Miller Town Centre submission, plebiscites and more

March 14, 2016

DSCF0045Many of you will know that last week council presented an information session at Miller in relation to the proposed Miller Town Centre. Residents were given a week to provide feedback and I have attached mine   here 

Please note if you don’t know where to send your submission, Locked Bag 7064 Liverpool 1871 or lcc@liverpool.nsw.gov.au for emails.

Some of you will notice I’m pretty particular in how we are addressed or referred to, I grew up in Public Housing in Lurnea, my parents were not drunks, drug addicts nor were they thieves or mentally unstable. They were poor, hard working, caring and proud and referring to them as was in the document infuriating. Many successful people have been raised in public housing, many have grown up and gone on to great things from this area and I will not have consultants from where ever addressing us thusly. I am a proud Liverpudlian, I am a success in what I’ve tried to achieve and I”ve raised good, successful and caring adults, all being raised in Sadleir. POOR DOES NOT MEAN LESSER and RICH DOESN’T MEAN BETTER and YES I do take offence. I know the current thinking is that where I grew up (my husband and my children have grown  up) is considered a poor result of planning but can I tell you as a child I didn’t have to defend myself as poor because my peers were too, I didn’t have to apologise for not having the latest craze as my friends didn’t either and while there are good reasons for integrated housing I will not be told we were the result of a mistake. Not so long ago I heard the then Mayor of Campbelltown making similar assumptions. Can we please not judge/label each other, most especially not because of our postcode, in a time when getting any job is hard enough adding to the misery by blocking all people from a particular post code as being one thing or another means we miss out, we miss out on possibly the best employee we’ve ever had, we miss out on perhaps the most dedicated, trustworthy and compassionate because we label someone or their area one thing or another. Ok I’m beginning to rant but this does annoy me so very much.

 

While ever we put our pants on one leg at a time and breath the same air we are equal in my view.

 

That said while I’m having a rant, this whole Plebiscite thing is driving me crazy, all I’ve heard today on the radio is how much it will cost and cost it will…unnecessarily, blatant waste of funds from a Government who will without so much as a conversation send our young off to war  and they’re considering costing our nation half a billion dollars to rubber stamp something the majority have made more than clear they want. Wake up Mr Turnbull, the poor aren’t here for you to exploit for political gain that money could be better used and Marriage between two consenting adults is none of your business. Isn’t it written somewhere that Church and State are two separate entities… ? Too many politicians are hiding behind their personal view when they are actually employed to represent ours, if the majority have already made it clear you have no right to waste our taxes on a plebiscite it’s really that simple.

 

See you at the council meeting tonight

 

Sign off

 

 

 


While I have your attention,Planning!

June 12, 2013

Planning White PaperThe NSW Govt has presented the Planning White Paper, to date it is lacking some very, very important detail and we’re being asked to comment. Clearly without all the detail this is mostly tokenism but feed back is essential even if part of that is saying NOT ENOUGH DETAIL provided.

This document in essence is, in my view, a developer friendly attack on local government planning procedures. The proposed system will have all discussion with the community reduced to NOW, so speak up now or forever hold your piece… because from everything I’ve read it will not be open for discussion later.

At Present: If your neighbour wants to build a building of pretty much any kind on the vacant block beside you, Council must notify the surrounding residents, you are afforded the opportunity to look over the Development documents (DA’s) if you wish and you can comment. Voice your concerns, embrace it, love it, hate it but generally have a say…before so much as a sod of dirt is turned.

If this goes through: An area will be designated (x)..for example – Residential… meaning housing, so your single storey cottage could end up surrounded by 7 story Multi unit dwellings (MUD’s) and provided its not considered – restricted  – it can go ahead. Because you didn’t complain about it at the White Paper stage (now).

Heaven help those who live on farmland above shale deposits or godforbid coal or csg.

So in ten years time you purchase a lovely little cottage in a nice low rise suburb you won’t be able to complain if ‘mega-developer’ buys the house next door, knocks it down and builds MUD’s – because that boat sailed in 2013.

