpet, has swapped the stage for the soapbox to join other Melbourne resident groups concerned over the Victorian government's 2030 plan for the city. A long-time Camberwell resident, Rush has joined his neighbours to fight a proposal to develop a high-rise complex above the local railway station. The Camberwell group was joined by action groups from other suburbs who are concerned by the Melbourne 2030 plan. "The 2030 plan is going to revolutionise the notion of Melbourne and I don't think many people know," Rush told AAP after the meeting. "In a funny kind of way silence means affirmation."

The actor - who won an Oscar for his role in the film Shine - waxed lyrical about the virtues of living in Melbourne, drawing from his international experience. "In Melbourne we know what makes Melbourne exceptional and marvellous and people are now protecting that," he said. "It feels as though the identity of this plan has been written by an amorphous group who wish to satisfy all the right kind of dot points on some sort of powerpoint program presentation. It feels like the developers ...don't really have an aesthetic bone in their body..... They don't really have a civic bone in their body." Mr Rush said the meeting was not just a protest by people from "well-heeled Camberwell, (the) blue-ribbon Liberal seat, with a lot of time on their hands". More than a dozen neighbourhood groups attended -from bayside Seaford in Melbourne's south-east to working class Broadmeadows in the city's west. Melbourne was on a par with Paris and Prague as one the most "physically beautiful cities "in the world, Rush said and he warned against "clogging" it with suburban high-rise.

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