I recently wrote to the Transport Roads and Maritime Services (used to be the RTA) with our submission on the future of the Glebe Island Bridge.  Click here to see our submission, and a subsequent letter to the Minister for Heritage when she announced that it would be placed on the State Heritage Register.

The final version of 2013 and 2019 Engaging Glebe is available by clicking here.  Please post your comments at the bottom of this page.  All feedback from members will be considered at the December meeting of the management committee at which I expect that the strategy will be authorised. It will then have been through an extensive preparation and consultation process and will guide us to 2019.

And now for some encouraging news …

The Glebe Society met with the University of Sydney to discuss the Glebe Community Development Project. The meeting noted the level of commitment displayed by the University over 9 ½ years of GCDP and its continuing commitment. Funds of about $1m have been committed and its staff has established a network of trust in the community. NSW Housing Corporation has funded an additional $500,000 during this period. GCDP has quietly built up trust and influence by ‘lying close to the ground’ and the crop of trust it now reaps grows from deep roots. Ironically it is this very successful approach that imposes funding constraints. The staff of GCDP have published scholarly articles and presented conference papers but the project has not gained a wide influential audience. There is something special happening in Glebe and yet policy makers, ministers and their staff do not know.

But Glebe does. Glebe has wealth, poverty, diversity, energy and resilience. The community, through groups like The Glebe Society, is well organised and influential. It recognises that if social issues are not addressed equitably all of Glebe is lessened. We agreed to jointly examine means of publicising the success of the partnership between the University and Glebe and strategically extend the partnership.

Let’s continue with a campaign call …

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) want to demolish the Glebe Island Bridge which is a heritage item, which is recognised as a potential vital link in Sydney’s transport network.

Transport NSW has released its City Access Strategy and called for comments. It prominently mentions increased pedestrian and cycle access and the very significant economic and environmental benefits these bring. This strategy adds further detail to the NSW Long Term Transport Plan which The Glebe Society commended. At the same time Roads and Maritime Services have proposed to demolish the Glebe Island Bridge and have called for comments. (mmc@transport.nsw.gov.au).

It does not seem to matter how often the community says ‘no’ and in what forum, RMS does not listen. The Glebe Island Bridge has been recommended for inclusion on the State Heritage Register. The Glebe Island Bridge provides a potential public transport and pedestrian low level crossing into the city. The Glebe Island Bridge has an elegant embodied energy which will contribute to sustainability. The only argument that RMS provides for demolition is a Cost Benefit Analysis Report. This professionally prepared report had sensitivities skewed against retention and heritage; future opportunity cost and public benefit were not considered. The Glebe Society’s response to the proposed demolition of the Glebe Island Bridge is on the website.

Let’s finish with Au revoir …

Martin Wandmaker has resigned from the Management Committee as he has taken a senior appointment in Perth. He will be back sometime and we will be waiting. Thanks for your cheery analysis Martin. We now have a vacancy for a member’s representative on the committee. Duties: give sage advice, attend monthly meetings, talk with members, wear funky T shirts. Call me.