John Della Bosca resigned as Health Minister and leader of the Legislative Council last night after revelations he had an affair with a 26-year-old woman ended hopes he had of becoming premier.
Mr Della Bosca told a media conference this morning he regretted his “poor decisions” but said he had not at any time breached his ministerial responsibilities.
He defended his record as minister but said resigning was “the only appropriate thing to do”.
“You have to take your medicine if you make bad decisions,” he said.
He said he regretted the embarrassment to his colleagues, friends, his church and family.
He said he had resigned as a minister and Labor leader of the upper house to avoid “distraction”, but added: “I intend to serve out my term.”
After an extremely long pause when asked whether he believed he had been the victim of a set up, he repeated that his “poor personal decisions” were to blame for his demise.
He would not answer questions about his marriage, saying that he did not want to answer personal questions.
Mr Della Bosca also said that he appreciated “tolerance and fairness” from the media.
A spokesman for the Premier, Nathan Rees, said last night the minister had phoned the Premier just before 11pm and quit.
”The Premier has accepted the minister’s resignation and accepted his significant contribution to public policy and the NSW Government.”
He had been in Parliament since 1999 and was a key ally of former premier Bob Carr.
Mr Rees said today he did not want to comment on personal matters but appreciated Mr Della Bosca’s comments that he did not want his affairs to distract from the business of government.
“I would rather this had not happened,” he said.
Mr Rees said both Mr Della Bosca and his family deserved privacy “during this difficult time”.
“I’m not going to make moral judgments on this matter,” Mr Rees said.
He said he accepted Mr Della Bosca’s resignation because he had embarrassed the Government.
“He tendered his resignation on the basis of something that he’d done that he felt had caused gross embarrassment to him and the Government.
“I accepted the resignation on that basis.”
While he conceded the affair made it difficult for NSW Labor to “get on with the job”, Mr Rees stressed that the Government would not be distracted from delivering services for the people of NSW.
Attorney-General John Hatzistergos would replace Mr Della Bosca as the Minister for Health until a reshuffle took place, Mr Rees said.
Mr Hatzistergos would continue in his capacity as Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations.
The Minister for Police, Tony Kelly, would replace Mr Della Bosca as the leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.
It is the second major controversy to embroil Mr Della Bosca in just over a year.
Mr Della Bosca, the then-education minister, was stood aside from the ministry after it emerged a letter of apology from bar staff to the couple was drafted by his own office.
Mr Della Bosca’s office issued a statement last night, saying: ”Tonight I have advised the Premier of my intention to resign as Health Minister and leader of the Government in the NSW Legislative Council.
”At no time did I breach my duties as a minister or member of Parliament. I took the decision to resign following a series of questions put to me about my personal life.
”I do not want this issue to be a distraction to the Government. I regret some personal decisions I made and I am deeply sorry for the hurt I have caused my family.
”It has been a privilege to serve the people of NSW.”
Last month Mr Della Bosca was being touted as the man to replace Mr Rees, with suggestions his long-term ally, the MP for Bankstown, Tony Stewart, might quit the seat of Bankstown to allow him to move to the lower house.
But last night a woman told The Daily Telegraph she had an affair with Mr Della Bosca between March and August this year.
”I don’t know how he managed to do his job when he spent so much time with me,” the woman said.
”There were times when John would cancel work to see me.”
She also said they had sex on a couch in his office.
Mr Della Bosca denied the woman’s claims that he had taken her to his parliamentary office to have sex without signing the visitors’ roll and he had missed a flight to a meeting with health officials in Armidale in order to spend time with her.
When telephoned at Mr Della Bosca’s home last night, Ms Neal threatened to call the police.
“How dare you ring at this time of night? I am going to the police,” Ms Neal said.
Rottenness of the ALP: O’Farrell
Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell said Mr Della Bosca’s resignation was “further demonstration of the rottenness of the Labor Party, the factionalism, leadership and these sorts of scandals divert its energies from fixing the state”.
