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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release May 2006

Rally in Melbourne

Hi SOS Members

I was invited to go to Melbourne yesterday where I addressed a rally organised by Mary Drost on behalf of a loose association of resident action groups.

About 200 representative of these groups assembled on the steps of the magnificent Victorian Parliament building during the lunch hour. The rally launched "Planning Backlash", a campaign by these groups which will lead up to the Victorian State election in September. It was a great occasion and I met a wonderful group of very friendly and motivated people who stood on the steps holding up dozens of placards indicating the area from which they came.

The Australian Financial Review has reported on the rally as follows

Australian Financial Review Thursday, 4 May 2006

Planning critics take it national

Mark Phillips

Key Points:

Neighbourhood groups opposed to what they regard as inappropriate developments are forging links across state borders as the backlash against urban consolidation continues to grow.

The president of the NSW Save Our Suburbs movement, Tony Recsei, spoke at a rally at the Victorian parliament yesterday. He predicted greater cooperation with similar groups in other states fighting the same issues.

The launch of Planning Backlash, a loose coalition of Victorian resident and community action groups, came as another major property body defended the state government's Melbourne 2030 blueprint.

The Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV) said Melbourne could not be frozen in time and the stance of anti-development groups was unsustainable and out of step with the broader community.

The Property Council, Municipal Association of Victoria and Urban Development Institute of Australia have all backed the retention of Melbourne 2030, which would be dumped under a Liberal Party policy to be taken to the November state election.

More than 100 protesters from Melbourne and regional Victoria attended the rally, at which organisers vowed to make development a key issue at the November 25 poll. They said they were united in opposition to Melbourne 2030 and the centralisation of planning power. The president of the Victorian Save Our Suburbs, Ian Quick - who will stand for the inner-city seat of Richmond - said Melbourne 2030 was not working and had to be reviewed. "There's no doubt that we can take high-density development in the right places, but that's not where it's occurring at the moment," he said.

Dr Recsei said he spoke at the rally to warn Victorians of the effects of decisions by the NSW government, which had taken planning power from, councils and facilitated highdensity development that was putting strain on infrastructure, transport and housing prices. SOS groups had also been formed in Perth and Adelaide and there were moves afoot in Brisbane. "The issues are certainly common to all the state capitals because there's an urban consolidation movement 'in all the states," he said. "We've got to work independently, but at a higher level we can co-ordinate activities quite a lot."

Victorian Planning Minister Rob Hulls said Melbourne needed a plan to accommodate anticipated population growth of a million people by 2030, and the strategy had broad support. "To abandon this plan now, three years into its implementation, will simply create chaos, uncertainty and untrammelled urban sprawl," he said. MBAV executive director Brian Welch said a form of "NIMBY-ism" (not in my backyard) was dominating debate in suburbs such as Boroondara, Stormington and Bayside.

If anyone would like a photocopy of this article with its accompanying colour photograph please let me know - (500 kb in size).

Tony Recsei

President, Save Our Suburbs

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