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
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.
Use the form at http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=3362
See some of our concerns at https://eastdapto.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/concerns-about-tallawarra/– I suggest you focus on the message “Employment Lands” – no residential until the employment lands are developed – otherwise you will just make Illawarra’s unemployment rate worse.
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.
- 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
Recently I made some controversial comments about growth in the Illawarra. I need to be clear that these are my opinions and not those of CRED as an organisation. For those interested in reading more on the topic, a new film, Growthbusters is due for release in October this year. I am hoping to arrange a screening in Dapto. To learn more about Growthbusters – visit here.
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.
Posted in Dapto, Development, Environment, Illawarra, Media, Pollution, Tallawarra Lands
Tagged Dapto, Development, Environment, Housing, Lake Illawarra, Tallawarra