Lobby groups declares war on Barnett

 

Beatrice Thomas
June 25, 2012, 2:15 am

High-profile western suburbs professionals and community leaders have united to rally against the Barnett Government on multiple policy fronts as disquiet grows in the Liberal Party’s heartland.

The Western Suburbs Alliance, a union of interest groups, says the Government has presided over “an erosion of our democratic rights”.

It says its actions have caused a “growing wave of fear, anger and alienation across the western suburbs”. Key issues include high-rise rows in Cottesloe, Dalkeith and Subiaco, the Elizabeth Quay project on the Perth foreshore, local council mergers and “draconian” planning reforms such as development assessment panels.

Critically, the alliance vows to back candidates sympathetic to its causes at next year’s State election.

A letter for the group’s planned launch this week said approaches to local Liberal MPs had been “to no avail”. In contrast, wealthy businessmen and international firms had private access to Colin Barnett and his ministers for $25,000 at a so-called Leaders’ Forum.

“We elect people to represent us in Government; we then expect open consultation and constructive dialogue,” the letter says.

The more than 30 signatories include lawyer John Hammond, architect and City Gatekeepers’ spokesman Linley Lutton, Emeritus Professor Martyn Webb, Nedlands mayor Max Hipkins and Cottesloe mayor Kevin Morgan.

“It’s not a few spot fires because there’s a whole lot of people who are upset,” Mr Hammond, who heads Keep Cott Low, said yesterday.

The area includes the seats of the Premier (Cottesloe), Environment Minister Bill Marmion (Nedlands) and Education Minister and independent MP Liz Constable (Churchlands) which the Liberals hope to retake when she retires at the March election.

Political analyst Harry Phillips said upsets would be a tough task but a high-profile independent getting Labor and Greens preferences had “a good chance”.

“If I was the Government, I’d be just nervous at this stage,” he said.

Mr Barnett said the Government was making the right decisions in the interests of all in the State. He said the Cottesloe and Perth waterfront debates had gone on for decades and it was “generally accepted” WA had too many councils.

The West Australian

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WSA Public Forum – 11 October 2012 – Report

First WSA Forum, War Memorial Hall, Cottesloe Civic Centre, October 11, 2012. 

Posted October 12, 2012 by Western Suburbs Alliance

Well over 200 people attended this important event and fielded questions at the Q&A session following the speakers’ presentations.

The speakers were: Ken Eastwood AM (Former national CPA president) – Profli-gate. Who’s paying for all these future projects?; Ron Norris (Mayor, Mosman Park) – The DAP system and its implications for local governments and communities; Julie Matheson (Councillor, Subiaco) – A DAP case study; Subiaco/Catherine Street; Max Hipkins (Mayor, Nedlands) – Recent changes in the state planning laws and powers of the Planning Minister, WA Planning Commission and Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority; Kevin Morgan (Mayor) – The Robson Report and amalgamation; John Hammond (former Mayor, Cottesloe) – Implications of loss of control at the local government and community level. A Q & A session followed, involving the above speakers plus Heather Henderson (Mayor, Subiaco) and Wayne Monks (Independent candidate for Churchlands).

Four Independent candidates announced their intentions to nominate for the following seats in the State Election of 9th March 2013:

Max Hipkins. Seat of Nedlands in opposition to Minister Bill Marmion;

Kevin Morgan. Seat of Cottesloe in opposition to Premier Barnett;

Wayne Monk. Seat of Churchlands;

Greg Ross. Seat of Kalamunda in opposition to Minister John Day.

At the end of the forum there was a unanimous show of hands in response to the following questions:

1. How many of you feel that the government’s centralisation of planning powers and disenfranchisement of local government is unacceptable, that the DAPS should be terminated, and the right of appeal restored and public open spaces should be preserved?

