FOKE is a community group with membership drawn from across Ku-ring-gai, opposing inappropriate and unsympathetic overdevelopment within Ku-ring-gai, and defending and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of Ku-ring-gai.
FOKE is not anti-development. We work on behalf of residents and friends for the maintenance of Ku-ring-gai’s heritage and the enhancement of the existing traditional character and amenity of its environment, both built and natural.
Ku-ring-gai is situated on the North Shore of Sydney. It encompasses the suburbs of Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, Gordon, Pymble, Turramurra, Warrawee and Wahroonga, straddling the ridge that carries the railway from North Sydney to Hornsby; and St Ives, straddling Mona Vale Road as it heads towards the coast. The area receives high rainfall, and its slopes fall steeply towards national parks on three sides – Lane Cove, Garigal and Ku-ring-gai Chase. Other natural features of Ku-ring-gai are its tree canopy (including important remnant Blue Gum High Forest), its wild life, its watercourses and its readily erodable soils. More»
Ku-ring-gai’s built heritage features some of the best in NSW – twenty-seven precincts were recommended by the National Trust in 1997 as Urban Conservation Areas. They include not only fine examples of Federation and Inter-war architecture, but many of these precincts display an overall quality and consistency that mark them out as being of State and National heritage significance. More»
The State Government is shortly to publish a White Paper, indicating its intentions for a major overhaul of NSW's planning legislation and controls. Current indications are that most of the changes will be aimed at making the path of developers much easier, and drastically reducing the opportunity for comment or influence development proposals by neighbours, other residents or communities generally. FOKE and over 340 other community groups across NSW have banded together to resist the changes, in a new umbrella group, Better Planning Network. We highly recommend that you click that link, watch their video, and do all you can to support BPN, by joining its email campaigns, regularly visiting its site, and by donation.
Council has recently published a Design Guide for Apartments in Ku-ring-gai – and what a shocker it is! Read our expert's critique of the guide and then join the push for the guide's withdrawal!
Please also check the submission to the Government's Planning System Review by local resident and town planner, Jane McMillan. Jane has generously given us permission to publish her views, which we are glad to do. Thank you, Jane!
International expert's dismay re Ku-ring-gai
Visiting international planning expert, Joel Kotkin, keynote speaker at the Property Council Congress "Cities Summit 2011", recently inspected Ku-ring-gai's suburbs. He was appalled at the inconsiderate destruction of the community environment and said "What is happening in Ku-ring-gai is amongst the worst I have seen and dreadful that the surroundings built up over the years is being destroyed by bureaucratic ideology". For a full report of his remarks click here.
See also our latest newsletter Our 2013 AGM and Public Forum were held on 20 March. The President's 2013 Report delivered on that occasion is a separate download and provides considerable detail. For copies of all our newsletters, visit our newsletter archive.
A collation of items from print and other media relating to Ku-ring-gai and wider planning issues can be found here.
For further media items of interest we recommend visiting the Ku-ring-gai Residents Alliance site at www.notsohigh.org.au.
See also the new community heritage site at www.heritagespace.com.au.
The acclaimed State of Siege film documenting the trashing of Ku-ring-gai by inappropriate and over-development has been updated by www.tropicofoz.com, following the NSW March 2011 election. At this stage, seven Australian universities have sought copies of it and are screening it for pedagogical purposes. Audiences at universities and elsewhere, are finding the documentary “riveting”. We congratulate resident Dennis Grosvenor on presenting so well the adverse effects of development on his neighbourhood.
Take a look at our video “Ku-ring-gai For Sale”, showing Ku-ring-gai places which have been or will be demolished and replaced by unacceptably high and intrusive apartment blocks. See the environmental destruction of this extensive architectural heritage area and critically endangered native bushland and wildlife, forced on us by the NSW State Government. We accept change, but it should be appropriate to the area, and in accordance with the community's wishes and values. Our voice should be heeded!
See also the media coverage of the “Death of Democracy” rally, plus a short video report on the rally! And don't miss FOKE's first video, "What we have lost".