Monday, 17 October 2016

NEW SOUTH WALES BIODIVERSITY LAW CHANGES 2016

Here's some interesting information regarding the subject heading. From a friend of mine who is very concerned about this, as we all should be.

Imminent Changes to Biodiversity Laws in NSW
"I strongly urge the NSW Government to refrain from introducing any changes to the NSW 2003 Biodiversity Act.
The replacement of the NSW 2003 Biodiversity Act with the Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016 will remove the effective laws which protect the remaining biodiversity in this state and introduce a legal framework for exceedingly detrimental degradation to occur. The new legislation has little regard for conservation and replaces key legislation with deliberately weakened laws enabling rafts of compromise.
Biodiversity has taken millions of years to develop yet the State Government is introducing laws to eradicate as much of it as possible. Pristine areas will be savaged as quickly as the time required for a bulldozer to ram a path through native vegetation thereby opening tree canopies, crushing the understorey and bringing weeds and the seeds of weeds on the rotating caterpillar tracks.
The concerns with the new legislation are many.
There are three major flaws in the current draft legislation.
  1. The codes allow broad scale clearing.
  2. The lack of mapping for areas of high biodiversity mapping where clearing is not allowed.
  3. The design of a $240 million fund for private land conservation requiring NSW taxpayers to compensate additional land clearing resulting from weakened existing clearing controls.
The new legislation fails to recognize or act upon the cumulative acts of land clearing and habitat degradation.
“Vulnerable ecological communities” are excluded from the definition of threatened species. This need to be rectified.
A key recommendation of Review Panel have been ignored. The Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel had recommended that land clearing involving a change of use should be assessed under planning laws. The draft legislation has ignored this recommendation and has given the responsibility for approving land clearing to Local Land Services which do not have the resources and expertise to carry out this function.
The new legislation introduces ‘Offsets’ which would allow rehabilitation or revegetation to be utilized as ‘set aside areas’ even though such vegetation would be ecologically inferior to or entirely different from the vegetation being cleared and may take decades to improve in quality. This therefore enhances overall land degradation, the loss of natural biodiversity and adds to the loss of threatened species and habitat.
The new legislation has offsets and then allows offsets on offsets as well as ministerial discretion to discount offsets. It goes further down the path of degradation as it allows developers to bypass offsets by simply making donations to a central fund if they have no offset or by rehabilitating mine sites, an action that should be the responsibility of the mining company. It even allows mining in areas hitherto regarded as unique, pristine and of outstanding biodiversity value. This is totally unacceptable. 
Even the role of the Environment Minister is to be diminished since under the new legislation’s regime the Minister for Primary Industries will deal with land clearing applications. As well, the Minister for Primary Industries will have significant discretion in applying the new laws. This is not good practice.
The draft legislation even goes so far as to specifically allow for the clearance of paddock trees. Advertising by NSW Farmers erroneously cites such trees as reservoirs for pest and weeds. In fact there is no evidence to support this. Yet the new legislation increases the number of codes under which these trees can be removed to five. 
Paddock trees are of great importance. They are indeed the remnants of the great forest cover of NSW. They provide shade for stock and pollen for bees. They provide lodgings and perches for birds. They provide roosts for owls and accommodation for bats and insects. Native species such as possums, sugar gliders and koalas also need them. Key threatened bird species such as the endangered Red Tailed Black Cockatoos. Even dead paddock trees are very important for nest sites. All the above mentioned immediately recognisable lifeforms are important parts of an ecosystem. 
Farmers reap significant rewards from paddock trees as they are important for soil conservation as their roots help to anchor the soil. They also have a positive influence on soil properties such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous levels. They provide a microclimate and shade for stock (Local Land Services 2014).

Friday, 14 October 2016

STRANGER DANGER!!!





Seems you can't even take photos of a building site in Australia without being accosted and assaulted  by someone!

Here I am taking photos of a site which housed a 60 year old beautiful brick home that has now been divided into 2 blocks of 10m 67cms wide(!!) so cluster housing of a duplex can be built in this designated proven high bushfire zone!

