Planning

DisHonourable Dave has gone but his ghost lives on!!

On hold in the Litchfield Council area is a proposed new city at Noonamah – called by the developers Noonamah Ridge but locally known as Lloyd Creek. The developers say it would have a ‘rural feel to it’. It doesn’t have a proven, potable water system or endorsement from the NT Environmental Protection Authority. In fact, it’s a bit like a Noddy Toytown: perfect for dolls and puppets.

Image result for toytown noddy

Big Dave approved  a subdivision for 56 small lots and another one for 16 lots in Berry Springs without checking whether the local water aquifer could support this.Certainly we’ve had some decent rain so far this Wet season but we need a lot more to sustain rural population growth. Town water is not an option so the developers need to instal a water tower and restrict water use to what the aquifer is estimated to be able to sustain.

Then there’s acceptance by DisHonourable Dave of a proposal by a CLP-appointed Development Consent Authority member to divide his 5 acre block in a Rural Living (RL) zone (where the minimum lot size is 5 acres) into two halves. He said it was to give his kids a better choice.  The ‘battler’ belongs to an ‘old’ Territory family that had huge sections of rural land that were sold at very lucrative prices over the years. He is backed by several other large landholders wanting to divest themselves of rural land without going through a proper planning process.  His application by-passed the Development Consent Authority process and went straight through the loving arms of DisHonourable Dave – to be accepted on ‘moral’ grounds.

Shouldn’t it be a criminal offence for publicly-funded government appointees to rout the system for their own self-interest and against public interest – not recommend them for life Honourable status?

Not to forget the NT Planning Commission probings into Dual Occupancy on Single Dwelling blocks.Just imagine the ‘rural feel’ of Village Centres (new term is ‘Activity Centres’) in the rural area when a minimum size of 2.5 acres becomes small enough to barely spin a coin on. Come in Spinner! I can feel a ‘rural’ coming on…

Back to Berry Springs: DisHon Dave rezoned from Rural (R – 20 acres or more) to Rural Living (RL 5 acres)  a section of land adjacent to the iconic Berry Spriberry-springs-poolngs Nature Park – with its magic and soothing mineral waters. This is how it’s advertised – even though it doesn’t satisfy Development Consent Authority conditions: real estate ad Oxford Road .

There no reticulated water and land titles depend on water provided on each block. There are no waterfalls and no immediate access allowed to the Nature Park. And don’t you just love the real estate hype of closeness to urban service centres! Unreal!

Heritage

A recommendation by the Heritage Council to list the large Kulaluk tract of coastal land and mangroves, also with a number of sacred sites and burial grounds must be adhered to by a government of ethics and integrity.

The Heritage Council received more than 200 public submissions during its assessment process. An independent report was also prepared by the former chief executive of the Department of Lands and Planning NT, Dr David Ritchie, which found the area was historically and culturally significant, in part because of its place in Australia’s fight for land rights.

Big Dave dismissed the Council’s recommendation, saying: “A heritage listing would prevent future development and would not protect any historical association with the Aboriginal land rights movement.” He also revoked a long-time heritage listing from the Adelaide River Railway Precinct while his government was in caretaker mode.

The NT Labor government apparently has the same opinion: heritage listing may impede development. A new development is the ‘iconic’ road planned to go through Frog Hollow. Frog Hollow is undoubtedly iconic and destroying it is criminal! The Darwin Masterplan recommends a Rapid Transit/Tramway. The former Labor government also endorsed this. Now it endorses destroying more heritage for more private vehicles to access Darwin CBD.

What we need is a new Integrated Planning Act that recognises ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles for the environment and future generations.