Friday, October 24, 2014

Annual Report 2014

Presidents Report for AGM 20/10/2014

I would like to start my thanking my committee and all our members that supports us. We the NRDCAA continues to believe in effect community consultation.

We still have not convinced the majority aligned councillors to represent the interest of the community, the residents and ratepayer but we will continue to lobby for this to change. And we will continue to do so with determination, integrity and patience with the support of our members.

Our council has been found wanting of a good leader. Our mayor started the year by losing his driver’s licence on New Year’s Eve not only setting a poor example to young drivers but also failed to stand aside from the traffic committee when ask to by the community at large. He followed this by restanding at the mayoral elections even with the shadowy cloud that hung over him from the revelations at ICAC Operation Spicer.

The ICAC investigations have been eye opening to say the else. And we wait on the findings to be handed down. And we will assess where to from there.

So what have we been doing this year.


The Rezone of Redbank went before council. Our best efforts and speakers could not stop the rezoning. But it did not go unnoticed that the community was not behind this.
David Shoebridge visited the proposed Navua reserve and some of us were able to speak with him. The proposed site was seen as a value asset and Mr Shoebridge acknowledge the failings of this proposal.


The council report card showed again that overall the report demonstrated that the Hawkesbury Council has underperformed compared with other local government area benchmarks and identified how this might be corrected.

Areas of growing ratepayer dissatisfaction included community engagement in decision making, infrastructure and transparent, accountable and respected leadership. All these points were also identified in the 2011 survey yet continue to deteriorate.

The NRDCAA hosted a visit from the artist and friends from the Yeoman Project in a field trip at Peels Park. The afternoon was spent speaking with the group about the development now
know as Redbank. This group also visited Navua reserve to see the full scope of what this development and it affect on the natural landscape.


We began to lobby HCC re Community Reference Group (CRG) re Jacaranda Ponds.
We also continue to lobby Bart Bassett member for Londonderry to arrange a meeting with Minister for Planning Brad Hazard.


A meeting with Bart Basset and Ray Williams was convinced but unfortunately we were not able to get a meeting with the minister Brad Hazard. Michael Want and I did have a meeting with Derryn John of the Department of Planning at Parramatta. It is rather difficult to explain their culture and how all reports seem to be squeezed to fit the one peg holes they have. We still continue to question reports and ask for better outcomes.

Briefing began on the Redbank VPA.


Redbanks VPA. Bryan and Margaret Smith were outstanding in going thru this document and again the NRDCAA made a substantial submission to council. We also spoke when this matter come before council.


The committee had a meeting with Dominic Perrotet Liberal who will be the candidate for HAWKESBURY. The meeting seemed productive with Mr Perrotet understand the many problems our area has and the problems that will arise from the ongoing development. Mr. Perrotet present our concern to Pru Goward and it was hope that we would have a meeting with Ms Gowrad now Minister of Planning.


ICAC Operation Spicer began to have an impact on many at Macquarie Street including our Member for Londonderry. The shady dealings cast a deep shadow on not only the developer and the development but our Mayor Kim Ford. An extra ordinary meeting did force the mayor to write to minister for planning Pru Goward. But still the development continues.

A dreadful accident at Grose Vale Road cast other questions of the ability of emergency services this side of the river. Councilor Mary Lynd Bucket has asked for a report on this matter.

Minister Pru Gowrad was unable to met with us but arrange a meeting with Derryn John of the Department of Planning. This was a very frustrating meeting and very little was resolved. However we continue to use all contacts to obtain further information and hope that we can make a difference for the community.

We did have a win for one of our members! Dianne Lanhan was assisted by Michael Want in a compliance issue with her neighbors.


Draft Redbank at North Richmond chapter 8 went on public exhibition. The committee did have a briefing from council staff. Again we were less than satisfied, draft document was mainly prepared by the developer and the community consultation is still non existing. Once again Bryan and Margaret Smith prepared the submission on behalf of the NRDCAA.


NRJVG had their bridge community consultation night. This was shown to be a sham as the bridge (option 3) is already locked in the VPA. It is this sort of non community consultation that is so very wrong. Picking one from three bad plans is not much better.

This is an outline of the year. On many matters the committee has spoken at council. We continue to lobby for solution with infrastructure and services. We will continue to represent our members with issue they may have with council. And I hope that all feel welcome at our meeting where open and honest discussion is valued.

Beatriz Insausti

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Community Consultation - Proposed Grose River Bridge Crossing at Yarramundi

Another trick on the Community

The President of the North Richmond & District Community Action Association, (NRDCAA) Beatriz Insausti said the supposed  was an attempted deception perpetrated on the community.

Miss Insausti said the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) sets out the location and other details for the proposed bridge at Navua Reserve. The VPA was approved by Council, RMS and the Developer in August 2014. The deal was done nearly two months ago.

What we witnessed on Wednesday was a sham Miss Insausti said. The NRJV claim of having active community consultation was shown to be what it is, non- existing. It is option 3 or nothing.
She also called on the Developer to discuss the findings of their “Community Feedback Form” with the NRDCAA to ensure transparency.

