Monday, June 14, 2010


The Editor
The Herald

Dear Sir,

Honeysuckle Openspace

Parks and Playgrounds Movement welcome the openspace push of Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay MP (Keep off the Grass 12/6 The Herald).

However we would be more impressed if the Hon. Minister clearly directed the Hunter Development Corporation to prepare and publicly exhibit a Varying Scheme under Section16 of the Growth Centres Act.  The HDC Growth Centre now includes every Local Government Area in the Hunter Region and their 1992 Honeysuckle Master Plan is utterly inappropriate for their extended Growth Centre.

What Ms McKay mentions as city planning errors of the past were in fact straight out flagrant disregard of statutory planning by the Honeysuckle Dev Corp at Central Honeysuckle! This was only possible because there was no effective oversight of the Corporation after 1997.

We need to revisit the vision of the former Lord Mayor Joy Cummings AM

Doug Lithgow President
Parks and Playgrounds Movement

To our conservation colleagues

It is clear that we need to begin setting out the issues and our views on maintaining the statutory zoning of our foreshore openspace and the protection of existing parks.

Furthermore the disregard of planning by the Honeysuckle Development Corporation and their non compliance with their own Act - i.e. The Growth Centres (Development Corporations) Act 1974,  the  foolish mistakes made such as:

- the buying the longshore Wharf and then demolishing it. 
- not carrying out Geo-technical work at the early stage, 
- wrongful advertising for Merewether Wharf development before rezoning in place, 
- tearing up Wharf Road, 
- building out the Flinders Cove without re-planning for the change, 
- building out the views to the harbour while claiming to be opening up the harbour, 
- not building the planned overbridge at Stewart Ave, 
- removing rail crossing overbridges and level crossing. 

Not to mention the complete disregard of the Joy Cummings foreshore initiatives of the 1980's. 

The talk about light rail is just talk and the real agenda is the to grab the public harbour front including the Newcastle Railway station. (The HDC aim is to get rid of rail commuters first!)

There is a lot of work to be done just to get the above information out to the general public over the next 2 years. 

We all need to take the time to understand the concept of the Honeysuckle Masterplan and the earlier Joy Cummings Foreshore Design with its protection of the public domain. 

We need to write every couple of months on one or more of the issues otherwise the truth will never be told. 


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