Deep End

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Local Politics, Politics, The Battle For Western Sydney

A few weeks ago I wrote an article after attending a protest outside Blacktown council.

Residents were furious at council plans to kick them out of their homes, take their land and homes by compulsory acquisition, and leave them destitute. That way the council could put up hi-rise apartments and make a tidy profit.

Also questionable is Liberal Mayor Len Robinson who has been pushing this sudden rush to up the ante on high-rise apartment development. Len Robinson’s business arrangements are quite hard to track down as he seems to have been involved in several companies, all of which involved Strata Management. As a result I have referred this matter to ICAC in the hope that they may be able to get the straight answers residents haven’t received as to his business practices since being on council.

Blacktown Mayor Len Robinson, aquiring property near you soon...

Blacktown Mayor Len Robinson, aquiring property near you soon…

At long last however there is some good news that I can now update you on regarding this action from the council.

The Liberal Councillors including Federal candidate Isabelle White, and Jess Diaz the father of Federal candidate Jaymze Diaz have heard the cries of the residents, listened to the pleas of the community, and acted in a manner that they deemed appropriate.

The bad news is they have now decided to take the local Aquatic Centre as well. Just for good measure.

A panoramic view. House under threat of council aquirement on left, under question netball courts, railway behind trees in front, and Aquatic centre on right... very conveniently placed

A panoramic view. House under threat of council aquirement on left, under question netball courts, railway behind trees in front, and Aquatic centre on right… very conveniently placed

The Blacktown Aquatic Centre sits on a huge area of land right alongside the houses that council wants to take from residents. That seems like one massive coincidence to me.

This is prime land, right alongside the railway giving easy access to transport, already as you can see from the below photo the high-rise apartment blocks are just around the corner.

Houses near Aquatic Centre with hi-rise visible in background

Houses near Aquatic Centre with hi-rise visible in background

The council is stating that there are repairs that need to be done at the centre due to land movement that requires ongoing maintenance. This is something that has not been noticed before, or needed maintenance before but apparently it has reared its ugly head just as council are acquiring the land and houses around it, hmmm.

The cost of this mysteriously sudden maintenance is apparently $21 Million.

The Mayor and his motley crew of Liberal councillors insist that the best option would be to take the pool and build a new one somewhere else at a cost of $27 Million.

To me that sounds like $6 Million worse off, but that’s just my calculator.

However my gut tells me that the current pool may be taken but a million and one excuses will suddenly emerge for the new one not being built. Some of these excuses are emerging already.

The excuse I am about to tell you about is classic Liberal logic at it’s very best, and gives an insight as to why only a desperate party would put the likes of White and Diaz forward as candidates for anything.

Just a few kilometres up the road from the pool there is a Wet’n’Wild Theme park under construction at the moment. Those who have been to one of these theme parks will know what to expect, wave pools, water slides, expensive food, and sunburnt kids.

Village idiot Len Robinson and his jesters court of Liberal councillors are saying that with Wet’n’Wild opening up that Blacktown Aquatic Centre will not be able to compete.

I’m assuming that they believe families will be happier to pay $49 per head for a quick dip at Wet’n’Wild rather than $4.90 at the Aquatic Centre.

I’m also assuming that they seriously think that those who go here for training purposes, as Ian Thorpe has, will be content to do laps of the landing pool at the bottom of the slides. They will get in two strokes, turn, two more strokes, turn again, all whilst dodging the bodies of children hurtling at them at 100 miles an hour.

A great place to do laps according to Mayor Len

A great place to do laps according to Mayor Lenny

Maybe they are right, it could be the best way for toddlers to learn how to swim. Throw them down a tube so they land head first in a shallow pool all dizzy and unsure which way is up or down.

Great thinking Mayor Robinson, I hope you didn’t become Mayor for being the smartest of the Liberal options.

Last year there were 284 drowning deaths in Australia, and the backyard pool remains an all too common killer for children under 4, but that doesn’t matter to the Blacktown Liberals who are intent on turning the place where toddlers learn to swim into hi-rise apartments.

Local schools will also be happy as they now have to find somewhere with an Olympic pool to hold swimming carnivals. Stanhope Gardens is probably the closest, however it is overcrowded already, is only half-size and is not convenient for those requiring public transport.

Schools will now most likely look to using Mt Druitt pool as it is the closest Olympic sized pool, as they will need an Olympic sized pool for their events.