Miss Insausti said the Leadership at Council have ignored the community with the rezoning of “Yobarnie” from farmland to the large residential development now known as” Redbank” at North Richmond. That is why we need to wait and see what the ICAC findings has to say about any corrupt activities that may have occurred during the” Redbank” approval process.

Miss Insausti insists the only solution to traffic congestion is a real bridge that will address the inadequacy of Windsor and Richmond Bridges, not an inadequate, load limited, flood prone bridge that will not meet the future needs of either this development or the wider community, even if it is ever built.

Miss Insausti also stated that Council and the State Government should listen to the people instead of Developers on the location of a third crossing for real solutions.

Authorised by NRDCAA CoM.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Media Release re options available for HCC re ICAC hearings

Hawkesbury City Council Press ReleaseRedbank at North Richmond

01 Oct 2014 3:57pm
At Council’s Extraordinary meeting held on 9 September 2014 a Notice of Motion was considered in relation to Redbank at North Richmond following references made to the development during recent ICAC hearings (Operation Spicer).
As a result, Council’s resolution, in part, called for ‘a report setting out all options available to Council to halt any further processing of DA’s or other applications associated with the North Richmond rezoning until Operation Spicer has produced its final report.’
As requested by Council, a further report in relation to this matter was submitted to Council at its Ordinary meeting held on 30 September 2014. Subsequently, Council resolved, in part, that:
“In light of the information now available to Council in response to part 1b) of Council’s Resolution of 9 September 2014, that Council adopt the following course of action:
a) In the interim, continue to process DAs, etc., including the application requiring referral to the JRPP, for Redbank at North Richmond.
b) Continue to process the proposed amendments to the Hawkesbury Development Control Plan to introduce a Chapter in respect of Redbank at North Richmond.
c) Request the Minister for Planning to issue an order to Council under the provisions of Section 117 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act directing the Council not to use its powers to consider and determine any DAs in respect of Redbank at North Richmond until such time as the ICAC has handed down its report resulting from Operation Spicer and the relevant portion of these findings, as related to Redbank at North Richmond, were considered.
d) In accordance with part 1(c) of Council’s resolution of 9 September 2014 a report be submitted to Council in relation to any findings contained within the report following the current ICAC hearings (Operation Spicer) regarding the planning process for the rezoning of Redbank at North Richmond.
A letter will now be forwarded to the Minister for Planning in respect to part c) of the above resolution.
Page ID 65810

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Redbank at North Richmond Chapter 8 Submission

NRDCAA have responded to the Hawkesbury Development Control Plan 20, Chapter 8

The four areas of concern are:
1 Authorship
2. Lack of Precision
3. Vagueness of Purpose
4. Variation from the VPA

NRDCAA response can be viewed here.
The Hawkesbury City Council Mayoral elections will be held on Tuesday 16th September, Council Chambers, George Street, Windsor at 6:30pm. We understand that Kim Ford will again be standing for this position – if you were at last Tuesday night’s meeting and do not feel that he is a suitable person to hold such a position may I suggest:

1) Email him and all other Councillors expressing your opinion of his unsuitability for the role and encouraging them to vote for a more suitable candidate.

2) Come along to the meeting and encourage your family, friends and neighbours to come also – it was only by people turning up to express their support for the motion and displeasure at how this council has behaved under Ford’s “leadership” that influenced the Liberal coalition Councillors to support it.

Unfortunately the battle against unsuitable development is not yet won so your physical support is needed if we are to have any further success.

Colleen Turnbull
Secretary NRDCAA

Meeting Monday 15 September, 2014

Meeting 15th September, 2014
North Richmond Community Centre
William Street
North Richmond

Come and hear reports on the meetings that we have had with government bodies, the reports written and sent on your behalf.

A  FREE  cuppa and biscuits, good company and a great RAFFLE – the perfect evening!!
I hope to see you there.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Development at North Richmond must stop!

The Committee of Management of The North Richmond and Districts Community Action Association, (the Association) has called on all Hawkesbury Councillors to urge Councillor Ford, Mayor of HCC to direct Mr Jackson that no more work be undertaken by Council on any project to do with the whole of the North Richmond site.

The President of the Association, Beatriz Insausti said, "the revelations in ICAC are very disturbing and the member for Londonderry Mr Bassett MP has moved to the cross benches due to the evidence and allegations".

Mr Bassett has advised that ICAC has extended its inquiry to look into whether Buildev sought to influence him in his former role as Hawkesbury Mayor.

In view of the evidence produced at ICAC and the move to extend the inquiry to include the North Richmond site, it is essential that the project not proceed further, until ICAC’s investigations are complete and their report is available.

"It must be Council’s highest priority to protect the community from any shady deals between politicians and developers", Miss Insausti said.

Miss Insausti urged all residents to contact Councillor Ford Mayor of HCC, 0413 195 052 to register their support for the initiative of the NRDCAA.

Authorised by NRDCAA CoM. 28 August 2014.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Redbank Voluntary Planning Agreement 2014

The NRDCAA Committee of Management is very disappointed that Council approved the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) for Redbank at the Council meeting on 1/7/2014.

