Who do you complain to? 29.10.2011

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Do you, like many Newcastle people, have serious doubts about the risk assertions of our Council that are the alleged basis for the imminent tree felling of our iconic avenue of Hill’s figs? Our Hyde Park?  

Do you question whether there is an improper purpose behind these assertions? Do you question why Council told its experts that trees had their ‘root plates tilted out of the ground’ when photographic evidence shows no such thing happened?

Do you question why a Council Reference Group was formed many months before the vote to remove the trees was taken in August 2010, a reference group whose reason for existing was to put together a proposal for the development of Anzac Centennial Place in Laman Street?

Do you question why the Roads Act is being used to fell these trees?

Do you ask why the trees were assessed by one of Council’s experts in 2008 as having a useful life expectancy of 50 years yet were more dangerous than downhill skiing just over a year later, without a new visual (or any other) assessment?

Do you ask why the trees are so healthy when their roots are allegedly so deficient? Why these trees are unsafe and about to injure someone when the other fig trees in Newcastle – including 200 metres up the road -are supposedly OK? Do you ask why Council lied about the radar report not being available a month after they received it, then why they ‘amended’ it and buried the original version  for eighteen months?

Do you question why Council management  lied when asked by a councillor about whether a fauna assessment had been done – they said one had been done when it was only started three weeks later?

Do you question why NCC knocked back a total of $50 000 from their insurer and a local business owner to fund dynamic testing that would have shown whether the trees were stable or not?

Do you question why NCC has fought tooth and nail to avoid the independent assessment of their risk reports?

Do you question why three arborists were suggested by NCC to look at the reports from both sides allegedly without checking whether these arborists wanted to do the job? And on it goes.

Do you want to know who to complain to?

Here are some contacts:

The Minister for Local Government has filled us all with confidence by’ keeping a watch’ over the Laman Street issue. Several people have contacted him and He’s. Still. Watching. Thanks Mr Page. In spite of his inaction and disinterest, it may give you some satisfaction to write to him. Some minder will have to respond to the email eventually. Don’t forget to remind him that Newcastle voted Liberal for the first time ever recently.

Hon Donald Page, MP
Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9228 3403
Fax: (02) 9228 3442
Email: office@page.minister.nsw.gov.au

The online complaint form for the Ombudsman’s office is here

Don’t forget to send the same complaint to Newcastle City Council, as the Ombudsman’s office expects you to have made the complaint to the agency you’re talking about before you contact them.

The City of Newcastle
City Administration Centre
282 King Street
Newcastle NSW 2300
PO Box 489
Newcastle 2300

Phone 02 4974 2000, Fax 02 4974 2222, email: mail@ncc.nsw.gov.au

The Newcastle City Council code of conduct is here (481kB). You may think there have been breaches of this code of conduct and may want to complain about these. You can do this anonymously. Personally I’d rather get some feedback on how it went than do it anonymously, but you may feel differently. Your complaint should relate to something in the code. Bet you twenty cents you have no trouble finding something.

And the  ICAC, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, has an online corruption report form here

A colleague started their complaint to ICAC by saying they felt that there must be some kind of corrupt behaviour underpinning this issue as it made no sense and the efforts to remove the trees were so excessive. Have a think about it. Other communities need to be saved from this experience. Home

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2 Responses to “Who do you complain to? 29.10.2011”

  1. chatty Says:

    Great post Caity. Thanks for setting it out so clearly and providing contacts for my concerns and complaint. You sure made it easy for me as there is no time to waste………

  2. mary-anne paul Says:

    come on every one get hitting those keyboards there is no time to waste. surely flooding all concerned with clear concise concerns complaints will get a message through …..finally…..at last and get a sane response

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