Rezoning school land
The current controversy over the rezoning of Armidale High School (AHS) land demonstrates why eight of my fellow councillors were unwise to vote in favour of rezoning all school land to the zone of the surrounding areas. Only myself and Chris Halligan did not support this move, but Herman Beyersdorf also considered opposing it.
Keeping current zonings isn’t anti-development, but does require cases to be considered on merit and the community consulted before land is sold and developed. When PLC wanted to sell land, the application was considered on merit and the land rezoned with minimum delay, allowing houses to be built.
During the recent public consultation, council received 3 or 4 public submissions against the carte-blanche rezoning of school land that prevents future community consultation, and none in favour, although the Education Dept, of course, supported the rezonings that will reduce council and community control.
The example of low-cost housing units built in Armidale by the State Government, without council control, or community input, demonstrates why it is far better to retain local control over our local environment.
AHS has not yet been rezoned because the industrial land study is on public exhibition. Like other school land (which serves as de-facto open space and community land) I think it should keep its current zoning. Then, instead of giving the Education Department a carte blanche to sell off and develop the land at any future time, council and the community will be informed about exactly what is planned and have some say in it.
If re-elected, I will therefore try to reverse the changes to all school zonings to ensure full public consultation before school land is sold off and developed.
Councillor Dorothy L Robinson
Armidale Dumaresq Local Election
Armidale High School lands.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.