Leichhardt Municipal Council
LEICHHARDT MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Matter of Public Importance
Ms NORI (Port Jackson) [3.15]: Mr Speaker -
Mr Moore: On a point of order. On 16th April the Council of the Municipality of Leichhardt commenced an action in the Land and Environment Court canvassing in its application all the matters that are encompassed on merit within the motion of the member for Port Jackson. I am advised that the series of complaints, substantially relating to the same issues that have been set out by the honourable member in her matter of public importance motion, also have been lodged by the council with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has declined to investigate the complaints for the time being as the matters are sub judice. I understand that the matter was mentioned before the Registrar of the Land and Environment Court on 24th April, and that the matter is listed for further call over on directions on 15th May. The matter is clearly sub judice. The application of Leichhardt Municipal Council in the Land and Environment Court traverses in great substance the range of issues relating to planning on the Balmain Peninsula. Therefore, the matters raised by the honourable member in her notice of motion should be ruled out of order on the grounds that these issues are before the Land and Environment Court.
Ms Nori: On the point of order. I agree with the Minister that the matter is before the Land and Environment Court; there is no doubt about that. However, I point out that this matter and similar matters have been before the Land and Environment Court on a number of occasions. I have spoken in this House on this matter while those matters were before the court on many other occasions. A private member's bill of mine was before this House that related to these matters. This matter had been mentioned in the Land and Environment Court. The Land and Environment Court is not a criminal court where a person's reputation might be on the line or that person might be facing a gaol sentence. We are not looking at the same sort of procedures that might be invoked in this Parliament to prevent a debate on the basis of a matter being sub judice. All the matters before the court are of public information. I have some of the legal documents that have been served in the court. They come from the solicitors acting for the Leichhardt Municipal Council. There is nothing secret about what I am about to say or the matters that I wish to raise. There are no compromising circumstances that could lead to some dastardly or dreadful result to an individual if this matter is debated today.
Mr Knowles: On the point of order. The appeal to the Land and Environment Court relates to a specific application. It is an appeal against the application lodged by Leichhardt Municipal Council relating to the development of the five sites on Balmain Peninsula. No doubt that is a matter that will be dealt with properly by the court. However, the matter of public importance before the House today deals with the question of the Minister's failure to consult in a process dealing with a variety of plans for those five sites. The matter before the court concerns a specific plan the council has appealed against. The matter of public importance calls for the Minister to consult on a variety of plans that are totally unrelated to the court action.
Mr Moore: Further to the point of order. Perhaps earlier I inadequately outlined the nature of the action commenced by Leichhardt Municipal Council that makes it impossible for me as the Minister representing the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy to respond to these matters in the House and why to permit the matter to go ahead today would severely compromise the possible case to be put by Leichhardt council or, more particularly, by the Minister in reply. The actions taken by Leichhardt Municipal Council were actions against the Minister, whom I represent in this Chamber, as well as the Director of Planning. Debate should not take place in this Chamber on a matter that is sub judice and when one of the parties to the matter is represented in this House by another person and is unable to speak without possibly prejudicing matters before the court. The matters should not be debated, so as not to compromise the position of one of the persons appearing before the court. That applies four square to this case, because the action being taken by Leichhardt Municipal Council in matter No. 40034 of 1992 is an action against the Minister for Planning and against the Director of Planning. If the matter were to go ahead, there is absolutely no way that I or anyone else on behalf of the Minister for Planning could speak on this matter without running the risk of compromising the positions of persons appearing before the Land and Environment Court.
Mr Whelan: On the point of order. I know the Government's intention is to erode the time of the honourable member for Port Jackson. I acknowledge that the Minister has said that he does not intend to erode her time. Mr Speaker, if you grant permission for the matter to proceed, I intend to move a motion to suspend standing orders to reinstate the five minutes' time the honourable member has lost through the arguing of points of order. I draw your attention to a learned ruling you gave in 1988-89 on the sub judice rule. In this Parliament I have been involved in debate on a number of matters relating to sub judice. An assurance has been given by the Minister for the Environment, not by the Attorney General. I do not disbelieve the Minister. The Land and Environment Court is purely a civil court. The action is not a criminal matter. The matter is specifically related, as the motion reveals, to the actions or non-actions of a Minister. The debate will not touch on anything that would prejudice the litigation before the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court, who will sit alone. There is no jury in the matter.
