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HAHS Alumni Forums / Selling the (Hurlstone) Farm / Is Nothing Sacred?
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Ryan Punch
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# Posted: 19 Nov 2008 12:41

2006- CSIRO land in Lindfield is sold to developers for housing

2007- Bass Hill Drive-in, the oldest continually operating drive-in since

1956, is closed and sold to developers for housing

2009- Oran Park, Australia's best motor racing circuit, is closed and sold to developers for housing

2011- Hurlstone Agricultural High School, arguably the best selective school in the state, has all agricultural land sold to developers for housing

What the hell is wrong with this state? Is nothing sacred? Why is vacant land only "achieving it's full potential" when it has housing built on top of it?Can't it just exist? Why aren't we trying to solve the so-called 'housing crisis' by attacking the other end of the problem and killing off demand?
Sure, the crap roads, high taxes, poor services and ugly ad-hoc development in NSW must turn some people off, but we must make them much much worse to scare people away..
Do we really need more people in this state/country so badly? Why? Can someone explain to me why we are depleting our quality of life by trying to cram more people into NSW? I am very confused.

Why don't we build an "exciting new executive housing village" on Capital Hill? You might have to knock down that big white pointy thing there with that flag on top first though

Charlie McColl
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# Posted: 20 Nov 2008 09:09

Let's not get too tangled up in "sacred", Ryan. Yes, I know exactly where you are coming from and I understand your point of view. But if we want to take on the NSW government by engaging a ground swell of public opinion, it will be hard to mount a successful argument around the word sacred.
The government will always be under pressure if land in its jurisdiction is 'idle'. National parks and forest or timber reserves on the quiet side of a rotation are not 'idle'. They are being managed, there is a program and an ongoing account. The Hurlstone land is probably reasonably viewed as being idle. Passers by (and there must be plenty of them) would probably never see any action there. The Education Department would be unable to show any positive accounting. So the government could easily drive itself into a corner.
They need help to find a way out. They need some sort of narrative that creates a new program, a new accounting that activates the land again and brings it back into service. I don't think we can work towards "killing off demand" at this stage. Yelling at them and blaming the government will not create a new narrative. We are all fully and completely aware that the government, any state government, can and will put its head down and barge through if it really wants to, if it thinks it really has to. Let's not provoke them before we have provided them with some alternative pathway that might, just might, be what they need.

Ryan Punch
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# Posted: 20 Nov 2008 11:35

Yes, you are right in that 'sacred is a term that is both hard to quantify and justify to those who have no connection with the subject matter.
However, I doubt that providing the government with an alternative is going to help. Unless of course this 'Trojan Horse' Memorial Forest theory is correct; and it sounds logical to me. When I was working at the CSIRO the budget requests would include a 'sacrificial item' designed to be killed off, so that the rest could be approved. Typically the response from management would be "Thank you for submitting your requisition request. The 2x filing cabinets, 1x toolbox and 4x microscopes will be delivered shortly. Unfortunately due to budget restrictions we will not be able to obtain your "Geographical Recon Aircraft" until further notice."
I agree with other posters here that the Memorial Forest and possibly some land will be offered back as a peace offering but the rest is gone. "Yelling at them and blaming the government" may be all we have left.

But goddammit I hope you're right and that there are alternatives.


"Dear Hurlstone,
Sorry about the recent misunderstanding re: selling off almost all of your land to developers. We had no idea that you need grass to feed your livestock. Somebody in the office here was using GoogleEarth and noticed a large green void of surplus land in the middle of Glenfield which we thought would help us out of this little situation we seem to have got ourselves into. We thought that because it had no structures on it then it was not being used; like an empty parking space.
Now that we know the land is being used for livestock this changes everything. We can offer a free cow to the first 100 purchasers.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
NSW State Government"

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