Speaking outside Parliament House today, Mr O’Farrell said: “On the day on which the soap opera was due to end, we see another tawdry, scandalous episode that means for the public of NSW no hope.”
Mr O’Farrell said that the public had a right to be angry and frustrated by a State Government that continued to be focused on itself and not putting in place the policies designed to fix the state.
He said the scandal was “a public issue because it has impact”.
“Today we are about to have our fourth health minister in as many years,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“We are about to have someone that has to come to speed on the most significant portfolio in the state.”
Mr O’Farrell told ABC Radio today that the Della Bosca scandal was just another distraction for a troubled Labor Government.
“On the very day the community was hoping for an end to the soap opera of the Rees Government, it’s been delivered yet another tawdry, tacky episode that can only further distract the State Government from dealing with the problems families and small business are facing across NSW,” Mr O’Farrell said.
Mr Della Bosca and Ms Neal have two sons.
He completed a bachelor of arts at the University of NSW and joined the ALP in 1973.
He worked as a research assistant to senator Kerry Sibraa between 1976 and 1979 before joining the Australian Transport Officers Federation, where he worked until 1983.
He then took worked with the NSW branch of the ALP, serving as their state organiser, assistant secretary and general secretary before being elected to State Parliament in March 1999.
One month later he was sworn in as special minister for state and assistant treasurer.
A year after that, he became minister assisting the premier for the Central Coast and minister assisting the premier on public sector management.
In June 2000 he was sworn as industrial relations minister. He was appointed minister for ageing and disability services in 2005.
In 2007 he was made education and training minister as well as minister for the Central Coast before standing down over the Iguanagate scandal.
In September last year, Mr Della Bosca became health minister.
Andrew Clennell is the Herald’s State Political Editor.
– with Ellie Harvey, Georgina Robinson, Peter Hawkins, Nadia Jamal and Alexandra Smith
Different codes … affairs that rocked politics around the world – Christine Keeler and, inset, clockwise from top left, Bob Woods, Cheryl Kernot, Nicholas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi.As John Della Bosca licks his self-inflicted wounds today, he can perhaps feel legitimately hard done by as a member of the pantheon of adulterous Australian politicians.
This sunburned land, or its media, has gone comparatively easy on the peccadilloes of its elected leaders, provided they’ve not broken the law.
Sure, Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot had their five-year affair revealed and dissected on Sunday night primetime in 2002, three years after it crashed and burned.
Tasmanian cabinet minister Paula Wriedt’s extra-marital affair with her ministerial driver was revealed in 2008.
And Liberal senator Bob Woods was no doubt dismayed when his former lover, Roxanne Cameron, detailed on 60 Minutes how Woods was happy to claim their 17-day jaunt around France as a publicly-funded wine and cheese “study tour” in 1995.
But for the most part, Australian journalists, largely backed by public sentiment, have been prepared to keep the private lives of politicians just that.
Not so the media in Europe and the United States.
French journalists documented in excited detail the tumultuous marriage of President Nicholas Sarkozy to his then-wife Cecilia, who left her husband a number of times to take up with US-based advertising executive Richard Attias.
They wrote too of Mr Sarkozy’s liaison with a Le Figaro reporter during Mrs Sarkozy’s seven-month absence with Attias in early 2006.
Not to be outdone, Silvio Berlusconi’s alleged string of tawdry liaisons has provided a torrent of scandal for the Italian press to feast on.
A few months after the controversial prime minster denied having an affair with 18-year-old aspiring model Noemi Letizia, tapes of his conversations with a high-class escort were posted online in June this year.
“…Will you wait for me in the big bed if you finish (showering) first,” he allegedly asked 42-year-old Patrizia D’Addario in November 2008.
Ms D’Addario replied: “Which bed ?….Putin’s bed ?…”
To which Mr Berlusconi said: “Putin’s”.
