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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : July 16th 2009
MB INNER WEST COURIER, Thursday, July 16, 2009 13 www.innerwestcourier.com.au NEWS Doug Sutherland looks for his name on the mayoral board at Burwood Council chambers. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~PP297038 Burwood's baby mayor looks back Lana Lam Doug, as Sydney lord mayor, with then- premier Neville Wran in 1982. BEING mayor of Burwood can be a danger- ous affair. In 1874, mayor William Paisley was murdered by the town clerk who was angry about staffing changes. Eighty-five years later, the council's dark history did little to dissuade a 26-year-old Doug Sutherland from becoming the youngest alderman and later on, the youngest mayor. A Burwood councillor between 1959 and 1974, mayor from 1969-1971, Sutherland also served as an Ashfield councillor between 1974 and 1977. He went on to become Sydney lord mayor between 1980 and 1987. He will be a guest speaker at the Burwood Historical Society's Christmas in July event this Friday, talking about his time in the Inner West. ''Back in the '50s, we used to refer to Burwood as the Chatswood of the west,'' he said, because both were similar in size, population and distance from the city. He will reminisce about the trams, which stopped running in 1948. ''The trams went along Burwood Rd from the Royal Sheaf Hotel through to Cabarita,'' he said. ''They were a great mover of people with about 10 access points to the tram. ''The most interesting thing was during peak periods they would run every three minutes.'' Sutherland, a chartered accountant, said his foray into politics was a comfortable one. ''It was a very natural progression,'' he said. ''It all started off on the issue of air pollution and the Rupert Cook's brick- works. ''Laundry was done on Monday after the weekend so fumes and smoke that belched out of the brickworks' chimney would settle on the white sheets.'' Sutherland helped lobby the State Gov- ernment, which eventually legislated the Clean Air Act in 1961. He also helped shut down a hot-mix bitumen plant in Burwood. In the late '70s, he ran for Sydney lord mayor but lost. He ran again in 1980 and won, starting a 16 year stint at the council, with the first seven as lord mayor. ''Civic reform was a bit removed from the people and I thought the management could be improved.'' During his time as mayor, he proposed a plan to buy the block opposite the Sydney Town Hall and to create an open park. The council purchased the land, which ''cost next to nothing'', and was waiting for the leases to finish so the park could be built but the plan was sidelined and is only now back on the drawing board. ''I'm absolutely delighted,'' he said. Burwood Historical Society s Christmas in July event is on Friday at Club Burwood, on Burwood Rd, from 7pm. Tickets cost $40. Phone Chris Clarke on 9744 2787. $100m but no appeal rights DEVELOPERS on large-scale urban proj- ects worth more than $100 million will lose the right to appeal decisions at the Land and Environment Court. In a move which has annoyed the Urban Taskforce, all residential, commercial and retail projects valued at $100 million-plus will now be dealt with by the State Government under the Planning Act. Previously, local councils could rule on development applications and developers had a right to appeal or the project was dealt with under Part 3A of the Act. Urban Taskforce chief executive Aaron Gadiel said investors in politically conten- tious projects faced even greater risks when projects were dealt with by the Planning Assessment Commission. This usually occurred when a political donation had been made by a developer or project stakeholder and was part of an overhaul aimed at making the process less open to corruption. Mr Gadiel said developers had lost the right to appeal decisions made by the commission to the LEC.
July 9th 2009
July 23rd 2009