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The Mayor of the State’s largest Council has called on the NSW Government to end its undemocratic push to impose 25-storey residential buildings on local communities.
Mayor Khal Asfour said, on 1 June 2017, the NSW Government announced six new Priority Precincts within the City of Canterbury Bankstown, at Canterbury, Campsie, Belmore, Lakemba, Riverwood and part of Bardwell Park.
"This announcement was rammed through before elected councillors were in place and with no consultation, no justification and no regard for the implication it would have for these communities," Mayor Asfour said.
"This is this Government’s most aggressive move yet to further strip councils of their ability to plan for their own area and another slap in the face to the community of Canterbury-Bankstown after the botched Sydenham to Bankstown planning process. The Government has been working on this Plan for more than two years now and it still can’t get it right.
"This needs to end now. We must take back control of our own future and the time for tokenistic consultation is over.
"The Government must respond to the voice of its largest local community and the Councillors, as their elected representatives, meaningfully involved in the planning, plan making and decision making process. This can’t be left to a Minister who has never visited the area and faceless bureaucrats making decisions on an area they simply know nothing about.
"I also challenge the head of the Department of Planning and Environment to come out to Canterbury, Campsie, Belmore, Lakemba and Riverwood, and walk the streets with me. I want her to tell me how 25-storey towers are supposed to make those centres better places.
"I am the first to support sustainable growth, prosperity and renewal, but not the kind being forced on us. We will not accept this."
Mayor Asfour said Canterbury-Bankstown is not opposed to progress and is on track to meet one of the highest five-year growth targets in the State.
"We know how to deliver change but these precincts are a tragedy," Mayor Asfour said.
"This is a once in a generation opportunity to reshape our area and deliver improvements that will be around for the next 100 years.
"Once the dust settles and the State Government Precinct Priority Show has wrapped up and moved on, it will be Council, together with its resident and business community, left with the outcome. We must get this right, there is no alternative. There is no undo tool here."
27/03/2018 9:13 AM