Completely Biased

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The ADI Site

I haven't really followed the million year long story of the ADI site fight, so if I get my facts wrong, feel free to kick me in the head.

Firstly, I would like to write the answer to the question that has been plaguing me since I ever heard about this all those years ago:

Q: What does ADI stand for?
A: Australian Defence Industries.

Thankyou Google. Now I can at last sleep at night.

So, the ADI site story goes like this: There's 1545ha of bushland near St Marys, playing host to all sorts of plant and animal life, including but not limited to kangaroos, cockatoos, frogs, echidnas, emus, falcons, snakes, koalas, and all sorts of other stuff. So it's a heap of bushland, not unlike what you see in national parks and whatnot. It is publicly owned land... but Comland and Lend Lease want to knock it all down, develop 5000 houses, and stick an industrial area in it. Lovely. There's been big fights going over this for ages, and they're still continuing. Read more about the whole deal over at the ADI Residents Action Group.

the adi site

Lagoon inside the site.

One side ADI, the other side St Marys.

The lovely Naomi (who from here on I will call Nomes, due to my habit of giving everyone either one syllable nicknames, or ending them with "o" or "za") gave me a heads up on this story the other day, but I couldn't find it anywhere on the net and ended up forgetting about it. Counter Spin gave it an airing, and linked to an article. Jackie Kelly backflips over this each season, so this latest development is interesting. Here's whats going on:
A huge parcel of redundant government land next to the controversial ADI military site has been sold to an undisclosed buyer for a secret sum - with the deal likely to be settled days before the federal election.

The federal agency responsible for air navigation and safety, Airservices Australia,confirmed yesterday it had reached agreement to dispose of the 181-hectare site, at the edge of Cranebrook.

It is opposite the 1545-hectare ADI site, scene of a decade-long environmental challenge which has failed to stop the planned construction of 5000 homes in one of Sydney's biggest urban developments.

Airservices sold the Cranebrook lot as it is, meaning the prospective owners will inherit some disused sheds and a few broken-down communication towers. On face value, it could be a lucrative subdivision prospect. But, like the ADI site, environmental studies have suggested the land has at least two vulnerable species of plant, as well as rare forest and woodland traces.

How intriguing! This land is right next to the ADI site and features a few of the same characteristics, and has been sold off - but strangely enough nobody knew that it was sold until today. With the level of scrutiny that goes on regarding this place, you'd assume that it would have been front page news in the local papers for the past month. But no, absolutely nothing at all, until today. Surely good old Jackie would have known about it, and brought it up, seeing as though she loves the environment so much? Surely she'd have something to say?
Sink me! For days Mike Carlton, 2UE's breakfast announcer, had been desperately seeking Jackie Kelly, the Liberal MP for Lindsay, to break her silence on the secret sale of Commonwealth land near Cranebrook. He was at it again early yesterday, indulging in a little theatrics for his listeners, lamenting how Kelly had become suddenly so invisible.

That's from today's Election Diary.

What to make of all this? Who knows. Something is definitely up though. The Penrith Press (and Penrith Star) will no doubt feature a heap of coverage on it as of the next issue, so I'll find out more then.