God Bless, Wollongong City Council for allowing the destruction of a historic suburb.

Objectors said this duplex was not suited to the suburb but the Gong Council said it was the type of streetscape they wanted!!

Which means, all the other time capsule houses of the Tops, the only suburb on top of the Illawarra Escarpment, are in danger of changing into the Cluster Duplex MacMansion Suburb, and as i said in a proven HIGH BUSHFIRE ZONE!!!

Anyway here I am recording my progress shots when this turkey pulls up and approaches me without identifying himself and proceeded to question me about photographing this property (must be some sort of secret project though adjacent neighbours can look right down on it and his safety liner was blown off the safety fence anyway). I just gave him my Dirty Harry look and walked away and he followed me (maybe he likes men?)

I didn't get far because there was a ribbon barrier but he kept'a coming. He got so close I put out my hand to stop him which he did. The as I walked up the Council embankment, he tried to grab my camera and hit my arm. Whereupon I informed him he just assaulted me but kept following me.

I took a couple of pics as he was getting really close, then I saw a woman get out of the car so I took a photo of her taking a photo of me.

The bloke said you took a picture of my wife, but I said she's taking a picture of me!!! I moved away more and then I said we can get the police, several times and that's when he went back to the car and drove off.

A lot of being accosted by strangers is going on around the world now.

YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE OR WHAT THEIR INTENTIONS ARE!!

Fortunately for me the CCTV cams were on a continuous roll to back up my story.

Later it occurred to me that I didn't even think to turn the video function on of the camera I was holding... bummer, it would have made a real nice video.....

I guess the lesson to learned here is, DON'T SHIT FROM ANYONE AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CAMERA WITH YOU TO DOCUMENT THE PROCEEDINGS!!!






Saturday, 30 April 2016

NEIGHBOUR FROM HELL - THE SMOKE DOPE!!

SMOKE DOPE!!



Here's my long time Neighbour From Hell, since 1998, at it again with his well known habit of trying to smoke me out which he has admitted to the local police at Helensburgh who apparently don't want to do anything about it.

God bless, the NSW Police........

Mr Firebug says he's having a BBQ but he spends hours, even up to 6 hours, with his wood fire burning merrily away... and he's not even cooking anything!!!

One time when I contacted the Helensburgh Fire Brigade to report this going on after a 4 hour smoke out, they turned up, made an enquiry at the fire bugs place, then the Captain ran into my place and informed I had 2 chimneys on my roof!!!! They weren't even burning anything!!!! I got this guy saying that on video!!!!! Boy, what a worry!!!

And here we are, in a proven high bushfire zone that had a devastating bushfire in 2001!!!

Ah, I guess, it's good to have contacts!!!

So this smoke actually goes against Wollongong City Council policy of Smoke Pollution in the Neighbourhood as shown by the info below.



Though astoundingly, the Mayor of Wollongong City Council has written to me to tell me Council has no policy on smoke pollution or backyard burning!!! But there it is on their website!! See hilarious letter from the Mayor below!!!!


The Mayor never even bothered to check it himself!

But thanks to the Liberal NSW Government, any protection from smoke from the backyard burning has had the safety factors eliminated which originally included a chimney along with most importantly an ember inhibitor to obviously stop any smouldering embers escaping into the area causing possible bushfires!!

Thank you NSW Government!!!! Even writing to them does nothing except having them point out these idiotic rules!!! Obviously no concern on their part!

Don't you love these elected Governments who know all the answers when in Opposition, but haven't a clue when they are in power!!!!!

So, anyway, this "SMOKE DOPE!!" video ( a slight lay on word meaning...) shows a "short" smoke of only 2.5 hours and into the night.

The video is sped up by a factor of 2,000 which rather makes the smoke drifting everywhere fascinating but understandably and logically makes you realise the danger.

Do you have neighbours from hell????

