MANLY ELECTORATE PLANNING
Mr MIKE BAIRD
(Manly) [12.03 p.m.]: I call on the State Labor Government to get fair dinkum. It is disappointing to have to report to the House that my community has a strong sense of continuing to be railroaded on a very important development issue in my electorate. The area impacted runs all the way from North Balgowlah through Balgowlah and Fairlight to Manly flat. It concerns new developments that are being approved without consultation and due process, and without listening to what the community is talking about. There is an urgent need for a master plan for this region, and Manly Council has sought expressions of interest for this. Why is the Minister for Planning approving developments, such as that for Bunnings recently and Woolworths this week, before the master plan is completed? I gave notice of a motion in June and wrote a letter to the Minister and Manly Council last month. Four Manly precincts and residents have requested that the clock be stopped on all developments until proper assessments have been carried out. It is not an unreasonable request that the State Government listen to the community it purports to represent.
There is every sense that we are being ignored in relation to this proposal, that deals are being done behind closed doors and that the will of the community is being ignored. The Minister has a responsibility to respond to my questions. He has had every opportunity to respond to the questions and concerns of the community, yet he continues to ignore them. That is not a good look for the State Labor Government or for democracy, and it raises continuing questions. Indeed, it makes me even more determined to get to the bottom of the issue.
The community understands that development is needed, but my argument and theirs is that it must be appropriate. There are concerns about the significant cumulative traffic impacts in this region since the Stockland development. That has undoubtedly increased the strain on local roads and impacted on parking. With the new developments going on concurrently down this corridor we have called on the Minister for Roads to undertake a traffic study before the developments are approved. Why has that not happened? There are bits and pieces of information about traffic problems but it should be part of a holistic master plan that includes appropriate and detailed traffic considerations. That would put responsibility, should the applications be approved, onto the proponents of any new developments to ensure that the impact on local roads is minimised and that they contribute to the infrastructure to achieve that outcome so that the community is protected. That is being ignored. The community has a strong sense that it is being steamrolled.
Development needs to be sustainable and I think there can be a win-win solution. It is with the utmost disappointment that I note that the Minister still has not responded. There has been nothing in response to the notice of motion and nothing in response to my letter. Manly Council is strongly pursuing a master plan but unfortunately the development applications have been pushed through. Again I make an urgent request to the Minister to listen and respond and to take heed of the community's requests. If he does not do that, every conspiracy theory that is tossed into the air will be thought to have merit because the Minister is refusing to answer. I ask him formally for the third time to respond to the community's request. It is not an unreasonable request. I strongly believe a win-win solution is available and the Minister has a chance to make that happen.
On a brighter note, I acknowledge a recent book launch by Lucy Perry. Her brother and I have been great mates for many years and have spent a lot of time surfing the northern beaches. His younger sister, Lucy, has produced a fantastic book called Cheers to Childbirth
, which tells men what to expect from birth and the early months of fatherhood and the status quo of their relationships. It features some of Australia's best-known fathers, including Danny Green, Adam Spencer, Mark Occhilupo, Mark Ferguson, Charlie Teo, James Tompkins, opera singer Jud Arthur and others, and a couple of two-bit State politicians. It is a terrific reflection on men's attitude to childbirth and I commend Lucy for the book. It was a real thrill to be personally involved. Good on you, Lucy.