PO Box 4134
Werrington NSW 2747
Barry O'Farrell - (back flip Barry or Barry O'feral) allows shooters into our National Parks and Nature Reserves
NSW Liberals lies and deceit confirm they have declared war on NSW's environment
In April 2011 Barry O'Farrell, flanked by Western Sydney MP's Bart Bassett and Stuart Ayres promised no shooting in National Parks and no deals with the Shooters and Fishers Party. Sydney Morning Herald evidence and video of this now broken commitment is here
This story by Sean Nicholls in the Canberra Times sums up the hypocrisy of the Liberals and how they have destroyed any trust with the NSW people. Nicholls points out the obvious that the Liberals can no longer attack Julia Gillard over her no Carbon Tax commitment when they have now done the same thing.
"As has been well noted, the deal O'Farrell has done to get his electricity bill through Parliament - opening up 79 national parks and reserves to recreational hunters - has striking parallels with Julia Gillard's experience at the last federal election. Both feature a government that was delivered a difficult Parliament by the electorate being forced to make a deal with a minor party to achieve a critical outcome. In Gillard's case, it was a deal with the Greens to introduce the carbon tax in return for their support to form government.
For O'Farrell it is the bargain with the Shooters and Fishers that will deliver him the billions of dollars from electricity privatisation to build the infrastructure that will keep the Coalition in power. And O'Farrell, just like Gillard, knows he has broken a promise in doing so. The decision has also trashed the government's environmental credentials but it is the appearance of dishonesty that will worry O'Farrell the most. Apart from undermining the value of his future promises, the impression that O'Farrell's word cannot be relied upon has given the Labor opposition its most potent weapon yet.
Not long after the election, O'Farrell's spokesman said the government ''won't be doing any deals with any of the minor parties or independents on our election commitments''. He repeatedly ruled out granting the Shooters and Fishers Party the item on top of their list of demands: allowing recreational shooters into national parks to shoot feral animals. His Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, even told Parliament last August that shooting in national parks was not government policy.
It's true O'Farrell was backed into a corner over his power privatisation bill and it can be argued that the end - $3 billion in infrastructure funds - justifies the means. But it is just as true that the decision has left O'Farrell and his government with a big credibility problem, which Labor will fully exploit until the 2015 election. Regaining the trust of the electorate will be no easy matter."
Western Sydney group to meet with Brad Hazzard this week about urban sprawl
The Western Sydney Conservation Alliance Inc, an alliance of conservation, resident groups and concerned citizens, is meeting with Brad Hazzard the NSW Planning Minister this Friday the 3rd of February to discuss his urban sprawl policy which is opening up thousands of hectares on the urban fringe. We will be seeking answers from the Minister as to how his urban sprawl policy can be delivered sustainably, protect key remnants of bushland and the quality of life of residents.
Media release here
The Shanes Park Air Services Australia land must be protected by the NSW Government as a Nature Reserve not a Regional Park
Robyn Parker must not sign the Deed of Agreement with the Federal Government condemning the 558 hectare site
www.shanespark.com is a new website about the Shanes Park land and why it should be a Nature Reserve. Check it out for lists of species, photos and background documents. You can also lodge an e-submission directly from this site.
WSCA v Penrith City Council & Ors
A brief summary of the court case and our Points of Claim can be found here
Bart Bassett called on to organise urgent meeting on ADI Site clearing and Liberal broken promise
Email here sent to the office of Bart Bassett the local Liberal Member for Londonderry on the 26th September 2011. His seat takes in the entire ADI Site.
Here is Bart Bassett's response to the above email which includes WSCA's further response
Lend Lease bulldozers role despite legal action
WSCA commenced legal proceedings challenging Penrith Councils approval of Lend Lease DA's to clear 59 ha of bushland at the ADI Site. The Environmental Defenders Office, representing WSCA, wrote to Lend Lease detailing the case and requested they surrender the consents issued by Council. This occurred on Monday and they were given until 3pm Wednesday the 21/09/11 to comply otherwise an injunction would be sought to cease any works. Lend Lease, in an act of bastardry, organised bulldozers to come on site to start clearing. Clearing commenced on Wednesday afternoon and continued all day Thursday. The EDO was only informed that the site had been bulldozed on Thursday afternoon.
The EDO on Friday morning sought an injunction to stop Lend Lease. However pressure from WSCA and good media coverage forced Lend Lease to voluntarily stop work and they gave the Land and Environment court an undertaking not to commence work until Monday the 26th at 10am.
Stay tuned for further updates and actions
Barry O'Farrell Greenwash ahead of St Marys Community Cabinet Meeting
Just two days out from a community cabinet meeting at St Marys (19/9/2011) Barry O'Farrell the NSW Premier has thrown up an environmental smokescreen to deflect attention from his governments broken promise to protect 100 ha of critically endangered bushland that Lend Lease propose to bulldoze at the ADI Site (Jordan Springs).
