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Resident wishes mean nothing to PlanningNSW (The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 July 2002)
PlanningNSW has yet again confirmed its status as the developers' friend.
Woollahra Council has been instructed to "examine options to increase dwelling yield" of the White City development (Herald, July 26). The Council was bullied into submission when the department threatened to "call in" the development.
Residents' concerns for neighbourhood character, infrastructure provision, adequate open space and residential amenity are no longer central imperatives for PlanningNSW – an upwardly mobile department on steroids.
Gloriously insulated from public outrage, PlanningNSW has embarked on Sydney-wide urban consolidation (read overdevelopment) with a religious zeal.
One can only hope that the department's political bosses, who must answer finally to the public, will recognise the need to consider the long-term public interest, and the legitimate voice of local residents.
Gordon Hocking, Oyster Bay, July 26
Overcrowding on its way (The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 2002)
I read about the planned redevelopment of White City with mixed feelings (Herald, July 26). Pressure from developers for high density living in my "own backyard" of the inner west has become relentless.
It's threatening the fabric of whole communities, placing pressure on elderly infrastructure and ripping away precious green space.
Yes, the White City plans did give me a strange feeling of consolation we are not alone. Overdevelopment is coming to a street near you, bank on it.
Katrina Ganin, Croydon, July 29
Apartment price slump frees up wealth (The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 2002)
We now have a glut of home units in Sydney with vacancy rates up to 8%.
Andrew Refshauge, as the NSW Planning Minister, keeps telling us we must accept more units because of population growth. Isn't it about time we started to query his planning assumptions? Or could his planning decisions have more to do with appeasing people who build home units rather than those who might live in them?
Destroy Callan Park for more units - madness.
Screw up White City for more units - it ain't cricket. Fracture a national asset with multi-storey apartment blocks in a swathe through Ku-ring-gai's tree canopy - vandalism.
Let's get it right.
Sandy Bathgate, Lindfield
Tricky build-up (The Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2002)
Opposition Leader John Brogden says that Carr Government ministers are increasingly putting up public servants to face the media to explain accidents, mistakes or failings (Daily Telegraph, August 10).
So what's new? Politicians have been doing that for millennia. Five hundred years ago, Machiavelli laid it down in The Prince, his manual on how to get to the top and stay there by using dirty tricks: "Rulers should leave unpleasant tasks to others but themselves do those things that increase their popularity."
Premier Carr does just that, soothing his supporters' concerns about Sydney becoming more overcrowded than ever with remarks like: "Sydney is bursting at the seams." He bemoans the likelihood of wall-to-wall apartments from the coast to the mountains.
At the same time, his planning minister and his head planning bureaucrat are working hard to achieve even greater overcrowding of Sydney, inevitably with more unemployment, more congestion, more pollution, more infrastructure overload and more crime.
And who benefits? No one but developers.
Hugh Knox, Gordon
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