Parramatta Council shoots itself in the foot

Parramatta Council shoots itself in the foot. I would like to express my disappointment in the decision to support the High Rise development of the NSW State Government to the most important Convict built site which is  more intact than any one in Australia.  Councillors it beggars belief that a site that is so significant to for the future Tourism of Parramatta can be decided by 12 people in the Council is unbelievable. Once any piece of the site in Fleet Street is built on, then all you will have is less green space, you are not able to give it World Heritage Listing as it deserves, you will have lost the unique opportunity to promote Parramatta as the best place in Parramatta to visit, no other place in Australia has these assets. Do you think that overseas people will come to visit and look at high rise, you can see that any place in the world.

The problem is that Council does not seem to love our city as most people do, it is looking at development and money instead of our heritage, I believe that all we will have is high rise glass boxes. I urge that all people who are passionate about Parramatta, make your thoughts known to the Council.


Is The NSW Government Above The Law?

The Crown Land Act clearly states

It is important to note that section 6 of the Crowns Land Act provides that Crownland is not, among other things, to be “used, sold, leased, licensed, dedicated or reserved or otherwise dealt with unless the [activity] is authorised by this Act”.

Why is it then that the NSW Government and the Federal Government pursuing developments that are against the law. Why is it up to the local Community to fight for what is lawful and the rights of the Community to use land that has been put aside for the future use of them.

To run the risk of breaking the law, there must be a huge reward, so do we know what is behind the risk taking, what is in it for the developers and what is in it for their supporters, we are told follow the money trail. We need to find out who is behind the sale of Crown Land at Northmead. Why would someone want to buy an old Sandstone Quarry, try and drain it, fill it in and build five stories. The project itself is questionable. The reports used to decide it are not up to date and accurate.

The Quarry has an historic past, most of the sandstone quarried from the place was of high quality, it was said to be as high quality as the Pyrmont Quarry, and used to build North Parramatta, when the quarrymen hit the water table in the 1960’s it filled up with water. Unique wildlife live there, but a study of the wetland was not undertaken. The question is that all the surrounding area has been listed. Why was this portion left off the LEP.

Why when questioned about it do people pass you off and say they do not know. The local Community do not want it. The local Council representatives were out voted at the JRPP, the question is why. The Parramatta Council is not in favour of the development and would prefer to remediate the water area to showcase the unique community area.

Why is the NSW Government prepared to go against the act and forge ahead to sell it. The local State member is not for it, nor is the Environment Minister, so who stands to make money out of it. Crown Land has been a hot topic in the past twelve months, so who has what to gain is the question. CLOL will be happy for anyone who has information to come forward. The Development goes on public display 3rd November 2014 and closes 1st December 2014. Just prior to Christmas, do you think that the Department is hoping that no one is watching?

The White Paper Crown Land has been shelved, probably until after the March election. The question still is who is involved in this development, who stands to gain from the sale of public land, and who are the supporters within the NSW Government that has given this project the green light,which is against the ACT. The development number is 2014SYW111 RPA

Address you submissions to Minister Pru Goward. Minister for Planning, NSW Government Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000.

The area is on the fringe of a STIF (Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest) which is a critically endangered and only 5% remaining on Mainland Australia. The Quarry surrounds has also 32 protected species, although no study was done in the wetland instead.

The development wants to buy Crown Land  (Community Owned Land) drain the quarry, fill it in and build up to Five storey units. The people of the area has not been made aware of this. This area has a rich Aboriginal history and many outcrops, shelter caves, and sites that have the potential to be damaged or destroyed in the process.  The Greater Western Sydney Heritage Action Group is asking the NSW Government to sign care and control over to Parramatta City Council so that the area can be cleaned of weeds and ensure that the wetland be  turned into a recreational and educational area for environmental and heritage student to foster their knowledge and skill. See more at

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust – Liberal National Party Selling NSW

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust – Liberal and National Party Selling New South Wales.


