High Notes, Vol 19 No 8, March 23 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to the second VIII for their 7th place in the Head of the River in a time of 6.36. The last time the second VIII from High came seventh at the Head of the River was in 2010.They become the 28th crew at High since 1999 to row inside 7.5% longer than the winner’s time. Congratulations to: Albertus Herijanto, Leo Ye, David Wu, Widhiwipati Widyatamaka, Jonathan Meng, Lenny Han, Kevin Jin, Rongxuan Chong and Dimas Sanjoyo. The first VIII rowed valiantly but couldn’t hold on against SGS in the last 500m. They improved 25 seconds since their first regatta, the most of any GPS first eight crew. Despite their disappointment, theirs was the equal 3rd best row since 2008. Like us, they should be proud of their efforts.

Allianz Stadium Redevelopment

[NB the following are the views of Michael Waterhouse, Convenor, Saving Moore Park Inc. as of 20th March 2018. They should not be construed or interpreted as the views of the Principal. The letter to the community is included in this newsletter in the public interest, because of the vital importance Moore Park West has for sport and recreation for our students.]

The Government’s final decision appears imminent. Infrastructure NSW is believed to be assessing whether the stadium can be redeveloped for the estimated $705 million cost and whether there’s a sound business case to do so. In November [Link], we expressed surprise that the Government would commit to such a massive investment without a business case. However, we welcomed the SCG Trust’s commitment that the redevelopment would take place entirely on SCG Trust land.

Since then, our focus has continued to be on trying to secure the best outcome for the community and Moore Park if the redevelopment proceeds. A week ago, the Premier said that “Wherever we build new projects we take the necessary action to make sure the community is front and centre.” We are working to encourage the Government to put substance to these words. Specifically, we’re looking to ensure that that there is full and free disclosure of information concerning the impacts on Moore Park and on the community, and that these are clearly identified and addressed through a proper DA and EIS process.

Infrastructure NSW has a page on its website [Link] where it reports that the project has been designated as a State Significant Development. Further, that it “is committed to extensive community engagement throughout the planning process.” Just what this means remains to be seen. The page makes provision for people to register their interest “in upcoming engagement events”. We encourage as many people as possible to do so.

In December, we met with Matt Crocker, Policy Director in the Premier’s office, and have since written to him [Link] seeking an assurance that, in an effort to accelerate the planning approval process, Infrastructure NSW will not use the exemptions the SCG Trust has under its own Act from the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Local Government Act 1993. We’ve also asked that a Community Consultative Committee be appointed for the Allianz Stadium redevelopment as soon as practicable, as is proposed (but still not in place) for the Western Sydney Stadium. We’ve sought another meeting with Matt Crocker, but in case the issue comes before Cabinet before this happens, we’ve also provided briefing notes to certain Ministers.

Finally, we’ve sought assurances twice from the SCG Trust [Link 1 and Link 2] that it will promote full and free disclosure of information relating to the impact of the redevelopment on Moore Park and on the local community. We’ve received no response.

Funding for Moore Park
In April 2017 we had an encouraging meeting with Gabrielle Upton, the Minister for the Environment, at which we discussed the challenges facing Moore Park. At the conclusion of that meeting, the Minister encouraged us to provide her with a short summary of our key concerns, which we subsequently did.  However, since then she’s declined to engage with us and no special funding has been provided for the Moore Park Master Plan. Frustrated with our inability to make progress behind the scenes, we finally challenged her publicly to address this issue [Link] . She hasn’t responded and unfortunately there’s no evidence that she’s interested in, much less concerned about the Park’s future. We raised the funding issue with the Premier in August 2017, and with Matt Crocker in December. We’ve now written to him [Link] asking that the Government

  1. allocate significant funds for the integration of Moore Park and the surrounding area with Allianz Stadium and the SCG; and
  2. provide at least 3% of the projected cost of the redevelopment to the Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust, towards the cost of implementing its 2040 Master Plan, and other agencies responsible for integrating the Stadium with the surrounding area.

Our letter explores the need for funding and the level of funding that is appropriate. We simply note here that Moore Park has become extremely degraded over the years, with fences everywhere limiting access and car parking destroying the Park’s surface.

It’s unlikely we’ll get a better chance to win significant funding for Moore Park than we have now. The Government needs to make a significant investment in remediating the Park, and we believe it’s in its political interests as much as the community’s interests that it do so.

DEC on costs passed on to schools

In the past, associated employment on costs were paid for by DEC. The policy is now that they will be charged to schools. On costs are charges to employers arising out of employing workers. On costs include: Annual Leave Loading, payroll tax, payroll tax on LSL, superannuation, payroll tax on superannuation, superannuation on long service leave, accrued leave while on long service leave, LSL on costs. The practical effect is that the notional school budget for permanent teachers has increased by the amount of the on costs (18.3%). As a consequence, any staff employed by the school (in our case >100) have the on costs charged to the school each month in the CEPS statement, even though they are casual employees. For most schools employing just permanent, temporary or part time teachers, the change in policy amounted to an accounting shift from the centre to the school without a significant increase in cost to deliver school programs. For High, running many activities mornings, afternoons, on Friday nights and each Saturday, the impact has been very significant. High has had an increase of >$200k.in its annual employment costs.  As a school community have had to respond to this challenge to maintain the range, quality and frequency of our co-curricular activities. That is why co-payments for sports and co-curricular activities have increased in recent years.
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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