Ms D’Addario was then heard saying: “Ah, how sweet… it has the drapes.”
The next day Mr Berlusconi allegedly asked his lover how she was.
“I’m fine … my voice ‘as gone …” she said.
To which he answered: “Eh? We didn’t even scream”.
Such salacious voyeurism was not available to Australian constituents until today, when The Daily Telegraph published text messages Mr Della Bosca sent to his 26-year-old lover at the time.
And despite the 53-year-old’s resignation and apology for his “poor decisions”, a reader poll on smh出售老域名.au indicated a distinct ambivalence in the community about what such scandals should mean.
Sixty-four per cent of the 5300 readers who voted in the online poll said the 53-year-old paid the appropriate price, but 36 per cent said the affair should not have cost him his political career.
The British public harboured no such doubts in the 1960s, when it was revealed the government’s “quintessential high Tory”, John Profumo, had been sleeping with cabaret club worker Christine Keeler.
Profumo lied about the affair to the House of Commons in March 1963 but confessed and resigned 10 weeks later.
The scandal deepened when it emerged Ms Keeler had also slept with Russian naval attaché Eugene Ivanov.
The liaison captured the attention of a Cold War-gripped world, with the FBI compiling a report on it entitled Operation Bowtie.
An Australian politician tried a similar tack to Profumo more than 30 years later, with early success.
Gareth Evans, the then-deputy Labor leader and former foreign minister, lied to parliament about his relationship with Cheryl Kernot in 1998, saying: “What the member for Swan said was totally baseless, beneath contempt and a disgraceful abuse of parliamentary privilege”.
Mr Evans and Ms Kernot, who’d by then defected to Labor from the Australian Democrats, managed to escape the public airing of their love affair for a further four years until journalist Laurie Oakes dropped the bombshell in 2002.
The pair’s relationship had reportedly been talked about but not reported on for many years by journalists in the Canberra press gallery.
But Oakes said Ms Kernot’s omission of the affair from a political memoir she published was “based on a falsehood” and necessitated the revelation.
A RENOWNED part of Sydney’s horse-racing establishment, the Newmarket saleyards, looks set to be sold for development, as one of the city’s oldest bloodstock operations moves to greener pastures in south-west Sydney.William Inglis and Son announced yesterday that it would leave its Randwick headquarters – home to the Easter yearling sales and a symbol of racing royalty since 1906 – to set up a facility beside Warwick Farm Racecourse.The company will buy land from the Australian Jockey Club, which is selling about 35 hectares at Warwick Farm to fund a redevelopment that the club hopes will allow it to fight its way out of the financial troubles affecting the industry.But the move does not bode well for the future of Newmarket, with William Inglis and Son’s managing director, Mark Webster indicating that the property is likely to go on the market, and could be used for housing.”It’s a beautiful site, but it just doesn’t provide any opportunities for growth opportunities,” Mr Webster said yesterday. ”It’s not on the market yet, but we’re happy to talk to anybody out there who’s interested.”He said Newmarket fell within an area of the Eastern Suburbs that the State Government wanted to turn into an education and health precinct because of its proximity to the University of NSW and Sydney Children’s Hospital.Inglis’s move to Warwick Farm looks set to be part of a broader shift by Sydney’s traditional racing industry establishment into the west of the city, as it desperately pursues a new market.The Australian Jockey Club said yesterday that the proceeds from the sale of the land at Warwick Farm would be used to fund a redevelopment of the racecourse in an effort to attract families in western Sydney to the sport of kings.”We have to move into western Sydney if we are going to survive,” the vice-chairman of the club, John Cornish, said.