In my view, the proceedings before the court would not be prejudiced by anything said in this Parliament. Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to your ruling given in 1988-89. The sub judice rule has been given a belting by the Government in the past couple of days. It is not so long ago that in this Chamber a Minister of the Crown waved around a stolen court document, namely a statement of liquidated debt. The Minister's action created a precedent for the future. That matter could have been regarded as sub judice, but you have often said that the cut and thrust of Parliament is such that debate should proceed. In this instance I submit that it is not possible for the court to be persuaded by an argument or debate that takes place in this Chamber, and neither can the court process be influenced by the result of this debate.
Mr Moore: Further to the point of order. I am not seeking to erode the time of the honourable member for Port Jackson. I inform the honourable member for Ashfield that if you rule against me on the sub judice matter and allow the matter to proceed, I shall arrange for her to have the full amount of time to debate the matter. The specific point I am making is that it is not as though a third party outside this Parliament was involved in litigation with the municipality of Leichhardt. The Minister whom I represent in this Chamber, and on whose behalf I would be obliged to speak, is the first respondent in these matters. I would be unable to speak on that Minister's behalf without
compromising potentially the case of that Minister. It is a very different point to the general rules about single judges sitting alone and vigorous debate in this Parliament. In this instance - and it is a very narrow instance - the respondent in the matter is a member of the Government and is represented by me in this Chamber. I would not be able to speak on his behalf in any debate. It is not as though it were a fight between two councils or a third party respondent on a council; it is a member of the Government, represented by me in this Chamber, and I should not be able to speak without potentially compromising the Minister's position.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The application of the sub judice rule is not restricted to matters of a criminal nature being heard before a jury. The rule can apply to civil matters, depending upon the circumstances that arise such as whether there is any likelihood of prejudice occurring to the litigants in the matter. The matter of public importance motion moved by the member for Port Jackson is wide-ranging. The Chair has to consider the scope within the motion to raise matters that are not necessarily evidentiary matters which are likely to be brought before the court. Before the debate commences it is very difficult to know whether the member for Port Jackson intends to speak to the matter in a generalised way or to delve into the evidentiary matters before the court. In these circumstances I think it best to allow the debate to commence. If a matter that appears to be caught by the sub judice rule is raised in the debate, I shall be happy to entertain points of order. Until I see the cast of the debate, I do not believe I should restrict it.
Mr WHELAN (Ashfield) [3.27], by leave: In view of the undertaking given by the Leader of the Government in this House I move:
Mr MOORE (Gordon-Minister for the Environment) [3.27]: Leave is not granted in that form. I suggest that the honourable member for Port Jackson and two speakers from the Opposition side speak according to the times allotted to a matter of public importance. The Government does not propose to speak on the matter because it believes it would be inappropriate to do so and it might prejudice matters before the court.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The question is, That the honourable member for Port Jackson be allowed to speak for 15 minutes in the debate. I take it that the debate will proceed otherwise according to the rules, with the exception that if no Government members speak in the debate, the Opposition members be restricted to five minutes, with the honourable member for Port Jackson being allowed 10 minutes in reply.
Motion for suspension of standing and sessional orders agreed to.
Ms NORI (Port Jackson) [3.28]: I move:
That so much of the Sessional and Standing Orders be suspended as would preclude the honourable member for Port Jackson continuing her speech for a further period of 15 minutes and that two other members be allowed to speak for five minutes each before the reply.
That this House notes, as a matter of public importance:
(1) The rejection by the Minister for Planning of Leichhardt Municipal Council's local environmental plans, and notes the Minister's failure to:
(a) consult adequately with the local community;
(b) accept that Leichhardt Municipal Council has adopted a program that meets its obligations to urban consolidation;
(c) provide an affordable housing mix through the regional environmental plans;
(d) address issues of public transport infrastructure, traffic management and parking through the regional environmental plans;
(e) provide adequate public access to the harbour foreshore through the regional environmental plans.
