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
- Liberal's Broken Promise. Forced take-over of Ku-ring-gai by Hornsby Council
Despite overwhelming opposition from Ku-ring-gai Councillors and residents, on 18th December 2015 Premier Baird stated his resolution to force Councils to amalgamate, breaking a pre-election promise not to do so. In addition, as his Government, and our two Liberal representatives are aware, these forced amalgamations would not gain the support of the Upper House. So the path to achieving his end of fewer Councils and less resident representation in his aim of a high growth agenda will be via changing electoral boundaries.
The long-awaited KPMG report which we had hoped will highlight some detailed cost-benefit analysis, has now been quarantined as 'Commercial in Confidence'! To date, there is no data to support claims that these amalgamations will save money and add to infrastructure as Baird claims.
In an attempt to rush these changes through, this Liberal Government has started the process, not with facts but with a misleading advertising campaign. Therehave been rallies against these forced amalgamations across NSW, leaving no doubt that the public, and most Councils are against this action by the heavay handed Baird Government. Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information. www.facebook.com/friendsofkuringgai
Ku-ring-gai Council has repeatedly shown that it can stand alone. More information is available on the Ku-ring-gai Council website Forced Council Amalgamatons. Also please read the Message from Foke's President, Kathy Cowley and the Press Release from Save our Councils Coalition, a cross-council, multi-community, non-aligned campaign group.
Single Dwelling Zoning Under Threat
The NSW Government is currently proposing to make medium density development into complying development. This means local residents are not notified and are not allowed to comment.. Currently the R3 zone has been designed to deliver medium density. The proposed plan is to allow medium density development on all residential (single dwelling) R2 land in NSW with a street frontage of 12.5m or more and a minimum lot size of 400sqm.
The medium density housing could be:
a) Two dwelling (dual occupancies) on a single lot of 400sqm,
b) Three to four dwellings (manor homes) on a single lot of ,
c) Three to ten dwellings on a single lot of 600sqm.
This proposal applies a blanket rezoning for medium density (with minor exceptions) to all low-density residential R2 land. It does not take into account the cumulative effects of intensifying development on local infrastructure, services, traffic, street car parking, social services and amenities. It overrides local environment plans and again centralises planning conttrols to the detriment of residents. Please contact your local MP to voice your opposition.
Bairds weakening of Biodiversity LawsPremier Baird's Biodiversity Conservation Act, recently released, is set to fast-track land-clearing approvals to appease big agribusiness and property developers. Before the election, Premier Mike Baird committed to “enhancing the state's biodiversity to benefit current and future generations”, but again he has broken his promise in favour of his pro-development agenda to weaken our nature protection laws. It proposes a much reduced Biodiversity Conservation Act to replace the Native Vegetation Act and the Threatened Species Act. It plans to weaken the state's land clearing laws that were introduced in 2003 to stop broad scale land clearing. We need stronger biodiversity laws – not weaker ones. We need a new vision to protect, restore and ensure resilience for our precious biodiversity.
Loss of more Ku-ring-gai community assets as Council continues extensive reclassification to fund its new administration building
In November, the Lindfield Library and Senior Centre site was the latest community asset to be reclassified as operational land by Ku-ring-gai Council. Overall 24 community assets have now been reclassified by our Council to pay predominantly for the purchase of their new administation building. The acquisition was to be funded by what Council staff described as the “rationalisation” of 23 “under-utilised” assets, but these are community assets first and foremost. Some of the 23 “under-utilised assets” included the Culworth Avenue Car Park, Killara; the Lifeline Centre, Gordon; the Gordon Community Pre-school; the Ku-ring-gai Town Hall, Pymble; and various pieces of public land adjacent to East Killara, West Pymble and East Lindfield shops. Now this has increased to 24, including the Lindfield Library site. More».
News & Updates
Save the Lindfield Library site. Ku-ring-gai Council has determined that the Lindfield Library Precinct is to be reclassified and sold for high-rise development prior to building a replacement Library, Senior Citizen or community facilities within Lindfield. The Council decision to sell the site is not in the community interest. It is contrary to the KLEP (Local Centres) 2012 plans. The intention is for the sale proceeds to go towards paying council debt or for infrastructure projects outside Lindfield. If you are against more public land being taken away from our community, write to your Councillor or Mayor Cheryl Szatow at Councillor email addresses or to ALL Councillors on KMC Councillors If you would like to add your name to FOKE's Petition or gather some additional signatures click here to print out a copy. Save the Lindfield Library Precinct Petition. Either post or email it to FOKE.
We happliy report that the FOKE 2015 Heritage Walks were a Finalist in the National Trust Heritage Awards, Tours Division, awarded in May. Please click here to see the 2015 and 2016 Walk leaflets explaining our heritage amd areas we need to protect. Foke Publications archive.
Baird's Council Amalgamation Push lacks validity The Baird Government imperative for larger and fewer Local Government areas makes many assumptions which are not backed by evidence. Mayor Abelson from Mosman is an economist and has co-authored an interesting paper called Smoke and Mirrors. Some of the conclusions include that a) Financial capacity is fundamentally a function of local community income, not of council size; b) There is little evidence to show that financial capacity or efficiency is a function of the size of a council or that mega councils of 250,000 or more persons are more efficient than small councils; c) Most councils in the Sydney Metropolitan area require more flexible rate pricing and d) Less well-off and lower density council areas will not be improved by amalgamation alone. To download the summary presentation, click here Smoke & Mirrors Presentation 2015. To download the full report, click here Smoke & Mirrors Report.
See also our latest newsletter For copies of all our newsletters, visit our newsletter archive.
YouTube Documentary: State of Siege Much of what we expected, and were promised, in respect of planning reform from a Coalition Government has not been acted on. As a consequence the documentary that exposed the ills of the past remains relevant in 2016. Click State of Siege to see the entire 2011 documentary directed by Dennis Grosvenor that exposes the history of corruption behind planning and development in New South Wales. For more information go to www.stateofsiege.com.au
Check out our latest Media Releases , detailing FOKE's Public Forum on Fighting for our Local Democracy.
Media Release 14 May 2016