Campbelltown hits council amalgamation for six

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Council stand: Leave our Scenic Hills alone.

Campbelltown City Council used its last meeting of 2014 to declare that it has no interest at all in amalgamating with any other councils, including Liverpool.

The council also sent out another message that it is fiercely opposed to any development in the Scenic Hills, including a cemetery in Varroville.

And it completed a trifecta when it also called on the federal government to impose on Badgerys Creek airport the same curfew enjoyed by inner city residents.

And while all three issues enjoyed vigorous debate across the council chamber, when put to the vote all three were supported by most councilors.

Scenic Hills arose because Liberal councillors George Greiss, Paul Hawker and deputy mayor Ted Rowell tabled a motion seeking to make Campbelltown Council the planning authority for the proposed lawn cemetery at Varroville, which is part of the Scenic Hills.

Council had already dealt with this issue and knocked it on the head, but the three councilors wanted to rescind that decision.

We don’t want a media fight with Liverpool: Cr Paul Hawker

Cr Hawker said that according to what he had seen on social media, the people of Campbelltown were split down the middle on their support for the Scenic Hills.

“If we go down this path, of being the planning authority, it will give us an opportunity to gauge the community’s views. And that’s a good thing,’’ Cr Hawker told council.

But Labor councillor George Brticevic responded by saying that being the planning authority was not the same as being the consent authority.

And he reminded council that it had comprehensively rejected the Varroville cemetery plan when it came before it earlier this year.

On the Badgerys Creek airport issue, veteran councillor Ruudi Kolkman tabled a notice motion calling on the Federal Government to “ensure that planning for the new Badgerys Creek Airport proceeds on the basis that it will maintain, as a minimum, a quality of life enjoyed by those who live and work near, or under the flight paths to, Sydney

Kingsford Smith Airport – notably in respect of hours of operation’’.

His motion also called on council to write to all Federal Members of Parliament in electorates potentially impacted by Badgerys Creek Airport, urging them to support council’s aim of preserving the quality of life of their constituents.

“I hear talk that planes are going to be a lot quieter, and if that happens in 20 years and they allow Kingsford Smith Airport to operate 24 hours a day then I would be happy for Badgerys Creek to also operate 24 hours a day.

“But in the meantime our residents deserve to get the same consideration from the Badgerys Creek airport as those who live in the inner city, which presently is a curfew on aircraft movements,’’ Cr Kolkman said.

Deputy mayor Ted Rowell with the mayor, Paul Lake on election night

Cr Clinton Mead said it was important to remember that Badgerys Creek airport was double the size of Mascot, so as not to “compare apples with oranges’’.

Cr George Greiss said that while he supported the sentiments expressed in the motion, he felt it was a little premature to be talking about curfews.

But Cr Brticevic said that given planes landing or taking off at Badgerys Creek would need to go over parts of Campbelltown, asking for a curfew was a reasonable request.

“If there’s no curfew we will get planes 24 hours a day over your house, my house, over large parts of the town,’’ Cr Brticevic said.

The motion was supported by a majority of councillors.

The amalgamation issue arose also via a Cr Kolkman notice of motion, which read:

“Council accept the findings of the Sansom Report, endorsed by State Government, that Campbelltown City Council should stand alone as an independent Local Government Authority, and;

Council resolves to decline any invitation to participate in discussions and or negotiations intended to explore the potential for amalgamation with another Local Government body.

“We’ve all heard the talk that the Liverpool mayor wants to amalgamate with Campbelltown,’’ Cr Kolkman said.

When some councillors suggested this was an arrogant approach to amalgamations, Cr Brticevic said: “No, it’s not rude to write to neighbouring councils such as Liverpool to tell them we are happy to stay as we are and are not interested in amalgamation.’’

Cr Fred Borg agreed, saying: “why even consider having talks with another council if you don’t have any intention of merging with them.’’

Cr Hawker cautioned against rubbishing other areas.

“Do we want a media fight with Liverpool? We need to be more mature about this,’’ he said.

Mayor Paul Lake revealed he had received a call from the mayor of Fairfield to discuss mergers and other local government issues.

The motion received majority support when put to the vote.


3 thoughts on “Campbelltown hits council amalgamation for six”

  1. I didn’t vote for the airport motion and raised my hand in opposition. Unless a division is called you never know who supported a motion and who didn’t, some councils record every vote but not Campbelltown.

    • I have corrected the story, Clinton, thanks for that. I actually checked during the vote and I did not see your hand or anyone else’s going up when the mayor asked for “those against”, but I guess you can vote against without putting your hand up when the hands “for” go up

      • Quite frankly, I wish council spent more times focusing on things it can do something about, like controlling it’s budget. We’re too busy worrying about airports, writing letters and what Liverpool is mailing us to notice a $7 million hole in our budget we had to patch up with a rate rise.

        Our input on the airport should not be support or opposition, nor dictating terms, but working with the state/federal governments in a positive manner to ensure the best outcome for the people of Campbelltown, both in terms of infrastructure and noise.


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