Kalamunda Public Forum TV Programme on YouTube (in two parts)

The recent Kalamunda Public Forum, held at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre, was filmed by WTC Ch. 44 and went to air on Wednesday 20th February. For those who could not attend, or were unable to watch the programme, it has now been uploaded to YouTube in two parts. The links are provided below and I hope you find the information useful. I would like to thank the guest speakers, Dr Linley Lutton, Dr Beth Schultz AO, Colin Latchem and Ken Eastwood AM, plus my long term great mate Ted Bull for offering to MC the night and help inform Kalamunda people. I’m also very pleased that the various Kalamunda Shire Councillors present found the night informative, to the point where they have invited one of the guest speakers to address the councillors.

 First Half of programme


 Second Half of Programme



E Letter from State of Siege Director, Dennis Grosvenor

Dennis Grosvenor is best known to Australians as an actor, however more recently, he found his beloved Ku-ring-gai (Sydney) suburb under sustained threat from developers in bed with government (State and Local).  Realising what was happening, with the local community shut out of any say in what development took place, he started filming. It developed into a full scale investigation of behind the scenes developer / government negotiations.

Titled ‘State of Siege’ it serves as a salutary lesson for all of us, as Western Australia is forced headlong down the same path, with forced amalgamations and Development Assessment  Panels (DAPs). Dennis was over here for a week to talk at public screenings of the film and I showed an excerpt at the recent Kalamunda Public Meeting.

I received the following email from Dennis this weekend and thought I would share it with you:

 Hello Greg

It was good to have another Independent at the first WA screening of State Of Siege.

I fully support your stance and decision to run as a genuine Independent. The rise of Independents concerned with the erosion of the environment  both built and natural is a positive sign for the nation as a whole.

It’s encouraging that people are now starting to see the other side of the development debate, which is the whittling away of our  freedoms at the behest of the development lobby and other powerful groups, all of whom wield too much “undue influence” on the Parliament.

What I found interesting while mingling with the audience after the screenings was the cross fertilisation and interaction of candidates of varying socio-economic and political backgrounds, all of whom were standing against the two major parties.

This is a lesson the rest of the country could learn from.

Also good to learn the Greens are giving you their preferences.

The power dynamic in the Parliament has to be changed, as I said during my WTV interview the older parties have become corporate entities, they no longer represent the people.

A warning on amalgamation…

The problem with a local government area like Ku-ring-gai NSW, is that it is too large and unwieldy. As such the Council thought it could do a Chamberlainesque appeasement deal with the government and apportion off far flung edges of the municipality for high-rise development – thereby getting the State government off its back.

Of course once the government got its teeth into one section of the municipality, it continued on, it was the “Wedge” and the rest is the sorry history spelt out in my film.

Thanks for taking an interest in State Of Siege.

I wish you well for 9 March.


I have a DVD of the film and I’m very willing to lend it to interested people. Here are two relevant links:

State Of Siege webpage: http://www.tropicofoz.com

Web streaming link: http://www.kanopystreaming.com/shop


Kalamunda Forum Event is Cover Story in Kalamunda Echo

The cover story in today’s Kalamunda Echo features the community forum I organised for the people of Kalamunda last week. Interesting to see Councillor Geoff Stallard, also running as an Independent, jump on the bandwagon – better late than never. And I see the Labor candidate the Deputy Mayor of Swan, also feels he against it, which puzzled me, as many of us felt Labor was in favour of forced amalgamations and the hideous Development Assessment Panels, however after this was written, a Labor person assured me that although Labor supports  amalgamations, they don’t want to force them. he was hazy on DAPs. John Day and the Liberals of course, would far rather you didn’t know or talk about it.

Who are you going to vote for:

  • Your current political representative?
  • A councillor who’s only just realised what could happen?
  • Labor, who seem to have made a very sudden back-flip on forced amalgamations, but are very quiet on DAPs?
  • Or a true Independent who brings matters to your attention?

Kalamunda Echo Story 1 22 Feb 001

Kalamunda Forum Review

The Kalamunda Public Forum (Tue 12th Feb) has been praised as a success, with a turn-out of just under 100 people, in oppressive heat and humidity. Several councillors in attendance were impressed enough to ask the guest speakers to meet with the council to discuss the implications of Colin Barnett’s and John Day’s Development Assessment Panels and looming forced amalgamations.

We are receiving calls from people who could not attend and are seeking transcripts and information. The event was filmed by WTV Ch 44 and will be broadcast in it’s edited entirety at a yet to be announced time slot next week and also as featured excerpts accompanying the showing of “State of Siege” the Dennis Grosvenor film about cosy government and developers at work in NSW.

