; Media Monitors Transcript_17_
Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Media Monitors Transcript_17_


  • pg 1
									                                                                                Page: 1

Station:        2GB                                 Date:          04/01/2007

Program:        RAY HADLEY MORNING                  Time:          11:12 AM

Compere:        CHRIS SMITH                         Summary ID:    S00024802776


                CITY COUNCIL

Demographics:    Male 16+     Female 16+   All people       ABs         GBs
                 40000        48000        89000            7000        43000
CHRIS SMITH:                Well yesterday, we spoke about the release of the
                            annual report card on how ineffectual many of our
                            councils are. It showed that most of them are still
                            plagued by excessive delays in processing
                            development applications; a situation that's left
                            many of you frustrated and fed up.

                            But not quite as much as Brian and Carmel Green,
                            whose battle with Sydney City Council and Clover
                            Moore has reached boiling point. Now, their plans
                            to develop a row of terraces that they bought in
                            Camperdown 20 years ago, mind you, have been
                            constantly stymied by the council's heritage rules.
                            The couple is now so frustrated, they've lodged an
                            application to demolish the houses and instead,
                            erect the Australian flag in protest, which is a bit

                            To tell us how the whole debacle has deteriorated,
                            I've got the couple's son, Gary Green on the line.
                                                           Page: 2

               Now, Gary's a Rockdale councillor, so he knows all
               about development applications. And he says
               Sydney City Council is run by heritage fascists.
               Good morning, Gary.

GARY GREEN:    Good morning, Chris. How are you?

CHRIS SMITH:   Very well. Them's fighting words.

GARY GREEN:    They are fighting words, aren't they? I can tell you
               right now that it would be easier to negotiate with
               terrorists than deal with that council, because you
               can actually negotiate with terrorists. You can't
               really deal with these unreasonable people.

CHRIS SMITH:   Are they the worst of them?

GARY GREEN:    I believe so. I've come across a few in my day. I
               mean, I go on conferences and meet lots of different
               councillors and city workers and what have you.
               And yeah, there's very few people that have got a
               nice word to say about Clover and her cronies.

               But the story really is much worse than reported in
               the papers, Chris. The council originally wanted our
               family to bulldoze the terraces when we bought
               them back in 1986, for road widening. Then the
               council knocked my parents back several years ago
               when they tried to convert the houses into storage
               use. They wanted to do that because the houses
               were basically, oh, very close to unliveable because
                                                            Page: 3

               of the rising damp that's really infested them, which
               is common in older houses...


GARY GREEN:    ... especially heritage items.

CHRIS SMITH:   What, these were built, what, 1880?

GARY GREEN:    1890, something like that.

CHRIS SMITH:   1890, yeah.

GARY GREEN:    We wanted to keep the front of them and basically
               build the back, but the council has just stymied us at
               every turn of the wheel. Council then knocked mum
               and dad back when we wanted to put some flats at
               the back of the properties, primarily due to vicinity
               controls, which stupidly require a huge separation
               between heritage items and non-heritage items.

CHRIS SMITH:   So you haven't bullishly tried to get a certain
               development up and running over these 20 years.
               You've actually deviated between concepts and
               given council three or four shots at this.

GARY GREEN:    Actually, we've submitted at great expense, four
               separate plans, have gone into council and all of
               them have met with, well refusal, basically; either
               official refusal or refusal in principle. This is how
               silly it is. We're in a three-storey zone with a four-
                                                             Page: 4

               storey building right beside us and a nine-storey
               building on the same block, but the council -
               Councillor McInerney and some of the head
               planners in there - have told us that two storeys is as
               high as we can build in a three-storey zone, with a
               13-metre building right on our border.

CHRIS SMITH:   Well, that's not acceptable in other council areas. If
               you draw a line between the roof heights of other
               buildings in the area, that's where you should be
               allowed to build too.

GARY GREEN:    Well, that's common sense, Chris, but you know,
               common sense isn't very common and it's not very
               common at all in that City of Sydney Council.

               And there's another anomaly too. If you look at
               Scots Church on the corner of Margaret and York
               Street, that's a very good example of how you've
               been able to modify a heritage building to
               contemporary use. Now, you can build on top. The
               council let them build on top immediately above a
               heritage item, but they won't let people build behind
               or beside a heritage item.

               Now, it's just madness. It's a wonder Clover Moore
               and her cronies don't insist on heritage houses only
               having heritage cars parked in the driveway.

CHRIS SMITH:   [Laughs] Yeah.

GARY GREEN:    Yeah.
                                                            Page: 5

CHRIS SMITH:   And when it comes to heritage, it's got to be
               practical. Like, I can see what they're trying to get
               at here. They want you to leave those buildings in
               the shape they're in, but spend about $400,000 on
               each terrace to make them and bring them back to
               what they looked like in 1890.

GARY GREEN:    Oh, thank God, you're an economic rationalist. You
               can see that it's plainly not viable...

CHRIS SMITH:   Of course.

GARY GREEN:    ... to do that.

CHRIS SMITH:   For no-one.

GARY GREEN:    Well, for no-one, exactly. And this is where I
               predict, and I've predicted for a while actually, that
               the city will eventually degenerate. It'll fall into
               wreck and ruin and this has happened in other

               In fact, it happened before in New York. They
               introduced rent-controlled apartments for the
               returned services men and women coming back
               from World War Two. At the time, the politicians
               and local officials thought they were doing the right
               thing. But we now know that the whole suburbs...
               you know, whole suburbs were left to rot.

               And so, this is what may happen if you make
               development applications too hard to get and people
                                                           Page: 6

               will walk away. They'll go to Queensland. We're
               seeing that now.