(f) adequately address the issue of decontamination of the five sites through the regional environmental plans;
This matter of public importance would not be necessary if the new Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy learnt a lesson from the fate of his predecessor. But he has chosen to go down the same confrontationist path as his predecessor. The Government seems to have a fixation about Leichhardt Municipal Council and the Balmain Peninsula. I should have thought that any government would have learnt the lesson of just how the residents of Balmain are prepared to fight back for their rights as a community. When the administrator was appointed to Leichhardt Council no one imagined that the Balmain community would be able to raise the thousands of dollars required for the matter to go before the court. Honourable members know the results of that court case and of the appeal on the original decision. The matter was won. The Balmain community is now back in court. I am confident of the outcome.
The action could have been avoided if the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy had been willing to hold some discussions with Leichhardt council instead of not returning its calls and refusing to meet with it. I tried to meet with the Minister, but the meeting fell through. I tried to meet with the head of the department, Miss Gabrielle Kibble, who very kindly obliged me with an interview. Unfortunately, it fell through because of unforeseen circumstances. However, I appreciated the opportunity she gave me. I feel that the ego of the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy is on the line. That is the only explanation I can come up with for his behaviour. His first act as Minister was to demand that Leichhardt council carry out rezonings immediately with only four or five weeks to go before the council elections last September. It was clear there would be a change in the complexion of the council and it was unfair to ask the council to do that, given that the community would vote in favour of a council that had a very different view on the future of the peninsula than the view that existed prior to September 1991. In November 1991 the Minister brought out State Environmental Planning Policy 32, five or six weeks after the council was elected.
Mr Moore: On a point of order. The first point of the applicant's statement of claim in the Land and Environment Court relates to the validity of State Environmental Planning Policy 32. I do not believe that the honourable member for Port Jackson should be allowed to canvass any matters relating to that document.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Port Jackson in my view has not transgressed any aspect of the sub judice rule to date. However, I shall listen carefully.
Ms NORI: I shall paraphrase the essence of SEPP 32, which is that the Minister can call in sites larger than one hectare which he considers suitable for urban consolidation. He can have them rezoned and he, in fact, becomes the consent authority. I believe I am entitled to say that because it is a matter of public record, available in the libraries and elsewhere. I do not believe there is any secret in that nor in the belief that
developers would love the Minister to become the consent authority. In bringing down SEPP 32 the Minister failed totally to acknowledge that a new council had been elected in Leichhardt which would more closely reflect the views of the local community. The Minister was not prepared to wait for the new council to begin the rezonings on Balmain peninsula. The council set forth on reasonable and speedy community consultation, seminars and so on, to work out the most appropriate developments. The Minister brought down a regional environmental plan to preclude Leichhardt council from having a say on the matter and did not allow time for the council to complete its local environmental plans. I then brought in a private member's bill which did not proceed to debate. Fortunately it did not have to because Leichhardt council completed its local environmental plans in plenty of time, even ahead of the Minister. There is no truth in the argument that Leichhardt council has been a slouch.
Next, the Minister made sure that the Balmain sites were rectified to his approval. He created a region which stretched from Maitland to Kiama merely to ensure that Balmain was covered. This was nothing more than a ruse. The real and only objective of that regional environment plan was Balmain. That was not carried out properly which is why the matter is proceeding in the Land and Environment Court. Mr Speaker, in deference to your earlier ruling, I shall not refer to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to indicate why I believe the Minister will be unsuccessful in that court. The Minister should have adequately publicised SEPP 32. Ample precedent has been given for that. In 1982 SEPP 14 was advertised, public comment invited and 14,000 submissions were received. That speaks for itself.
Great interest is shown in urban consolidation; it is a hot and controversial issue and it would behove any Minister to invite submissions from the public to ensure the matter is properly canvassed because of its ramifications. It is proper that the issue of urban consolidation and its impact in Balmain should be debated. SEPP 32 contains dramatic and far-reaching material. It sets up a basis for initiating considerable changes to urban areas of New South Wales. It could lead to regional environment plans which would impact significantly on the environment of many neighbourhoods and council areas. SEPP 32 provides for the Minister to be the consent authority, thus taking effective control of local developments from councils that traditionally were responsible. The concept of SEPP 28 would have been preferable because it provides for consultation rather than coercion, the centrepiece of SEPP 32.
I do not believe that there is sufficient urgency to justify the immediate making of SEPP 32. Adequate time was provided for the publicising and seeking of community views. There were no developments and nothing in the pipeline that could not have waited for three months for the draft SEPP to be publicised and comments sought from the community. The Minister, by making himself the consent authority, is in conflict with section 5B of the Act. I ask why there was the urgency. I ask whether the Minister was concerned about public opinion and the interests of residents. Clearly he was not or he would not have introduced the SEPP. I can only surmise he is working under pressure from the developers and SEPP 32 is a convenient mechanism by which government can tie up planning policy and asset sales.
