Topic: election nsw 2007
SAM's editor sought by formal Freedom of Information in mid 2005, a taxpayer funded Commission of Inquiry Report into the expansion of Port Botany which would categorically evidence massive increase in truck container traffic via the Inner West of Sydney. The govt were sitting on the report by respected Kevin Cleland for months, and even changed Planning Ministers from Craig Knowles to Frank Sartor while community groups like my own Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance http://www.botanybay.info/ patiently waited. The report helped evidence the Ports agenda for the same Inner West Motorway in the news today, that we knew as the Marrickville Truck Tunnel in 2005.
A tunnel that would involve subsidence, toxic ventilation stacks and massive voter concern. Marrickville Byelection was scheduled for 17th September 2005 and the ALP were at risk from The Green Party's Sam Byrne.
The government ran the clock down on our FoI request. We smelt a rat over the Truck Tunnel damage in the byelection. The Planning Dept under Frank Sartor even refused despite numerous promptings by phone to give up a letter of refusal prior to the close byelection. This writer was forced to go into The Lands office in Bridge St CBD and refuse to leave until I was given the letter on 12th Sept 07 (as noted below in handwriting). But the refusal letter they couldn't provide to me was actually already drafted "6th Sept", and signed "9th September" by Sam Haddad (note the changed date by hand by Haddad). The same Sam Haddad promoted to head up the department sometime later from Deputy Director position.
We duly complained and sought a review but the byelection was held on Sept 17th and negative replies excusing the government cover up were received soon after. (These letters are copied below from the reviewing officer, and the electoral commissioner). A few weeks after the byelection the Port Botany report was released.
The Greens Sam Byrne lost by only a few per cent, and was then chosen to be Mayor of Marrickville Council later in 2005 being the quality candidate that he was.
Now the major story running in Sydney is the same secret Truck Tunnel this time before an election vote in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on page 1. I also mentioned this on 702 ABC radio talkback and am happy to take interview calls on tel. 0410 558838:
Exclusive by Heath Aston: THE RTA has secretly drawn up plans for a gigantic underground toll road through Sydney's inner west in a bid to ease the city's worsening traffic woes.
Here are SAM's letters of that time evidencing the Government successfully covering their tracks in 2005 ... but not today: