More and more Crown land –
public land – is under threat from wealthy developers and mining
companies, writes June Bullivant OAM.
As the Eastern Seaboard and the Central Coast seats of politicians
have fallen on their sword, it leads a person to wonder if this is
indeed an octopus that has more than a couple of tentacles, that will
reach into the areas of Sydney and suburbs that are heavily marked for
urban renewal by the New South Wales Government.
If this is the case how this might be achieved? Urban Growth (the
commercial arm who sell off prime land sites for the NSW Government) has
29 projects on their website.
With the Government crying poor, how do the consultants employed by
Urban Growth get paid, and who is supplying the money, and how are they
are achieving this phenomenal growth? You hear of clandestine tours of
Chinese speaking investors touring Sydney and suburbs and you ask who
invited them here. Then you wonder why a public servant who worked on
the sale of Carrawong is still employed and has a position of power
within the Crown Lands Department. Also employed are two young up and
coming people who worked on the Central Coast now employed by the same
Thousands of ordinary people have to fight to save the area in which
they live. Does the government really think that the community is not
watching? The areas under siege have people fighting to protect their
suburbs, their livelihood, and their homes. Why you ask, is this allowed
to happen, why the current regime prepared a White Paper on Planning
that was weighed heavily in favour of developers. Since the paper was
defeated in the Parliament the current Minister decided to use the
current laws that are already in place, The Gateway Review, processed by
the Joint Regional Planning Panel in your area.
The Gateway process allows developments which have been refused, to
have an appeal lodged and just pay $5,000 to get to have another chance
to get it passed. The problem with this is this time the local council
and the community are taken out of the decision and it is handled and
passed by the panel that are not representative of the community;
usually made up of two members from each council in the area they are
supposed to represent. Are they related to developers, we do not know.
This leads us to the White Paper on Crown Land (Public Land). This
document is also weighed heavily in favour of the developer, with big
chunks of land that has been put aside for the future use of the
community is under threat by this paper. Large amounts of this land all
over Australia have already been given long leases to mining companies.
The community is supposed to receive the benefit from the money received
from the lease.
The opposite is true, as mining companies have our land laid out like a smorgasbord for their pleasure, to pillage, plunder for private profit.
Are these communities benefiting? No, they are not. Their homes and
health are being compromised, one mine is being put within 30 metres of
homes and they blast the mineral out of the ground. This results in the
main street of the town being closed off so that people do not get hurt.
Bulga, a case in point, has one exclusion zones of 6 kilometres. Is it
being adhered to? No, it is not. Bulga has been to the Land and
Environment Court 3 times and won, the Community was back in court in
April 2014, the mine owner is Rio Tinto.
Rio Tinto is a Rio Tinto Group is British-Australian
multinational metals and Mining Corporation with headquarters in
London, United Kingdom and a management office in Melbourne, Australia.
The company’s name comes from the Rio Tinto river in southwestern
Spain, which has flowed red since mining began there about 5000 years
ago, due to acid mine drainage. Acid mine drainage causes severe
environmental problems in the Rio Tinto, Spain.
How is this allowed to happen? It happens because our elected
representatives are not acting in the best interests of the community.
Even if brown paper bags of money have not changed hands, the
politicians were elected to represent you. If they were employed by
business, their services would be dispensed with, why then are they
allowed continuing doing everything they can to destroy our communities.
What is in it for them? What is in it for the Government? What is in it
for the public servant that put the plans in place? And where does it
leave our communities?