Friday, September 24, 2004

Domm attacks councillors

The thot plickens. Today's Herald carries a story about a rift between Robert Domm and Deputy Mayor John 'Kings Cross is working well' McInerney over control of development from Central to the airport. (Click headline to link).

Clover Moore is standing up for both men, as she did in Kings Cross on Monday night (see stories below).

We don't have any inside info on this, but given the recent political history of Sydney certain trends are obvious.

The state government has been talking about this plan for a while, with a vision of massive development that incidentally would ensure massive profits for developers for decades. It has oft been said that the forced merger of City and South Sydney councils was about facilitating this vision, and Labor confidently put up Michael Lee as Mayoral Candidate, relying on the dogged faith of Labor voters in the inner city to elect him no matter what outrage they had committed on our local representation.

It didn't work, of course. Clover stepped in and snookered them. Bad Clover.

Now it appears the move is on to strip council of its planning powers over the area and donate a whole lot of public and council land to finance the 'vision'.

And Council's General manager Robert Domm appears to be leading the charge against our elected representatives -- in a curious echo of the accusations I made against his staff on Monday night. I said Mr Domm and his staff were wedded to the Sartor agenda for Sydney and Kings Cross, and were sabotaging any moves in other directions coming from communities or councillors. I called for Mr Domm's resignation.

This new development only reinforces the perception. Who is working for whom here? Unless there is new information to be revealed , it is easy to think that certain connections here are trying to run the show. Consider the following:

Robert Domm was appointed by Frank Sartor. Frank, after peparing for the forced amalgamation and instigating the widely hated Gateway plans, gets an instant seat and ministry in the Labor Government. The Labor government has sold most of our freight rail infrastructure to Chris Corrigan (who is now busy shutting down or disposing of all the less economical branch freight runs, and putting staff on short-term contracts). Robert Domm was a prominent employee of Chris Corrigan's. He also has a religious commitment to short-term contracts. He has now attacked his own Deputy Mayor over development. And the Labor party gets squillions from developers.

Call me a cynic, but unless someone can enlighten me with new information, this looks like a dirty little cabal sacrificing all public accountability on the altar of big money and back-scratching. If Labor couldn't get control of the city by fair means, they'll do it via their well-trodden back door.

If this is true -- and I hope it's not -- Robert Domm appears to be an agent of this cabal planted at the heart of a council elected fair and square on a platform of listening to the community. No wonder little old Kings Cross gets ignored. These guys are playing with the big boys.

If you want to know what's going on in this venal town, just follow the money. The Greens have been beavering away at this developer-political connection -- they expose the money trail on a new website: Check it out!


Anonymous said...

"The thot plickens."

Lets just sait and wee.

Anonymous said...

City wants its village people to picture a vision for the future
By Tim Dick
September 23, 2004

Residents will be given disposable cameras to show the City of Sydney what they like, and what they hate, about their suburbs as it prepares "visions" for each of Clover Moore's City of Villages.

The Moore team had 34 villages on its list before this year's election, including established suburbs like Glebe, lesser known ones like Strawberry Hills and an unknown area called Hollywood, surrounding a pub of the same name near Central Station.

That village probably won't make it past the election list, which Sydney's Deputy Lord Mayor, John McInerney, described as a "first cut". "Some are right, some aren't," he said.

Those which make it to the next round, after councillors and staff have had their say, are headed for an intense period of introspection, to find out how each village can get what Cr McInerney calls "the feel".

He wants residents of all the villages to feel that "this is where I want to be. I love this area. I can walk for a coffee, all my friends are here. I don't have to own a car, everything is so close, I don't need one."

Shopping strips will be the focus, without big car parks but probably with increased residential density, and the residents and their cameras will help shape a new set of local planning rules.

"Kings Cross is working well," he said. "It's the first real emerging village. We've got to do that in Newtown and Erskineville and all the other centres as well."

The Editor said...

This is what should have happened before the one-size-fits-all cloning was stamped on the Cross. It's a great idea.

I still can't understand that last bit, though. The Cross working well??

Boy, could I submit some photos.

Anonymous said...

Town Hall wins control of renewal project

By Tim Dick and Darren Goodsir
September 25, 2004

The state's top planning official yesterday killed a controversial government review which recommended stripping the City of Sydney of its power to deal with Australia's biggest urban renewal project at Green Square.

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources director-general, Jennifer Westacott, said yesterday she had "withdrawn" the report, which had been prepared on her instructions by the government architect, Chris Johnson.

It was sent to her five weeks ago for consideration.

Her sudden rejection of the review - which proposed the creation of a huge eight-kilometre development corridor from Central Station to the airport - follows a Herald report yesterday that revealed infighting in Town Hall over whether the Deputy Lord Mayor, John McInerney, had been to secret briefing sessions.

The shelving of the report will delay reform along the corridor, a key part of the Government's metropolitan strategy, which is a blueprint-in-progress to meet the city's needs over the next 30 years.

Mr Johnson's wide-ranging review said his preferred option reflected the council's position, as declared by Cr McInerney and another council officer.

The report suggested expanding the size and responsibilities of the South Sydney Development Corporation, a government body assigned to co-ordinate new buildings, better design and medium density housing. Controversially, the report proposed giving a new corporation "government land" to assist its better performance and financial viability.

But in a letter sent yesterday to the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, Ms Westacott said it was her clear "view that the council is in a better position to take a strong lead in the planning for Green Square".

"I have instructed the report be withdrawn and that we now work with council to establish an appropriate framework to ensure the revitalisation of the Sydney Airport corridor," she wrote. "As has been the case since the new council was elected, I will discuss extensively with council, both elected officials and staff, any future role of the corporation."

The report pushed for an extension of boundaries, urging that it be responsible for integrating development in an area covering Redfern and Waterloo, enormous chunks of vacant land and major infrastructure facilities like Sydney Airport and Port Botany. Its businesses alone generate $13 billion of metropolitan Sydney's gross domestic product.

Green Square, where most residential buildings have so far been built, is in the middle of the corridor. It was previously an industrial area but now surrounds a new train station.

Mr Johnson, the corporation's chairman, said he received instructions from Cr Moore's office in May to deal directly with Cr McInerney and another council officer on the report. His paper "was in no way conclusive" and was opening up options on how to "improve the area between the city and the airport".

The City of Sydney's general manager, Robert Domm, said in an email on Thursday that he only became aware of the review the day before - and attacked Cr McInerney for unilaterally representing the views of council on a critically important issue.

Anonymous said...

Clover Moore is a fitting target just as Dan Rather and Margo Kingston are.I hope someone with a bitng wit and passion to expose the moronic will take aim at her.