CHRIS SMITH:   Of course they will. And in... on the subject of
               impracticalities, this would mean if you spend, you
               know, four to five hundred - and that's a
               conservative estimate when you're trying to remove
               damp from an entire two and three storey building -
               you could actually spend more on the property than
               their worth, than you'd sell them for and it becomes
               just a charity organisation.

GARY GREEN:    Thank you very much. And mum and dad who have
               worked very hard; people who know mum and dad,
               have been in business for many years, employed
               hundreds of people, contributed lots and lots of
               money in tax to this great country. Now they've
               reached retirement, dad's just about 70, mum's a
               little ill at the moment regrettably. And what do
               they get; they get meted out this unfair treatment.
               It's un-Australian, basically.

CHRIS SMITH:   But can I ask this. On that specific aspect of the
               debate, these heritage officers, when you put to
               them that practical monetary considerations need to
               be part of the decision-making process, how do they

GARY GREEN:    They don't care. There's zero consideration. It
               seems to be their opinion that we should basically
               repair and maintain these properties for the good of
               the community, but at 100 per cent of my parents'
                                                            Page: 7

               expense. And it's not just the fact that they're
               singling us out. They actually feel the same way.
               It's very similar to communism, really, when you
               think about it, expecting individuals to give up their
               property for other people.

CHRIS SMITH:   You can't go to the Land and Environment Court

GARY GREEN:    Well…

CHRIS SMITH:   …fix some reasonable ruling?

GARY GREEN:    This is actually a trigger for the Land and
               Environment Court. This is possibly a chance for
               the Land and Environment Court to make a decision
               on whether or not these are worthy of retention.

               But, see, the Productivity Commission has just
               come out with its… released its long awaited
               findings into heritage, and a 430 page report,
               hundreds of submissions they received. And
               basically what they've recommended was that
               property owners who can make a case for undue
               hardship or loss due to heritage listing should be
               able to appeal, to either have the listing removed or
               be fairly compensated if the listing is to stand.

CHRIS SMITH:   It's to laste.

GARY GREEN:    Yeah. Well, obviously if the owner's happy with the
               listing there's no need for appeals or compensation.
                                                              Page: 8

               But councils should satisfy themselves, basically,
               that a property really is of significant heritage value,
               that it's worthy of preservation through listing given
               the likely cost, and that any excessive costs arising
               will be borne by the public who benefit from the
               listing, not the hapless owners.

CHRIS SMITH:   Yeah, exactly. One quick thing before we let you
               go. Is it true that three months ago your parents
               erected a billboard on one of the properties that
               read, help stop City of Sydney Council's heritage
               theft. And then they came and wanted to fine your
               or something for not lodging a DA for the
               advertising structure?

GARY GREEN:    This is just another one of the games that Clover's
               cronies have been playing with my family. We've
               had a sign up on that wall for over 40 years. We've
               got stat decs attesting to it. There's been a sign up
               there… Geoff K Gray used to advertise on the wall.
               There's always been virtually a billboard up there.

               And the second we protest, well guess what, the full
               weight of the law. We were threatened with a $1.1
               million fine.

CHRIS SMITH:   So much for freedom of speech.

GARY GREEN:    Forget freedom of speech. Or a hundred thou…
               basically a $100,000 every day that the sign stayed
                                                            Page: 9

               So I'd fight the buggers but unfortunately, given my
               parents' condition, we just… we've had it. We can't
               take any more pain. That's Moore spelt M-O-O-R
               [sic]. We've had it. In fact, I'd like to make an
               impassioned plea to Minister Sartor to intervene
               here, and basically put a stop to this heritage
               madness of the city.

CHRIS SMITH:   Have your personally been in contact with him?

GARY GREEN:    I've tried to reach him. He's a very busy man, and
               he hasn't been able to sit down with me for 10
               minutes. But I could really tell him a thing or two
               about that council if he'd give me 10 minutes.

CHRIS SMITH:   Well, it's quite a high profile issue and story today.
               I'm sure if you picked up the telephone this
               afternoon, his staff would talk to you.

GARY GREEN:    I think I'll be giving them a call, Chris.

CHRIS SMITH:   Let us know how you go.

GARY GREEN:    Will do.

                                                                                                               Page: 10

GARY GREEN:                              Thank you very much.

CHRIS SMITH:                             Thank you Gary. Appreciate that.

GARY GREEN:                              Okay, bye bye.

CHRIS SMITH:                             Gary Green, son of the two people, Brian and
                                         Carmel Green, that have had this absolute war, this
                                         heritage war with Sydney City Council.

                                         And, look, Gary says it's the worst council. But it's
                                         not the only council obsessed with heritage rules.
                                         Maybe you've had a similar experience. I bet you
                                         can't beat Gary's. But maybe you could go close.

                                          *        *        END          *        *

                             TRANSCRIPT PRODUCED BY MEDIA MONITORS

   ADELAIDE           BRISBANE            CANBERRA             HOBART           MELBOURNE           PERTH             SYDNEY
  08 8362 2323       07 3259 2100        02 6124 5200        03 6224 2000       03 9348 9191     08 9228 5800      02 9318 4000
AGENCY REPORT For private research and not to be disseminated. Every effort made to ensure accuracy for the benefit of
our clients but no legal responsibility is taken for errors or omissions. (*) - Indicates unknown spelling or phonetic spelling.
Metro TV demographics are supplied by OzTAM, Radio and Non-Metro TV demographics are supplied by Nielsen Media
ABs = Managers, administrators, professions. GBs = Grocery buyers.

To top