Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition (SHHMC) Documents

Hunters Hill Threat of Amalgamation December 2012’ This document sets out the threat to Hunters Hill of amalgamation, the composition of the SHHMC Coalition, the overwhelming view of the residents, the historic and heritage values of Hunters Hill, its strong sense of community, the structure of the Council and its role with the regional organisation NSROC, the likely adverse consequences of amalgamation, suggested reforms, what the Government should do and what we can all do.

Battle to Save Hunters Hill is on again’ This article by Ross Williams dated 12 December 2012 succinctly sets out why Hunters Hill should be kept and valued as it is.

A Community Perspective on Proposed Changes to the NSW Planning System’ This submission by Phil Jenkyn dated 3 October 2012 is critical of the proposed planning changes, including taking away public consultation and councillor involvement in the assessment of development applications.

Report to Council Meeting 11 Feb 13’ This report by Ross Williams to the Hunters Hill Council meeting dated 11 February 2013 sets out the actions of SHHMC since it was reactivated on 4 December 2012 and presents its views and recommendations.

Letter to Premier 10 Feb 13’ This letter calls upon the State Government to protect and preserve the historic Municipality of Hunters Hill, to work with its community, and pass legislation to ensure that the repeated threat to its independence and integrity and its local democracy, is forever removed. There have been three responses, the first response dated 13 February and the second response dated 25 February simply sent the letter to the Minister for Local Government. The Minister’s response dated 5 March does not answer the concerns raised.

Letter to Minister 9 Feb 13’ This letter addressed to the Minister for Local Government expresses concern as to whether the Government may break its election promise of no forced amalgamations, and seeks an urgent meeting to present the case for the preservation of the historic Municipality of Hunters Hill. The ‘Response from the Minister 13 Feb 13’ fails to make clear what the Government’s policy is in relation to forced amalgamations and states that a meeting at this stage is not appropriate.

Letter to Review Panel 12 Feb 13’ This letter to the Local Government Review Panel seeks an urgent meeting to explain what it is that makes a Council valued by its community and how important a sense of place and belonging is for communities.

Response to Review Panel 6 March 13’ This response to the discussion paper ‘The case for sustainable change’ calls upon the Review Panel and the State Government to recognise, preserve and protect the historic Municipality of Hunters Hill, and ensure that there are no forced amalgamations of councils, in accordance with the Government’s pre-election promise. ‘Panel’s receipt 14 March 13’ of the response states unable to meet at this time.

Letter to Premier 6 March 13’ This further letter to the Premier attaches a Submission to Government and the Response to Review Panel dated 6 March 13, and submits that the policy of no forced amalgamations and the goal of protecting the State’s most significant heritage places are matters for Premier and Cabinet and not the Minister. The letter seeks direct answers from the Premier to three direct questions relating to forced amalgamations and heritage protection.

Response from Government 21 March 13’ This Media Release issued by the Minister announces that there will be “no forced amalgamations” and that ‘we are still committed to reforming the local government sector, subject to this policy”. We   still await a  response to our question about recognising, preserving and protecting the historic Municipality of Hunters Hill.

Former Mayor’s Support 21 March 13’ This signed statement of former Hunters Hill Mayors strongly supports the Municipality retaining its independence and having its heritage and community values properly protected. See also front page article in local press.

Video of Public Meeting 6 June 13‘ This video of the Hunters Hill Public Meeting, called by Hunters Hill Council and held 6 June 2013, was produced by SHHMC and has been placed on YouTube. It shows the real concerns felt by the community to the proposed changes to Local Government and Planning law. Three important resolutions  were passed by overwhelming majority.

Submission White Paper 23 June 13’  and ‘attachment’ and ‘attachment’ This submission is highly critical of Planning’s ‘White Paper’ and draft Bill, in particular: the attack on environment and heritage, local democracy, public consultation and merit assessment; how growth dominates the whole proposed planning system; the wide powers given to the Minister; and the way developers can over-ride planning controls.

Submission Metro Strategy 20 June 13’ This is the ‘Growth Plan’ for Sydney setting targets for housing, and identifying where the housing will go. It should only have been produced after the extensive consultations as envisaged in the ‘White Paper’ were completed. But here it is, already done as part of a future planning system.‘Submission to Review Panel 25 June 13′  and ‘attachment’ This submission is in response to the Panel’s ‘Future Directions’ paper, which has recommended that Hunters Hill be amalgamated into a ‘Super Council’ of over 250,000 people. Hunters Hill is one of the State’s earliest councils and is of national heritage significance. Its community and council are strongly against amalgamation for many good reasons. Bigger councils are not better, economies of scale and strategic advocacy can be achieved best by councils cooperating, including through the existing regional organisations of councils (ROCs) structure.

Protest at Town Hall 2 Sept 13’ A colourful and vocal protest by SHHMC convenors, coordinators and supporters on the steps of the Hunters Hill Town Hall called on the NSW Government to withdraw its flawed Planning Bill. A new Bill is needed that properly protects communities, heritage and the environment while encouraging well-planned and sustainable development. A number of Councils are also calling for the Bill to be rewritten and re-exhibited.

Letter to Roberts MP 22 Sept 13’ This letter to the local State member and Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts seeks an urgent meeting to discuss considerable community concerns over the Government’s handling of the proposed Planning Bill.

Letter to the Premier Barry O’Farrell 22 Sept 13’ This letter to the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell dated 22 September outlines significant community anger and dismay at the way the Government is handling proposed changes to Planning law and calls for the Planning Bill to be withdrawn, re-written and re-exhibited. It also calls for the sacking of the Planning Minister Brad Hazzard and the Director-General of his Department for good reason, as set out in the letter.

Analysis of Planning Bill 10 Nov 13’ This document sets out in detail an analysis by SHHMC of the Planning Bill 2013, introduced by the Government into Parliament on 22 October. Listed are many fundamental flaws in the Bill, including in relation to a lack of balance in the objects clause, code assessment without consultation, no compulsory merit assessment for heritage, developers over-riding strategic plans, wide discretions to the Minister and bureaucrats, weak local plans, and the failure to consult with community at the DA stage. The Bill lacks fairness and balance, creates uncertainty and is overly complex and difficult to understand. It does not have community support and should be rejected by the Upper House.

Letter to the Premier Barry O’Farrell 13 Nov 13’ This letter to the Premier dated 13 November expresses considerable disappointment and concern that the Government is proceeding with its deeply flawed Planning Bill before the Upper House. It attaches the Analysis of the Bill detailing the many serious problems with the legislation and calls for the Bill to be rejected.

Email to Roberts MP 3 Dec 13’ This email was the fourth in four weeks sent to our State MP. The emails ask the local member why he voted for the flawed Planning Bill knowing that it failed to properly protect our environment and heritage and why he has refused to publicly stand up and speak for his community. If and when our member publicly responds by email or letter to the many questions raised, that response will be placed on this website. The earlier emails were sent on 12 Nov, 13 Nov and 24 Nov.

Letter to the Premier Barry O’Farrell 5 Dec 13’ This letter is highly critical of the way the Minister for Planning and the Government has handled planning reform. It calls for the resignation or sacking of the Minister for Planning, the Director General of Planning and those in the Department responsible for the flawed Bill and its communication to the public. The heavy amendment of the Planning Bill in the Upper House and its then withdrawal in the Legislative Assembly provides the opportunity for the Government to do a rethink, get a new Minister and team and work with community, business and other stakeholders in developing a truly fair and balanced planning system and Bill. Such a Bill would properly protect the environment and heritage, involve genuine consultation, be transparent, provide certainty, and encourage well-planned growth and jobs with supporting infrastructure.