Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Frank Sartor gets dictatorial powers

The Bill which will create the new Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) gives Frank Sartor, as Minister responsible, powers that would be the envy of most dictators, including the ability to override the Heritage Act. The RWA can also become its own consent authority. It amounts to the rape of Sydney, despite Frank's heart-warming spin about solving the social problems of the area and his vapid references to 'community consultation'.

1. The Bill gives the RWA power to create any development plan it likes, by any process, with no public accountability or recourse.

2. Frank Sartor will be able to appoint his own nine-person board answerable only to him. The board must contain one Aboriginal member.

3. The Authority's primary role is to stimulate economic development, mostly through the development and sale of government owned lands. The bill leaves the responsibility for 'human services' with the existing Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project, which will have no power over the RWA.

4. The RWA will be able to extend its own territory at Frank Sartor's discretion (the strip to the airport being the front runner). The Carlton United Brewery site in Chippendale has already been raked in to harvest funds for low income housing, according to some interpretations of the bill.

5. The bill allows the authority to compulsorily acquire public and private land. It will be funded by selling these assets, and will not be required to disclose financial details. Only 'non-core' public land can be acquired, but Frank pretty much gets to decide what is 'core'.

6. The RWA can establish private corporations operating outside any of the normal limitations of government.

7. Frank can declare very expensive developments to be 'of state significance' which will make the RWA its own consent authority, like the discredited Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

8. The Bill allows the Minister to override the provisions of the Heritage Act 1977.

Our advice? Form a development corporation now and start brown-nosing people from the Labor right. Only the rich will benefit from this. If you don't believe the above, click on the headline to see for yourself.

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