Friday, May 21, 2010

Remove the Coal River section from the Masterplan

Ms Lindy Hyam General Manager
Newcastle City Council
PO Box 489 Newcastle NSW

Dear Ms Hyam,

Coastal Revitalisation Master Plan: Remove the Coal River section from the Masterplan

I have been completely distraught by the so called Coastal Revitalisation masterplan and disheartened after a lifetime of work on the foreshore and the Coal River Precinct in particular.

I commenced consideration of this area as Secretary of the P&PM in 1968 when Council began planning for a car parking area around the southern edge of the Nobbys Headland with the Macquarie Pier to be used as an access!

Parks and playgrounds had been involved with supporting the National Parks Legislation through the Parliament at that time and we supported the Historic Site provisions of the Act. I used them to develop the proposal for the Newcastle East Historic Site including the Nobbys; the Convict built Macquarie pier and the first coal mine under Fort Scratchley.  Countless thousands of hours of work have been expended on this area by me and by so many other citizens of this city over the intervening years.

Having been kept in the dark about the existence of the current Coastline Masterplan process for 12 months and being refused the Memeorandum Of Understanding (MOU) except under FOI, I am so disappointed to see the Council has spent public money on this document especially as it affects our public coastal parks and public reserves.

The whole masterplan process was a fraud against the public from the start and should never have been started let alone kept secret the way it was.

Public reserves and public parks are established for the benefit of the public not for vested interests and a public processes should only be used for their management. The unnecessarily devious approach to the whole process by locking out the public has tainted the resulting document and it should be set aside.

With regard to the Coal River Precinct, Newcastle Council has an adopted plan “The Pizzey Plan” and any proposed developments must arise from that plan not some new arbitrary planning approach.

The Pizzey plan had public drafts before adoption by Council and was funded by the Council $20,000 with the NSW Heritage Council picking up the remainder of more than $20,000. Mr Pizzey consulted with all authorities and people having an interest in the area of the precinct.

The Coal River precinct should be removed from the coastal master plan and Mr Pizzey brought back to address the Councillors and advise on the Coal River Precinct and the implementation of the Coal River Plan proposals as a matter of urgency.

I had requested that the General Manager do this previously because our new Councillors don’t know the amount of work already done and how non contributory development should not be countenanced in this area.

I would appreciate you informing the General Manager of my deep disappointment and distress at her allowing this tainted document being put to the public and asking her to remove the Coal River section from it because of the existing planning framework that should be used.

Parks and Playgrounds Movement reserve the right to make further submissions to this document.

Yours Sincerely
Doug Lithgow President

No comments: