HPG Meets with Prime Minister to raise serious concerns

HPG Meets with Prime Minister to raise serious concerns

Headland Preservation Group (HPG) President, Linda Bergin OAM, Vice President Julie Goodsir, and former Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Board Member Brigadier Kevin O’Brien met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday 24 October 2014.

Also attending was Senator Simon Birmingham.

This meeting, around 30 minutes, was the day after the announcement of the approval of the aged care proposal and took place at the Commonwealth Offices in Sydney.

HPG was able to tell the Prime Minister our serious concerns about due process and governance of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, which include:

  1. The in-transparent selection of the aged care proponent
  2. The perceived conflict of interest of the Executive Director Geoff Bailey
  3. The hiring of public relations company Kathy Jones Associates (KJA) to handle aged care
  4. The failure of the Trust to fulfill its statutory obligations
  5. The change from a sequential to a concurrent assessment process, and the subsequent confusion in the community
  6. The continued reference to “adaptive re-use” which is false due to majority demolition

Brigadier O’Brien said that the aged care proposal would have surely not have been approved under the previous Board.

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Board approved the aged care proposal 7-1 at its September 16 meeting over a month ago.

We also believe that the amended Middle Head Management Plan 2007 (which has never been amended before) was voted on at the same Board meeting, so that the Board could legally then vote for the aged care proposal. The Management Plan amendment was NOT voted on at the previous Board meeting in June.

We know that two Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Board members, Paula Braxton-Smith and Sandra Hook have declared potential conflicts of interest, however according to the vote (Minutes not yet published), they must have voted, because all members were present.

Chair Anthea Tinney, whose term expires on Dec 6, has been now extended for 4 months.

In light of the aged care decision, HPG will:

  1. continue our campaign to defeat aged care; and
  2. request that the Minister consider replacing the present Board, which we believe has unlawfully approved aged care.

HPG will also be assessing legal options in light of the approval decision.

We appreciate the Prime Minister’s making such a generous amount of time for us in his extremely busy schedule.

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