While this is a simplistic overview this is only the tip of an iceberg that will change planning and development in NSW, so for my two cents worth we need to complain NOW, not just on NIMBY issues but on the whole approach to planning by the present State Government.

Please don’t kid yourself either that once “Labor’ gets back into power all will change because it didn’t happen when Barry and the boys promised to overturn Part 3A so the likelihood of the reverse is much the same.

Lots of issues come into play in this developer friendly document…little things like Parking initiatives and offsets with commercial buildings. EG At present a developer can limit the number of parking spaces he/she provides by paying a fee to local council to offset and provide them elsewhere. The downside is, what they pay in the contribution doesn’t even come close to the cost of actually supplying a space so the developer gets a Free Pass (well comparatively cheaper). This cost should be equal to the cost of replacement, and I can’t see where equity in this doc that is even broached. It also should not fall on councils and rate payers to provide it for the developer.

I could go on and on about this because over time I’ve become extremely passionate about some aspects of planning, because the crux of it is, its not just development we speak about when talking planning, is preservation of history, environment, safety and health issues is a whole box and dice of issues to large to attempt here.

I have attached a document by MLC David Shoebridge and his office outlining the Greens concerns, but again, you need to speak up. You the possible victim of history (thinking ahead 10 yrs) needs to demand fair and equal access to all, a chance to discuss a project when the project is begun, not at the equivalent L.E.P (Local environment plan) stage.

Do you know what your needs will be in 10 yrs? I could guess some of mine but they’d be a guess, I don’t have a crystal ball but I do deserve a government who governs for all…not just those with the money to develop or those who have commercial interests above and beyond anything I could dream of.

It’s a bit like saying you’re going to buy the kids clothes for when your still unborn  turns 16, without a returns policy.

http://davidshoebridge.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Planning-Law-Reform-A4-12page-WEB.pdf


Code of Meeting changes NO!

June 12, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (60 of 102)As I mentioned a week or so ago, there are some proposed changes  to the code of meetings procedures that concern me greatly and I believe they should concern all of us here in Liverpool. I have attached my submission for you to read and hopefully it will inspire you enough to write as well. This will take more than one submission to stop, this is the time when you putting pen to paper is a necessity. We didn’t have to opportunity to stop the Mayors Liberal CBD Committee changes, its purview and/or the ability to spend our rates money or TIF (town improvement funds) without checks and balances… we cannot allow this to happen as well.

If you’ve never written a submission to Councillor before, don’t worry it doesn’t have to be a big formal letter, simply quote the reference number and make your point or view  known. If it helps feel free to use my wording as a guide, but the more personal you make it the better.

Changes like this usurp our democratic rights and procedures and they cannot be considered acceptable regardless of who puts it forward. It’s not that long ago the present majority went to enormous lengths to reduce the Mayors role in Liverpool, upon election they immediately removed those barriers… fair enough considering they were a dreadful political ploy in the first place. BUT to allow any one Councillor such power IS NOT ACCEPTABLE… whether he is the Mayor or not.

click here: 12.6.13 18.1 18.4 code of meeting changes

If you only write to council once this year, this is the time to do it, way to much money is directed from the floor of council as it stands now, allowing the Mayor these changes opens the door to what next?

I do not believe Liberal voters want this any more than anyone else. Checks and Balances at ALL Times.

Finally: A comment on last nights Rural Forum, council staff presented the N.S.W Govt white paper and proposed changes to the community, thank you to them all.

I think they were a little surprised at the length and breadth of knowledge residents have and the many many concerns some of these proposed changes could inflict on our communities not only now but decades into the future. More on this before the deadline for submissions but it’s time we the people spoke up.