How our Councillors voted:
For: Ford, Tree, Conolly, Creed, Porter, Mackay and Reardon
Against:  Calvert, Lyons-Buckett, Paine, Williams. 
Did not participate Rasmussen, conflict of interest

The community rightly ask the question why Council would enter into an agreement that is vague, leans towards the Developer and lacks transparency and clear detail if it has the interest of the community at the heart of their decision making powers.

Clearly the majority of Councillors don’t.

The VPA does not provide certainty that a bridge can or will be built at Navua, nor does the NRDCAA support a bridge across two popular Reserves at Navua and Yarramundi.

Many residents have been misled into believing that a bridge will be built.

How many residents and ratepayers are aware the proposed bridge at Navua has a five tonne load limit?

The community will not know whether a bridge will be built or not, till the Subdivision Certificate for the creation of the 461st urban lot or such later date as agreed between the parties, ie the Council, RMS and the Developer.

By that time the traffic congestion will be unbearable.

What will we do then? In frustration, hop out of our cars and leave them?

Already a provider of disability services report cost increases due to excessive traffic congestion causing a blow out in cost, when transporting disabled youngsters to and from school.

The NRDCAA called for the Bridge to be approved prior to any urban lots subdivision certificates being issued. The majority of Councillors ignored the request.

The Developer and Council claim $55 million will be spent on infrastructure, but only about $29 million is identifiable and guaranteed in the VPA.

We also called for the Council to have finishing dates on the upgrading of the intersections between Richmond and North Richmond to no avail.

The NRDCAA sought an urgent meeting with Councillor Ford Mayor of HCC and Councillor Tree Deputy Mayor prior to the Council meeting. That request was rejected.

The community deserves better from the leaders of Council. The community west of the river have lost confidence in our leaders. They seem to represent a political party rather than the interest of residents and ratepayers of the Hawkesbury.

The NRDCAA thanks Councillors Calvert, Lyons- Buckett, Paine, Rasmussen and Williams for their support of the community and our endeavours.

The struggle is not over yet.

Authorised by the CoM NRDCAA 5 07 2014.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Council Meeting 1 July, 2014 - Voluntary Planning Application (VPA) for Rebank development

The council meeting on 24/7/14 was suspended when five councillors walked out mid-way through, after Mayor Ford refused to allow Councillor Williams to speak out against the VPA. The advantage here is that the Voluntary Planning Application (VPA) now needs to go up in front of Council again. The community has another chance to let its feelings be known.
The community attendance at the meeting was not great. We appreciate you have lives, we can’t help but wonder if the bulk of you simply hoped there would be enough “others” to communicate community opinion? We also appreciate that many of you feel jaded after attending other rallies and seeing how little our voice seems to count to Council. We all feel jaded.
The VPA examines what the developer proposes to provide by way of infrastructure with the Redbank development at Grose Vale. That development, for those new to this page, has been approved and will create 1400 new home sites in Grose Vale Road. In conjunction with the over-55s village already onsite, this will result in around 3000 more cars per day on the roads in and around North Richmond, including on the already congested access across the river.
The developer proposes to do nothing to rectify this until several hundred new homes have been built. In layman’s terms this means that absolutely nothing is already investigated or guaranteed and we would not see anything even CONSIDERED until at least 2017. Three more years of ever increasing traffic jams people. THEN, they will need to go through planning, environmental studies and other due diligence. Estimations and timings raised at the council meeting are they would not have alternative river for a long time off, if at all. 
The suggested alternative route across the river is not to widen to North Richmond Bridge but to create a new bridge in Navua Reserve in Grose Wold and cut across to Castlereagh Road…This is not investigated in any way, shape or form for feasibility. Should this solution not go ahead (and many say it won’t), then the developer is under no obligation to deliver any solution at all, but instead will provide Hawkesbury Council or RMS with $23m for roads and infrastructure.
Four Councillors – Paine, Lyons-Buckett, Williams, Calvert are proposing the Developer should provide an infrastructure solution prior to building the 1400 new homes. One Councillor (Rasmussen) is abstaining due to pecuniary interest.
Despite 4,500 petition signatures and around 300 submissions against development without infrastructure first, seven councillors still don’t understand what an issue the traffic is to this community.
Make no mistake, as they form the majority, the seven remaining councillors: Ford, Porter, Connolly, Creed, Tree, Mackay and Reardon will support the developer's VPA to do nothing until somewhere between 400-800 houses have been built (that number still to be determined).
The only hope we have to make them reconsider (even if it is to question their chance of re-election) is to turn up next Tuesday 1 July at 6:30pm at Council.
ACTION FOR YOU: Jaded or not, We really urge you to find a couple of hours to come along to Council meeting NEXT Tuesday 1 July (366 George St Windsor) and let them see how you feel. You have a week’s notice to get a babysitter, try to slip away from work early or whatever has kept you from coming until now. It doesn’t matter if you are a couple of minutes late. Tell your neighbours. Tell your friends. Copy this post and email it to those not on Facebook. Show Council how important this traffic issue is to this community. Please give some indication if you will be coming. This truly seems to be your last chance to have a say!