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

Beginning of Victory?

Hi SOS Members

For the first time the Government is admitting that an alternative to urban consolidation is being considered.

In the Daily Telegraph (Monday 17 November) Mark Skelsey (State Political Reporter) writes:

FOR the past eight years, the State Government has been telling us that Sydney's future is up - not out.
While land releases have dropped to record low levels, about 100,000 units have been built as developers reach for the skies with apartment towers. But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Planning Minister Craig Knowles has admitted this urban consolidation path is causing community anger. And he has indicated the Carr Government will pursue a new "balance" of development in future.

"Sydney has been on a consolidation path, for all the right reasons, but there's plenty of evidence that levels of resistance are now very high and they don't want any more," Mr Knowles said.

That's a significant admission. Although Mr Knowles is still looking for consolidation opportunities around railway stations, he has made it clear he wants more fringe land released. Combined with information contained in the Government's submission to a Productivity Commission inquiry, it looks as though Macquarie St is about to change tack on its development. strategy.

(my bold type above)

You may remember that Save Our Suburbs policies include "balanced state development". Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Mark Skelsey's report has been followed up by similar reports on the ABC and Sydney Morning Herald.

I sent in the following letter to the Telegraph:

Planning Minister Craig Knowles admits that urban consolidation is causing community anger ("Backlash against towers", Telegraph 17 Nov).

But astoundingly, he says that Sydney has been on the consolidation path for the right reasons. Retrofitting high density onto suburbs originally designed for low density was bound to destroy our quality of life. We now suffer the results - stifling traffic congestion, noise, destruction of gardens, overflowing sewers, lack of housing choice and huge increases in housing cost.

We want to know what his "right reasons" are. We demand to know how it is possible that such an oppressive policy came to be forced onto communities without rational justification.

This letter has not been published. However please send in your letters as well, or put your comments on the Tele website at More notice is taken when more than one person speaks out.

I also got onto Alan Jones' 2GB breakfast show yesterday morning just before the 6.30 news saying a similar message. Alan was most supportive.

Roman Dinner Protest

Our protest at the NSW ALP Roman dinner fundraiser on Thursday last week was a great success. The Greens and various resident action groups also participated - there must have been close to 100 people protesting against "money for influence". The look on the faces of the smartly dressed diners as they filed in was a sight to behold. Many thanks to those who participated and to Jean Lennane who initially alerted me to the event. Our persistent opposition and protests against urban consolidation and government corruption must eventually win the day.

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)

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