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RAID Rally a Resounding Success

RAID Rally  a Resounding Success

Shane Withington holds the dossier which will be presented to the planning minister

The RAID (Residents Against Inappropriate development) Rally today at Hyde Park in Sydney was a roaring success. There would have been about 1000 people there with representatives from 30 groups around NSW - all of whom are furious about the recent amendments to the EPA Act (Environmental and Planning Act, 1979).

In particular, the Part 3A Critical Infrastructure amendment is the most abhorred by community groups as it takes away the rights of local government and communities to have a say in developments.    Deals behind closed doors have to stop!  Furthermore, once the Planning Minister approves a development, there will be no right of appeal under Part 3A. 

Extended Interview with Shane Withington

  sylvia hale NSW Greens MP Jack Mundey, long time activist and union leader who was instrumental in the 1970s for issuing Green Bans across the country from Freemantle to Hobart - as well as getting the EPA Act (1979) enshrined in law to protect our environment and built heritage spoke passionately at the Rally and said "This is a replay of what happened in the 1970s, when people like you took up the cudgels to get the first heritage legislation in this country.  
This is the worst government since the Askin Government as far as our heritage is concerned.  
We need to force the government to repeal the laws."

  Sylvia Hale of the Greens said that we are affected by the appalling development decisions which undermine the Planning Act as well as community access.  The property development industry poured millions of dollars into the Labour Party coffers and they spent it on TV ads.  12 months after elected they introduced "reforms" to the planning laws based on the latest wish list of the development industry.

RAID protesters marching along macquarrie st to the NSW parliament house Other speakers included Robert Stokes of the Liberal Party, Peter Stuckberry of the Royal Institute of Arcihtecture, Brad Hazzard, Julie Cook of the Hill Top Residents Action Group, Shane Withington of Friends of Currawong, The National Trust and Tony Rescie who put forward a motion, seconded by Jack Mundey, calling on the Rees Government to revoke all legislation which forces unacceptable high density development on local communities as well as Part 3A of the EPA Act amongst other demands.

Deb and Robert hold the Mullumbimby banner The speakers were warmly received by the colourful crowd who brandished placards and banners demanding rights for communities and the environment.  Peter Stuckberry observed that there was a distinct lack of young and indigenous people in the crowd, and stressed the importance of fighting these issues hand in hand with the traditional caretakers of this country.  He quoted an Aboriginal elder who said "Why are you digging up the ground?   
We have walked this land for 60 thousand years; that is our library you are digging up."

Read the Sydney Morning Herald

Media release by Sylvia Hale

Barry O'Farrell Must Confirm the Commitment to Repeal Minister's Powers NSW Greens MP

Sylvia Hale has called on Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell to confirm that the Opposition is committed to the repeal of part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. Part 3A was introduced in 2005. It gives extraordinary powers to the state Planning Minister to call in  large developments and   override local councils and environment and heritage protections. Ms Hale welcomed the comment by Shadow Planning Minister Brad Hazard that the Opposition is now supporting the repeal of Part 3A. Mr O'Farrell needs to confirm that this is now opposition policy and a genuine commitment from the Opposition leadership and not just Mr Hazard.

We only have Part 3A because the Opposition voted with the Government in 2005 to get it through the parliament. The Greens opposed its introduction. It is pleasing to see that the Opposition has realised it was wrong in supporting Part 3A in the first place and is now committed to supporting its repeal," said Ms Hale. "
What we need now is for the Opposition Leader to confirm his commitment to its repeal."

Further information: Chris Holley 02 9230 3030 / 0437 779 546 Regards

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