State of Siege is a must-see for anyone concerned at the direction Colin Barnett and John Day are taking this state, removing planning power from local communities. It will be shown at 9.00pm on Saturday 16th February on WTV Ch 44 (you must have digital reception to view Ch 44). It will then be repeated on Friday 8th March at 6.00pm – the day before the elections and coincidentally, my birthday!

The edited Kalamunda Forum will be screened on WTV Ch 44 Wednesday 20th February at 8.30pm. After it’s been to air, it will be available as a YouTube link and I’ll post the link here.

I would like to thank my guest speakers, Dr Linley Lutton, Dr Beth Schultz AO, Colin Latchem and Ken Eastwood AM and my great much-loved mate Ted Bull for acting as MC. Also, may I please add my gratitude to all of you for attending and very grateful thanks to those members of the audience who not only collectively donated almost $400.00 towards the cost of the evening, but also volunteered to man polling booths for me on Election Day. Ann and I are genuinely very humbled at the level of support, thank you so much. 

Kalamunda Forum

[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-008-copy-2.jpg]40Ted Bull & Greg Ross
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-007-copy-2.jpg]20The Panel (L-R) Ken Eastwood, Dr Linley Lutton, Dr Beth Schultz, Colin Latchem
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-023-copy.jpg]20Some of the audience
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-017-copy.jpg]20MC Ted Bull
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-013-copy.jpg]40Dr Linley Lutton
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-015.jpg]40
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-019-copy.jpg]30Dr Beth Schultz
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-018-copy.jpg]30
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-022-copy.jpg]30
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-024-copy.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-026.jpg]60Colin Latchem
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-027-copy.jpg]40
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-028-copy.jpg]30The horrific planned Midland Super Council Barnett & Day plan to force on the people of Kalamunda
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-030-copy.jpg]60Ken Eastwood
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-034-copy.jpg]20
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-038-copy.jpg]20Neil Kidd, who has just found out he will lose his views at his Burswood luxury apartment, due to Barnett and Days' back-room deal with PacKer to destroy the public golf course and build a hotel in front of the apartments
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-042.jpg]10Answering questions from the audience
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-044.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/kalamunda-forum/thumbs/thumbs_kalamunda-forum-event-045.jpg]20It's a Perfect Storm , time to give control back to the voters, make Saturday March 9th INDEPENDENTS' DAY!

Greg Ross & City Gatekeepers Vindicated on Issue of Tunnel Emergency Lanes

I have been criticised by some people and contradicted by the Minister for Planning, John Day, for my video clip showing and explaining the madness of removing the existing Emergency Lanes in the Northbridge Tunnel, all to cater for the Premier’s Waterfront vanity project, which will include the virtual destruction of Riverside Drive as a major arterial / tourist access route across the city.

It is only three days ago, (Monday 28th January) I spoke with Jane Marwick about this issue, indeed John Day rang at the end of the segment to tell people I was wrong.

In the name of sanity road safety and the voters of Western Australia, I demand that John Day, Colin Barnett and Troy Buswell  rethink an act of ill-considered planning and keep the emergency lanes in the Tunnel. They are wilfully wrong.

I  have attached links to the ABC report on the coroner’s finding, the 6PR interview (unfortunately only part of the interview is on-line) and the Tunnel video.

The ABC Report on the Coroner’s Finding


The City Gatekeeper’s Video


Greg Ross Interview with Jane Marwick


For further information, please contact me here.


The Barrack Street Jetty Debacle – notes from a Dept of Planning Traders Meeting, 21st February 2012

Department of Planning Presentation to Barrack Square Traders

Tuesday 21st February 2012, Crystal Swan, Barrack Square, 4.45pm – 7.00pm

Please note: I was not an invited guest, I just turned up, when asked, in turn with everyone there, to identify myself, I stated that I was Greg Ross from the City Gatekeepers.

