Crown Land Our Land was formed to highlight the problems of the NSW Communities. The lack of respect by our elected leaders who were put into government to look after us, our homes, our lively hoods, our farms, water. Over successive governments the lack of representation for our communities is unbelievable and literally thousands of people are putting their lives on hold to protest about the problems they are having trying to protect their homes. The rush of the current government to allow big development has already been experienced when the community fought to have the NSW Planning laws actually represent the community instead of Big Business. Then the White Paper giving the government the means to sell off our precious assets to overseas interests has been shelved for the time being. but come the March election if the same people are in Government it will be aired again. June Bullivant writes about the problems in the Parramatta local government area………………..
Sitting through three sessions of consultation meetings with people hired by Urban Growth (the commercial arm of the NSW Government) has not allayed the fears of our groups for the privatisation and commercialisation of land that belongs to all Australians. Day one we were asked questions and our views, played pin the tail and then the crunch, “we need to do something to pay for all of this.”
Local State Member Geoff Lee was quoted in the local newspapers as saying he supported the plan that is being proposed by the State Government, he held the party line. He also was quoted as saying he did not the are World Heritage Listed, his reasoning, they would not be able to sell off the land surrounding it to the developers for the building of high rise.
The State government thinks that this land is theirs to sell, they say that the money is needed for conservation of the buildings on the site. All the new releases are now saying the other buildings on the site. There is no mention that these buildings are the only intact sandstone buildings in Australia built by Parramatta sandstone from the Fleet Street Quarry and by convicts. No other place in Australia has intact buildings, only ruins.
The State Government is pushing to have 6000, apartments on this convict site, people say “Oh I hope that it will be put aside for affordable housing”, well there hopes are to be dashed. The author knows that clandestine tours of non English speaking overseas developers were driven around Parramatta. Affordable Housing is not even on the horizon, most of these developments are sold off the plan, to overseas investors, this means that they will own the land on the site.
Of course these units will need to be serviced so that means 6,000 apartments will need to have electricity and water, if you have witnessed any building site you will know of the rubbish generated and the mess made of the building site, of course the public will not see the devastation because they surround it with fabric you cannot see through.
Will they have an explorative archaeological dig so they know what they are digging up, they have not said, have they promised that the sandstone structures will be safe and conserved, yes, but not when, they will sell off the surrounding land, will they put the money in a special account to be used for the convict buildings, they have not said.
So my friends they have not developed a plan for the Convict Buildings (they are occupied by the NSW Department of Health) they have not told us the plans to develop the convict site for tourism or how the community can use them, they have only showed us a plan to sell and develop the land for high rise to sell off to overseas developers.
We are angry, why, because the trust in the NSW Government is at a low ebb, why because of a corruption of process, because our land is being sold for profit, because the push by this Government is to develop, develop, develop and to hell with the community, you will get what we tell you, they have declared the site to be of State Significance, this means from here in you will not be able to have an impact on decision making, they can increase the height at their whim, and there will be no way that you will be able to stop it.
Watched a presentation on the work on our World Heritage Listed Parramatta Park, no ifs buts or maybe, this was set in concrete with no consultation with the committees set up by council to give important historical information, who did they work with, the same people who are currently putting portals through the 1836 Lennox Bridge. People of NSW our State is in for a vey bad period for our history and our heritage, we liken it to the 1970’s, but we fear it will be much worse. There is no gate keeper with a lock on the door, it is open to the elements.
This is another exercise where our elected representatives are governing for the big end of town and not the citizens of NSW.
Photo Greg Davis
June M Bullivant OAM
Crown Land Our Land.