Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Stateline (NSW) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Thanks, Graham. Tonight's

top stories again - Indonesian

says it's willing to intercept

more boats and process more

asylum seekers but it will cost

Australia at least $gift

million and the multimillion-dollar tuna

fishing industry is facing

massive cuts with stocks of

bluefin tuna alarmingly low,

countries have agreed to reduce

their catches and Australia

will take the biggest hit. Stay

tuned for Stateline with Quentin Dempster. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

This week, is there... A

smell in NSW. Or is it... Time

to put up or shut up. Also

selling off Sydney's urban

farm. Will it close at

Christmas? Where will city

children go? Everybody say

hello to farmer Matt. Hello,

farmer Matt. This Program Is Captioned

Live. Welcome to Stateline

NSW, I'm Quentin Dempster. Put

up or shut up. In front of a

room full of this State's

biggest property developers,

Planning Minister Kristina

Keneally this week declared her

confidence in the integrity of

the planning system. In a

debate with Opposition planning

spokesman Brad Hazzard, the

Minister had three staff carry

in all files of recent planning department decisions and

demanded Mr Hazzard name one

which lacked probity. You'll

see this exchange shortly. It

was a risky tactic by the

Minister at an Upper House

inquiry the day before,

planning department officials

squirmed in their seats as they

admitted having out of office,

unminuted coffee meetings with

Kerri Ritchie, paid lobbyist

for the Labor Party's biggest

donor developers. While there

no smoking gun at this stage

there, is now lot of evidence

that influence peddling is rife

within the Department of

While Graham 'Richo' Richardson

resorted to the 'I can't

recall' response on occasions,

he did recall ready access to

senior planning party officials

including Sam Haddad starting before Kristina Keneally became

the Planning Minister. As a political adviser with a Labor

background, was part of our

political advice that donations

should be directed to the ALP?

In the case of Roy Medich he

would never have had to make

that statement because he's

always been a pretty strong

Labor supporter. Do you generally advise your clients

to donate so generously? I

think the generosity they show,

I don't push them on amounts. I

always tell them I should

donate but tell them they

should donate to the other side

as well. Why do you tell them

to donate? I don't think it's

a great secret around the table

that I'm a Labor supporter. I

think that fairly well known.

What benefit is it of the

clients to donate? It's proven

to be only a det rument, if you

donate you'll get punished so I

would have thought none

whatsoever. Defending as LEGAL,

legal, Richo's activities,

Minister Keneally went on the

offensive at a debate with Opposition planning spokesman

Brad Hazzard. Here in these

binders are the determinations

and the director-general's

reports that I have made in

2009 alone. This information,

all publicly available on the

website. This is an opportunity

for the Opposition to tell us

here today which decision,

which development and which

donation, if there is truly a

culture of decisions for

donations in NSW, here are all

our decisions. Here are the

merits on which all our

decisions are based. It is an

opportunity for the Opposition

to tell us which decision,

which development and which

donation. It's time to put up

or shut up. I have actually

been through the folders and

there clearly have been some decisions where the community

have a real concern that

donations may have influenced

Ministerial decisions and

doubtless in those folders, if

you've taken them all that

you've made decisions in, there

would be some where the community expectation and

concern is very real. There is a parliamentary inquiry

certainly - there is a parliamentary inquiry certainly going on over the planning

system. There is another

parliamentary inquiry also

going into the concerns about

what occurs in the process relating to development approvals. What the Coalition

is saying - and I don't think

it requires a melodramatics of

the Minister bringing in half

her staff and delivering great

files here really - is simply a

recognition that we need to get

our planning system right. The

Minister's put up or shut up

tactic seemed to win on points

in front of the urban task

force's property developer

stop the negative perceptions membership but that doesn't

about the way the Labor Party's

donor developers can influence

planning department processes.