Unfortunately for those schools, Len Robinson and his fellow Liberal councillors have already gotten there first. A motion was passed by the councillors to sell off Mt Druitt pool for development recently.

The Aquatic Centre also has a unique history.

It is home to a war memorial, in fact the pool used to be named “War Memorial Pool” at one stage. Still, we know veterans are not high on the respect chart for Mayor Len, as he sent his councillor Isabelle White to the ANZAC Memorial at Rooty Hill to represent council, rather than the only Veteran on Council Charlie Lowles, who has been representing council as a councillor and a veteran at the service for close to quarter of a century.

It is also the place where Kieran Perkins broke the 800m Freestyle World Record in 1992. It was also a training centre for our Olympic athletes during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. But hey, I guess the Liberals don’t think swimming is an important sport to Australians at any rate.

Keiran Who? asks Mayor Lenny

Keiran Who? asks Mayor Lenny

With Blacktown Aquatic Centre up for grabs for development and the adjoining streets having houses up for compulsory acquisition by council the area is turning into a strata manager’s wet dream.

Lucky for Mayor Len Robinson that is his field of work, even prior to his current stint as Mayor that is how he made his living.

Unfortunately for Len Robinson those in the area won’t let him get away with this without putting up a solid fight. Local members such as Nathan Rees, Michelle Rowland, and Opposition leader John Robertson have vowed to fight this disgraceful plan by a new Liberal council who seem to be using both residential streets and public facilities as something they can take away and use to promote their own interests and agenda’s.

It is not only the Federal and state MP’s that are taking this matter on, it is also the youth in the area.

Local Youth Member for Toongabbie Jay Clarke has started an online petition to save the pool, and also has a hard version that is doing the rounds and gaining the support of local schools. Please find a link to the petition below if you wish to sign it.

Save Blacktown Pool Petition

Once again this is Western Sydney under attack by those in the Liberal Party, now we have a Liberal state government that turns a blind eye to the issue despite the Premier being the Minister for Western Sydney. One can only imagine what attacks the region would be forced to endure with the Liberals in at Federal level also.

To those who think that is a stretch should remember, Blacktown council holds one Liberal Federal Candidate, and the father of another. Both are said to be backing this move to strip the public of an important public facility.

Let’s hope this decision to attempt to take away a public facility with absolutely no public consultation, and absolutely no consideration for anything other than local developers and a few people’s hip pockets lands these Liberal Councillors where they belong.

In the deep end.

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Comments
  1. Joy Cooper says:

    This Blacktown Council definitely needs close scrutiny from ICAC. It is a disgrace & yet another example (as if we needed another one) of Liberals treating the electorate as their personal fiefdom to do with as they wish & bugger the law or the people.

    It is as if none of them has any sort of conscience whatsoever which, as we know, is an indication of psychopathy, a personality trait which seems prevalent within the Liberal ranks. None of them appear to care about anyone but themselves & their own self-interests. How on earth were the good people of Blacktown gulled into voting for these self-serving politicos? Now that is the mystery.

    Many thanks Wixxy for keeping an eye on this appalling situation & for up-dating us. Have signed the petition.

  2. Vikki King says:

    Good post

    Just to add to that, what many people fail to realise is the number of people from lower socio economic areas are often denied access to basic resources and foundation skills, such as water safety; due to the lack of affordable soft and hard infrastructure locally. This then plays out on our beaches, as just the northern beaches alone has over an estimated 3 million visitors a year, and during a risk assessment program 2 years ago found over 40% of beach visitors that day were from both suburbs of Western Sydney, and non-English speaking backgrounds with limited water safety knowledge and/or ability to read signs or instructions in English.

    This then impacts on the number of water safety and first aid incidents necessary in any given season, and on the number of search and rescue efforts having to be undertaken by lifeguards and helicopter rescue.

    One way or another taxpayers will foot the bill for such short sightedness by Blacktown Council

    Cheers Vikki

  3. lmrh5 says:

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  4. […] Deep End. […]

  5. wizman says:

    Seems like the stereotypical divide between the Labs and Libs. Labor want to build things for public good and assumes/hopes there will be flow on benefits for business/employment/profits; Liberals want to build things for business/employment/profits and assume/hope there will be flow on benefits for public good.

