Category Archives: Development

What you can do before 20th August 2012

At the very least, ask NSW Planning to extend the exhibition and conduct a well advertised public workshop involving representatives from State Planning, TRU and Wollongong City Council. – Then

Get familiar with the facts

  • ~1200 homes on Tallawarra Lands
  • TRU have submitted a “response” to criticisms by Govt Depts., LIA and residents – called the “Preferred Project Report”
  • Residents given 4 weeks to pore through 21 lengthy technical documents. Closes Monday 20 August 2012.
  • Land is earmarked as Employment Lands, but employment land is on Geotechnically challenging contaminated land and may never get built.
  • Responsibility for required infrastructure (schools/transport/access/roads) is being passed on to the surrounding community/services/govenrment.
  • The likely outcome is that land designated as Employment Lands will be a high priced residential development with a negative impact on employment prospects for Dapto which already has a very high unemployment rate.

If you have concerns:

At the very least, ask NSW Planning to extend the exhibition and conduct a well advertised public workshop involving representatives from State Planning, TRU and Wollongong City Council.

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The Game is Afoot – Again

After long moths of waiting – finally some news. In response to over 100 objections, TRU have amended their proposal and we have until August 20 to respond. Don’t you love how the system works. We need a big response so now is not the time for submission fatigue. CRED will be drafting a response. All comments are welcome. Trying to find information through the NSW planning website is a nightmare – so here’s what you need:

http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=3362
Look under the Preferred Project Report – its the third last item after all the Appendices. Good luck.

CRED Commended by Council

Is this the dawning of a new day?

On Monday 31 October – the Following motion was moved by Wollongong Council:

Planning and Environment Department
ITEM 12 – TALLAWARRA LANDS – SUBMISSION TO ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT REGARDING THE CONCEPT PLAN – PART 3A MAJOR PROJECT APPROVAL 220 RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY on the motion of Councillor Connor seconded Councillor Dorahy that –

1 The draft submission on Major Project 2009/131 at Tallawarra (Attachment 4 of the report) be endorsed for finalisation by the General Manager and submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

2 The submission –

a Include Council’s desire for infrastructure to lead development, as well as Council to have the ability to prepare a site specific chapter of the DCP and that employment lands be first and foremost in the development.
b Include awareness of the impact on Lake Illawarra.
c Ensure that the water quality from the development is protected.
d Ensure that the bicycle path is appropriate to the requirements identified by the Bicycle Users’ Group.

3 Concerned residents of East Dapto be commended for their hard
work over many years.

Well done to all CRED members who have helped out over the last four years.

 

#Occupy Tallawarra

This is what Community Democracy looks like.

This afternoon, members of CRED and Illawarra Bicycle Users Group (IBUG) net with Ward Three Councillors Chris Connor, Ann Martin and Vicki Curran (where’s Bede Crasnich?).

Tallawarra Community Consultation

Tallawarra Community Consultation


Residents outlined their concerns about TRU Energy’s Concept Plan for the Tallawarra site. Their main concern is what appears to be a sneaky attempt to shift the focus for these lands from employment lands to expensive residential. Other concerns included attempts minimise responsibility and shift costs from the developer to the community. If today’s meeting is any guide, it appears our newly elected councillors have not been fooled. In a major turnaround, council is critical of the Concept Plan and is lodging its own objection which supports claims made previously by CRED.

Cr Ann Martin highlighted that given the Council objection, that if 25 or more resident objections are recieved, the proposal will be determined by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC)

CRED urges all concerned residents to make an objection, no matter how brief using the online form at http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=3362

More information on how to make a submission and ideas for objections are available here.

Concerns about Tallawarra

This afternoon several CRED members are meeting with the Ward Three Councillors. I will be raising these concerns with them:

Tallawarra – What’s the TRUth?

  • Summary states there are “No impediments” to development (I can see several), specifically for the “employment lands”.
  • Projected jobs do not outweigh population increase (these are “employment lands”) – thus this development will increase unemployment.
  • Endangered Ecological Communities are threatened and there is marked degradation caused by TRU’s involvement from the 2000 LEP assessment to now. How did this happen?
  • The employment strategy relies on the insane notion of “matching” residents to employment in the development (debunked by UOW Academic Scott Burrows).
  • Visual/scenic aspects are noted but not demonstrated (i.e. preserve ridgeline). The location of housing with 9m building heights seems to indicate the ridgeline and visual character will be obscured, except for surrounding high locations like Lake Heights/Mt Warrigal. Where’s the geometric modelling?
  • Report states “Staging is not definite” however TRU have stated in CLG meetings they intend to develop the Northern Residential precinct first then other areas “as able”.
  • The “Employment Lands” are on contaminated, Geotechnically challenging sections, thus unlikely to ever be developed.
  • Noise and the “red light disco” dictate hermetically sealed, air conditioned boxes. What are the lifestyle and energy impacts?
  • Water quality implications: The Northern precinct discharges stormwater direct to lake + sewerage uses “controlled release” due to capacity restraints. How will this affect Lake Illawarra?
  • TRU are seeking to minimise development contributions arguing services will be supplied by the adjoining areas.