The first meeting was an assembly of the Local Chambers Barrack Square Traders Association. The meeting was convened to discuss the ramifications for the various businesses when construction commences on the waterfront project. These various points were brought up by the members, there’s no attempt by me to edit, or verify their veracity (of each statement):

  • Stand to loose 40,000 cars per day
  • Loss of income
  • Want free rent during construction process – some were granted this during the Bell Tower construction, as compensation for loss of income.
  • Cpt Cook tours in favour of the development – they made money during construction of the BT
  • Golden Sun Tours will loose money if Perth Zoo ferries moved.
  • Real concerns about reduced traffic flow, BT doesn’t have to worry, it’s subsidised by the government.
  • Government is to create a Barrack St jetty website to try and get business to the area, while construction is underway and everything fenced off.
  • Worry about promoting and creating on-going activity around a busy large construction site.
  • C of P looking at marketing the area with a new campaign in late March, naming it the Barrack Square precinct.
  • Concern at the lack of information form the MRA
  • Financial implications are very worrying
  • Question to C of P – is the marketing campaign definitely starting next month, response, couldn’t say, being delayed.
  • Complaints that nobody from government, or C of P has ever talked to them about the closure and loss of Jetty 6
  • Communication is appalling
  • MRA already walking over everybody, with enormous power, some doubts they can rule the Swan River Trust.
  • Do they know how to build jetties suitable for commercial operations?
  • The possibility of the project has been discussed for the last 6 – 9 months and has gone nowhere.
  • Nobody can afford to get / pursue legal options, either financially, or business-wise (repercussions).
  • Limited resources and power to effect changes, government will do what it wants.
  • Rhetoric from government is waffle, every business knows they’re going to get hurt.
  • Concern over time taken for excavation (nobody’s told them) and then construction – rumours of 10 – 15 years and if Perth Arena is an example, whatever time is given will blow out.

MRA Address

Glenn Finn spoke first, introducing his team.

  • Advised they’re doing a redesign of Barrack St jetty, trying to accommodate the requisite finger jetty.
  • Status report: Talk last year, currently progressing with environmental and Aboriginal issues.
  • Expect to commence work in April this year

Trent Hunt (Marine Consultant)

  • Going for finger jetties off Jetty 1
  • Demolishing Jetty 6
  • Expanding Jetty 5 by 25 metres
  • Dredging required around finger jetties, approx 8,000 cubic metres, will need to be monitored
  • Jetty Programme, site works start June 2012
  • Expect a seven month construction period, complete January 2013
  • After that, dredging will begin, before boats can access
  • The major impact will be on jetties 1 & 5
  • Jetty 6 boats to be moved in Oct / Nov
  • Concern from floor that everything must be ready six weeks before Xmas, or financial disaster for operators.
  • Question from floor as to where private charter boats were going to moor.
  • Hunt couldn’t answer, said they hadn’t thought about that and he didn’t know.
  • Question from floor as to who would police the issue, Hunt told them they would have to police it themselves.
  • To questions about storage facilities he said he didn’t know, they hadn’t thought of that.
  • He said that the trees besides the jetties were about to be removed to create a load-out storage compound for contractors

Ian McKee (I think, may have been Ian Johnston)

  • External road works – tenders soon to be awarded
  • Work expected to start May 2012
  • Rolling traffic diversions fro 18 months as of May 2012
  • Expect heavy congestion during peak hours
  • Going to make Mounts Bay Road 2 way lead into Riverside Drive to tyr and help.
  • Riverside Drive expected to be closed late 2013

Veronica Jeffrey & Lisa Montgomery (MRA marketing)

Talked of using the USA company, Project for Public Spaces, invited audience to go the the PPS website, explained the various factors going into marketing a space, concentrated on making it family friendly.

  • They said the area wouldn’t have trees and as it would be all hard surfaces, it would need artificial shade, they showed power point slides of outdoor cafes with umbrellas etc.
  • They said that after consideration an extra boardwalk had been added, to bring the river closer to people, to overcome the 4m drop from the main boardwalk.


They gave the timeline for the marketing campaign (marketing Barrack Square precinct:

  • Feb: interviews (passers-by)
  • Feb – Mar: Consultation with business
  • End Mar: draft plan
  • April: Finalise
  • End April: Signage, hoardings, marketing & promotion
  • May: Quick Win start

Quick wins
A term used in the regeneration sector to refer to relatively cheap and easy initiatives that can be quickly implemented in an attempt to secure community support for a regeneration scheme. Quick wins are also designed to head off community frustration at delays to more substantial improvements that often dog major regeneration initiatives.
Found on http://society.guardian.co.uk/glossary


  • May budget: Couldn’t give a figure, but assured there was a budget.
  • Concern from floor about Swan River Trust and possibility of two masters, as MRA only started 1st Jan 2012.
  • Concern from floor over Long Table Lunch, was there a budget for it, answer yes, but not sure how much.

