F.R.A.A.N.

Fairfield Residents Against Airport Noise

Please address all correspondence to: Post Office Box 20

Horsley Park NSW 2164 Phone/Fax (02) 9620 1428

NEWS RELEASE.

19th July, 1999

"The Growth Centre" - Gazette 156. - The FACTS.

"The Secret Behind Badgerys Creek"

- Please refer to EIS volume 1, page 10-7.

- The "Growth Centre - Development Corporation" gazette sets aside an enormous area of land outside and around the proposed airport site. This area stretches from almost to the Great Western Highway to the north, includes Wallacia to the west, includes Camden airport to the south, and stretches across to the Hume highway to the east. It dwarfs the proposed Badgerys Creek airport site, within it, in comparative size.

- The boundary area of land noted as being within the Growth Centre, was first identified in the 1995 report ‘State infrastructure Requirements for Sydney West Airport’, although without noting what it should be, but rather shown simply as a mapped boundary line, and entitled ‘Sydney West Context’.

- It was secretly gazetted by the Labor State Government, 20th December 1995 and published 22nd Dec 1995, the Friday before Christmas Monday. (This was an executive ministerial decision only, and was not put before parliament) (The minister at the time was Craig Knowles - ex Mayor of Liverpool Council)

- Why was it necessary to Gazette this land secretly, and why was it not discussed before Cabinet?

 

- It is a legislative fete accompli, and specific legislation would now be required to halt it.

 

-- A ‘Development Corporation’ would control this Growth Centre. The Development Corporation has extra-ordinary powers available to it via the Growth Centres (Development Corporations) Act.

- The Development Corporation would consist of "not less than 5 people". (section 6.(1))

- It has the power to "demolish or cause to be demolished, any building within or adjoining or in the vicinity of the growth centre, of which it has exclusive possession". (section 8.(1) d)

- It has the power to subdivide or re-subdivide land, and consolidate subdivided or re-subdivided land, vested in the Development Corporation". (section 8. (1) g)

- It has the power to acquire land "by agreement or by compulsory process".(section 9. (1)) - "...... the approval of the Minister shall not be required for a lease of land by the development corporation for a term which is less than three years". (section 11. (2)) ....Etc and etc....

PROBLEM - The ‘Growth Centre’ is found in the Main report of the Badgerys Creek EIS, vol 1, pg 10-7, but only in a map boundary form.

- There is no discussion indicating the properties or purpose of the zone, anywhere in the EIS to accompany the boundary map.

- It is not present in any form at all in the supplement to the EIS, nor in any one of the on going 3 published EIS summary documents.

- Why is it not properly noted in the EIS, since it will have such a direct bearing on the proposed airport, and it’s impacts?

- Why has it been necessary to keep this Growth Centre gazette a secret throughout the EIS?

PROBLEM - This information was provided to PPK, by FRAAN, on a variety of occasions, both formally and informally. There is no excuse for it’s exclusion in the EIS or EIS supplement.

PROBLEM - Land which is owned by the Commonwealth Govt. (ie the proposed airport site itself, and RAAF land, and the Kingswood Munitions Dump) has been included in this State Govt. Gazette. Is this legal for the State Govt to Gazette Federally owned land? It appears not.

PROBLEM - It would also appear that the Development Corporation over-rides the powers of local Councils’: - Camden, Penrith, and Liverpool.

PROBLEM - There are two other large land area Growth centres; Albury Wodonga and Bathurst Orange. Both are failures. Why then, go down the path of failure again?

PROBLEM- The people within the area of the Growth Centre have never been formally advised of the re-gazette of their land.

PROBLEM - in response to a letter from FRAAN(29/8/1996) to state MP’s regarding the Growth Centre, Minister Knowles wrote back to them (29/10/1996) that "the Development Corporation does not have any power over private land holders within it’s boundaries...".

- When one considers the Development Corporations Act, this is clearly demonstrated to be untrue.

PROBLEM - Our chairman provided all of this information to Mr R Wainright of the Sydney Morning Herald, on 16th June, 1999 who indicated that he thought it to be a story well worthwhile running. Instead the SMH ran a personal interest story on our chairman July 1, 1999 with a one line comment about the Growth Centre. Thus the genuine nature of the "Growth Centre - Development Corporation" still remains buried. It has been ‘buried’ by other journalists before as well.

FRAAN is of the opinion that the action of not openly and publicly advising of the size and meaning of the growth centre and development corporation, by the Governments’ and the EIS, is immoral and wrong, in particular to the people who live within the area of the Growth Centre. They have essentially been deceived, and have not been allowed the opportunity to see the potential massive change of circumstance which could befall them. Many new homes are being built within the area as you read this.

There are families who have already had their land taken before (in some cases twice) by compulsory process. This gazette shows that it could happen to them again.

 

PROBLEM - Within the area of the ‘Growth Centre’ is the ‘South Creek Valley Sector’, also shown in the EIS vol 1, pg 10-4,. This was a proposal for very large high density housing and industrial development, (with large pockets of 35 homes per hectare) which was knocked out by a 1992 State Government EIS, because of it’s negative impact on air and water quality.

- The very fact that it appears to has ‘risen like the phoenix from the ashes’, in the EIS for the proposed airport is also cause for very great concern, if for no other reason than that the people who would presumably live there seem not to be genuinely factored for the future, in the EIS or it’s supplement. What schools would their children go to for instance?

 

It would appear that the proposed Badgerys Creek airport proposal may be nothing more than an excuse for a massive land grab, and development of an enormous high density urban and industrial development in outer western Sydney.

 

footnotes;

1) It should be noted that had it not been for a concerned resident ringing FRAAN to ask about this gazette, seen by fluke coincidence, no-one would be any the wiser about this gazette given it’s hidden and buried nature since the time of gazettal and lack of note in the EIS.

2) - The "State Infrastructure Requirements for Sydney West Airport" report leans heavily towards development of a massive industrial and urban development in western Sydney, surrounding the proposed airport site.

3) - It has not taken into account, powerful earlier Government reports advising of a cessation of urban and industrial development in Western Sydney by 1978.

Cite; 1973 State Pollution Control Commission Report, referred to in the 1992 Professor Bell "Air Pollution Problems in Western Sydney" Report - "..which clearly identified the topographic and meteorological features of western Sydney, that made the area a potential pollution trap....The report suggested that Western Sydney was unsuitable for future extensive urban development, and population growth in the area should be halted by 1978."

Cite; 1990 State Government air quality report (Also referred to in the Bell report) prepared by an international group of consultants "which forecasts dangerously high levels of smog in the Sydney area...." " concerned particularly with road transport planning for the proposed urban development in Western Sydney".

- Both of the above reports were classified as ‘cabinet documents’ to prevent freedom of information access.

- It should be noted however, that the State Government via it’s departments such as the ‘Department of Urban Affairs and Planning" (under Minister Knowles) were responsible for supplying significant levels of base information for the EIS.

for further information, copies of the gazette, the Act act or Bell air quality report, please contact

Peter Cork

Chairman: FRAAN

 

If this were chess, once again the term is 'check'.