Graham Richardson's hard bitten

cynicism is only raise public

skepticism about planning, not

diminish it. Graham Frederick

Richardson. I suppose I have a

number of job teatles. We'll

say lauBiest today. Mr

Richardson concentrated

lobbying on departmental

officials particularly when

Medich's Badgery Creek land was

internally recommended for part

3A fast tracking. Once it got

to the stage of a part 3

application being actively

considered, I think it was time

to take off the cudgels and do

what you could. Did you ever

stay clear of Mr Sartor? Did I

stay clear of Mr Sartor? I

suppose like a number of people I might have been guilty of

that on occasions so I'll have

to plead guilty but I think - I

mean, I haven't spoken to

Minister Keneally at all since

she's had the job and I think

in the last 18 months to two

years of Frank Sartor having

the job I probably only saw him

once. We had a rather convivial

dinner to discuss our

differences which were many,

but that was all, I think. So I

took the view that by that

stage, in the last say 18 month

of his tenure and with Kristina

Keneally, these Ministers see

themselves really as being

involved in policy settings

more than anything else so

there's not much point in

talking to them. You may as

well go to the department. The

record shows that while the

Badgery Creek lands came very

close to part 3A rezoning, Sam

Haddad did not go through with

it, he says for infrastructure

reasons. Under oath, Graham

Richardson discounted reports

that kfrltions taped by now

murdered property financier

Michael McGurk had any evidence

of criminality. Both the ICAC

and homicide squad have all the

McGurk tapes and we await their

findings. Mr McGurk had been in

bitter dispute with Ron and Roy

Medich in the months before his

death. I spent 10 minutes with

Mr McGurk and that's the only

contact I had with him. At the

inquiry, planning department

officials faced questions about

their coffee shop meetings with

Richo. No, it's not

particularly usual to meet

Graham Richardson for a coffee

or any other lobbyist or any

other developer for that

matter. I have done it on time

to time. I had somebody with me

to make sure there was no

confusion about what was said.

In addition to that, Mr

Richardson, as whenever he has

made contact with me to and for

the meetings, has pointed out -

and I've asked him to point out

whether he's a registered

lobbyist - so in that context

is it usual? It is very usual

for me to meet with

stakeholders. It is very usual

for anybody in the department

of planning to meet with

stakeholders. Is it usual to go

to a coffee shop? Probably

not? In hindsight not the best

move but it is very usual to

meet with stakeholders on

matters. Back at the debate

with director Sam Haddad

observing, the issue of

propriety with lobbest

influences was confronted. I

know you've used the put up or

shut up defence which can work

against your political

opponents but it's the public

perception which I think is not

really addressed by the put up

or shut up defence Here's one

for put up or shut up and let's

go straight to the facts. Since

I've been the Planning

Minister, the last 3 proposals

that Mr Richardson has lobbied

for have been rejected. He's

admitted he's failed, yes.

Yeah, his strike rate ain't

that great. North farm cove,

McCarthy south and Badgery

Creek all rejected by me on advice from my department so

the proof is in the pudding. I

once said by their...you shall

know them. Look at the merits

which we have based our

decisions and judge on that.

Anything else is spurious

speculation on the pages of

broadsheets and deserves to be

treated with contempt. The

debate highlighted clear policy

differences between Labor in

Government and the Coalition.

Voters please take note,

Kristina Keneally insists part

3A Ministerial powers to call

in development designated State

significant will stay. It's

getting the State moving competitively against

Queensland and Victoria she

says, it's saving and creating jobs in the construction

industry. The Coalition says

part 3A is discredited through

the pattern of developer

donations to Labor, therefore

it's dodgy and it disempowers

communities. The Coalition will

scrap part 3A if elected in

2011. We've said part 3A has

to go. We are absolutely

committed to part 3A going but

largely because it's been

abused in the process. There are developments that clearly

are not of true State

significance. Brad, what I and

everyone in this room wants to

know is what will you do when

you a-abolish part 3A? I think

I've already answered that. Do

you think he's answered that?

Do people in the room think

he's answered that? I will

answer it again for those of

you who don't think that and

that is this - as I said

earlier, part 3A has been used

and abused. It's a process that

none of you have absolute

confidence in. You grabbed on

to it, some of you grabbed on

to it, some of you in the room

have not ever grabbed on to it.

Some of you are happy to apply

part 4 and get through the

process without going cap in

hand to the Minister asking her

to take in an application. Some

of you prefer that process,

many of you woochbility what

the Opposition is saying is

part 3A, a process which

requires you to have to go cap

in hand to a Minister, asking

for support for approvals for

developments is a system that

generally shouldn't operate.

