MP Minns blasts Kogarah Council over new city plan – June 4, 2015

MP Minns blasts Kogarah Council over new city plan
By Murray Trembath June 4, 2015

MP Minns blasts Kogarah Council over new city plan | St George & Sutherland Shire Leader
Fairness questioned: Chris Minns at State Parliament.

KOGARAH MP Chris Minns has questioned why some areas would be subjected to extreme development in Kogarah Council’s New City Plan while others, such as Oatley, had been ‘‘let off almost scot free’’.

Mr Minns told State Parliament a public forum was needed to seek answers.

He said the proposed development control plan had caused significant consternation, with changes seen as arbitrary and without context.

‘‘Kogarah Council, on its city redevelopment website, insists the proposal is designed to increase density in areas where ‘there is existing infrastructure to accommodate the increase in residents’,’’ he said.

‘‘Local residents are extremely dubious of this claim when the proposal allows for seven storey — that is 21 metres — high-rise development in residential areas along the Princes Highway that are two kilometres from the closest train station, while at the same time it has no new development around and directly adjacent to Oatley railway station [where] the state government has lavished services, commuter parking and infrastructure since its election.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ON THESE MAJOR CHANGES, WHICH WILL AFFECT RESIDENTS’ LAND VALUES AND QUALITY OF LIFE, HAS NOT BEEN GOOD ENOUGH — A COUPLE OF BOOKS AT THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, A POORLY PATRONISED WEBSITE SHOWING COMMUNITY MAPS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO READ AND CRUCIALLY, NO COMMUNITY MEETING PRIOR TO SUBMISSIONS CLOSING
– MP FOR KOGARAH CHRIS MINNS

The seat of Oatley was retained by Liberal Mark Coure with an increased majority at the March election.

Mr Minns said he feared Carlton South residents were ‘‘being sacrificed with a proposal for inordinately large-scale developments in their area’’.

He said the state government’s ‘‘malicious decision to axe hundreds of services a week from Kogarah train station, while at the same time encouraging major new developments, is particularly galling’’.

Mr Minns said ‘‘a pro forma and patronising community consultation’’ on the plan had revealed universal opposition.

“Community engagement on these major changes, which will affect residents’ land values and quality of life, has not been good enough — a couple of books at the council chamber, a poorly patronised website showing community maps that are difficult to read and crucially, no community meeting prior to submissions closing,” he said.

PARKING WOES

Chronic parking problems in Kogarah’s CBD would be exacerbated, Mr Minns said.

‘‘The Chamber of Commerce has reported to me that business is steadily dropping from the Kogarah high street as locals, who want to spend their money in the shopping precinct, are forced to go elsewhere,’’ he said.

Mr Minns said the council should approach the state government about acquiring the St George TAFE car park for multi-storey car park.

Is the plan fair or would a public forum be helpful?

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