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

More Good News 2

Hi SOS Members

Yesterday we told you about Planning Minister Craig Knowles admitting that urban consolidation has caused community anger and indicating that the government will pursue a new "balance" of development in future. Today the news gets still better.

In the Sydney Morning Herald (19 Nov) Sean Nicholls reports that the State Government will "look beyond Sydney's fringe to satellite cities for solutions to future housing needs".

These words seem to come straight out of the Save Our Suburbs policies publicised for the March 2003 State Election. See right at the very end of this newsletter for an extract.

The Daily Telegraph has devoted a whole page to the subject under the heading "High rise revolt". One article by Mark Skelsey discusses the proposal for unit development on the Water Police site at Pyrmont. SOS participated in a protest against this - see our newsletter of 25 October. Opposition to this alienation of public land is intensifying and a union "green ban" is being proposed.

Mark also writes about a threatened species - any house standing within 500m of a railway station which "over the past five years have been slaughtered in their thousands". However he warns "Its not the end of the battle. Mr Knowles has not given any figures as to how the urban consolidation rampage will be slowed or where it will be slowed".

Mark reports that The Daily Telegraph has been flooded with emails from people concerned with local development issues. For example SOS member Isobel Lewis writes:

"Better late than never, Mr Knowles. We have single dwellings on medium-sized blocks demolished and replaced by two and four large houses. We live under the threat of an eight-storey tower block in our little congested village of Lindfield. Enough is enough!"
Isobel Lewis, Lindfield

And I had this letter published in todays Herald:

Managing the future

Planning Minister Craig Knowles says that the Government is looking at "resetting the pendulum" on its urban consolidation policy ("Outcry over units causes land rethink", Herald November 18).

This oppressive policy, totally opposed by Save Our Suburbs over the last four years, has severely damaged the environment and heritage of Sydneysiders. To prevent a repetition of such a planning fiasco, policy creation has to be better managed in future. Planning should be based on adequate research, followed by genuine consultation with local communities.

Tony Recsei
Warrawee, November 18

Let us keep up the pressure. This is democracy at work. Please send in your letters to the Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald, or put your comments on the Tele website at Also please phone in your views to Alan Jones on Radio 2GB in the early mornings on 131873. Alan is most supportive and I would not be surprised if this is a major factor in the government's turnaround.

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)

On another but related subject SOS member Gordon Hocking has written:

If you are going to send out a newsletter regarding the urban consolidation backdown, you might consider a piece about the waste transfer facility/political donation link.

What's really needed is for individuals to seek a meeting with their local State MP to inform their parliamentarian that easing urban consolidation pressures is welcome and that changing the law to avoid justice being done is distasteful.

I've sent the following letter to SMH this morning.

Citizen John Drake argued, before the Land and Environment Court, that for environmental, health and social justice reasons the giant Clyde waste transfer facility should not proceed. He won!
But waste operator Collex – a major Labor Party donor – has not lost. A simple change in the law ("Parliament rolls court on waste", Herald, 19 November, P2) will see justice denied.

We are all diminished by this cavalier lawlessness.


The SOS Party policies for the March 2003 State election included:

"In particular planning policies should provide for balanced development across the state."

"Rather than retrofitting increased densities onto existing communities, SOS proposes the development of new satellite cities adjacent to existing cities. These satellite cities should incorporate desirable features such as green belts, sustainable buildings, underground cabling, drought-resistant plants and water reuse downstream. They should be of optimal size (with about 200,000 residents each). They should have street layouts designed to maximise access by walking, cycling and public transport. They should be linked up by very fast transport and communication facilities."

More details can be seen on our website

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