Our Developers

“Demolishing Darlo Road: etc. etc.” SMH 28 Dec. We really are a materialistic/selfish people – Australians that is. Why do we keep these developers to ourselves? I feel sure London, New York, Paris could do with their skills – rationalised and explained as usual. Perhaps we could throw in, in the spirit of giving, Gladys and the rest of the State Government.
After destroying the atmospheric and ageing parts of Sydney, our developers could go on to do the same with The Champs-Elysees and surrounding ageing parts of Paris (Paris is only 2 centuries old); then what about around Westminster Abbey, Parliament House, Museums, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, etc. – in London and then, what joy for them to be given New York to “make over” the “decaying” parts.
After that we could heave a sigh of relief, pat ourselves on the backs and tell ourselves what a good job we have done of “modernising” these old places, and that the world is better off for our unselfish ways…and so are our politicians.

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The poor old taxpayer

$4M for four years for one Rugby League player and that’s not counting many, many more on up to $1M annually. And then we come to the Administrative people like the CEOs, and the coaches and what else and that is duplicated across the Codes including Cricket.
The question is – Why does the taxpayer have to foot the bill to demolish and then rebuild stadiums for these sports – for these for-profit organisations?
It’s gone crazy – millions and millions of dollars that could be spent on hospitals and schools and even for homeless people. Let’s face it – the majority of people in this city (5M at last count) do not go at any time to any of these sporting events which are just about confined to the weekends.
I repeat in case nobody heard me – Why does the taxpayer have to pay for sporting stadiums when they are operated for profit for sporting bodies?
Perhaps it is to keep sports commentators/ex players in a lucrative job. But how many of the viewing public actually watch these sporting events?  How many actually go to these multi million dollar stadiums to watch the game when they can, if they are even interested, watch on TV?

Housing problems

George Morgan – SMH 12 April, (Barista with a Master’s is a problem we need to solve). Just think back a few years and remember when kids left school at or about 15 years…they worked for a few years and matured and in the late teens/early 20s woke up and wanted a home/house. They then set out to get one, saving and working. It’s the same thing now but later – some kids are not leaving school until 19 and later and then they have to mature and wake up to the facts of life and start saving, working, cutting out overseas holidays, etc. etc. Not much difference just a few years later than the previous generation with the same problem… but the media and the politicians have created a really big problem about it. And what about the 60,000 houses vacant in NSW – what will they do about them?

politics and super

Buy a home – use your superannuation to make up the deposit – what a crazy idea. Yes I agree with letter writers and Paul Keating.
I can envisage the time a couple has a home procured with a bare deposit made up of the couple’s superannuation – not much if they are both young. Time passes and the mortgage gets harder and harder to manage with Sydney’s high house prices/high cost of living even with the deposit (5% or 10%) paid and then comes a time they can’t manage it any longer. Perhaps there is a loss of job, a baby and so one only income.
More time passes as time is wont to do and they arrive at retirement age with what – no house which was sold up on them, no superannuation instead of the super they had counted on. And what do you think all those greedy developers will do out there when they realise there is another idea they can milk.
What a crazy idea. Think of something else all you wonderful thinkers!

HOUSING

The question post 1945 was what to do about affordable housing during the years following the war, and after, especially as there had been no home building during the long years of the war and possibly before with the Great Depression.
The simple solution then – not private enterprise but govt initiative. Build minimum houses – not MacMansions – in areas then on the outskirts (think Sutherland area) and others. They were rented to people (like myself) with the option of buying on a minimum deposit. These houses – and you can see them all over Sydney – were enlarged, improved, lived in, and suburbs grew up around them and roads passed them on their way to other new suburbs.
So what am I saying? Go back to the old Housing Commission (or similar) by another name – after all they didn’t need to make a profit for (and rightfully so) shareholders; the same authority had full crews to maintain these houses. Build adequate houses – not MacMansions. Incidentally this would have an impact on the numbers of apprentices and tradesmen.
A passing thought – the government talks big about having a percentage of new housing blocks allocated for affordable housing. Tell me, will any buyer or any investor really want “affordable housing”, i.e. of a standard/size less than others around them, paying thousands of dollars less than buyers of the better class units? Come on!
What governments have to get over is the idea that private is better and one day they will realise that governments are there in government to work for us and not the private sector.
(An aside: who was the fool or the capitalist who first came up with the idea that private is better)

COALITION AND DEVELOPERS AND BIAS

Some people can’t rid themselves of their bias, can they? Why does Coalition put developers before public? SMH 20 Nov. – a perfectly reasonable question but then the writer falls back on prejudice about relocating Cranbrook or the Kings Schools or a few other private schools .. ….used for intensive housing.
Does the writer have a big block of land that could be resumed together with neighbours’ blocks, for state reasons such as schools? How would they feel if this happened? The land that most of the private schools are on was acquired many, many years ago by supporters for the purpose now held. It was developed by those same supporters, maintained by those same supporters and does not attract govt funding for the facilities. Check it out or ask some of the parents who work so hard to support their schools, or follow their consciences; or simply choose which school they will send their young people to.

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.