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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
4 items on 'planning' 'lands' and 'environment' ministry in NSW now
Mood:  rushed
Topic: nsw govt

So meet new 'planning minister' Tony Kelly who already doubles as the 'lands minister' and also meet 'new environment minister' Frank Sartor.

And notice the first item is a farewell from new Premier Keneally to her 'planning' portfolio. We haven't seen the Jacfin Pty Ltd scandal turn up in Green Party rhetoric (yet) but The Australian/Opposition pick up the threads here too.

None too encouraging for governance of NSW and notice bold added for some choice bits.

The new Premier can say they are all "merits" based but in a healthy democracy potential conflict of interests are shunned. As the good book says, you cannot serve two masters - in this situation either good policy, or ALP corporate fundraising opportunities.

The Greens likely most left wing MP in NSW is going so far as to support a hung parliament here on New Matilda. Lefty Labor are apparently meeting this weekend to regroup against the Right onslaught according to the SMH here:

"Several ALP branches, with the support of the secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Andrew Ferguson, have called a meeting of rank-and-file party members, on Saturday, to vent their anger at the dumping of Mr Rees."

in Keneally promotes Sartor and Kelly Date: December 8 2009

..................................#1 of 4

Keneally decision gives top Labor donor $3.5m windfall | The ...

Imre Salusinszky, NSW political reporter From: The Australian December 07, 2009 12:00AM

ONE of Kristina Keneally's last decisions as NSW planning minister has delivered a $3.5 million windfall to Jackie Waterhouse, the mystery woman who was the biggest donor to NSW Labor between 2005 and 2007.

On October 28, Mrs Keneally, who was sworn in as Premier on Friday, used special planning powers to approve a proposal by Ms Waterhouse's private company, Jacfin, to build a warehouse complex at Erskine Park, in outer-western Sydney.

The decision was made despite serious objections by Penrith council, including that the warehouse will encroach upon a biodiversity corridor running through the Erskine Business Park.

It also overrides objections by the Planning Assessment Commission, the special body set up under Mrs Keneally to remove politics from planning decisions by dealing with large development applications where political donations are involved.

Last year, The Australian revealed that Ms Waterhouse, who was related by marriage to bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, donated $300,000 to NSW Labor coffers between 2005 and 2007, much more than the next-largest donor, developer Kingold, which kicked in $190,000.

In a determination on September 21, the PAC raised numerous objections to the Jacfin proposal, including that it would crimp part of the biodiversity corridor -- designed to preserve the integrity of native bushland -- from a recommended width of 90m to 70m.

The PAC report concluded that "the approval of the application should be deferred until the applicant has submitted amending plans".

However, in its response to the PAC report, submitted to the Department of Planning on October 14, Jacfin refused to give ground on the corridor.

This did not prevent Mrs Keneally issuing her determination a fortnight later.

A Department of Planning spokesman said yesterday the PAC's recommendation for a 90m average width for the biodiversity corridor "would make it very difficult for a viable development to occur on the site".

The PAC's requirement for a minimum width of 70m had been met, he said.

"The PAC's recommendations helped the department negotiate a better environmental outcome for the site than what was originally proposed, whilst securing important economic and employment outcomes for the site."

Ms Waterhouse, 61, has property holdings in outer-western Sydney that are estimated to be worth more than $500m.

Rarely sighted in public, she was married to John Waterhouse, the cousin of Robbie Waterhouse.

After divorcing Mr Waterhouse in the early 1990s, she had a brief and tempestuous marriage with bookmaker and financier Robert Blann.

Ms Waterhouse did not return calls yesterday.

Local property sources have told The Australian that Ms Waterhouse's land would have gained $3.5m in value as a result of Mrs Keneally's decision.

..................................#2 of 4

Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 12:36 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] (Hale MLC) When will she ever learn?

Media Release

>From Sylvia Hale, Greens MP and Spokesperson for Planning

2 December 2009   - For immediate use

When will she ever learn?

Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens spokesperson for Planning, today condemned the
Minister for Planning’s promoting a development proposal at Marsden
Park that is currently being considered by her Department. The
Minister’s extolling the benefits of the development will raise
doubts about the impartiality of any decision the Department makes in
relation to the proposed rezoning.

“Minister Keneally has clearly learned nothing from the debacles of
the Catherine Hill Bay and Sweetwater developments,” said Ms Hale.
“The Land & Environment Court declared the Catherine Hill Bay
approval void because of perceptions that Minister Sartor’s decision
had been influenced by a ‘land bribe’.

“ Minister Keneally was then ignominiously forced to concede the
illegality of the Sweetwater approval on the same grounds.

“Yet only months after those decisions, we have the Minister
spruiking the alleged benefits of the Marsden Park Industrial Park
rezoning, and even going so far as to specify the number of extra jobs
that might be created and the value of road upgrades.

“It would be difficult for the Minister to be more blatant about her
support for the proposal.

“For her then to ask the public to comment on the draft plans is the
height of hypocrisy.

“Does she really expect anyone to believe that any notice will be
taken of public submissions?

“The public is well aware of how token the public submission process
is. The record shows that, despite thousands of public objections to
Part 3A developments, the Minister ends up approving almost all of

” The other ingredient common to the Marsden Park plans and Part 3A
approvals such as Catherine Hill Bay and Sweetwater, is the malevolent
influence of political donations.

“By the Minister’s own admission, the movers and shakers behind the
rezoning proposal are significant donors to the Labor, Liberal and
National parties. The Johnson Property Group has donated $494,000 to the
ALP, $136,00 to the Liberals, and $14,000 to the Nationals. Valad Funds
Management and the Winten Property Group have given $19,000 and $7,000
respectively to the ALP.

“So there we have planning NSW-style: a poisonous brew of developer
donations mixed with a perception that the Minister has made a decision
in advance of a token public submission process,” Ms Hale said.

 Contact: Colin Hesse on 02 9230 3030 or 0401 719 124

.............................................#3 of 4

Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:50 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] (Hale MLC) Keneally and Kelly - new names but noreal

Media release

>From Sylvia Hale MP, Greens Spokesperson for Planning

8 December 2009   - For immediate use

Keneally and Kelly - new names but no real change

Tony Kelly’s reincarnation as the new Minister for Planning means
that NSW can look forward to no real changes to NSW’s discredited
planning laws say the Greens.

“As a former General Manager of Wellington Council, Tony Kelly is
well aware of the intense opposition within local government and the
community to Part 3A of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and
the transfer of decision-making powers from councils to unelected
regional planning panels dominated by Ministerial appointees,” said
Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens Spokesperson for Planning.

“Only by immediately amending the Act to delete Part 3A of the Act,
by dissolving regional planning panels and rewriting the housing codes,
will Mr Kelly show that he is genuinely committed to the change the
community so desperately wants.

“But his past performance as Minister for Lands suggests that it will
be business as usual, so far as Planning is concerned.

“On the basis of his record there is little reason to hope that he
will move away from planning policies and decisions that have favoured
major donors and large corporations at the expense of residents and the

“When Lands Minister, he consistently supported for de facto
privatisation of a large portion of the Killalea State Park.

“The bankruptcy of the Mariner Finance and Babcock and Brown, major
donors to the ALP and the prime movers behind the Killalea Coastal
Developments’ proposal, gave him the opportunity to accede to the
community’s wishes and bring the Agreement to Lease deal to an end.

“But he did not do so, despite the intense public opposition to the
project and the South Coast Labor Council’s Green Ban.

“Being now both Minister for Planning and Minister for Lands, Tony
Kelly faces an intolerable conflict of interest between his role as
overseer of Crown Lands and the Minister responsible for determining
development applications for use of those lands,” said Ms Hale.


