FOKE takes the view that we must speak up for the protection of our natural and built environment, and add to conservation and protection mechanisms for endangered habitat in a growing Sydney. Here are some of our past and current projects.
NSW Planning Legislation remains an issue for communities
Though the community action helped to stop the disastrous 2013 Planning Law changes, in 2017 we again saw Planning Law updates aimed at increasing development and density throughout Sydney. The latest updates can be seen on the Department of Planning information page Legislative Updates. Submissions were made by FOKE covering a number of issues including those of our member briefing note 2017 Planning Legislative Update points. This comes on top of the 2016 proposals to extend Medium Density housing into R2 Residential zones. A proposal that is the basis of the Greater Sydney Commission density plans. Read More>>
10/50 Clearing Code of Practice
On 1 August 2014 the NSW Government announced the commencement of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing legislation and Code of Practice (the 10/50 Code), in accordance with section 100Q of the Rural Fires Amendment (Vegetation Clearing) Bill 2014. 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. This has led to widespread misuse of this legislation to destroy hundreds of trees across Ku-ring-gai and thousands across Sydney. Read More>>
Biodiversity laws weakened
The NSW State Liberal Government voted in November 2016 for extinction with their flawed, reckless and biased Biodiversity Conservation and Local Land Services Amendment Act. Despite thousands of submissions against these anti-environment laws, the Liberal Party shamefully caved into pressure from the National Party.
The Liberal Party’s environmental credibility is now severely damaged by these new laws which seriously put wildlife, trees and climate at risk. To this extent, one of the Premier’s senior advisors on this legislation, Professor Possingham, resigned in November 2016 stating that the package is bad for biodiversity. Read More>>
Reclassification and sale of public assets by Ku-ring-gai Council
Council continues to identify “under-utilised” assets to reclassify from community operational land, allowing it to then offer the land for sale to developers. In 2012 23 sites were identified, though the definition of “under-utilised’ remains unclear. These included the Culworth Avenue Car Park, Killara; the Lifeline Centre, Gordon; the Gordon Community Pre-school; public land adjacent to East Killara, West Pymble and East Lindfield shops; and the Ku-ring-gai Town Hall at Pymble.
And more are continuing to be added at great loss to the amenity of future us by our growing community. FOKE remains opposed to the reclassification and sell-off of valuable public assets which are finite and cannot be replaced. Read More>>
In October 2018 Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment (FOKE) resolved to commence a campaign to call for the World Heritage listing of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
This has now developed into a proposal for the eventual listing of a potential Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark resulting from the significance of the GeoRegion’s outstanding geological features. The initial focus is the development of a designated ‘GeoRegion’, with geotrail development signage and promotion of its significance. To date we have received strong support from key stakeholders within the three Councils, local politicians and several State Government Ministers, and the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service. Read More>>