Size does matter – in urban construction

“Size does matter: council offered $5M to approve towers at double the height” James Robertson, SMH 11/4/2013.
I have in my hand a reprint of an article in the SMH regarding a development on Old Canterbury Rd claiming that the development company has offered $5M to Marrickville Council but the terms of the proposal will not be publicly disclosed at the upcoming council meeting “because the council said they were confidential”.
In the light of disclosures made during the Ipps Royal Commission which has revealed such corruption not seen in decades and which often referred to approvals made by the Minister concerned who took advantage of a clause giving him unfettered freedom to OK leases etc. I demand that the present development proposal on Old Canterbury Rd, LEWISHAM be investigated by ICAC.
Too often we hear the “get-out-of-jail” phrases from the highest to the lowest form of our governments and I can’t help asking: what right have the various levels of government and developers to commercial confidentiality. It is the money/property of the people of the LGA, State, Country. We have seen a casino being approved without tender, coal leases reaping millions of dollars on the word of a Minister alone, and here in the Marrickville LGA council being offered $5M to approve – without public disclosures or discussion if possible, a building plan not wanted in its proposed form and certainly not approved in the past.
I absolutely demand that ICAC investigate this proposal and furthermore I demand that the appropriate authorities look into the whole matter of “commercial confidentiality”, “national interest”. Is it my perception or is it fact that these phrases are being used more and more to get matters through the various levels of government without public scrutiny.
So much for open and transparent government, but let’s start with municipal councils and then proceed up the various levels of government.

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