Mr Moore: On a point of order. The honourable member for Port Jackson has been allowed to speak for some time relating to SEPP 32. She is now starting to impute motives to the Minister which are potentially matters that may be raised by the Council of the Municipality of Leichhardt in litigation. Mr Speaker, I suggest that you ask her not to traverse those matters that may be raised in matter No. 40034 of 1992 before the Land and Environment Court.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The matters to be raised in the Land and Environment Court, from my knowledge of that court, would be far more detailed than those raised in this Chamber. I propose to allow the honourable member for Port Jackson to continue for the moment.
Ms NORI: This is a matter of policy and has nothing to do with the court case, but SEPP 32 could be used unscrupulously to provide an excuse to sell off controversial government assets. A site, which may be a school, is identified - people do not like their schools being sold off - and it may be considered suitable for urban consolidation. Under SEPP 32 it can be flogged off and urban-consolidated. That is my concern about the potential abuse of SEPP 32. If that were to happen, it would bring about a real conflict between proper planning imperatives and mechanisms, and profit. The profit motive would take over and good planning initiatives would go out the window. I do not understand the haste in introducing this matter. The subject sites in Balmain are all contaminated with some of the worse contaminants possible - polychlorinated biphenyls, hydrocarbons and so on. It will take years for those sites to be cleared. Only one site has partly been remedied and current buildings demolished, and that is the Leeder site. Even that has been done appallingly. The locals had to seek WorkCover to protect themselves and unions were brought in because the asbestos problem was not being dealt with properly. It was just a mess.
It has been established that it will take at least $18 million to clean the Elcom site. There is no urgency because nothing can be built on the sites for at least a year or two. I believe strong environmental grounds exist for the rezoning to follow decontamination. What is the point of land being rezoned, something being built on top of it and years later finding out people are coming down with many types of cancers, as happened in toxic waste areas of Kingston and other places. We do not know that these sites could ever be safe, no matter how much money is spent on their restoration. I feel strongly that decontamination should take place first. Of course developers want the land to be rezoned so that they can resell it an enormous profit. I do not believe that the sites will be developed immediately and I think I shall be proved right in time. These sites were planned to be grossly overdeveloped because of the need for profits and I do not think the developers make any apology for that.
No one cared about the inner city 10 to 20 years ago. Now the land is valuable real estate and good planning goes out the window. Balmain is not an outer rim suburb with a lot of open space, wide streets and off-street parking but an overcrowded suburb with traffic congestion. I would like to take honourable members on a bus trip to Balmain to see how they would negotiate their way down Louisa Road, for example. Some houses in the inner city are only nine feet wide. The Minister and his representative in the other place would not even be able to stretch without touching the walls on both sides. The inner city is already overdeveloped. One must be careful and sensitive when planning an urban renewal project. The infrastructure of the inner city is old and decrepit. New drains, footpaths and so on are needed. Transport infrastructure has been wound down by this Government and I do not see in the Government's proposal any commitment to provide adequate updating of these essential services.
The objections put forward by the Minister to the Leichhardt Municipal Council's proposals are very curious. We are told, for example, that the densities proposed in the Minister's plan are 1.15, but the council is putting forward a density of 0.8. All it is doing is keeping up the same average density as exists at present throughout the whole of Balmain. Balmain has many poky little houses and tiny little streets, too many cars and so on. Leichhardt Municipal Council simply is proposing that there be more of the same throughout these five sites. It is not advocating that there be big
backyards as are evident in Killara and Pymble, but is advocating more of the same. That is bad enough, but the Minister wants to increase that density further. The Leichhardt proposal envisages 688 dwellings, the Greiner plan 1,027. If the Greiner plan goes ahead, there will be an increase of 20 per cent in the population of the Balmain Peninsula. I do not believe the infrastructure will be sufficient for such a massive increase unless there are other inputs.
