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Southbank Residents’ Group

15 May 2012

You may have heard of the Southbank Structure Plan 2010 and Amendment C171.

This Planning Scheme Amendment C171 applies to all land in Southbank, including South Wharf and if you remove all the rhetoric it is designed to alter the current building regulations so that the Government can squeeze 74,000 residents into our area by the year 2040. That’s a population density greater than Hong Kong!

As part of the “spin-doctoring” our elected representatives and their minders have set up a panel to receive submissions as part of the so-called community consultation. This panel is due to release its report sometime this month.

Some 224 submissions were presented to this committee objecting, in part, to the plan and included a detailed report from us – the Southbank Residents Group.

Most of the issues were centred on tower and podium heights, building separation and offsets, plot ratios, setback of buildings, interaction between frontages and streets reduction of building separations and allowing huge towers along our main streets.

All very well and democratic but how much influence will the concerns of our residents be in the final decision making? Let me suggest none.

How many government consultations have you attended and actually had a positive input? Again I suggest none.

In most, if not all, cases the bureaucrats have already signed off the project and the so-called community consultation becomes an information session.

Amendment C171 will no doubt be promulgated unchanged regardless of the concerns of 224 residents who have taken the time and effort to present a submission.

We have pleaded for over 15 years to have some structural plan mandated for Southbank but with little success. So we are left with issues such as the approval of the ridiculous Queensbridge Hotel development.

No matter what, our elected representatives will continue to ignore us the electors and kneel to the wishes of the developers. Our only answer is the ballot box and the time has come to replace logic and common sense with political methods which would include supporting candidates at all level of government who are in harmony with the needs of the people and the environment.

Let’s put our politicians on notice we want a say in what happens to our Southbank community and demand a genuine consultation process be it C-171 or any other major project.

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