BY THE end of the year he may well have rewritten the history books, but last night Scenic Blast received the plaudits for his remarkable deeds already when he was crowned Australian racehorse of the year.The five-year-old gelding, which is trained by Dan Morton in Perth, won with more than 55 per cent of the votes, announced at a black-tie function at Melbourne’s Crown casino.He was also crowned the country’s champion sprinter and champion international performer for his King’s Stand triumph in England in June.In the autumn, Scenic Blast won the group 1 Flemington sprint double of the Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap before his success in England. By season’s end on July 31 he was ranked alongside last year’s champion racehorse Weekend Hussler with an international rating of 122.Scenic Blast will spend much more time overseas as he chases the rich bonuses on offer for the Global Sprint Challenge.If he can win in Japan, he will emulate the 2006 feat of Takeover Target, which won the Newmarket Handicap, King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and Sprinter’s Stakes in Japan.If Scenic Blast does taste success in Japan, he will then attempt to become the first horse to win four group 1 sprints in different countries in the one year when he runs in Hong Kong in December.Scenic Blast is in England being prepared for the Japanese race in October. He is due to arrive in Japan in the next few weeks to contest the group 1 Sprinter’s Stakes but, because of Australia’s quarantine regulations, will be sent to Hong Kong after that race to be prepared for the group 1 Sprint there in December.If he can win in Japan, his owners will receive a $US1 million ($1.19m) bonus for a horse which can win three races in different countries, and would be in line for a further $US1 million bonus if Scenic Blast can also win in Hong Kong.Gai Waterhouse’s three-time group 1 winner Theseo was last night’s horse-of-the-year runner-up with 27.1 per cent of the votes, while Cox Plate winner Maldivian came third with 10.1 per cent.Viewed, which gave Bart Cummings his 12th Melbourne Cup, was champion stayer winning 88.4 per cent of the vote. Votes for each award are cast by members of the Victorian Racing Media Association and chief executives of the metropolitan race clubs.Phelan Ready’s win as champion two-year-old was an emotional one for his trainer, Jason McLachlan, who co-trained the colt to win the Magic Millions and Golden Slipper Stakes with his father, Bruce, who died of a heart attack in June.
The famed William Inglis sales complex is set to relocate from Randwick to Warwick Farm as part of a $25 million rejuvenation of the racecourse in south-west Sydney.The Australian Jockey Club yesterday unveiled plans to make Warwick Farm ”the best country-style racecourse in any city in Australia” with Inglis coming on board as a strategic partner.AJC vice-chairman John Cornish said the deal with Inglis would involve the sales company purchasing 23 acres of land on the Warwick Farm racecourse site that would be developed into a ”world-class” complex.Inglis has been operating at its Newmarket base near Randwick since 1917 but managing director Mark Webster said the decision to acquire the Warwick Farm land was made as the company outgrows its current home.”[It] provides Inglis with an option for the future, should it be necessary to relocate from Randwick in order to grow the business or comply with changes to planning regulations as Randwick develops as an education and healthcare precinct,” Webster said.The Newmarket site was ”not up for sale yet”, Webster added, nor had the Inglis board set a timeframe on relocation. But he was mindful the land acquired was ”more than double the size of Newmarket in a strategically important equine-friendly location”. Cornish and his AJC chairman Ron Finemore also confirmed plans to sell off Coopers Paddock, also more familiarly known as Riley’s Paddock, as an industrial-distribution centre.While acknowledging the sale of Riley’s would not be welcomed by Warwick Farm trainers, Cornish said the AJC’s hands were tied because access to the paddock was via Sydney Water land that was part of its sewerage and recycling plant nearby.Cornish said Sydney Water had ”threatened to terminate access” unless expensive licence arrangements were put in place.In any case, the approved expansion of Governor Macquarie Drive to a four-lane arterial road would raze the access track to Riley’s, rendering the paddock ”virtually unusable”.To compensate for the loss of Riley’s the AJC plans to develop the polo field land inside the 1400m chute at Warwick Farm.Cornish said plans were in place to build eight working trails of almost five kilometres in length. This would replace Riley’s, which has four trails that total less than 2.5km.The AJC said that Warwick Farm ”at least in its present state of repair, holds little attraction to our existing members, patrons and customers”. So in addition to the pending move to the track by Inglis and the polo field development, the AJC will also demolish the two older and unused grandstands at the course and other unused buildings.New race-day and tie-up stalls will be moved from Randwick to Warwick Farm while the existing heritage-listed tie-up stalls will be renovated. The newest grandstand, opened in 1982, will be refurbished, with a glassed-in, first-floor viewing deck likely.When the facilities are improved, the AJC plans to offer a $25-a-year family membership fee, albeit in a no-voting-rights capacity, that would allow access exclusively to AJC meetings at Warwick Farm.The club has vowed to reinstall a ”B grass” training track and an in-field trainers’ hut while a TAFE-managed NSW racing industry facility has been mooted to operate from Warwick Farm.Finally, the club will sell off eight properties in the surrounding streets of the racecourse.Cornish said the planned sale of Riley’s and the other properties, including the land to Inglis, was expected to reap $30m, of which around $25m would be tipped into the rejuvenation of Warwick Farm. ”It is important that if you raise money at Warwick Farm, you spend it at Warwick Farm,” he said.