The other criticism I have is that no affordable housing mix is proposed in the Government's plan. If it is intended to try to turn back the tide of people being forced to go to the western suburbs to buy land that they can afford, the Government might tell me how many people who would be candidates for the west will be diverted back to the inner city to buy apartments that will cost a minimum of $250,000. There needs to be an affordable housing mix included within the plan. The council has provided for 32 per cent of open space on each site, but the Government has allowed for only 19 per cent. I know that it is often said that Balmain residents are a pack of yuppies who want open space everywhere; but they have asked for only one of the sites, the Caltex site, to become part of the Sydney Harbour National Park because of its significant location and its significance to the harbour. For those who live in the inner city in crowded conditions it is quite proper that the deficit be made good in the public sphere by the provision of such things as communal open space.
The Leichhardt plan provides for effective harbour access, whereas the Government's plan is restrictive. The Leichhardt plan takes into account the fact that infrastructure such as roads, transport and child care facilities must be provided. The Government's plan makes no such provision. The Leichhardt plan also will ensure that there will be no development of Mullins Street to extend it through to the coal loader and Victoria Road. No provision has been made for that in the Government's plan or for the incredible traffic chaos that would result. The Government does not have any strong provision for the protection of future residents from contamination of these sites during the decontamination process. The Leichhardt Municipal Council proposal includes an intention to establish a decontamination committee and strong proposals to monitor and control decontamination of the site. There are a lot of other myths about this. [Time expired.]
Ms ALLAN (Blacktown) [3.43]: A couple of furphies have been a feature of the running battle between Leichhardt Municipal Council and local government, and the present State Government. In the brief time available to me I shall deal with two of those issues. The first is whether Leichhardt Municipal Council is failing to meet its obligations to urban consolidation in the State. That has been one of the concerns expressed by the Minister for Planning, Robert Webster, when he has made contributions to the public debate. I shall put forward a number of statistics that show that in comparison with a number of other council areas in metropolitan Sydney, especially on the North Shore, Leichhardt Municipal Council is doing a tremendous job in meeting its obligations to urban consolidation in Sydney. The statistics that I have available are based on the 1991 census. They are new data and show that since statistics on this issue have been collected - in the 1981, 1986 and 1991 censuses - the Leichhardt municipality has had increasing density of population.
Only two councils of those about which I shall speak are doing a wonderful job in this regard. I refer to North Sydney council and Leichhardt Municipal Council. The figures to which I shall refer relate to the proportion of multi-unit housing compared to total housing stock in various local government areas. Of the local government areas of Hornsby, Ryde, Willoughby, Warringah, North Sydney, Mosman, Manly, Lane Cove, Ku-ring-gai and Hunters Hill, North Sydney has a proportion of 84.4 per cent of multi-unit dwellings compared to the total housing stock. In other words 84 per cent of the
total housing stock contributes to urban consolidation in some way. That is not surprising. We all know that North Sydney is a densely populated area. It is also known that North Sydney has managed to achieve that target after widespread consultation with the local community and active involvement of that community in the planning process. Other council areas on the North Shore include Lane Cove, with 40.3 per cent, Manly 57.7 per cent, Mosman 58.1 per cent, Willoughby 33.6 per cent, Warringah 23.7 per cent and Hornsby merely 12.63 per cent. None of those areas compares with North Sydney. The figure for Leichhardt is 62.3 per cent.
Leichhardt Municipal Council is doing better than any other local government authority, except North Sydney council - on the North Shore at least - in regard to the proportion of multi-unit housing compared to total housing stock. Leichhardt Municipal Council is providing a wonderful example for the councils on the North Shore when one takes into account that six out of 10 residences in the Leichhardt council area are part of the urban consolidation push. If that is Leichhardt Municipal Council failing to meet its obligations, this Government has got it wrong, wrong, wrong, to quote the more famous exponent of that expression. The other furphy put around in this debate is that Leichhardt Municipal Council has shown itself to be too difficult to deal with the present State Government on this issue, hence the Government's rush to try to seize the planning powers of that council, rush off to the courts and try to do the council over as often as it can. That has not been the case, at least since the change of power following the election for the council in September last year. There has been a far greater readiness by the council to negotiate with the Government. That readiness has been taken up by the executive of the Local Government Association in a desperate attempt to persuade the Minister for Planning to meet representatives from the councils and discuss these problems.
