The 9pm Edict #5

The 9pm Edict

Australia’s smartest meth dealer found in Leichhardt. ABC chairman Maurice Newman branches out into staff supervision. And Sydney property developers whine because, well, they just didn’t automatically get everything their own way.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, no more than 20 minutes late, is episode 5 of The 9pm Edict. Finally.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

For more information on what I discussed today, try the NSW police media releases about Sunday’s explosion and Monday’s arrest, the Urban Taskforce media release and the ABC’s story on same, this Sydney Morning Herald story on various NSW Labor connections, Kristina Keneally’s Wikipedia entry, my post on Maurice Newman’s speech and the PM report on same, and Marcus Westbury’s column for The Age.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

5 Replies to “The 9pm Edict #5”

  1. Wut? A couple of weeks ago you’re pissed off by NIMBY residents in Glebe that don’t want to allow Harris Park to be redeveloped… and now you say local councils (who of course can be heavily influenced by such opinions) should be the only way to approve development?

    I don’t know anything about the UrbanTaskforce beyond the fact that they’re obviously a commercial lobby group (and they’re in bed with all the powerful players in town… you seem to have neglected people like Nick Greiner on their board), but the assumption that other people will build the major developments that were turned down is simply not true. Chances are their plans required things like rezoning land, putting utilities in and building infrastructure like roads that only the BIG developers (which they represent) can do.

    In the next 20 years there are projected to be up to 2 million extra residents in Sydney… without those sorts of large scale projects there simply won’t be enough accommodation for them.

    When the Urbantaskforce makes the point that the developments are turned down for ‘political’ reasons I think they’re pointing out that Labor is scared of losing heartland seats in Western Sydney and consequently is making short term decisions that don’t actually follow their own metro-strategy (I’m assuming that from the rather fact light press release).

    Incidentally if you want to build a new house, extend or alter your house etc… in NSW these days you don’t actually have to go to your local council. You can apply for a certificate and get approval within 10 days under the SEPP (State environment plan?).

    Oh, and fuck people that don’t respond emotionally to art. What is the point for them? About a decade ago most of the audience walked out of Barry Kosky’s Nabucco in the Opera House… an experience he still delights in. If art doesn’t do something for you then stay at home and watch people cook on TV.

    PS: By going to the police first, the guy in Leichardt probably saved himself some time in jail.

  2. @Glengyron: There’s nothing incompatible with the two opinions. In this episode I say that local government is where development decisions should be made. In the previous episode I reckon that in the specific case of the Harold Park development the residents complaining are being selfish.

    However it is their right to express their view to their local council and have that decision made. Theirs is not the only view, though. The state government will have put an obligation into the City of Sydney to house a certain number of new residents. But the local government can decide just where those new homes will be built.

    That is, one opinion is about how the process should happen, while the other opinion is about the pros and cons of a specific development.

    I’ve now actually been to look at the Harold Park site and I’m even more convinced that it’ll have little impact upon the whinging residents. I’ve also read material put out by The Glebe Society:

    The proposed open space along the base of the cliff has many problems. It would create a narrow wind tunnel and, because of the high buildings next to it, would be invisible unless you were actually in it. Thus there are security problems as well as major overshadowing in the mornings.

    This is an assertion backed by no modelling. Looking at the site, I think they’ve got their geometry wrong.

    The Tramsheds are the most distinctive part of the site and should be the focus. They can provide a range of amenities for the new residents on site as well as for the surrounding community, so all types of access, including from the new development, need to be carefully thought out.

    The in-situ trams can be restored on site or used on the extended light rail.

    I doubt that the rusted-out hulks sitting in that nondescript old shed could be made to work again without a vastly expensive process. Even if they could, I’m not sure I want old-fashioned, energy-inefficient trams which lack modern safety features trying to be part of a real transit system that commuters have to rely upon. It sounds to me like it’s trams-as-nostalgia instead of trams-as-transport.

    @Sylmobile: Go on, you know you want to…

  3. [The following email was received from Aaron Gadiel on Wednesday. I have offered to interview him but so far he hasn’t been able to find time in his schedule. Until then, here is his email verbatim. — Stilgherrian.]

    Dear Sir,

    I refer to your “9pm edit” from yesterday.

    You have made a number of significant errors.

    1. My concerns projects should have each been accepted as Part 3A, and the proponents should have had opportunity for their proposal to be considered on their merits. As the ABC correctly reported, I do not claim that every project should have been approved — a merit assessment would be necessary before anyone could form that judgment.
    2. They key thing is that the proponents were entitled to have a fair go. You say that the proponents weren’t entitled to a merit assessment under Part 3A. You are mistaken. The State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 does give such a right. I appreciate you don’t like the fact that the right exists, nonetheless it does. If the government does not want to respect that right it should change the law, not ignore it.
    3. The government’s rejections — in relation to projects over $100 million — do not mean that the proponents are entitled to go to local councils. Local councils are not entitled to assess residential, retail and commercial development valued at more than $100 million under the current law. The government’s decision to deny these projects a merit assessment means there is no mechanism for those project to go forward or receive merit assessment in any forum.
    4. You seem to think that they only people who benefit from new housing, retail precincts and commercial offices are developers. There are thousands of home buyers, shoppers and office workers who would disagree with you. Shortfalls in housing supply, in particular, have serious social and economic implications for everyone. If you don’t build enough of these important property assets, Sydney residential rents will continue to rise at close to 10 per cent a year (as they have on average, over the past 5 years).
    5. I was formerly a public servant. As a land use lawyer, I worked in the ministerial offices of ministers with responsibilities for land use law, including the ministers for roads, energy, ports, fisheries and mineral resources. As a land use lawyer I now work for the urban development industry. There is nothing exceptional about this. I am not a member of any political party.
    6. Tanya Gadiel is not my sister-in-law and is unrelated to me. Should you wish to make assertions about my family you might want contact me first to check the facts.

    I trust that you will take appropriate corrective action.


    Aaron Gadiel
    Chief Executive Officer
    Urban Taskforce Australia

  4. I’ll leave discussion of the issues Aaron Gadiel raises until our interview. I’m actually looking forward to it, as I find most reporting of these issues to be, well, rather clichéd. Or do I mean “confusing”?

    However I will pick up on point 6. I didn’t make up the connection between Aaron Gadiel and the Labor MP for Parramatta, Tanya Gadiel. I relied on the Sydney Morning Herald‘s article The circle of influence:

    The lobby group’s chief executive is Aaron Gadiel, brother-in-law of the Labor MP Tanya Gadiel and a former chief-of-staff to Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid.

    Other media have also reported this connection. Sorry, but it just goes to show you can’t necessarily believe what you read in the news.

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