Herman De Mello (Leasing)

  • He said he wasn’t aware of some changes previous MRA speakers had spoken of, such as adding to jetties 1 & 5, would need to consult with them
  • He didn’t know where the vessels from 6 etc would be going, but would work it out over the next week or two.
  • Concern from the floor over parking, what was going to happen with bays.
  • Audience was told the official view was that cars would be actively discouraged, they waned people using public transport, walking and bikes.
  • Owners responded that visiting car traffic was a vital component of customer numbers, exactly how many bays were there and how many would be left.
  • Response was that there were somewhere between 65 and 70 short term (2 hour) bays, interjection asking why they didn’t know exactly.
  • Response was they’d done a count but forgotten.
  • 25 short term bays would be left, but there was plenty of parking around the city and the other side of the proposed inlet.
  • Disbelief from floor that people would walk all that way to visit a construction site.
  • Asked when the bays would be reduced, the response was they didn’t know.
  • Question from floor about providing extra Cat bus service, response was the Blue Cat would continue with no extra stop added between Esplanade Station and Barrack St Jetty.
  • Questioned about time taken on rerouted circuit, response was two – three minutes.
  • Concern from floor that train passengers who know walked over Esplanade Reserve to Barrack St jetty, would not do so when the construction was on.
  • Response was that’s why the marketing campaign.
  • Questioned about whether anybody had put their hand up to build / buy a building, Glen Finn responded that they’d been out in the market looking for Expressions of Interest and that there was confirmed interest in the hotel.
  • When asked who the contact person at MRA was for the Barrack Square Traders (as they didn’t’ want to have to deal with different people), Glen Finn responded that they hadn’t thought about it, but he’d be happy to be the contact person.
  • Glen Finn finished the meeting responding to questions about construction time etc, with the following:
  • End of 2015, finish of infrastructure public works, everything in place, but no buildings.
  • End of 2022, project completed, but go over that time, due to the various developers commercial considerations

My Opinion

It would be easy to pick on MRA staff for the obvious lack of preparedness, but that would be wrong. It struck me they were competent people, who have suddenly had this project thrown at them and been told to make it work. However, if they have been working on it for two years, albeit in different departments, the lack of preparation and answers would have to be viewed as appalling.

The new emphasis on families was interesting, the project is  obviously not family friendly and for the first time, we saw they’ve adopted the Gatekeepers’ floating swimming pool concept.

Although the assurances to business operators were based around marketing and promoting the precinct, nobody was able to provide an actual budget figure, or a finished campaign, three to four weeks away from the initial constructions stage.

The reality appears that these traders will be cut off by building works – fenced construction sites – with constant truck and construction movement and two thirds less parking for customers, they’ll need more than a marketing campaign.

The Midland Super-Council That Barnett and Day Don’t Want You To See… Until After The Election!

The map below is what John Day, Liberal member for Kalamunda and the Premier don’t want you to see until after the next election . . .

The Robson Report’s proposed merger of Midland, Kalamunda, Bassendean, parts of Wanneroo, Swan and Mundaring.


A mega-council with an estimated population of 283,300 by 2026.


Not surprisingly, Premier Barnett is delaying any decision on this merger until after the March 9 Election. 

(For the current Kalamanda Electoral District map, please click on the following link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3sZKKu16rOxMVhjc2xCaUdLb1E/edit)

But wait, there’s more . . .

  • The Barnett Government will deny us a vote on amalgamation and force it through, by Act of Parliament if necessary.

  • Even Robson and Local Government Minister Castrilli could find no hard evidence of savings or benefits in amalgamation.

  • Higher salaries for CEOs and council staff, new offices for the mega-councils and a new Local Government Commission will increase our rates.

  • The Mayors fear that the government will strip the councils’ multi-million land and building assets.

  • Local government elections will be conducted by the Western Australian Electoral Commission, voting will be compulsory, and party political nominations will be permitted.

  • On these matters, Minister Day will toe the party line. He won’t support those who value local democracy.

  • As Minister for Planning, John Day has replaced local government and community say on planning with a system Development Assessment Panels (DAPS). These are very popular with the big developers, shown to be not working and costing the taxpayers more. Remember, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority is authorised to rezone anywhere it pleases.

Nowhere is safe from rezoning, development, or destruction of our natural environment.

As your member, I will fight:

  • To protect our built and natural environments against inappropriate development.

  • To scrap the Development Assessment Panels and restore local democracy and community consultation on all planning and development.

  • Against forced local government amalgamation and party politicisation of local government.

  • For greater local democracy and community consultation on all planning and development.

As your member, I will:

  • Support the return of local planning approvals to our local governments.

  • Stand for more open and honest government.

  • Restore people’s respect for state government.


Vote 1 for Greg Ross, Independent