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Collapse Issue 517:<br />19 Apr 2021<br />_____________Issue 517:
19 Apr 2021
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Persson calls for administration while merger proceeds
Crouch to petition Minister for public inquiry into council
Mingaletta in consortium to deliver housing program
Tickets provided for Anzac services
Climber taken to hospital with multiple injuries
Titanic Dinner was 'fabulously successful'
Palm tree installed during the night
First concert after aged care home lockdown
Community group joins in bank celebrations
Book fair raises $8500
Rotary club views stained-glass panels
Minister seeks ideas for church statement of purpose
Tesch calls for grant applications
CWA branch to hold second stall
CWA branch seeks support for grant application
Multi-unit development proposal retains existing house
New council chief has rebuilt councils, says Crouch
Panel denies planning document exhibition problems
Medical centre plan 'designed to maximise site usage'
Decision on Mrs Wilson's Shop is deferred
Government reviews planning provision variations
Tree group calls for submissions on State design policy
'Excellent' water quality in Booker and Woy Woy Bays
First transfer made
Bays group gears up for more events
Star jumps at PCYC
Bags of food for Coast Shelter
Busy Easter weekend for Marine Rescue
St John youth group gathering
Easter eggs to competition winners
Rotary member attends world service conference
Anzac service at Pearl Beach
CWA members have history of quilting
Road safety forum at Gosford
Small businesses should apply for rebate, says Tesch
Charities share in profits
Little rain in last three weeks
Precedents take over from planning provisions
Creating a safe world for politicians and developers
When 8-4=0: 'No cuts' to ABC budget
Cumulative impact of Council decisions not considered
Best of friends
Rugs and blankets donated to palliative care project
The face of a new service at Woy Woy
Staying active is key to preventing falls
Buggy rides a regular event
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Jewellery class finishes term one
Visit to Monet exhibition at Moore Park
Writers' festival program is released
College wins ribbons at Royal Easter Show
Students receive White Cards and barista certificates
Catholic school enrolments open
Community childcare to hold annual meeting
Schools to receive new roofs
College cross country attracts 200 students
Students set sights on goalball championships
Pre-schoolers have a look inside worm farm
Cross country carnival at Woy Woy South
Young official of the year
Umina hold junior presentation day
Bailey Meti wins Singles event in state championships
President's Cup bridge results
Mixed pairs bridge championship
First trial game
Lessons on bridge cardplay strategy
Southern Spirit to hold presentation nights
Under-10 girls selected for Central Coast girls' team
Pennant wins to Ettalong Eagles
First round loss for Woy Woy Lions
Rugby League results
Umina bowls results


Creating a safe world for politicians and developers

Frank Wiffen makes a very pertinent point, when he highlights the spurious "consultation" process that we see from all levels of government and from all agencies ("Pretend consultation while secret decisions are made", Peninsula News EXTRA 516) in matters related to the development of Central Coast in general and of Woy Woy Peninsula in particular.

Anyone who has ever made a submission on the numerous matters put on exhibition over the past decade knows that the impact on final decisions will be negligible.

The whole procedure is mere window-dressing to comply with statutory requirements or to give a gloss of community involvement to a process from which the public is excluded in any meaningful way.

While Mr Wiffen is referring specifically to one development application now before Council, the same can be said, mutatis mutandis, for the redesign of Blackwall Rd, recently put on display ("Minimal feedback sought on intersection plans", PN 516) and for the brand-new, innovative, forward-thinking, dynamic, transformative, revelational Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy now also in the "consultation" phase ("Group rallies submissions on design and place policy", PN 516).

This latter document is the same old dreary rhetoric, with the same old concealed agendas, that we get with every one of these PR exercises, designed to give the impression that the public interest is being advanced at top speed while actually having no purpose but to create new opportunities for developers to damage our built environment and give the public less say in what is going on.

Anyone foolish enough to waste his time formulating submissions on this proposal will find that they get exactly the same attention given to all unwelcome criticisms, i.e., none at all.

Another case in point is the Central Coast Strategy now being prepared for us by the Greater Sydney Commission.

When invitations to comment were displayed, the Commission helpfully supplied a list of issues that it saw as the most important to be taken into account in the preparation of its Strategy.

Remarkably, now that the first steps have been completed, it turns out that the exact issues identified by the Commission turned out to be the ones that everybody approved of, and not a single issue that could have been raised beyond those originals proved to be important enough to influence the Commission's opinions.

We are fortunate to have such perceptive and totally informed experts in charge of our future: it hardly seems to be worth questioning their views when they are clearly so universally accepted.

Of course, it will be interesting to see whether the Commission's end-product is of any more value than the nugatory Central Coast Regional Plan prepared by the Planning Department or the much-heralded Gosford Central Plan prepared by the Government Architect.

It is easy to suspect that it will have no more real-world impact than these bygone exercises in futility and no more influence on the future of the Central Coast than the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporations's trivial and money-wasting reworking of the Gosford Leagues Field.

A more suspicious person than I might think it possible that this constant issuing of invitations to comment, when all comments are routinely ignored, is a long-term strategy to wear out the interest of the public and exhaust the energies of community groups, so that future changes can be made without any irritating contrary views having to be entertained at all.

The world will then be safe for politicians and developers to do as they wish.

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