You should be able to know that

you have a satisfactory

objective system that works for

everybody the same

way. Defending the upper hOuts

findings, the Government will

stick by its planning

commission and appointed

regional and local planning

panels overruling the

objections of the now

embittered Local Government

lobby. The Coalition will

rewrite the Planning Act evchB

though it has just undergone a

process of reform to reempower

communities but with more

streamlined processes to get

DAs through quickly. It is

concerning when we went out of

Government in 1995 NSW led in

every economic indicator. In

just 14.5 years the State Labor

Government has taken us to

effectively the bottom of the

pile Our planning system is

the most streamlined and

efficient it can be and

provides transparency and

certainty to the community and

importantly provides trans

parence sy and certainty to proponents. It is the

prescription we think is right

and we will continue to push it

to achieve nothing less than

the best planning system in the

country here in NSW. To

another cause of some

discomfort for the ALP, the Rees Government's relationship

with the shootersparty, vital

for the passage of Government

legislation in the Upper House,

is broken. The shooters want

hunting rights currently

available in some State forests

extended to National Park s to

assist conservation, they say,

through the eradication of

feral vermin. A leaked copy of

an email sent on December 10

last year by shooters MLC boun

boun bun to Government

appointees including Nathan

Rees, Ian McDonald and Eddie

Obeid reveals a deepening

distrust which led to the

breakdown of what was once a

politically expedient

relationship. It concerned the

Heaton and Awaba forests in the

is shooters stronghold near

Cessnock effectively removing

hunting rights. Shooters MLC

boun boun boun didn't hold

back.

Mr Brown confirmed the

authenticity of this email when

contacted by Stateline this

morning. He acknowledged he'd

used intemperate language but

in this instance had jumped to

the wrong conclusion when it

was later pointed out the

Government had already flagged

the management transfer. The

email, which carries a

Premier's department date

stamp, seems to Stateline to

have been leaked to try to stop

the Rees Government from making

any concessions to the

shooters' party in return for

their Upper House support in

the 18 months remaining to the

next election. Whatever the

motivation of the leaker, what

a revealing little leak it is. The ongoing march of

development has seen urban

sprawl eat up more and more of

the once green Sydney basin.

Now one of the last

remaininging places where families livinging in the

Sydney area can go to experience a taste of rural

life is scheduled to close

later this year on Christmas

Eve, robbing families of a much

needed holiday activity. Nick

Grimm has been looking into the

fight to save the family

friendly farm. For a kid

growing up in the city , it

doesn't get any better than

this. The chance to pet and

feed farmyard animals might be

a routine part of life for a

lot of children around NSW but for many others experiences

like this can be as rare as

hen's teeth. There's nothing

else around for families to do.

People don't have access to

animals. Hay disron access to

cows and sheep and things and

it's just great that they can

come in and interact with those

animals and see how people on

farms do things. Everybody say

hello to farmer Matt. Hi. For

the past two decades this city

farm run by Fairfield city

council has been one plaus in

the ever more crowded Sydney

basin area where children could

go to get a taste of the rural

life but that's about to end.

Council are closing it and that

to me is devastating. With

population pressure seeing more

and more open space developed

for housing, the farmland that

once wrapped around Sydney has

been slowly squeezed out.

Fairfield city farm has been a

popular destination for family

outings, school excursions and

vacation care groups but the

farm gate will shut to the

public on December 24,

Christmas Eve. That leaves

parents with one less option

for entertaining the kids, come

the summer school holidays. We

don't have anything out here that's educational for

children. You can go to the

shopping centre but how long

can you stay here for? The

council ment to close the farm

down. That's not good. Shoo

locals like Vicky have been

fighting a rear guard action to

try to save the farm. That's

really sad. Our biggest

concern is that they'll just

redevelop the land and put some

houses on it. They're going to

get rid of the animals. What's

going to happen to the animals?