AIRCRAFT 1938 - 1939 HD

 AIRCRAFT 1938-39

AT MASCOT AIRPORT, SYDNEY



                    



For some reason only known to God and Google/Youtube, they removed the ad revenue from this film which I had put up recently. There were no copyright issues, their faulty software system did it without typical notification. There has been the typical no response on their feedback blog. So I've just put it back again and unlisted the previous version.

I think my late father would be pleased that his work is being seen and helping to make some sort of income in this time of my life for his son.

Dad at the age of 18 went off to war (WW2) and became a navigator in Beaufighter Squadron 30.

The Japanese called the Beaufighters, Whispering Death.

But before then, Dad (Kenneth "Chesty" Bond) was keen on photographer, and I guess having no computers, iPads, Mobiles, iPhone, Cells, in those days, a camera was as good as anything, little knowing he was recording history for us to enjoy way in the future of the 21st Century and beyond!

To those around the world who see this, did your Father or Mother do something similar, not knowing they were recording history for future generations around the world to see?

STROKE OF A PEN

STROKE OF A PEN

Following is an Objection I put into Wollongong City Council over a rather outlandish proposal by a developer. Who certainly has got away with it!
Passed and ignored, the Council seems to sell off public assets!!


                  


OBJECTION TO DA-2016/389 

As a resident of 26 years in Longview Cres, Stanwell Tops, I have considered the information available.

Therefore I wish to lodge my objections to this DA, for the following reasons:

1. Council must not be misdirected away from the fact that this DA-2016/389 came about because the applicant and owner of 8 Longview Crescent built a “granny flat”/secondary dwelling at the rear of their property without the legal access that the Secondary Dwelling Act calls for. 

The reason for this lack of secondary dwelling access is that it appears an illegal colourbond fence subdivides the property which Council was unaware of till contacted by concerned residents. The residents were also concerned for an excavation on the Council access land to Henry Halloran Park.
Secondary dwellings must access from the front of the property with parking either on the front property or street parking. 

At the rear of the property there is a concrete crossover actually on Council Community Land (Henry Halloran Park).

Both structures, fence and crossover are not shown on plans of the Access Way of the applicants adjacent block apparently submitted to Council even after they were built.
2. The Longview Crescent North Access way to Historic Henry Halloran Park is a Community Council Asset. 

I have submitted a Heritage Nomination on Henry Halloran Park which Council now have.

The Stanwell Tops ratepayers would consider that there is a Duty Of Care for Council to protect Henry Halloran Park for public use. 

3. It now seems that a previous Council, under then Mayor David Campbell and then General Manager….., Rod Oxley, granted a ''Right of Carriageway'' lease to a (long-departed) resident in 1998, for $5,000. This may have been because previously this access way lead to the historic Stanwell Tops Bush Fire Brigade, formed in 1954, and the then owner was able to access the rear of his property as shown on the 1977 Council aerial image below. Subject area outlined in red.

With the removal of the Bush Fire Brigade, it would be logical and easy to understand that eventually the owner of 8 Longview would seek assurances of continued use by seeking a “Right of Carriageway” from Council. The lease has no stated period of time for use on it which would appear not to conform with current rules.

That lease has been in effect for nearly 18 years without any driveway needed to be constructed. It would also appear that a lease of community land can not be for more than 30 years as shown in the LGA 1993, even when this one was granted, as follows:

"In respect of community land, s.45 Local Government Act 1993 provides:
  • A council may only sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of community land if the relevant provisions of the Act have been complied with.
  • A council may grant a lease or licence of community land, but only in accordance with s.46 and (if relevant) s.47 Local Government Act 1993.
Note  A council may not grant a lease or licence of community land for a term greater than 30 years. Where any lease or licence granted over community land for a period (inclusive of any option) exceeding 21 years the consent of the Minister for Local Government is required (Sec.47(5))."
In any case, it would be logical to reason that the appropriate current Minister for Local Government should be alerted by Council to this DA as to whether the Minister still agrees to this “Right of Carriageway” lease since the applicant wants a permanent structure of a concrete driveway that would obviously outlast the remaining 12 years of the lease. Certainly it is an overall term exceeding 21 years to involve the Minister as shown in the Act.