2. How many of you would support a statement of no confidence in the Planning Minister, John Day?

3. How many of you would say ‘No local government reorganisation without majority community support’?

The Australian of October 16, 2012 reported on this event (see http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/hes-way-ahead-but-barnett-doubters-are-surfacing/story-e6frgd0x-1226496613875).

It said, “. . . the latest poll suggests some voters are beginning to turn away from Barnett. His push for council amalgamations and beachfront development has been unpopular in parts of the Liberal

heartland, and last Thursday the premier listened to criticism of his government and himself as he sat through a meeting of disgruntled residents from the suburbs he represents. He was not invited to speak and he was booed as he left.”

Western Suburbs Alliance Public Forum

Press release

Western Suburbs Alliance Inc. Public Forum

THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMUNITES IS AT RISK!  

Cottesloe War Memorial Hall, 109 Broome Street, Cottesloe,  7.30 – 9.30 pm, October 11, 2012

Background

The Western Suburbs Alliance Inc (WSA) (http://www.westernsuburbsalliance.org) was formed by members of community groups in Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove, Nedlands and Subiaco. The launch of WSA was marked by the publication of a letter in the POST newspaper of 30 June, 2012 which was signed by 38 high profile individuals including mayors, former mayors, councillors and other high-profile western suburbs citizens who were concerned about:

  • The new state planning laws which give dictatorial powers to the Minister for Planning.
  • The State-appointed Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) which now control major development approvals.
  • Local councils and communities having no right of appeal against DAP’s while developers have such rights.
  • Planning processes that are now secretive and lacking in transparency and accountability.
  • The state government’s intention to forcibly amalgamate our councils and increase its control.
  • The inappropriate and out-of-scale developments the state government and developers are forcing upon us in Subiaco, Nedlands, Cottesloe, Stirling Highway, the Perth Waterfront and elsewhere.
  • The erosion of our democratic rights.

The forum 

This event is designed to inform the public about the above issues and gain their opinions on the further actions needed to address these issues. The Forum will feature:

Chair: Richard Diggins OAM (former Mayor of Subiaco)

Speakers:

Ken Eastwood AM (Former national CPA president) – Profli-gate. Who’s paying for all these future projects?

Ron Norris (Mayor, Town of Mosman Park) – The DAP system and its implications for local governments and communities.

Julie Matheson (Councillor, City of Subiaco) – A DAP case study; Subiaco/Catherine Street and others.

Max Hipkins (Mayor, City of Nedlands) – Recent changes in the state planning laws and powers of the Planning Minister, WA Planning Commission and Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.

Kevin Morgan (Mayor, Town of Cottesloe) – The Robson Report and amalgamation/restructuring of local government.

John Hammond (former Mayor, Town of Cottesloe) – Implications of loss of control at the local government and community level.

A Question & Answer session will follow, involving all of the above speakers plus Heather Henderson (Mayor, City of Subiaco) and Wayne Monks (Independent candidate for Churchlands).

For further information, email admin@westernsuburbsalliance.org or telephone Colin Latchem on 9386 3746

Authorised and published by Colin Latchem, 2 Sherwood Road, Dalkeith WA 6009.

Letter to the POST – WSA Established 30 June 2012

What will it take for our Premier Barnett, Planning Minister John Day, and Minister for Environment; Water Bill Marmion and the Liberal Government to respond to the growing wave of fear, anger and alienation across the western suburbs?

What will it take for them to acknowledge just how much we resent the erosion of our democratic rights and threats to our communities and built and natural environment?

Do they really feel they can go on treating us with utter contempt and making derogatory remarks about our ‘demographics’ and unwillingness to embrace change whenever we express our views?

Fourteen thousand of us signed petitions against the Cottesloe beachfront development and 11,000 regarding the Perth Waterfront Development and rerouting of Riverside Drive. The electors made 800 submissions against the five-storey Waratah Avenue Development in Dalkeith.  Subiaco has been overwhelmed with protests against high-rise developments. We have written to our public representatives. All to no avail. Continue reading