............................#4 of 4

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 7:20 AM
Subject: Meet the 'environment' minister Sartor .... Fw: planning

Again from Lynda who is a profound digger of info, think a Laperouse version of Harriet in Bega. I've already read this clip below from earlier in the year re Sartor postures as an indy 'honest' broker when dumped onto the backbench. But the Cleland CoI into Port Botany expansion proved he was just another [xxxx] in 2005- reversing the CoI findings following Cabinet diktat.
On the other hand Sartor is a brawler which might be of some use. On the other to that - Keneally is parking him just like Howard did Turnbull as Fed Env Minister. It's a leadership rival thing and expedient.
"Reform coastal management" in the article below is ironic not least given Justice David Lloyd finding of land bribes on Sartor's watch in coastal areas. (wake up Peter Garrett for that matter). Ouch! Sartor is so compromised the Right machine have him by the short and curlies now.
xxxxx is catching up methinks on the grim realities, not being quite the media obsessive here. Tragic lifestyle.
Regards, Tom
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:35 PM
Subject: planning

this one surprises me - Tony Kelly, Minister for Planning, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Lands
perhaps a vote of confidence that Sam Haddad can run the show and Kelly won't interfere
and this one will generate a lot of comment but what about this -

The morphing of former NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor from the best mate of the developers to the hero of environmental activists is in full swing.

Since being dropped from the Cabinet by Premier Nathan Rees last September, Sartor, MP for Rockdale in southern Sydney, has been on a charm offensive and busily re-inventing himself.

Last week he was in the Tweed Shire on the NSW-Queensland border meeting Hastings Village Progress Association and the Sustainable Villages Alliance to discuss their long-running campaign against inappropriate development in the beachfront community.

He has other appointments with community groups in Newcastle and on the South Coast in the coming days.

Sartor, the former Sydney Lord Mayor and ex-independent, has caught media attention with a new campaign to reform coastal development legislation, a burning issue among NSW residents who don’t want their coastline defiled and turned into mini-Gold Coasts.

He told the Tweed Daily News: “There is a need for new State environmental planning laws that cover the whole coastal area. These laws should focus on the whole coastal areas  — from the dunes right back to the estuaries  — and should take into account the impacts of climate change, population growth and other development.

What is needed is State planning legislation that is clear, unambiguous and strong. I think the community would accept that there is need for appropriate development if there is greater consultation and transparency, from the developer and the government, and they feel they are part of the process.”

But SartorMark II hasn’t won everybody over. Many environmental activists still recall his high-profile involvement with major developments at Pitt Town, Catherine Hill Bay, Sandon Point, Anvil Hill Mine and the $2 billion Kurnell desalination plant, just to name a few.

However, Sartor has become the premier-in-waiting for The Murdoch press — The Daily Telegraph and The Australian  —  and Fairfax Media — The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald. Others in the cheer squad are former Prime Minister Paul Keating, former premiers Bob Carr and Morris Iemma and former Olympics Minister Michael Knight.

The success of the Sartor push is predicated upon Nathan Rees imploding in the polls and the Caucus being spooked into yet another premiership change before the state election in March 2011.

Unhappily for the conspirators, yesterday’s Newspoll showed an improvement, albeit a small one, for Rees. In January and February, Labor’s primary vote jumped four points to 30 per cent while the Coalition dropped one point to 42 per cent.

A total of 37 per cent of voters are satisfied with Rees’s performance and 39 per cent are satisfied with the performance of Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell.

When Newspoll asked the question: Who do you think would make the better premier? 34 per cent said Rees and 29 per cent said O’Farrell.

In just seven months in the job, Rees has managed to outpoll O’Farrell as preferred premier which leads to the conclusion that Rees is cutting through while O’Farrell isn’t.

As Rees improves his game, his premiership will become safer and caucus will batten down the hatches for the election. The sound you can hear in the background is the regime change fanatics from News Ltd and Fairfax Media grinding their teeth in fury.


Posted by editor at 8:34 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 9:13 AM EADT

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