Hi there trendsetters, hip shakers, and sports fans, I trust you all enjoyed your time off, and have recovered from any drastically large uplift in the volume of alcohol consumed…
I have been a bit absent of late, and it’s not for the religious reasons that you are no doubt assuming…. I have actually been rather busy, despite the holidays. I have been doing something that our local Liberal MP’s may have read about in a book, I have been out talking to residents.
For those of you who don’t realise, I live in Sydney’s Hills Shire. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like it here, but living in an area that is dominated by Liberal politicians, and religious nuts, often one and the same, it does have its occasional drawbacks.
So, “what have I been so busy chatting to people about?” You may well ask…Well allow me to explain.
Here in the Hills Shire, in February and March last year, we all heard time and time again how wonderful things were going to be with a Liberal government in control of the state. Things were finally going to get done around here now that our local MPs, in particular David Elliot, and Ray Williams, who suddenly appear at election time, now get to experience being a part of government, rather than opposition. Streets would be repaved in gold, birds would sing, the sick would be healed, I was ready to start bathing in champagne, but alas, things have not turned out quite the way we had hoped.
The big promise of the supposed North West Rail Link, has been an absolute farce under the control of the same incompetent party that brought us Sydney’s Airport Link line, you may have heard of it, nobody uses it. I talk of course of the Liberal Party. This is a party that would struggle to plan a pub crawl, let alone a multi billion dollar piece of infrastructure.
It is interesting to note, that the opposition spokesperson for transport, Penny Sharpe, has spent for more time in the area talking to residents, community groups, and businesses, than the Minister who is supposed to be in charge Gladys Berejiklian.
This rail link, we were promised, was going to put the Hills Shire on the map. It was going to be state of the art, an underground line that would have little to no impact on the environment, or the landscape. It was going to ease the transport system in the area, boost employment, and give our local economy a kick along. All of this and publicly owned to keep the cost of using the service to a minimum.
Now, that has changed considerably… Now we have a promise the O’Farrell government can’t afford, so privatisation is back on the table. Suddenly there is to be huge impact on environment and residents as the final few kilometres are to be above ground… So high above ground in fact the idiots running this project have now dubbed it “Skytrain”… I kid you not… It has gone from being underground, to being on Cloud 9.
To their credit, the artists impressions release by the O’Farrell govt, make it look nice. The train all nice and clean gliding over parks and trees…. The reality could not be further from the truth.
The reality is, it will be a noisy, graffiti covered railway going though cheap hi rise housing… No parks, no trees, just another noisy train rattling through a slum.
Maybe I should explain…
In order for this inept excuse for a state government, the same government whose Environment Minister states that logging is good for Koalas, to raise money to pay for their promise they need investors. Alas, this kind of investment comes from people who actually think before they make promises. Private investment companies, such as Macquarie, or the Federal Government, who now under Labor, are quite prone to actually researching before making decisions.
What these investors require before they spend either their money, or taxpayers money in the case of govt, is to be assured that it is a worthwhile investment. The main way they determine this is by a population density ratio.
This ratio says that you need a certain number head of population in the region per $million spend, for it to be a worthwhile investment. Unfortunately for Barry, and those of us who live here, the area falls a long way short.
The solution by the Liberal dominated Hills Shire council, has been to rezone vacant land, in areas like mine, to allow for cheap apartments. This way they cover the foolish promise of a foolish Premier, and protect the local Liberal members from the dramas associated with a huge promise broken by their leader, by bringing in a huge amount of new residents.
The large vacant area near where I live was to be small retail, cafe’s, restaurants, and a motel, this sounded great and the residents were all happy with that. Just before Christmas however, the councillors voted to change the zoning, and now we have 6 storey apartments going there.
The plan is to put all these people in as fast as possible, years, probably over a decade ahead of the rail link. In the meantime there are no plans to increase public transport in the area, no plans to increase capacity on the roads. The local government seems to assume these people will not own cars, and will just sit in their apartments all day, and never leave…
Guys, and Gals, may I be so bold as to suggest a little bit of planning might be in order… Or better still, go back to plan A restaurants and cafe’s, plan B is utter crap.
Houses in the area range in value from $800K to $1.2 Million. So locals have invested a great deal in their decision to live here.
These residents have gone from having the promise of an underground railway within walking distance, and restaurants and cafe’s at their doorstep, to having a noisy graffiti covered eyesore on top of them, and a slum that blocks out the sun and the sky, built right next door. It is nothing short of a disgrace.
To say these residents have been betrayed by both the Liberal Party and the Hills Shire Council is an understatement of epic proportions.
I have spoken to 3 local Real Estate agents regarding this, and all 3 of them have stated that if the cheap housing goes ahead, houses in the area will drop in value anywhere between $150K to $200K.
To make matters even worse, the area is a flood zone.
The imbeciles running the state now, have said that this is why the rail has to be above ground, due to the flood zone. Tunnels can’t possibly go underwater… Clearly none of the Liberal MP’s attempting to run this state have ever noticed that little thing called the Harbour Tunnel… But hey, it’s cheaper to go above ground, and after all, they don’t have to live here…
Alas, even though their colleagues recognize flood zones, our local Liberal MP’s and Councillors don’t. Clearly they think cheap housing and flood zones go together like roast beef and gravy… Stack ’em high and see if they float, seems to be the attitude. It was only 12 months ago we saw the once in a hundred year floods hit Queensland, do these Councillors have that short a memory span, or is it just Liberal Party policy not to care?
When council elections come up in a few short months, residents here will remember who stood for the community as a whole, and who decided to betray residents in order to prop up a failing Premier. We will also remember who puts a developers wants, ahead of the community’s needs.
Thank you for your patience and support.
I will keep you posted.
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