The Premier has managed to get Channel Nine news to run a story about the Libs election commitment to change the reserve status of the 181 ha former Air Services Australia site from Regional Park to Nature Reserve. The news story claims that the site has been saved from housing by the Premier. This is not the truth and is an insult to WSCA volunteers, including the author, who since 2004, dedicated countless hours to fighting and exposing all levels of government to have this site saved. The Channel Nine story can be seen here
Whilst a Nature Reserve is better than a Regional Park the truth is the Libs did nothing to conserve this land. Its protection from housing was locked in years ago when WSCA secured $15 million in Federal Funds to buy the site back. That triggered a cave in by Penrith Council who then decided that their Penrith LEP would rezone the site for nature conservation. NSW Labor then turned its back on the developer and WSCA managed to get the Feds and NSW to the negotiating table to have the site acquired from the cash strapped developer. Ever since politicians and governments have tried to take the credit for saving the site when it was really saved by community volunteers from WSCA. Barry O'Farrell is just another politician to take the credit for the hard work done by the real saviours of this land. If anyone thinks this is grand standing by the author then they are just in denial of the truth.
The real conservation test for the Liberals was not to tinker with a reserve classification but to honour their ADI Site commitment and actually demonstrate a commitment to conserve some bushland. Not re-announce the protection of land already saved from development. They have reneged on their ADI promises and are probably expecting a flogging at the community cabinet meeting. Hence the spin in advance of this meeting. WSCA has lodged an application to meet with Robyn Parker and Brad Hazzard about several important conservation issues including the broken ADI Site commitment. You can view the issues flagged with the Libs here
Penrith Council bulldoze NSW Government election commitment
Penrith Council has approved six development applications by Lend Lease allowing 59 hectares of critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland to be bulldozed. Liberal Councillors, including Tanya Davies the Liberal Member for Mulgoa, voted with Labor and in doing so have bulldozed a commitment by the Liberal Nationals to conserve an additional 100 hectares within Jordan Springs. Their actions have left Barry O'Farrell and his Brad Hazzard looking like liars.
Brad Hazzard and Environment Minister Robyn Parker have been called on to step in and take this development proposal off Penrith Council
Robyn Parker, the NSW Environment Minister, however has confirmed that the O'Farrell Government has reneged on this election commitment by telling the Penrith Press that they (the government) - with the skewed logic that somehow Penrith Council represents the local community - believe local planning decisions are best made by the local community. She then goes on to claim they are protecting Cumberland Plain Woodland through their $40 million NSW wide corridors fund. This is nonsense as only a fraction of that money is to be spent in Western Sydney and likely on bushland that contains no CPW.
The NSW Liberals think they can get away with these lies because a couple of conservative conservationists publicly endorsed the Liberal environment policy at the last election. This small breakaway group, with a narrow conservation objective, has effectively undermined broader conservation efforts, such as at the ADI Site, by giving the NSW government the legitimacy to ignore groups critical of their policies. WSCA has criticised the new government and they are largely refusing to acknowledge our existence by refusing to meet with us or answer our phone calls and correspondence. Here is an example being Catherine Cusack's outrageous attack on WSCA (nothing but facts stated by WSCA) prior to the NSW Election.
Read our media release on this appalling ADI Site outcome here
Here is a You Tube video of David Shoebridge of The Greens getting stuck into the O'Farrell government over this outcome:
NSW Liberal/Nationals ADI Site commitment
A message to the NSW Liberal Party
Honour your commitment to protect a further 100 hectares of the ADI Site!
Before the Penrith by-election held in June 2010, Brad Hazzard, the Shadow Planning Minister, posted a comment on the community online news site - streetcorner.com.au - that the NSW Liberal/Nationals will honour its 2007 election commitment to conserve an additional 100 hectares within the ADI Site Western Precinct (Jordan Springs). He went further to add that they would also establish ecological corridors in Western Sydney.
The Liberals now
appear to have reneged on this commitment
We recently met with Stuart Ayres, Bart Bassett and Tanya Davies, the three local Liberal candidates and they are fully aware of the need to deliver on Brad Hazzard's commitment on behalf of the Liberal/Nationals.
If the Liberal/Nationals renege on this promise to Western Sydney then they have demonstrated they will be no better than the current government.
The majority or people in Penrith would welcome the scaling back of the hugely unpopular Jordan Springs development as it will reduce population growth and relieve pressure on Penrith's inadequate roads and infrastructure.
Liberal Dilemma over Lend Lease Development Application to Penrith Council
Lend Lease have lodged Development Applications with Penrith Council to clear 59 hectares of critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland in Jordans Springs. This 59 hectares is part of the 100 hectare area that we believe the Liberals must protect.
This is a big test for the Liberal dominated Penrith Council as support for this DA clearly demonstrates that the NSW Liberal Nationals have reneged on the above promise to Western Sydney.