Unhappy kids at Christmas

time, furry animals facing

homelessness, developers' bull

dozers moving in. With fears

like hat abroad in the

community it all has the

makings of a public relations

nightmare for Fairfield city

council. About the farm

completely shutting down,

Fairfield city council, we love

this farm. I mean, this has

been here all my life that I've

been here. I brought my

children here when they were

little, I bring my

grandchildren here

now. Fairfield mayor Nick

Lalich says the council is

reluctantly walking away from

the city farm because, like a

lot of farms nowadays, it just

keeps on losing money. There's

a lot of anxiety about what's

going to happen to this

facility. Can you just clear up

for us what is happening to the

Fairfield city farm? Council

has decided to cease trading by

unanimous vote at council to

cease trading at the city farm

after some fwoo years of

operating here which - 22 years

of operating here which council

hasn't been able to make the

place work without phenomenal

subsidies in the area. When

Stateline visited Fairfield

city farm it was packed with

paying visitors but have rate

payers been getting fleeced to

keep this operation going?

Stateline asked for details of

how much money the farm has

been losing but we were told that information was

commercially sensitive because

the council is now trying to

sell the business as a going

concern. While the council owns

the Fairfield city farm

business, the land on which it

sits is owned by the western

Sydney parklands trust set up

by the NSW Government to manage

the 27km long green belt

corridor in the city's west.

The woman who runs the trust is

keen to scotch rumours the farm

is being sold off for

development and reassure the

community it wants a children's

farm to continue operating on

the site. It's got lot of

heritage value and it's a great educational resource. Our

preference would be to find a

lessee to run it, similarly to

as it has been run by the

council. The trust has received

three private interests to take

over the site and tenders are

being assessed but this is

where the situation becomes a

little woollier. Questionvise

now emerged about whether the

family friendly farm really

needed to be sold off at all. Fairfield council held a

20-year lease on the land and

with that lease due to expire

for another four months, Nick

Lalich claims the council

essentially plead would the

parklands trust to kick in

funds to help keep the farm

open. Roo Was council willing

to sign a new lease on this

site? We were if the parklands

trust were willing to come in

on a 50-50 or whatever the deal

was. We were prepared to look

at carrying on further but the

parklands trust cat gorically

told us, "We have no money to

give you, we're not prepared to

support you in that." So

basically the council was

looking for 50-50 funding from the State Government to keep

the place running? Whether it

was 50-50 or 60-40, we were

going to negotiate but they

said, "No, we're not able to negotiate." Stateline was

intrigued to hear that from the

Fairfield mayor since he also

holds the State seat of Cabramatta for Labor and is

therefore a member of the Rees

Government just accused of

abandoning the kids and furry

animals. We asked the

bureaucrat who heads up the

parklands trust to explain why

the council's plea for help was

apparently rebuffed. Council

came to us to say they wouldn't

be extending the lease. They

haven't asked us for funds to

continue to run the farm. The

mayor of Fairfield city council, Nick Lalich, has told

Stateline council asked the

trust to help subsidise the

trust of running the farm. Why

didn't the trust take up that

information? I don't have any

records of council asking the

trust to fund them continuing

to run the farm. They may have asked other parts of State

Government but I'm not aware of

that. But there was no request

made of the trust itself? Not

to fund the council to run the

farm, no. This is all very

confusing. Can you understand

someone at home taking all this

in and drawing the possible

conclusion that someone hasn't

been telling the ungilded,

unvarnished truth about this matter? I'll have to leave

that to your audience to draw their own

conclusions. Meanwhile, those

fighting to keep the farm can

for the moment do little more

than watch this space and hope

that it doesn't go the way of

so many other venues that have

disappeared over the years. We

used to go up to Port Macquarie every year when I was growing

up and there was a place called

Fantasy Glades and what I would

do now to take my children

there, I'd give anything to be

able to do that but it's closed

down to developers, there's

nothing there now. All the good

things are going and I think

it's up to us to do all that we

can to try and save some of our

heritage and some of our

things. Even got the baby

crying. Now local opinion in

our intermittent feature do it

yourself dissent video. Some

Lawson locals are deeply

distressed over the immediate

future of their Blue Mountains

town. They claim four heritage

shops are soon to be bull dozed

because of the widening of the

Great Western Highway. Here's

their video. Historic Lawson is

a disaster area. While widening

the Great Western Highway to

four lanes, the RTA plans to

demolish this strip of heritage

shops but as you can see, the

four lanes fit in fruntsz of

the shops without demolition.

