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Thursday, 15 October 1970


Mr IRWIN (Mitchell) - Mr Speaker,I wish to speak tonight broadly on town planning and the urban sprawl, particularly as it affects New South Wales. The inherent disability not only in planning but also in almost every section and segment of our way of life is not only influenced but also dictated by overseas trends and personages. For most projects to have the seal of efficiency, to be modern and to be abreast of the times, it is necessary - yea. demanded - that the projects have the imprimatur of the imported stamped thereon. The Snowy Mountains scheme is one of the few exceptions. Imported ideas, imported personages and imported systems are the order of the day. Surely it is about time that we established our own identity as Australia and Australians.

Our own planning is dictated and governed by what is done overseas. What a glorious opportunity we had of setting an example to the world by establishing beautiful cities instead of propping up old cities and wasting millions of dollars in expanding them into concrete jungles of ugliness-


Mr Charles Jones - Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. Why is it that all the Country Party members have walked out on the honourable member?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The point of order is without substance. I would remind the House that frivolous points of order are an abuse of the Standing Orders.


Mr IRWIN - We have propped up old cities and wasted millions of dollars in expanding them into concrete jungles of ugliness as habitats for our people, forcing them to travel hundreds of miles weekly to their places of employment. Bribery and corruption have played a part in this wretched mess. Secrecy and star chamber methods have aided and abetted the situation.

The position has deteriorated to such an extent in the Sydney area that our fellow Australians - unfortunately, the low wage earner and the married couple with 4 or 5 children - are not able to purchase a lot of land under $10,000. This situation came about by the establishment of the Cumberland County Council which, when it became bogged down with inefficiency and wrong doing - not by the executive officers thereof but by the higher up and the lesser people who were in a position to get advance information - was superseded by the State Planning Authority. Sad to relate, the Liberal and Country Parties did not abolish it immediately after they were elected to office in New South Wales. Because huge grotesque conglomerations called cities are being created overseas, we follow suit. I will expand this further next week.

Tonight I want to deal with the operations of the Sydney Water Board, an autonomous authority which has failed to do what it was created to do, that is to supply water, sewerage and drainage services in the Sydney metropolitan area. Instead it has hoarded $132m and today has gone on the market for an unspecified amount. It will take all it can get and still refuse to extend the services that it should supply. Developers have been called on to provide the water reticulation services, which means that the purchasers of building lots have to pay for those services as well as being required to pay the some rates as those who had the services made available to them free of charge. The Sydney Water Board dictates the whole of the development of the Sydney metropolitan area. Tt would probably state that all of its staff and resources are utilised fully and therefore it cannot extend its services further.

That may be so, but it could call in outside contractors. With $132m now in reserve and in investments it could service large non-sewered areas within the next 12 months. Larger areas could be serviced at less cost. Possibly that is one of the reasons why it does not wish to use the $132m.

It has been suggested that the $160m Shoalhaven dam project should be financed in part from this reserve of $132m. If this dam is necessary - it would not have been necessary if new cities had been created - it should be built by the use of loan funds and not from revenue or from the reserves that the Board now holds. The Melbourne Board of Works builds roads and is responsible for planning. The Sydney Water Board is not responsible for planning, but it is a self appointed dictator of planning, and not a benevolent dictator at that. I have explained to the House tonight that the Sydney Water Board is going on the market and offering interest rates of 7 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 7.25 per cent when it has in reserve $132m and when many areas in Sydney, especially in the western suburbs, do not have sewerage available. The Melbourne Board of Works has a reserve of $5m and an investment of $3m. It builds roads and also is responsible for planning. The Sydney Water Board does nothing but prevent the advancement of the metropolitan area. Local government is being hampered by the Board's scheme because, without its approval, the State Planning Authority and local government in the Sydney area cannot proceed with the progressive works that they would like to do for the development of the outer areas because of the embargo by the Sydney Water Board. It is about time that the matter was brought clearly to public notice because many people-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! It being 12 o'clock midnight, the House stands adjourned until 10.30 a.m. this day.

House adjourned at 12 midnight.







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