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Media Release - Mayor Gould asked to stop being an alarmist

26 February 2024

Mayor Gould asked to stop being an alarmist


Responding to recent articles from the media, facebook posts and the Urban Taskforce website, Judy Hannan MP today has released communication relating to MapGate and called for the Mayor to set the record straight and stop creating a paper tiger and unnecessarily alarming our community.


“During my regular meeting with the Mayor and Executive of Council on Tuesday February 5th the matter was raised in concern that some of Wollondilly may be severely affected by a Government proposal. This was to be followed on with a letter from the Mayor regarding his specific concerns. That letter has never arrived.”


“That week it was a sitting period and I spoke with colleagues and was receiving information that was looking like Wollondilly would not be affected and that the definition of what makes ‘good’ public transport and a town centre was left undefined. There was certainly some clarity lacking in the government document that was asking for submissions across the entire Sydney area. I informed the Mayor that it was looking like this wasn’t going to affect us and I was seeking clarification for him.”


“Sunday 11 February the Mayor chose to release his personally coloured in maps of towns in Wollondilly, confusing the town centre definition in the State policy and ignoring other limitations the policy states must be taken into consideration, like the airport, sewer availability and the lack of any public transport. While he claimed the Member for Campbelltown was working with him and Council, he remained silent on his contact with myself and my office staff that week.”


“Monday 12 February I spoke to him twice, both through text and face to face and requested respectfully to remove his posts as his information was likely to be incorrect and could be seen as fear mongering. On Tuesday 13 February at a councillor briefing I told all Councillors and the Mayor of  my concerns and that the definitions of transport and towncentre were not defined and  maps that were being shared showed specific areas being considered to be developed and this information was probably misleading.”


“The fear that has been spread has caused many hours of work for my office and the Member for Campbelltown’s office to settle many worried community members in fear of 9 story buildings being built in towns such as The Oaks. It has followed on from the Mayor making posts about river crossings and asbestos. One would ask why the Mayor has acted like a ‘doom merchant’ in creating maps to highlight a plan that was never relevant, and for the fear and disunity he has spread. Business owners and residents have called my office in tears with fear of what is taking place or what they have been accused of and I alerted the Mayor to this.  I was also called by Parliamentary colleagues concerned that they have met with the Mayor and they discuss one thing but  another version of the discussion appears in the media.”


I told Councillors and the Mayor that I would get confirmation that there would not be 9 or 6 or even 4 story buildings in Wollondilly and he just had to  wait  a couple of hours for that confirmation.


“As promised, I wrote to the Minister for Planning who has responded. I have released the letter to the Minister on my website as well as the response he has sent. I have done this as I believe the community needs to be aware of what has taken place so they can stop worrying and realise this was an absurd show.”