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Parliament has to be changed, as I said during my WTV interview the older parties have become corporate entities, they no longer represent the people.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