crag newsletter - april 2000

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Government Drops Ball...
Canal in Limbo Again

(crag 0001)

NSW Government Stalls

Stalling by the NSW Carr Government, has jeopardised the future of the Canal Reserve.

Despite the optimism of our last newsletter we are suddenly plunged into uncertainty due to a lack of funds for maintenance.

The lack of maintenance funds is having a knockon affect that could see the capital works funds evaporate before they can be used.

When we last wrote, maintenance was being carried out by Sydney Water. Since then the maintenance team has been made redundant and Sydney Water involvement has ceased.

This has resulted in the area being neglected as the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have not been allocated funds for maintenance. The NSW Treasury, who still own the property, have ignored the maintenance and safety aspects of the reserve.

Although $1.5 million was allocated to NPWS, to make the Canal Reserve safe, these funds are now effectively unusable in this financial year and will therefore be reabsorbed by the NSW Treasury. The funds cannot be used for maintenance.

Until the NSW Treasury provides maintenance funds the land title cannot pass to NPWS as NPWS will be unable to provide maintenance services. The failure to pass title to NPWS means that before NPWS can commence any work on the Canal Reserve, Development Approval (DA) must be sought from Holroyd City Council. Whilst the DA process should not be a problem, in itself, there are statutory requirements for advising the public and seeking comment which will delay the project until the end of the financial year, thus the development funds will lapse.

Had the land title passed to NPWS, the DA process would not be required, as National Park land is exempt, by legislation, from the DA process. This is not to say it is excluded from public comment as the Canal Reserve Plan of Management has already been through an extensive public display process and has approval to proceed.

The cynical amongst us could claim a classic "Yes Minister" attempt to steal back our funds and nullify nearly six years of effort to protect OUR reserve.

Not Good Enough...

This situation is not good enough and it is time for the NSW Carr Government to fix the problem, and, FIX IT NOW!

It can easily be fixed. The Carr Government simply has to allocate maintenance funds to NPWS and pass over the land title from the NSW Treasury.

The title was easily passed from Sydney Water to Treasury, so any delay now can only be seen as having ulterior motives.

Unless you want to see OUR long promised reserve simply evaporate before your eyes, contact the NSW Treasurer, Michael Egan, immediately and make sure he knows you are not happy.

Also contact the Premier, Bob Carr, to let him know that the Carr Government's lack of action is not good enough and reflects badly upon the Premier and the whole government.

Write to the Premier and Treasurer NOW!

Contact details are:

Michael Egan
NSW Treasurer
Level 33,
Governor Macquarie Tower,
1 Farrer Place,
Sydney 2000
Phone: 9228 3535
Fax: 9228 3476

Bob Carr
Premier of NSW
GPO Box 5341,
Sydney 2001
Phone: 9228 5239
Fax: 9228 3935

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