The NSW Liberal State Government has made proposals to put over 35,000 new dwellings along the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor which runs straight through my electorate of Watson. Independent modelling has shown the proposals could be far larger than 35,000.

This is despite there currently being no proposed new schools, health facilities or any other community services to support an increased population. Canterbury-Bankstown Council estimates 36 new primary schools and 12 new high schools will be needed using the lower end of the proposed housing numbers.

The current amount of open space is only 5% when the recommended is 15% for the current residential population. These are just some of our community concerns.

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You can also contact our office any time on 9750 9088 or tony.burke.mp@aph.gov.au

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Community Forum: 30th October 2017, a wrap up

On monday night 30th October we saw a massive turn out to our Overdevelopment Forum. It was standing room only in the Orion Centre in Campsie as over 300 people attended.

This forum was an important first step in building the momentum we need to stop the Liberal State Government plans for overdevelopment in our local area.

Tony Burke welcomed everyone and shared his concerns for the plans. Sophie Cotsis then spoke quickly. Award-winning world renowned architect Angelo Candalepas spoke to a powerpoint presentation where he presented his research and proposal which he has submitted to the Government for consideration. (This can be found here.) Community members then took to the microphone to share their stories and their concerns  about the plans.

Statistics regarding Overdevelopment in our area:

  • Proposed new homes (apartments) 35,400 (Department of Planning NSW) - Independent modelling shows it could be as high as 90,000 units (SMH article 14/9/17)
  • Current open space 5% in our area, the recommended amount is 15% - this is for current population – not taking into account the possible hundreds of thousands of new residents.
  • Transport changes: current train line being upgraded to Metro line
  • No word from state government about upgrades to schools or health facilities:
  • Canterbury-Bankstown Council estimates 36 new primary schools and 12 new high schools will be needed using the lower end of the proposed housing numbers.

Jihad Dib, State Member for Lakemba is collecting 10,000 signatures with Ms Sophie Cotsis, Member for Canterbury regarding the Sydenham-Bankstown mass re-zonings. These are due by the 10th of November. 

Excerpts from Tony Burke's Speech on the evening:

This [proposal] is the greatest change in what it’s like to live in our local area that we will ever have. And effectively getting organised now is a moment where we decide what sort of community we want to be. That’s why I thought I could stand to one side no longer.

We have a proud history in our local area, a really proud history to our local area. So many people who have come from around the world the first place they have called home has been our part of Sydney. We have been welcoming and we have done well. I don’t see how we continue to improve people’s way of living in our local area if the pressure is increased in this way. Because our capacity to continue to deliver the community facilities just disappears. It just goes.

I catch the train most days, it’s quicker than Canterbury road, I walk up to my local station Punchbowl or Skye gives me a lift down to Riverwood Station. The trains we have already are pretty packed by the time they get to our stations. Pretty packed. It’s not like Canterbury Road is ready to take an extra vehicle. But why should it be that we get almost no open space? Why should that be?

I would explain when they had different consultants come through who have said they will plan ‘pocket parks’. A pocket park that is a community garden and a pocket park somewhere else that is for toddlers. I’ve said to them, you don’t understand our area. Go to the parks here on the weekends and you will find massive extended family gatherings. You don’t just go to one park for the toddler and you go to a different park for the teenager and somewhere else for someone who wants to sit under a tree. We are a community where extended family is unbelievably important in our part of Sydney. Unbelievably important. That means we need some open space of scale.

Everything that we need, everything that we have worked towards is jeopardised by this proposal. That’s why I’ve decided to get involved. The final thing I’ll say, if you were to turn the 5% into 15% there is only one parcel of land that would make it possible in open space. It would be Canterbury Racecourse.

There is one message that I want us to resolve tonight simply by being here and that is that any planner… who thought they could pick our community because we wouldn’t know how to campaign and we wouldn’t know how to complain, has another thing coming.

Tony BurkeComment