AS BAD as it gets – and this year has been very bad for the NRL with Rooster Setaimata Sa joining the rap list at the weekend, charged with assault, resisting arrest, failure to leave a licensed premises and malicious damage – elite rugby league players might not be much worse than their peers.Men of footballing age figure prominently in police dispatches any Friday and Saturday night; clearly, few of them are subject to the same level of reporting and scrutiny as professional athletes.And, while the NRL is at great pains to impress upon the young men who play the game they will be exposed publicly when they breach community standards, the regular headlines of player atrocities would seem to suggest the message is not always getting through.But perhaps the NRL is doing as well as can be expected.The Herald , with the assistance of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, has compared the rate at which NRL players are charged with assault, with the prevailing rate for all males aged 18 to 34 in NSW, and the figures suggest they are not so bad after all.Young men at that age are being booked by police and charged with assault at a rate of about 700 per 100,000 each year.In the year to March 31, out of a pool of 400 elite footballers three NRL players – Bronx Goodwin, Joel Thompson and Arana Taumata – were charged with assault, suggesting a rate of 750 per 100,000, only slightly above the NSW figure of 674.3.This year looks like being worse with three players, Sandor Earl, Jake Friend and now Sa already on assault charges with seven months still to run. The rate at which their peers are charged has ranged between 674 and 735 over the past three years.Some of the higher-profile charges – such as Brett Stewart’s sexual assault charge and domestic assault charges against Greg Bird and Greg Inglis – fall into different police statistical categories.The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research notes the data must be interpreted with great caution as the sample size, involving only 400 NRL squad members, is so small. If three players charged reflected the average of their peers, six would double it.NRL chief executive David Gallop said players were well aware the law is the same for them as it is for their peers. The consequences, however, might be public exposure. ”We tell our players that they need to expect scrutiny if they do get in trouble with the police,” he said.”The flip side of the celebration around Hazem El Masri on Sunday is that those who behave badly will be put in the spotlight.”Being a so-called role model might seem unfair at times but if Hazem El Masri is well regarded in the community then those who make mistakes and get in trouble with the police are likely to be held up as the opposite.”Sa’s case has one thing in common with most previous offences for assault: alcohol.”In terms of the statistics, it almost 100 per cent involves alcohol. The opportunity to drink is very limited as a professional footballer but that heightens the risk of over-indulgence and the impact on decision-making that goes with it,” Gallop argued.”It’s unrealistic to think we won’t have issues, and I think the limited opportunity to drink is a factor for our players that might not necessarily arise for young people who are not on such a strict regime.”