    And yet the voting public continue to vote toward the conservative candidates despite knowing this is the inevitable result. Of course the Labor party are also deep in the pocket of big business. We have no “left” party in this country; The Greens are centrist, Labor are right-wing, and the Lib/Nats are loony right wing.

    I’m voting for more public infrastructure locally and nationally, hang the blasted debt and balanced budget.

  6. Michael Minns says:

    _____

  7. Michael Minns says:

    Peter, we thought the LP had some problems Look at fatherkevinlee blogspot below

    _____

    From: Clr Tony Hay [mailto:clr.tonyhay@thehills.nsw.gov.au] Sent: Monday, 24 June 2013 3:31 PM To: Michael Minns Subject: Re: [New post] Wait And Bleed

    WOW !!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    On 24/06/2013, at 11:49 AM, “Michael Minns” wrote:

    Try the fatherkevinlee link below and compare the pre-selction process there to ours in The Hills

    _____

    From: James Lunn [mailto:myemail@jameslunn.net] Sent: Monday, 24 June 2013 6:54 AM To: Minns Michael Subject: Re: FW: [New post] Wait And Bleed

    Hi Michael, thought you might be interested in this:

    http://fatherkevinlee.blogspot.com.au/

    cheers James. Hope to get to Assissi during the week.

    On 13 June 2013 23:19, James Lunn wrote:

    Thanks, good post.

    On Jun 13, 2013 2:59 PM, “Michael Minns” wrote:

    _____

  8. […] Diaz has been a loyal member of the Liberal Party lately, supporting the sell-off of both Mt Druitt Pool and Blacktown Aquatic Centre, the privatisation of local childcare centres, the compulsory acquirement of residents homes to make […]

  9. […] Diaz has been a loyal member of the Liberal Party lately, supporting the sell-off of both Mt Druitt Pool and Blacktown Aquatic Centre, the privatisation of local childcare centres, […]

  10. Michael Minns says:

    Thank you Stalky for your comments, you will observe that in true democratic fashion there are no impediments to the right to vote by way of length of time as a member or any other reason. This of course allows the likes of BB3 to seek revenge on that political party abandoned him. I believe that Clive Palmer is interested as well

    _____

  11. Stephen Dawson says:

    Hey Michael,

    What was the vote again? Who got the lowest primary vote .? I keep forgetting?

    Can you please remind me as you know the Governments predecessors kept changing leaders, dividing the country pitting sex against sex, union and non union, and as you know a number of highly qualified people refused to talk to each other and work with each other, and they were the government of the day.

    I just keep forgetting so remind me again , what was the vote?

    Mick you are a good point of reference. I do know as a life member of a political party you would never seek to rehash articles written as long ago as 2006 to divert attention from reality because as you know the results do speak for themselves. You deal with the here and now.

    Oh by the way who was that bloke who seemed to run the State Government from the back bench, even extending to the appointment of what was 2 or 3 Premiers?

    I do know you support youth employment so you would certainly understand , support and explain the need for a coalmine to be owned by a union leader, I am sure he said to all who asked he was owning it on behalf of his union so they could train miners. What was his profit?

    Sorry I got distracted so please remind me again of the result.

    Alternatively let’s get over it and try and accept what has happened. Whether you agree with it or not it has happened and will not change for another 3 years when we get to do the same thing again!

    To the victor etc.!

    Oh by the way don’t try the “kiss me I’m Liberal” as it won’t work as in the exercise of a true democracy I do believe I was the only 1 in my booth and no one knows what numbers i put where.

    See you at lunch tomorrow?

    Regards

    Copy of Copy of SCD signature 3

    Stephen Charles Dawson

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    Dawson Lawyers

    Phone: (02) 4226 2467

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    Address: 67 Kembla Street, Wollongong, NSW 2500

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  12. Michael Minns says:

    FYI some text

    _____

  13. Michael W McLean says:

    “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” comes to mind in what BOF said yesterday for Grangegate

  14. Joe Clayton says:

    Just came out of Governor Philip Tower and camera man and journo were set up in forecourt. I asked were they waiting for the red wine drinker. Camera man said “No he’s old news. We are waiting for the new premier BUT he is caught up in a Cabernet meeting!!!” He’d been waiting all day to use it!!

    joe

  15. mwmclean@optusnet.com.au says:

    Luv it. Grangegate.

    Sent from my HTC One X on the Optus Network

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