Councillor Robyn Preston

Clr R A Preston - North Ward

Political Affiliation: Liberal Party of Australia

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Standing up for what matters

With so much unpredictable behaviour going on in politics around the world at the moment, it is important to take a breath and remind ourselves of what really matters to us. It might be that you are focused on raising a family, growing your own business, getting better educated, expanding your career or slipping into retirement mode.

There is a place for all of you in The Hills Shire and protecting and preserving what we value in this area is essential – after all, isn’t that what attracted us here in the first place. That said, never more have I had to stand up for what matters in preserving and protecting our rural areas of North Ward.

I have exposed a flaw in the NSW State Government legislation that allowed existing seniors living developments in rural areas to purchase neighbouring properties and then rezone them by stealth without the need to seek approval from Council or State Government. This type of development was eroding our rural landscape.

I am pleased to say that NSW Minister for Planning, The Hon. Anthony Roberts recently announced changes to the seniors housing development policy that now prevents this from happening.

Let’s ensure our seniors can live close by to health care centres, medical specialists, public transport, parks, community facilities and retail areas. These are all services that contribute to the better health and well-being of our increasing aging population and should not be denied.

I have also advocated for a change in what is permissible in RU6 Transition zones (semi-rural areas). With the support of my fellow Councillors, I have lobbied to remove ‘places of public worship’ from this zone to protect the semi-rural lifestyle we so covet.

A recent application by a religious society proposed to put a place of public worship in leafy Glenhaven. I have totally opposed this application on planning issues because it would undermine the intention of the zone and is totally inappropriate. A year later, this Council is still waiting for the Department of Planning to allow this recommendation to be placed on public exhibition for comment.

The same delay was not experienced when Council proposed to remove Animal Boarding Establishments from RU6 Transition zones nor our request to exhibit the proposal for Transitional Housing.

I will continue to reinforce Council’s position on this important issue and to ensure I represent the community and voice your opinion. Know that I will not waiver from this advocacy.