 

Also –

  • Why do TRU refuse to release the Community Survey about preferred use of Tallawarra Lands?
  • Why have alternative, environmentally friendly options not even been considered? (i.e. Carbon sink, biobank, agricultural reserve etc)

TRU have been running a spectacular PR exercise on this from Day 1 while controlling the process, free from oversight. Don’t be fooled. Look very closely at this proposal. While promising “jobs and homes” – the net effect is likely to be:

  • Most of the residential precincts will be developed, a small amount of employment area will proceed with a significant amount indefinitely deferred or abandoned due to constraints.
  • A greater increase in population than sustainable jobs.
  • Unaffordable housing
  • Loss of an environmental asset
  • A net drain on the Illawarra’s economy.

So to our elected representatives:

Ask the hard questions and do whatever it takes to get this right.

At the very least – insist the employment lands are developed first.

Ken Davis – 042 525 4680

Occupy East Dapto

CRED invites all residents of East Dapto to get informed and get involved in the coming Occupy Sydney meeting at Martin Place on October 15. Concerned citizens will rally at 2:30 and begin the process of shaping the vision for a different Australia. So why bother? Will it make a difference? What has this got to do with our community?

Firstly, this is not just a support or sympathy rally for Occupy Wall Street – even though the events of Wall Street do directly impact our daily lives. Occupy Sydney is one of several rallies nationwide to address Australia’s concerns. Our situation is not as dire as America at present, thanks to the mining boom and modest levels of national debt. Yet we share the same structural unfairness that locks 99% of Australians out of the game. Consider our local issues.

We have already lost ownership of the once publically owned Tallawarra Lands to a subsidiary of China Light and Power. The land was sold well below market price by the corrupt Bob Carr government in 1997. Now I’m sure you would like some bargain basement real estate with lake views? So how come a foreign company gets the chance that we don’t? Could it be that they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

When the development was proposed, a consultant to TRUEnergy conducted a community survey. The scope of the survey was to discover the community’s attitude towards the proposed development and preferred use for the land. Several times I have asked to see the results of this community survey. As an affected resident, I was refused because apparently community opinion is “commercial in confidence?” When did community opinion become a trade secret? How could this happen? Could it be that they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

Consider our pool? Once we had free access. Maintenance and staffing was covered by rates and even the poorest of the poor could take their kids for a free, fun day out. What happened? Already struggling, the cost of heating the pool was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Why don’t rates cover the cost of providing community services? Why does the State Government not adequately fund our community? Could it be that they are the 1% and we are the 99%.

What about the problems of social disadvantage, poor education outcomes, vandalism and crime? Why aren’t Australia’s wealthiest companies and citizens making a big enough contribution to adequately provide the prevention, education and social services to adequately improve the lot of our disadvantaged people? After all – our natural resources belong to all of us. Surely a compassionate and progressive society like Australia that values a fair go would do what it takes to fix this? Isn’t THAT the ANZAC spirit? Yet when the Federal Government proposed a Super Profits Tax, the 1% spent millions on advertising to defend their greed! Our Government dared not to even contemplate a tax on Bank Super Profits. Maybe it’s because they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

In these wildly prosperous times, why do such a large proportion of us have no job at all, not enough hours or a full-time job that still leaves us struggling to pay rent, food, water and electricity? Is it because they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

So if you think this is just about the USA or Sydney – think again. The actions of the wealthiest 1% directly affect your life, your dreams and your prospects. You have already seen their impact on electricity, water, rent and housing costs. If you have a job, you have already seen the demands for endless productivity gains when you are already working at full capacity. So what are you going to do? This is not just about protesting. The “Occupy” movement needs your voice, your heart, your ideas – or simply to know that you want to see a fairer world, country and community. Find out more at http://www.occupytogether.org/ I hope to see you at Martin Place – or on the wonderful 2 hour train ride to the City.

Under Threat

Developers and Councils are planning 17,000 new homes as well as industry and commercial development on the western foreshores and hinterland of Lake Illawarra. Lake Illawarra Authority chairman Doug Prosser says that the threat to our Lake has never been greater. This would have to be the understatement of the decade. Increased stormwater runoff, rubbish and sewerage overflow cannot possibly be healthy for the lake. But it’s not just the lake. What impact will this have on traffic, employment, air pollution, noise, social equity, access to services and quality of life? I’d like to think that developers and council have our best interests at heart, but I’m afraid bitter experience proves otherwise.

These western Illawarra developments are a miniature representation of the “Big Australia” debate. How much of our natural beauty, limited resources and quality of life are we as a community willing to sacrifice? Simple maths tells us that exponential growth cannot continue on a planet or in a community with finite resources. Even astonishing technological advance will only delay the inevitable. Somewhere, sometime a line needs to be drawn. The only question is when we draw that line and what sort of living conditions we want from that time forward. We can make that decision proactively, or we can have it foisted upon us by famine, thirst and civil unrest. Recently we were only six months short of running out of water.

So Rod Oxley was right. Wollongong needs a vision (but not his). We need a vision of a low impact, sustainable future that delivers a reasonable quality of life to all the members of our community. We also need a way for communities to have a voice. This is not just to “have a say” but to actually shape the decisions which affect our lives. Communities have spoken about all these developments. However, as usual, all levels of Government have placed the economic benefit of a few above the wants and needs of the community. It’s not just the Lake, but our children’s future that is under an insidious threat.