Schools, Transport & Overdevelopment: Our Chat With Victor Dominello, State Member for Ryde

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As mums, we now spend more time in our community than ever before. Our kids attend local schools, use local parks and facilities. We use the roads, transport and healthcare systems. If it wasn’t the case BC (before children), it is definitely the case now that our local community is extremely important to us.

This is why a few weeks ago, we met with Victor Dominello, State Member for Ryde. We wanted to talk about the issues that Ryde District Mums tell us are important them – and at the moment those issues are mainly around schools, traffic and overdevelopment. 

We didn’t jump STRAIGHT into that at our meeting, of course! First, we learned a little about Victor including his background – his family, who migrated to Australia from Italy about 80 years ago, have spent their lives in Ryde – his grandfather owned a fruit & vegetable shop in Eastwood for over 20 years and before that his family owned a large market garden near Kent Road. Victor was born, raised and educated in Ryde. He attended Holy Spirit Primary School in North Ryde and Marist College Eastwood before studying law at Macquarie University. Victor explained to us that for these reasons and more, he loves this area and has a deeply vested interest in it thriving. He then went on to tell us about some of the exciting changes that are happening locally:

 

Schools

There will be a number of new schools added to the local area over the next 5 years, as well as a number of upgrades to existing schools:

  • 3.3 hectares (a third) of the land at Meadowbank TAFE to allow for a new high school and the relocation of Meadowbank Public School, doubling its capacity. The old Meadowbank Public School site will remain in public hands as open space. The millions the NSW Government spent on purchasing the TAFE land will be reinvested back into the TAFE
  • A new Catholic high school will be built in Ivanhoe Estate, Macquarie Park – plans still being worked out
  • An option to buy back the Peter Board High School site has been secured. Once the Macquarie Park masterplan is completed in the middle of the year, the NSW Government will finalise acquisition and commence planning for a new high school. It could take up to 6 years for it to be finished.
  • Also following completion of the Macquarie Park Master Plan, the NSW Government is looking for another primary school site on the Macquarie Park side of Epping Rd.
  • Kent Road Public School will undergo a major upgrade, with 90% of the site being rebuilt
  • $15 million has been pledged to remove all demountables from West Ryde Public School and build classrooms. Work should begin towards the end of 2018 with building underway late 2018
  • Smalls Road Public School will open to students in 2020 and will include a 3 storey building with 43 new classrooms to accommodate up to 1,000 students
  • Denistone East Primary school to have demountables replaced with permanent building.

 

Overdevelopment

  • Mr Dominello maintains that he regularly and vehemently opposes overdevelopment, and is currently in the process of fighting developers who want to build a 27 storey block in Meadowbank, the suburb in which he himself lives. Mr Dominello provides the following examples of working with community to fight over development.
    • Allengrove Development, Part 3A approval from previous government – fought with our community to reduce height and density. 8 storeys reduced to 5 storeys.
    • Whiteside Development, Part 3A approval from previous government – fought alongside community to reduce height and density. Successful in reducing 11 storeys to 5 storeys.
    • Cnr Lane Cove Road and Epping Road – fought rezoning from R2 to R3. Successful in reducing 10 storeys to 5 storeys
    • Meadowbank Foreshore Development – 10 stage development – Community have fought continued modification requests for 24 storeys and have successfully kept to 10 storeys
    • Blenheim Park 12 storey apartment block requested – fought with community and won – no development
    • Tennis World saved from being rezoned for residential high rise
    • Ryde Hockey field Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park – fought with community and succeeded in delivering continuation of the lease till 2024
    • Smalls Road – the old Ryde High School site was saved from being rezoned – new Primary school opening 2020.
    • TG Millner Ovals – plans to rezone the site for residential development – community fight ongoing
    • Lexcen Place Marsfield – Council error when continuity of zoning was done across the state in 2010 and again in 2014. This saw Lexcen Place zoned R3 (apartments). Ongoing community fight to rezone to R2 (houses)

 

Train line shut down

  • Timeline for road works and rail closures will be out soon
  • Buses will replace trains
  • There will be disruptions, but in order to achieve a gold standard metro line and build this much-needed network, we need to bear the challenges
  • Once completed, there will be a train every 4 minutes with safety glass doors to stop platform injuries and deaths

 

Eastwood carpark and traffic lights

  • Victor said he has pledged $25 million to City of Ryde to build a commuter/shopper carpark in Eastwood and 4 traffic lights (on each side of the railway station). City of Ryde is in the process of assessing the carpark requirements.

 

We will continue meeting with Victor regularly and will continue to share our findings, so keep your questions coming!