3. About two years ago, WCC undertook a controversial (and costly of at least $40,000) modification to Henry Halloran Park of a “swale”. By creating a ''swale'' for stormwater diversion purposes which unfortunately after heavy rain now leaves a section of ground muddy and unusable. 

Council also notified residents who back onto the Park that they can no longer use the Park to have vehicle access to the rear of their properties.

Now however it appears Council has completely forgotten that notification by allowing this DA for private access.

4. Any granting of private constructions on the public accesses to the Park would obviously create a dangerous precedent by allowing similar claims on Council Community Land in the Wollongong LGA that would no doubt refer to this issue in demanding equal rights. That would place WCC in a position in the future, with possible Appeals to the Land and Environmental Court, with costs being paid for by ratepayers.

It could also lead to accident claims on Council as this driveway, if allowed, will be a mecca for children on skateboards etc, with not only the dangerous power pole at road entry as shown, but also if children ride out to the road with the possibility of being hit by unsuspecting road traffic.

5. In the applicants unprofessional Statement of Environmental Effects their purpose is also misleading in stating they want to get to the garage at the back(shown on plan), but the concreting actually already done on the property itself does not allow that as it ends just inside the gate. Very strange indeed. If indeed there was suppose to be a driveway, why was it not constructed at the same time? See image.

Image above showing the concrete ends just inside of side entry gates.

6. The proposal raises the chances of new erosion channels at the concrete/grass interface giving rise to ongoing Council maintenance on the steep sloping Park access laneway. This erosion/runoff already occurs on the applicants new driveway on the front of their property as shown in the photo below. It also happens to other drives on this south side of Longview Crescent because of not only rain but on going ground water seepage from the Park, being a higher point.

Photo above shows ongoing water runoff and adjacent erosion of unstable soil.
  Image showing native banksia having been cut back.
7.  They also state that "no trees will be impacted" but they have already cut down a native banksia tree within the access way to which I have an image (see above).
8. The mention by the applicant of the public using the applicant's access driveway to reach the park when it rains is ridiculous. Why go there is it rains?

9. Regardless of the “Right of Carriageway” lease and granting of the right of way, there is no mention that they are actually allowed to build anything on it. Which would indicate that only the ground was leased without development rights which would logically have been attached. 
In Conclusion:- 

a. It is extremely disappointing that Wollongong City Council have admitted that they have not notified every ratepayer in Stanwell Tops of this DA on Community Council land. That, in it self, is a failure of “Duty of Care."

b. If it wasn’t for diligent residents alerting Council, this DA would not have happened, unless it was submitted to Council for a retrospective approval as the work without legal authorisation, would have happened within a day or two of discovery.

And apparently Council knew nothing about the concrete driveway access.

c. Residents knew nothing about a previous DC-2016/678 for the crossover in the road reserve which for some reason can’t be currently found on the Wollongong City Council website.

d. Henry Halloran, who the Park and access are named after, is honoured enough to have a Trust named after him at Sydney University, set up by his family: http://sydney.edu.au/halloran/

"THE HENRY HALLORAN TRUST

Advocating innovative research and practice to improve urban planning The University of Sydney, through the generous gift of Warren Halloran, has established a Trust in honour of Henry Halloran who was an active advocate for town planning in the first half of the twentieth century. The goal of this trust is to promote scholarship, innovation and research in town planning, urban development and land management. This will be achieved through collaborative cross-disciplinary and industry research that will generate innovative approaches to urban and regional policy, planning and development issues."Will Council allow a concrete driveway on the only Park named after Henry Halloran in New South Wales?
So, therefore for all the points above, I strongly object to this DA and Council should too, to protect a Council Community Asset.

Council must uphold the historic significance acknowledged regarding Henry Halloran.

Council can resolve this matter easily by way of rejection, including termination of the lease and restoration of the damage, for the benefit of the general public.

I have produced a documentary video, titled: Stroke Of A Pen, on this DA which can be found at: 



NOTE: All images, etc, used are dealt with under the “Fair Trading” Section of the Copyright Act 1968.