‘Ask yourself,’ says Sue Wynn, Greens candidate for Swansea. ‘Would this development happen in Sydney where the Government power brokers live?’
The NSW Government is in the process of allowing development on the Wallarah Peninsula at Catherine Hill Bay, Gwandalan, Nords Wharf and Crangan Bay, because it has ignored its own Department of Planning’s advice on how to bring it into public ownership.
The value of the Wallarah Peninsula as an inter-regional buffer zone is essential as a wildlife corridor and for habitat protection. It has been known by the NSW Government since 1969. Its preservation has been government policy since 1980.
Greens candidate for Swansea, Susan Wynn, said today:
“This is a long-standing regional policy yet the Government isn’t prepared to spend even one cent on it. The Department of Planning told Cabinet how land on the Wallarah Peninsula should be bought, but Cabinet chose to allow development instead.
The Department of Planning advised Cabinet that the RioTinto (Coal and Allied) land should be purchased outright without the need for a development/dedication compromise. The Department even detailed the method to be used to fund the acquisition.
Catherine Hill Bay was listed as the second least favourable location for development in NSW by Planning Department from a list of 91 sites.
However, the Government, through the Panning Minister, using part 3A of the Environment, Planning and Assessment Act 1979, has a memorandum of understanding with RioTinto to allow 700 houses facing Crangan Bay at Gwandalan and 90 at Nords Wharf.
The memorandum also include 600 dwellings for Rosecorp at an average price of $750 000 at the heritage village of Catherine Hill Bay and at Moonee Beach delivering Rosecorp half a billion dollars. On top of that Rosecorp’s plans include over 300 houses at Gwandalan in Stage 1 with no plan for Stage 2. Gwandalan is over 17 kilometres away from Catherine Hill Bay but has been placed under the same development simply because both areas are owned by the same developer, Rosecorp.
“If elected I, as The Greens member, will introduce a Private Members Bill to scrap the contentious Part 3A that removes the rights of individuals, communities, heritage, councils, endangered species and the Land and Environment court in the planning process, without any recourse to appeal,” said Sue Wynn.
“We are not just talking about development, we are talking about areas of refuge from our urbanised environment that are valued universally by all across the entire electorate and beyond. We do not want a homogenous coastline replicating Bondi. These are our last open spaces we cannot afford to lose this fight.”
The Panning Minister has ‘called in’ 360 development projects using Part 3A in the past 12 months and approved 316 of them. The majority of these developments have been rejected by the community, local councils, heritage and the Land and Environment Court, all of the due processes that protect our democracy. Mr Sartor has absolute power and can even overrule on endangered species. Once the concept plan is approved its all over. There is no course for appeal.
The NSW branch of the ALP has received $7.4 million and the Liberal party $4.7 million from property developers over 1999 to 2005. Both major parties voted to approve the Part 3A amendment in the lower house. The Greens are working for a ban on developer donations to political parties, and, continuous disclosure for all donations over $200.
Sue Wynn can be contacted on 4359 1481 or mobile 0431 637 643