Imagine this: You’re in your nice warm single level dwelling and unbeknownst to you changes installed now will mean that anytime down the track you could be lost in a sea of high rise without the ability to comment, object or voice an opinion, you may not even know its happening until the bricks are delivered, because the changes being made now will be your last opportunity…. IMO this document is being written with the express desires of the developers in mind, forget us, the little guy because if we don’t speak up now, the opportunity will be lost forever.  Developers will not only make sure they comment and have their needs forefront but they have the money to have it done professionally and enmass…  This is an issue I will write more about over the coming days/weeks but I strongly suggest we as a community unite just as the developers and entrepreneurs will. Community input is being sought now and may well be your only opportunity to do so. 😦


Council Meeting 29.5.13

May 30, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)Last night’s council meeting may go down as one of the dullest to witness but that’s  ok because when they aren’t dull they are often rude, insulting divisive and aggressive. Much time was spent debating items that should have been sorted yonks ago but still linger and often for the political mileage it gives.

One issue very close to my heart is the parking initiative in Liverpool, I spent nearly 4 years on the CBD committee as community rep with a number of Councillors (past and present) creating what was a initiative to move Liverpool forward and to address what was our greatest downfall….Parking, no matter who you spoke with, local or otherwise, Parking was always the issue.

To refresh you and no being no longer covered by the premise of secrecy as I’m no longer a committee member,  all the Councillors at the time supported the parking initiative, including the meters. It has been necessary to tweak and restructure some of the decisions made at the time based on genuine community needs, for instance starting the meters at 9am not 8. This tweaking was expected and scheduled. The promise of all parking revenue to be  returned to parking which has been questioned recently is an important and yet unconfirmed item I’d like clarity on.

Removing the meters altogether is absurd and in my opinion and is merely a campaign point that can be taken to the next election. Especially considering I believe there would be uproar if the $1.+ Million spent installing them was simply removed. On the upside is there has been significant change in parking behaviour, mostly of workers who now park on the periphery of Liverpool thereby leaving more spaces available for shoppers. The new changes will bring some of those workers back into Liverpool proper, $10/day at the Warren and $7/day at Northumberland (particular levels only). Shop keepers have noticed the improvement in trade especially in the southern end of Liverpool and the inclusion of a 15 minute free parking will be embraced I’m sure by many, they should however be very careful as 15 minutes is often not enough time to pick, choose, pay for anything considering the slow access to EFT machines in some places. I consider the fines will flow for 16 mins etc and think that adding 20/40 cents to cover any delay a worthwhile thought. I’m not sure how this will actually work; will there be a 15 minute only docket? Will you simply be able to step outside and press again for another 15 minutes free and will this be rorted? Only time will tell I  guess but for those genuine people in the community the steps to improve the system are there albeit baby steps.

Many speakers in the public forum last night, a number of suits, from major companies/organisations attempting to protect their particular development, a number of residents spoke who live in Chipping Norton near one particularly favoured and noisy park. Why is this so hard seriously, we have a number of fabulous parks for the whole community, why doesn’t council just insist that with groups over 100 people that a permit has to be issued with strict and enforceable noise restrictions?  Council has been dancing around this very distressing issue for way to long, make it a blanket rule for all parks, under 100 people no worries show up enjoy, over 100 and you need a permit, for any amplifiers etc you also need a permit or they are prohibited. Parking restrictions similarly, Council spends so much time achieving absolutely nothing because they dither around the edges instead of making firm decisions and enforcing them.

Men’s sheds are a particular passion of mine and while I understand the LCC/Salvation army peoples shed at Heckenberg seemed like a good alternative, it really isn’t as a men’s shed. I was pleased that council last night voted to pursue options for a number of these amazing facilities across the LGA. About time really! David Rue spoke well and pleasingly Council listened.

Time fast ran out as the meeting progressed and as always a number of items were bundled together for expediency, this it seems may have actually worked out in my favour lol, but it really isn’t an ideal outcome. The other concern was a couple of issues were to go into confidential session and they simply got left undone, from experience this will be the last we hear of them, as they float off into the ether of time.

From time to time (inside and outside council meetings and around the community)  residents  speak with me about particular issues, thank you, and I will follow up, sometimes it takes me a while as I don’t have any access to information like Councillors do but I will get you the answers as best I can. In the meantime please watch what is happening in our community, don’t believe everything you hear and check it out for yourself.

