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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.

Current Issues

  • Threat of Council Amalgamation on the table again
    Ku-ring-gai Council stated following its February 2015 meeting, "Ku-ring-gai Council is confident that it is fit for the future as a stand-alone council, but has agreed to hold discussions with neighbouring councils and to explore other options." Interestingly, Council has appointed consultants Morrison Low to facilitate merger discussions with Hornsby Council. Unlike other Councils faced with the same amalgamation thrust from the NSW Government, Ku-ring-gai Council has not sought to seek residents' views on any proposed amalgamation. See article in Sydney Oberver for more information Community in the Dark for Amalgamation

  • NSW 2015 Election

    FOKE congratulates Alister Henskens and Jonathan O'Dea on being elected and re-elected to the seats of Ku-ring-gai and Davidson. If you would like to read what your representatives and the other candidates think of local issues, please read their responses to a range of questions, attached below. Prior to the election, 11 Ku-ring-gai community groups asked all electoral candidates for Ku-ring-gai and Davidson to respond to 9 Questions relevant to our area. These questions covered planning policy, heritage and natural environment protections, the 10/50 tree clearing code, infrastructure and Council amalgamations. Read the full unedited responses here NSW Election: Candidates Responses to Ku-ring-gai Groups' Questions

  • Will there be a Better Planning Process for NSW?

    Following the election, Premier Baird has announced that Rob Stokes will become the new Planning Minister for NSW. Though there have been huge numbers endorsing the Community Charter for Good Planning, no Liberal candidate signed the Charter. We have not been given any reason to believe that NSW Planning will cease its pro-development approach under the new Planning Minister. In order to stress the community's disillusionment with NSW planning, a Community Charter for Good Planning in NSW was created by the Better Planning Network in conjunction with community groups and consultants. This Charter sets out the principles to achieve a more balanced, fairer, transparent and accountable planning system in NSW. Find out more about A Community Charter for Good Planning in NSW. FOKE has endorsed the Charter and we invite you to also endorse it. The more people that send a message to our politicians that we want a fairer deal from NSW Planning, the louder our voice.  For more information   More»

  • 10/50 Clearing Code of Practise: A disaster for our trees

    On 1 August 2014 the NSW Government announced the commencement of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing legislation and Code of Practice.This allowed trees to be removed without Council approval within a 10 metre proximity to a home and other vegetation within a 50 metre radius when in a designated fire threat area. There has been widespread misuse of this legislation to destroy hundreds of trees across Ku-ring-gai and thousands across Sydney. Though there has been a tightening of the legislation in recent months, FOKE, with the majority of Local Councils and community groups, is demanding a moratorium on the destruction of our trees until the review as been completed. More»

  • 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».

  • Turramurra Heritage Precinct Walk –FOKE proposal to Council on 26 June 2014

    FOKE and interested residents have prepared a proposal to Council to protect the built and natural heritage areas of Turramurra for the sustainable beautification of the Turramurra Village.  An educational walk linking the key heritage areas within the Hillview precinct would highlight Turramurra's rich built history and environment, as well as enhancing its socio-economic value.  The walk would highlight Turramurra's contribution to Sydney's early history, help create a civic and cultural hub (distinct from other centres in Ku-ring-gai and Sydney). The precinct would create a ‘sense of place’ and become an active place for the local community to landscape and beautify at minimal cost to Council.  To see FOKE's proposal to Council, click here 2014 Turramurra Heritage Walk Presentation.  If you would like to support this initiative, please download our Walk Leaflet, sign the letter to Council within it and send to FOKE or Council.

News & Updates

Three Heritage Walks in May. We are delighted to announce that FOKE has organised three Ku-ring-gai Heritage Walks as part of the 2015 National Trust Heritage Festival, this coming May.  For all the information you need to know about the three walks, click here Three Ku-ring-gai Heritage Walks May 2015 The walks are FREE and will start at 10am, meet at 9.45, and finish at 12 noon. Janine Kitson a FOKE committee member and former member of the Board of the The National Trust (NSW), will be conducting these walks. The dates are Sunday 3 May - Annie Wyatt Walk, meet at Gordon Railway Station; Sunday 10 May - Sheldon Forest Walk, meet at Sheldon Forest entrance; Sunday 17 May - Turramurra Heritage Walk,meet at Turramurra Railway Station. We look forward to you joining us at one of these walks! 

YouTube Documentary: State of Siege Much of what we expected, and were promised, in respect of planning reform from a Coalition win at the 2011 state election has not been acted on. As a consequence the documentary that exposed the ills of the past remains relevant in 2015. 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

See also our latest newsletter  For copies of all our newsletters, visit our newsletter archive.

Check out our latest Media Release , which highlights how Labor fails to understand the number of dwellings contibuted by the North Shore. Media Release 28 Feb 2015 and the Ku-ring-gai community groups Media Release regarding the Charter for Better Planning Media Release 23 Feb 2015

Godon Golf Course. Council has embarked on a program of community consultaiton as to the vision of this Park. Two workshops in October and November were completed. Register your interest in participaing via Future of Gordon Golf Course. Here you can also ask questions and comment. More»

Concern regarding Developer Donations Newcastle ex-mayor Jeff McCloy is mounting a High Court challenge to the 2009 legislation regarding the Ban on Developer Donations to NSW politicians. This Ban includes political donations made by entities involved in commercial property development, alcohol, tobacco and gambling activities. FOKE has written to our MPs, Mr Barry O'Farrell and Mr Jonathan O'Dea to support a strong defence of this legislation to show that the Baird Governemnt is serious about tackling corruption in NSW. Especially in light of the widespread corruption highlighted by the current ICAC inquiry.