Sunday, January 1, 2012

Questions for Kim Ford, Mayor, Hawkesbury City Council at meeting on 16/1/12

1) Are you aware or would you enquire with appropriate persons if there could be suitable land available in the future for potential residential development at the UWS Richmond?

2) Community Engagement Policy: We note the “Objectives, Background and Principles” of this policy and we ask you to ensure that due to the concern that the community is expressing with regards to the continuing development and impending Planning Proposals without adequate infrastructure, that public meetings in appropriate locations be organized by HCC in consultation with community groups as part of community engagement prior to HCC considering any Planning Proposal that would affect the community?

3) The Member for Londonderry at a HCC meeting in his capacity as a HCC councillor said words to the effect ”If you think you are going to receive money for infrastructure out here you’re dreaming”.
In view of those comments or similar would HCC erect signs on Kurrajong Road urging the State Government to upgrade the already grossly inadequate road system? The NRDCAA would consider “in kind” contributions.

4) Councillors are required to “represent the interests of the Community and provide leadership” Code of Conduct p2 first paragraph after the dot points.
In view of that requirement to REPRESENT the Community will you now join with us in representing the Community’s interest to HCC, State Government ,Federal Government and Developers?

5) You have received an email from Mrs Margaret Mason with regards to Chapel Street and Kurrajong Road dated January 6, 2012. An answer has been provided by a HCC officer on 6th January 2012. The answer refers to the Roads and Maritime Services  responsibility and indicates that they have been asked to supply the answer subsequent to their study of Kurrajong Road.

6) In view of this response will you correspond with the and request an update on the study that is currently being conducted (the CoM) thought that the study was complete, could you check please?) Will you ensure the update provides an approximate timetable for when the report will be available? In addition will you refer this issue to the council’s Traffic Committee for follow-up of timetabling, finance and any work that will be undertaken? Will you also ensure the Community Groups and the Community is kept up to date?

7) Hawkesbury Residential Land Strategy (HRLS): Will you provide the meeting with the sections ,page numbers and paragraph numbers HCC officers will consider when considering the rezoning of land west of the river?

8) As you are aware petitioners are continuing to petition you and Ministers Gay and Hazzard not to “Rezone land west of the river”. We understand that HCC officers are reviewing planning proposals on an ongoing basis.  The community is overwhelmingly opposed to the rezoning of land west of the river, would you ensure that the NRDCAA and other Community Groups are kept in the loop simultaneously with regards to these reviews by HCC officers and when a Planning Proposal is lodged it is brought to the groups’ and the community’s attention immediately or as soon as practicable?

9) The NRDCAA is aware of the question from Jane Uff on 28th November 2011. To date no reply has been received. The final paragraph of her email said, “Council needs to put pressure on the State Government to come to the party to fund realistic infrastructure upgrades to the area. What about running a campaign similar to the upgrade of Richmond Road? I would appreciate your comments in relation to running this type of campaign.”

10) In light of the possible large development at 108 Grose Vale Road and the huge increase in “run-off” what has HCC done to rectify the inadequate and possibly dangerous drainage system as reported by HCC officer Alan Hastie on 18th July 2001 and again on 24th January 2003?

11) Are you proud of HCC planning of the current North Richmond Centre?

12) Does HCC have any “long term vision for the transformation of North Richmond centre” to something of which we can be proud especially in light of the proposed huge increase in population and traffic density?

13) Will you instruct HCC staff to prepare such a plan?


  1. The thing is there will always be development the more important things to try to influence it so that supporting infrastructure to eliminate problems is included in the planning and that developments are required to facilitate this in negotiated forms. As an example for our community it would be very useful for an indoor heated pool for the community and this would be a good trade off against additional housing development. Roads are also a major consideration but really this is a State issue and the roads should be being planned in conjunction with the upgrading of bridges to incorporate a by pass for traffic heading to the central west and hunter regions. Anyway as you appear to be against any development you will not listen to this reasoning and as a consequence you will not be a player in the decision making process as you do not appear to be willing to compromise and as a result we residence will miss out on two current opportunities to improve infrastructure in the district by putting forward constructive suggestions on how to proceed.

  2. Mary Lyons-BuckettJanuary 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I wonder why you choose to post anonymously anonymous?

    I think there is always room for compromise when planning for the future. Unfortunately there has been a distinct lack of future planning for the area in the past which has resulted in the current inadequacy of both infrastructure and services. The answer is not to continue developing at all costs in the hope that one day it will actually end up that we are better off. This is highly unlikely if you look around at developed areas where there is not a provision for infrastructure first. The catch up situation continues unless there is something put in place.

    Hopefully you will attend the meeting tonight and air your views and suggest your method of compromise for the future development and infrastructure provision in the Hawkesbury. Bearing in mind a significant majority of community members surveyed have repeatedly (in several surveys) expressed the wish that the future of the Hawkesbury retain its rural/semi-rural atmosphere this would seem to exclude the option that the Hawkesbury becomes a series of dormitory suburbs on the fringe of Sydney rather than keeping its own unique character.

    It is perhaps undemocratic to suggest that anyone opposing development would not or should not be included in a decision making process - it is generally only through consideration of all views that a solution can be arrived at and the option to limit development to sustainable and appropriate levels in an area ill-equipped to deal with major development is a viable option desired by a large section of the community.

  3. At last nights meeting it appeared the Mayor was not interested in gaining support which was offered on more than one occasion from the members and guests at the meeting to help in future lobbying to gain funds, grants and stop further development until sufficient and efficient infrastructure is in place. His laid back attitude does not match that of the passionate residents of the area who want some change and the change to start now!
    I also would like to raise a question in response to the Mayor's statement about him pushing a wheelchair around the Hawkesbury and finding every pothole in the footpaths - and how paperwork has already made its way onto council desks to amend the problem when this, according to the Mayor, only occured a few weeks ago. Why do the footpaths, which is a seemingly new problem, get attention from the Mayor after he has only had a problem with them once? And, secondly, why do they get priority over a problem which has been occuring slowly, but surely over the last decade in the North Richmond area relating to the roads, development and infrastructure?
    From this example we know he is capable of acting on problems within a few weeks of them occuring, yet he seems to be ignoring the larger problems which are surely going to esculate further with the development of a now 'unknown number of new houses' in areas west of the river.
    Also, condidering the Mayor had access to the questions prior to the meeting I would have assumed he could of come up with a better array of answers than 'I don't know' - 'It's not my problem' etc for his response. If in fact it is not his problem, then he should be in a position to know who to contact and how to contact them to find an answer, or provide us with a further point of contact so we can begin the ball rolling in other areas of government, public awareness campaigns, and maybe a few engineers to begin developing plans for improvements to the local areas roads and infrastucture.
    The land and environments court was brought up a few times during the meeting in regards to the council and development applications. Maybe a time will come when the residents and the council or local government meet in the court to resolve some issues too.
    On another level: Santa it's time to get off your arse and get your elves to make some gifts for the existing residents of North Richmond and those affected by the traffic problem which already exists in the area, in time for next Christmas - we seemed to have missed out on getting anything last year!