As I mentioned yesterday, there is a lot happening here and across the state. Early this morning (4am)  the O’Farrell coalition of hate (Nile and Shooters) passed repressive and retrospective laws that will affect greatly the victims of crime, while we were sleeping another regime of hate slipped past almost everyone. Hats off to David Shoebridge, Greens MLC for his diligence and hard work in standing up for those voiceless in our community, he achieved a small concession but an even greater loss to the community was realised.

Locally the proposed changes to the code of meeting practice are scary and needs your attention. The Mayors (I’ve heard not only ours) are using the Mayoral minutes to introduce items to local councils that are unchecked, unquestioned, unchanged and unprepared that will have long term affect on our communities. I will prepare a submission and post it here in the coming days however  I cannot recommend highly enough the need for you to also write and tell the council NO. We pay our experienced staff for their expertise to make sure advice to Councillors is well researched and due diligence takes place,  these mayoral minutes will undermine that process completely and in my opinion is a very  slippery slope we should avoid at all costs. My voice alone is not enough, this is an issue you all need to voice an opinion on and if it helps feel free to copy some of mine and include it in yours if it makes it easier, however remember your view is important and it should show your concerns not just mine. I’ll work on this in the coming days and post it as I will my submission for the drafts for the coming  1, 4  and 10 year plans.


Further to the Extraordinary meeting post

May 6, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (41 of 102)Below, in italics,  is a copy of the motion to rescind the Mayoral minute,  Cllr Anne Stanley lodged, (thank you for sharing it) but the outcome was as we expected.  The duration 10-15mins, one non attendee (Cllr Balloot) not the expected absentee and the Mayor using his casting vote to make sure his proposed changes were safe and unchanged. There are genuine concerns about the proprietary of these changes from a number of people I’ve spoken with in the community and many have expressed their concern as to what the possible outcomes might be, none of which garner well for our city and council. FTR Cllrs Stanley, Shelton, Harle, Waller, Karnib for the rescission motion Cllrs Mannoun, Mannoun(in essence 2votes) Hadid, Mamone, Ristevski,  Hadchit, against… carried by Mayoral vote.

There are some real concerns with these changes and I dare say I hope a number of residents register and get up at the next council meeting and speak against them… again the changes to meeting practice will mean fewer people can make their views heard and all relevant info will need to be delivered within 3 minutes.

In fairness there are a number of things happening in council I hope the residents are paying close attention to… presently on public exhibition are the plans for budgetary and proposed actions for council the coming year/4yrs, I believe will be accessible and discussed  via the community forums (for the moment there are still 2)

Please, Please take the time to look at the council website, see what is happening and make your opinions known and preferably in writing. I cannot stress enough the importance of writing down objections and voicing opinions either for or against as a written submission carries with it a real weight while a verbal one barely no weight at all.

ANNE STANLEY”S MOTION

“I move the notice of rescission for the Mayoral Minute regarding Liverpool Urban Revitalisation for the following reasons:-

  • The Mayoral Minute was in contravention of the Liverpool Code of Meeting Practice Adopted 6 February 2013 Section 18.1 and 4 and the Division of Local Government Meeting Practice Note August 2009 – 2.7.1 Mayoral Minutes should not be used to introduced, without notice, matters that are routine, not urgent, or need research or a lot of consideration by the councillors before coming to a decision.
  • This Mayoral Minute has wide ramifications to the strategic plan and subsequently the Council’s budget. There were no financial implications in the Mayoral Minute although it is obvious that there are significant financial implications. There was no reference to either the four or ten plans of Councils. I note that the study tour which has been approved for the Mayor Councillors and Staff does not happen until June, therefore this motion could have been put to the next ordinary Council Meeting giving the Councillors and staff, time to provide the relevant information to make an informed decision. This motion puts the cart before the horse.
  • The motion should have ruled out of order by the Chairperson based on s 367 of the Act; s 238 point 1and 2; s 240 and s 241 point 1 of the Government Regulation of the Local Government Act 2005; Division of Local Government Meeting Practice Note August 2009-section 12.1.1; Liverpool Code of Meeting Practice Adopted 6 February 2013 section 2.7.1 and 2.7.4;
  • The Mayoral minute may not meet the requirements of S377 of the Act
  • Ultimately this motion should have been discussed with the benefit of notice and the opportunity for reports to be provided by staff. Liverpool is not only the Central Business district it is much, much more than that. We were elected to serve the whole of the Local Government area and any decisions made must take into account their consequences for all of Liverpool and how it may affect the majority of residents who live and work outside the CBD If this truly so important it should be planned and be well thought out. With only one hour notice this Mayoral Minute did not do that.”