Why are the principles of crown land management being so blatantly ignored, not just by negligence but by outright illegality in breach of the Crown Lands Act?  Why is this condoned not only in regard to developers, but by councils as failed trustees, by the NSW Crown Lands Department who has failed administration system, and in the last decade by Public Servants employed to uphold the law, but Ministerial manipulations and rorts.


Why is the sale of land to private owners started by the Federal Labor Party been allowed to continue under a Federal Liberal National Party Government? Mr Bailey CEO of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust was quoted as saying that Crown Land is owned by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust …WRONG …it is owned by the people of Australia.


Before the New South Wales State and Federal election-


The Member for Warringah, the Hon. Tony Abbott, responded on this issue: – “I have been extremely concerned about this issue ever since the former Labor Government announced the military’s plans to leave in answer to a Parliamentary Question on Notice from me in May 1995. Since then, I have organized a number of protest meetings and campaigned strongly to ensure that this priceless piece of our heritage is not squandered to the everlasting loss of the people of Sydney and Australia.”


A response from Joe Hockey, the Member for North Sydney stated: “The sheer volume of correspondence I have received on this issue indicates that while the community respects the need for the Department of Defence to occupy prime land for strategic purposes, this need does not encompass a right to pass title to this land into the hands of private interests. Significantly, the views of the local community also reflect a general desire to promote intergenerational equity when it comes to our environment. The request that the lands do not fall victim to private concerns is not motivated by jealousy on the part of local residents.”


Seriously, what has changed, why have these men, who are now leaders of Australia gone against everything that they said and now is advocating the sale of Crown Land. The story appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.;jsessionid=AEA9B0DF2A7E0560F50175AB6272E30D?sy=afr&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=1month&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=10&rm=200&sp=brs&cls=18871&clsPage=1&docID=SMH140329VG6UD2GHN4F


But they are not selling it to Australians, they are selling it to overseas investors, not small parts of the state, but large pieces of important land that was put aside for the future use of our citizens.


The White Paper on Crown Land Management which has been shelved until after the election sought to water down the laws so that large items like Jenolan Caves could be sold. A member of the Crown Land Our Land has written to the Premier and the Minister, from the Central Coast she expressed her frustration in the political deals and corruption in that area. Some of what she wrote is quoted here.


“The Premier needs to know what voters are concerned about up here.  The last Liberal member standing up here , Chris Holstein, has a record of ignoring not one but two  10,000 plus signatures on Parliamentary petitions regarding the Developer- friendly takeover of  public school and Crown Land sites on Gosford Waterfront for private development under Minister Brad Hazzard , calling the signatories A “vocal minority” and even” bananas”.


The latest takeover has been under Mike Baird’s watch, at the Broadwater, (part of the State declared SSS),  with a site reserved for Public Recreation W2 entirely given over to a developer, with the support of CCRDC and the approval of your Minister for Lands – and  with as yet absolutely NO opportunity for community input at all into the approval to thus illegally alienate Crown Land without a Plan of Management being prepared for the Minister which would assess the impact of the extension of use on the original purpose for which the land was reserved.


When this is pointed out directly, attempts to cover up are all we get.  I have had a letter from Minister for Lands reassuring me they are working closely with GCC to ensure things are done correctly.  But they haven’t been, and he has already given his approval.  Can illegal processes be smoothed over by collaboration?”


And more “Unless these issues are recognised, and responded to by the current government,  selecting Liberal candidates for the next State elections will be a waste of time, however strategic  it may seem at the moment. Political parties for too long have placed too much faith in their power to use the media to persuade and dissemble.  Performance and delivery of service, after listening to the constituency, is what is needed.”


It is a sorry state of affairs when ordinary people spend endless time and energy to contact their elected representatives only to be ignored or brushed aside referring it to the “minister” or the department hoping they have brushed the community aside. We afraid that it will not happen this time, the community have rallied, they are communicating with each other, supporting each other and using social media to get the problem out there. Only action will satisfy, Premier Baird, only action.


June M Bullivant OAM

Crown Land Our Land