Let­ter to the Ed­i­tor

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - Front Page -

Ref: HRAA News-Is­sue, De­cem­ber 2015

I for one, was hope­ful that the non­sense por­trayed by what is now known as the HRAA, the group that has had more names than I have had Christ­mas din­ners and pur­ports to rep­re­sent the en­tire ru­ral com­mu­nity, would at last have come to an end.

The half page ed­i­to­rial or pub­lic­ity the magazine pro­vided in its last is­sue is re­ally a joke, and con­firms, at least in my view, that these peo­ple are liv­ing on an­other planet. They seem to have no grasp of what is be­ing looked at.

In their open­ing para­graph of their so-called news, they re­fer to and I quote “There has been con­sid­er­able de­bate about the prospect of sub­di­vi­sion of land in the so-called ru­ral ar­eas of Hornsby Coun­cil.” What could they pos­si­bly mean by so-called ru­ral ar­eas? And what and who there­fore are they at­tempt­ing to rep­re­sent.

They fur­ther go on, and again I quote “The Hornsby Ru­ral Ar­eas As­so­ci­a­tion, HRAA was formed ear­lier this year by a col­lec­tion of landown­ers in the ru­ral zones who were con­cerned about the mis­in­for­ma­tion that is be­ing ped­dled about the rel­e­vant is­sues.”

I will chal­lenge them to show any el­e­ment of mis­in­for­ma­tion that is be­ing ped­dled about these is­sues – other than that con­tin­u­ing to come from them­selves.

Again I quote: “HRAA meets reg­u­larly and has an in­ter­est in pre­serv­ing the lo­cal am­biance of the area while recog­nis­ing the need for more res­i­dents through sen­si­ble de­vel­op­ment”

Who de­cided that there was need for more com­mu­nity res­i­dents? Or that this could be gained through so- called sen­si­ble de­vel­op­ment.

Again and I quote “They be­lieve that there are key is­sues which need to be clar­i­fied. HRAA has no links to de­vel­op­ers and is com­prised en­tirely of lo­cal res­i­dents and landown­ers”.

Here we go again. Is it not fair to ask HRAA whether or not at least one of their com­mit­tee mem­bers is a prop­erty de­vel­oper or not? And is not the same per­son a ma­jor pro­po­nent for the re­zon­ing of the land at South Du­ral.

Again I quote “Ac­cord­ing to HRAA, agri­cul­ture and hor­ti­cul­ture is no longer vi­able in the ru­ral zones in Hornsby Coun­cil. You only need to look at the num­ber of derelict prop­er­ties in the rel­e­vant ar­eas to see this re­al­ity”.

Are you peo­ple hid­ing un­der a rock or what­ever? Do you ever ven­ture out­side of your own prop­er­ties? I am un­able to find any­thing more than one prop­erty that I would re­fer to as derelict and that is at 392 Gal­ston Road. This prop­erty is owned by a de­vel­oper who has been try­ing to have this prop­erty re­zoned as a se­niors liv­ing de­vel­op­ment. Hav­ing been un­suc­cess­ful in his nu­mer­ous ap­proaches he has al­lowed the place to be­come an ab­so­lute dis­grace and this de­vel­oper doesn’t even live in the shire.

Drive up and down Gal­ston Road, Old North­ern Road or any other ma­jor road, and there are scores of prop­er­ties in­volved in agri­cul­ture and or hor­ti­cul­ture.

HRAA’s con­tin­ual whing­ing and moan­ing about the fact that they want re­duc­tions from five acres to one acre is not go­ing to hap­pen. At least not in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

One acre is not a vi­able propo­si­tion. The cost of de­vel­op­ment and putting in the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture would not lead to af­ford­able hous­ing. Hornsby Coun­cil for some time now has adopted as a pol­icy that these ru­ral lands will not pro­vide cheaper or af­ford­able hous­ing.

HRAA claim that a re­duc­tion in acreage prop­erty sizes would cre­ate hous­ing op­tions for Syd­ney res­i­dents where there is a de­mand and al­low de­vel­op­ment of the kind found in some parts of Syd­ney.

Again this mob mustn’t read gen­eral news­pa­pers or they would know that all the de­vel­op­ment is be­ing planned closer to rail cor­ri­dors so that peo­ple can ac­cess their work­places eas­ily with far less re­liance on cars and grossly over­loaded road sys­tems.

As you state, you are an in­cor­po­rated en­tity, I along with oth­ers, look for­ward to your first AGM which must be due very soon. Dennis Mer­chant OAM, Pres­i­dent, for and on be­half of Syd­ney Agri­cul­tural, Ru­ral and Pub­lic Land Trust mem­bers.

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