The Minister for Planning has been too arrogant to meet council representatives and discuss the problems. Instead he has chosen to ignore their concerns. Of course the Opposition supports the principles of urban consolidation, but it does not support these arrogant practices that have been used by the Government. We believe that the urban consolidation model being addressed and adopted by the Government is inadequate. All that the Government wants to do is to rezone land, particularly in the inner city region but increasingly, according to the article in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald, all over western and southwestern Sydney as well. [Time expired.]
Ms MOORE (Bligh) [3.48]: I support the matter of public importance motion moved by the honourable member for Port Jackson. I speak in support of the Balmain inner city community, Leichhardt Municipal Council and local government. It is ironic that this matter of public importance debate should occur shortly after the tabling of the legislation committee report on the Local Government Bill. All honourable members will be aware that the bill will introduce greater autonomy and independence for local government. Yet at the same time the State Government is seeking to override the interests of the local community and the rights of local government as a separate tier of government. Like the honourable member for Blacktown, I support urban consolidation; but it must not be ad hoc and it must include the three tiers of government: Federal, State and local. It is not much use if the Federal Government is putting forward its better cities policy, the Minister for Planning is indiscriminately choosing sites around New South Wales for urban consolidation, and local government and the local community are being excluded from the whole process. Federal, State and local governments must work closely together to plan urban consolidation and have wide-ranging consultation. If the three tiers of government do not get together, have that dialogue and start some long-term planning, there will be continual opposition from local communities, particularly in the inner city areas.
The inner city area is urban consolidated. How are the people in that urban consolidated area treated? Frequently they have to defend their patch from traffic, development and pollution. They need adequate open space and they need adequate support services. They have to turn themselves into urban guerillas to maintain those services. Why does not the State Government look creatively at the potential in the south Sydney industrial area? The large ACI site is currently before South Sydney council. It will not be used for a residential area. The proposal is for a commercial office-industrial development. The south Sydney industrial area, where manufacturing industry is decentralised, is an ideal location for urban consolidation - close to the city - especially if the Government, in its proposed city airport rail link, has stops in the south Sydney area. The Brambles site has been developed. It was formerly part of Moore Park. If it was to be developed - with which I do not agree - it should have been residential development, not industrial development.
I recently addressed an urban consolidation conference, attended by representatives from all around Australia, where there was not one representative from the New South Wales planning department or the Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister addressed the conference about urban consolidation and the Federal Government's policies. When I asked him whether he would work with the other tiers of government - Federal, State and local government - towards developing a co-ordinated long-term policy that would take this country into the next century he said, "No", he had not got that far in his planning. The Deputy Prime Minister's response is appalling when one considers the state of our cities. One only has to compare the city of Los Angeles with the decay in our cities to realise that it is time to do something in Australia to prevent people rioting because of the total injustice of a system that does not care about them. Urban consolidation is needed but the rights of people to be involved in the process should not be removed. The involvement of local residents will improve the process. The Department of Planning should be precluded from overriding local communities.
Ms NORI (Port Jackson) [3.52], in reply: I want to debunk a number of myths surrounding this debate between the Minister and Leichhardt council.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! Before the honourable member for Port Jackson begins her contribution, she can only reply to matters raised in the debate, which may well restrict what she has to say. She cannot introduce new material at this stage.
Ms NORI: Can I not add to what has been said?
Mr SPEAKER: The honourable member can only reply to things that have been said by the other speakers.
Ms NORI: In the interests of urban consolidation it would be best to have a co-operative rather than a confrontationalist approach. It is the only answer for long-term success. The good design of any proposed development is essential. Any proposed development must be in scale with existing development or there is a risk of the sort of backlash that followed the three-storey walk-ups. The Minister should remember that older areas, like Balmain, are not capable of accommodating previous populations because of decreasing household occupancy, increasing car ownership and because we now use more of everything - water, cars, electricity, waste, et cetera. It is not appropriate to aim for the kinds of densities and population levels that existed in the 1940s and 1950s.
I place on record my support for urban consolidation. However, the way in which the Minister has introduced urban consolidation with Leichhardt council is totally inappropriate. He should take heed of the last paragraph of this matter of public
importance which calls upon him to sit down and negotiate with Leichhardt council so that they may resolve their difficulties and come up with a sensible proposal for Balmain Peninsula.
Motion agreed to.
(2) That the Minister for Planning should not agree to meet with Leichhardt Municipal Council and negotiate a resolution to the differences between the two plans for the peninsula.