Over to you… especially business owners who pay TIF payments this inevitably will affect you  directly. Comments welcome

Sign off


Immediate action required

January 9, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (60 of 102)This week’s Champion  advises that the AGL Coal seam plans are both on exhibition and the date for submissions has been extended…sadly they provided the incorrect email address it is:

http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au  on the left is a search box: type in Camden Gas project and you will be directed to the information pages and below will be an on line submission option.

Below is my submission… I am 100% against Coal Seam Gas exploration, the risks are too high, the information on safety and long term affect ambiguous … if we don’t stop it now…right now, it could be your house they next explore under…it WILL  be your water and air quality at risk and if information from the US is correct (& they’ve been doing this longer) IT IS NOT SAFE AND MUST BE STOPPED.

More information is available at:  http://www.lockthegate.org.au/

frackingPLEASE read and object to this imposition…

Dear Sirs,

I would like to raise my serious and adamant objections to the proposed CSG mining in Camden and NSW generally.

The blatant disregard for the safety of the immediate generation AND the future is beyond belief. Insufficient research and study has been done to establish the long term affects of this outrageous plan and the impacts on both air and water. Recent releases of Gas in the Nepean district highlights the absolute travesty to our environment that mining such as this can do.

I am horrified that any government could be so lackadaisical with our water supply, the health and safety issues of residents and the obvious air pollution associated with CSG. I also request that a moratorium across the state be installed until such times as the government can assure the safety of residents, the water supply and the air quality associated with CSG.

Recent studies in the US indicate there is little to be said for the proposed financial outcomes and that considering the impacts and costs of installation there is no proof that CSG is a cheap resource and in actual fact if proves much more expensive than wind and solar or geo thermal.

Residents vote for governments they believe will look after their best interests, not chase a quick buck.

Sirs, I cannot more sincerely request this project be denied until real and sufficient studies to the long term affects are clear. A complete moratorium is necessary until this is PROVEN safe.

Our water, our air, our children deserve protection and as the present government of our state it is your duty to do that, and allowing CSG anywhere in NSW until those comprehensive and INDEPENDENT studies are complete.

Sincerely,

Signe Westerberg

Business and home owner.


A fitting and appropriate event

May 25, 2012

It’s almost a week since the opening of Phil Tolhurst Park… a string quartet, catered knibblies and a fitting and appropriate speech from Mayor Waller. Phil’s family were in attendance as was his new Grandson Jack Phillip.

It was lovely to see so many of  his friends and colleagues both past and present  in attendance and the noted absences were appreciated.

I managed a few photo’s and as soon as I ‘find’ them in my PC I will post them, (sorry new camera, new system and they’re in there somewhere) how’s that, I finally remembered to take a camera and actually took some pics. Perhaps I should have stuck with the phone LOL. As Promised Phil Tolhurst Park Pics

Don’t forget the draft operational plan and draft budget are on exhibition at the moment; submissions are due by COB Wednesday 30th. This is your opportunity to comment on how the council(lors) get to spend your rate money and what on.

Also Monday 7pm is the scheduled council meeting, I don’t get to see the minutes until after noon today and suggest you have a look on line if you’d like to see what is planned and whether or not you would like to address the councillors on a particular topic.

Also Sorry day tomorrow at the Regional Museum, sadly I have another meeting and wont’ be there but hope we get a good turnout for this important part of our calendar year.