THE gender pay gap is widening and the finance industry, where men earn a third more than women, is the worst offender, the Bureau of Statistics says.Yet a survey of 1700 finance workers has found most (67 per cent) did not know what their colleagues were paid and half believed men and women were paid equally for the same job.Rod Masson, national policy director for the Finance Sector Union, said when bank workers were told there was a significant gender pay difference they were shocked. ”This was supposed to be resolved in the 1960s and 1970s, but it’s still happening. We are not narrowing the pay gap, it is spreading,” he said.The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency has named September 1 as Equal Pay Day – the date set by calculating the extra days women must work beyond the financial year to catch up to men’s earnings.The agency says companies need to be transparent about pay and performance bonuses, because ignorance of what others earn works against women.The Finance Sector Union said one of the major causes of the pay gap in the finance industry was a push to sales-based remuneration, and its survey found 65 per cent of finance workers said meeting targets – for selling credit cards or new accounts, for example – determined if they received a pay increase.But 69 per cent felt they did not have any real input into those sales and work targets. And three-quarters said they were not given the chance to agree with targets before they were set.Mr Masson said pay bias towards sales performance worked against women in two ways. They were less assertive in establishing targets, he said. And more men worked in roles that were best rewarded, such as commercial lending and business banking, while women dominated service roles.Taimi Nurm, 49, has worked in bank branches for 27 years, and said it was hard for women working part time to gain promotion to areas where the pay was better. ”My experience has been that they tend to move the men through quicker,” she said.She had also seen women sidelined by being told they were not flexible enough because of ”family issues”. At head office, the bosses were all male, she said.David Bell, chief executive of the Australian Bankers Association, said 61 per cent of staff in the finance industry were women, and the gender difference in earnings was ”a product of hours worked and skills”.”The data shows that 26 per cent of females in the finance industry work part time compared with 4 per cent for males,” he said.He conceded men dominated a ”highly specialised and higher paying component of their workforce”.Mairi Steele, acting director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, said the fact that women were concentrated into certain occupations and in low paying positions were key causes of the gap and ”not excuses for it”.The agency publishes an annual list of companies that qualify as an employer of choice for women. This year’s list includes 22 finance and insurance companies. To qualify for the list, an employer must beat the gender pay gap for their industry, and beat the national gender pay gap – 17.5 per cent – at each staffing level.
IT’S been a fight for Russian-born Tatiana Borodulina, but finally she can skate for Australia at the Winter Olympics.She donned fatigues when she joined the Australian Army Reserve in an effort to speed along her citizenship approval but the talented speed skater will no longer have to serve, after the Rudd Government yesterday announced proposed changes to the Citizenship Act.It was a relief for Borodulina, 24, who arrived in Australia in July 2006 and missed becoming an automatic Australian citizen by just 18 days when the Act changed in 2007.Borodulina joined the Australian Army Reserve because it shortened the citizenship time to six months, but the Australian Olympic Committee sought to have the Citizens Act amended to re-establish the consideration for distinguished talent.The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, made the announcement following approaches from AOC president John Coates.The proposed amendments to be tabled in Federal Parliament next month will reduce the residency requirements from four years to two for athletes of distinguished sporting talent.”Once the legislation is passed and immediately following Royal Assent, an Australian Citizenship ceremony will be conducted for Tatiana before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games qualification events in November,” AOC director of sport Fiona de Jong said. “We are extremely grateful to Chris Evans and the Federal Government for their understanding and support which will benefit athletes from a number of Olympic sports.”Borodulina, a former European champion and a finalist at the Turin 2006 Games, decided to move to Australia after two years of consideration. She relocated from her industrial home town of Omsk in Siberia to Brisbane, leaving behind her parents and younger sister and a boyfriend, to try to improve her skating under the respected coach Ann Zhang.Yesterday, the chef de mission of the Australian Winter Olympic team, Ian Chesterman, said: “Tatiana has been competing for Australia for the past couple of years … She is world class, and athletes with her ability lift the standard of all Australian skaters. The Russians have tried to lure her back to compete for them but she wants to stay in Australia, this is her new home … Tatiana loves Australia. She is proud to wear the green and gold.”