The magnificent restoration of

the hotel shows what heritage

funding can do for old

buildings. Six months ago this

hotel looked as dilapidated as

the old shops which have been

identified as having tear tage.

They are said to be ready for restoration. Consequently, Blue

Mountains city council approved

the area as a heritage

conservation area but recently

the RTA, with the State

planning department, insisted

heritage re - council remove

the heritage status. The RTA

has announced demolition will

start this month before the

objections have been reported

back to councilors. Due process

has not been followed as

councilors do not know what the

public want or think of the

destruction of the Blue

Mountains history. There has

been no request for reservation

or relocation of buildings or

recycling of facades or

brickwork. The local member

promised no shops would be

demolished until the new shops

were built but the rTA has

announced demolition will start

next week. Historic shops are

to be demolished for a parking

lot and assist with the

construction of proposed small

modern concrete shops that look more appropriate for an

industrial estate. Taxpayer

money spen on demolition would

be better spen on restoration

of shops to compliment the

hotel and other buildings such

as Heather bray house and the

lovely restored cafe. This

would create a unique, viberupt

tourist destination which most

Lawson residents want rather

than just another mediocre

highway town to drive through.

To the regions and some short

stories from Helen Tzarimas. A

Coffs Harbour woman caught

smoking in a car with her

3-year-old as a passenger is

one of the State's first

offenders under tough new laws.

You can now be fined up to $250

on the spot if you're caught

smoking in a car with a child

on board. The Coffs Harbour

woman went to court and was

convicted but not fined. There's a push for the Central

Coast to become a region in its

own right. Some people feel the

area misses out because

institution s like the health

service and the Education

Department are divided between

Newcastle and Sydney. The

Central Coast now has a

population of more than

300,000. And still on the

coast, plans to scuttle HMAS 'Adelaide' off Terrigal Beach

are almost complete. The

decommissioned ship is due to

go under next April. Locals

believe the attraction will

bring in about $2 million a

year in dive fees. The farmers'

association has renewed its

call for grazing to be allowed

in high country National Parks.

It says grazing in the

Kosciuszko Reserve would reduce

the bushfire risk. The

association accepts grazing in

alpine areas is not on and

farmers are in dispute with conservationists in the

southeast. It's all over

whether or not wombat numbers

are increasing. The farmers say

they are and that the animals

are causing significant damage

to properties. Farmers can get

permits to cull wombats from

the National Parks and wildlife

service. Before we go, a

reminder - Stateline videos are

now available to you on our NSW

news and current affairs

website. Transcripts will be

available from early Monday

morning. Just go to abc.net.au/news/nsw and click

on the Stateline graphic.

You'll also find news from your

region plus analysis from the

ABC's NSW team. The '7.30

Report' will be back on Monday. Bye-bye. Closed Captions by CSI

The National s and the

Green, the Liberals and the

unions all under one banner to

stop the rail trails bill.

This is a massive event. It is

never done before. In a

devastating admission, the

planning department said the

Minister took into account

irrelevant information. Carlo

was in the snowy scheme from

1950. When I got here I

thought it was the biggest

holiday. Abu Dhabi's doing

extremely well. Perhaps

sometimes benevolent dictatorship doesn't hurt.

* Hi. I'm Andy Muirhead. Welcome to Collectors and a really special event tonight.

We're at the Rose Seidler House in Sydney for the annual '50s Fair. There's crowds, there's costumes, cars,

heaps of collectors. We've been looking forward to this all year. We're gonna have heaps of fun, so stick around. Welcome to the fair. Hey! Now, we've got the stage behind us - bands, dancing, all sorts of stuff.

Lots of stalls, lots to collect. Lots of shopping! Yeah. Uh...why are we standing in Hawaiian shirts? Oh, this is a Tiki theme, you see. That's me, Adrian, and that's you down there, Andy. (LAUGHS) Polynesia. Hawaii. It's a big collectable thing for the '50s and it's got very hot now. Yeah, the theme of the whole fair this year is Tiki.