GIANT teenager Elizabeth Cambage spearheaded a 50-point rout of New Zealand as Australia overcame a knee injury to Olympian Rohanee Cox to smash the Tall Ferns in Porirua, near Wellington last night.The world No.3-ranked Opals dominated the first leg of their Oceania Championship clash and surely guaranteed their participation in next year’s world championships before the return match in Canberra on Wednesday.Cambage, who only turned 18 on August 18, racked up 22 points in just under 14 minutes, missing only three of her 12 field-goal attempts.The highly rated teenager had plenty of support, as the much bigger Australians overwhelmed their smaller opposition.Forward Cox, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament to her left knee several years ago, was helped off by teammates Hollie Grima and Marianna Tolo just before quarter-time. But that setback couldn’t stop the Opals juggernaut, despite a slow start.Australia made only one of their first seven field goals, but still led 16-9 at quarter-time.Tolo (14 points) scored the first five points of the second quarter to open up a double-digit lead that Australia never relinquished.With Jessica Bibby (14) hitting two quick three-pointers, the Opals skipped to a 15-point advantage and extended it to lead 45-25 at half-time.Cambage, at 203 centimetres by far the biggest player on court, had eight points by the midway point.The Opals maintained their momentum through the third quarter, outscoring the Tall Ferns 31-16 to lead 76-41 at the final change.New Zealand notched the first four points of the last quarter, but Australia then embarked on a 20-0 run in the next seven minutes to close out an emphatic display.Cambage triggered the 20-0 run with nine straight points.Australia capitalised on their huge height advantage, with the Opals enjoying a massive 50-26 advantage on the boards. Grima completed a double-double by pulling in 10 boards, with Cambage next best on seven.With Cox injured, Australia finished the match with only one member of last year’s Olympic silver medal-winning squad, Grima.The Opals shot 52 per cent from the field compared with New Zealand’s 25 per cent, although Antonia Edmondson produced a strong effort for the vanquished Kiwis with 19 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
NINE months after it abandoned plans for a metro-style rail link for Sydney’s north-west, the State Government still has not produced a planning strategy setting out how the region will be affected by the absence of proper public transport.After the Government dumped the metro and the south-west rail link in November the Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally, said she would update the subregional planning strategies for the two regions, documents that set out the planning fundamentals of how many people will move where and when.”My department has until March 2009 to come back to me with an update on the draft subregional strategies, and plans for new jobs and new types of jobs for western Sydney,” she said in a media release.But the Herald has learnt that the new plans will not be finished until early next year.In effect it leaves Sydney’s rapidly growing north-west and south-west fringes in a state of planning limbo – with scores of homes being completed every month, but no broad overarching plan in keeping with existing transport policies.The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and the Urban Development Institute of Australia said planning on the city’s fringes had become a rudderless ship, councils and developers being uncertain about how to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people who would settle in the city’s fringes over the next 20 years.”The subregional strategies are the basic blueprints that councils use to plan for their areas,” said the president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president, Alison McLaren.The Urban Development Institute of Australia said the lack of a clear plan had created uncertainty among investors and developers.”There hasn’t been a lot of acquisition activity, particularly in the south-west – developers buying rural land for development has been very rare,” the institute’s chief executive, Stephen Albin, said.A spokesman for Ms Keneally said the minister’s announcement had not been a commitment to complete the draft subregional strategies by March but simply a request for the Department of Planning to report back on the impacts of the new planning situation.”The Department of Planning is currently finalising all 10 draft subregional strategies,” the spokesman said.? The Tourism and Transport Forum, a lobby group of private and public operators, has published research into the location of houses built using the Federal Government’s first-home buyers grant.The research found that in the past 11 months 58 per cent of first-time buyers were building new dwellings in parts of greater Sydney with little or no access to public transport.This contrasted sharply with the median of 25 per cent of residents who live in suburbs with poor access to mass transit.Come on board the campaign… visit: www.transportpublicinquiry出售老域名.au