New shul site denied for security reasons

August 4, 2017 by Roz Tarszisz
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The Land and Environment Court has been reported to have upheld Waverley Council’s refusal to allow the development application for a new synagogue in Sydney’s Bondi.

Media reported that Waverley Council had refused plans to demolish tennis courts and construct a new place of worship due to security concerns.

Waverley Mayor Sally Betts and Rabbi Mendel Kastel

The ruling has shocked Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe  (FREE) group who sought to build on the site.

But the council has issued a statement saying that it had not been involved in the decision.

Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, spokesman for FREE group, told media that the court’s refusal, based on a security risk assessment, came as a shock to the Jewish community.

“The decision is unprecedented. Its implications are enormous.  It basically implies that no Jewish organization should be allowed to exist in residential areas.

“It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney and indeed, by creating a precedent, the whole of Australia, and by extension rewarding terrorism.”

Waverley Council had previously refused the development application for reasons including that the site was “unsuitable for a synagogue because of the potential risk to users and other members of the general public”.

But the Waverley Council has issued the following statement: “The Waverley community is enriched by our diverse faiths and places of worship including our synagogues. Waverley Council has a strong history of partnerships with the Jewish community and will continue to work closely with the Jewish community and Jewish organisations.

FREE (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) lodged the original DA with Council last year. During the assessment process, FREE chose to take the decision making power out of the hands of Council and instead sought a ruling from the Land and Environment Court.

It was the Land and Environment Court’s decision to dismiss the appeal put forward by the applicant and refuse the development application.

As part of their development application, FREE themselves chose to submit a Preliminary Threat & Risk Analysis report prepared by a counter-terrorism consultant. This report outlined in some detail a range of risks and threats to the synagogue, its attendees and also to neighbouring properties and passersby.

Council did not oppose the evidence put forward in FREE’s report. FREE’s report acknowledged that the risks to neighbouring properties and passersby had not been addressed in the DA because protection measures were focused only on people inside the building. FREE’s counter-terrorism consultant gave expert evidence to the Court during proceedings and Waverley Council did not challenge his evidence in any way.

Council presented a number of matters for contention. One of these matters was that the security risks identified by FREE’s own report had not yet been fully addressed. Local residents also submitted concerns on this issue.

The Land & Environment Court found that the potential risks outlined by the applicant’s own report were not addressed appropriately. In particular, the risks to neighbours and passersby were not sufficiently addressed. The Court found that it was clearly the applicant’s responsibility to address these risks. For this reason, the Court refused the appeal.

Waverley Council wishes to reassure the community that Waverley Council did not refuse this development application. It was a decision of the Land and Environment Court.

Council confirms that a synagogue is a permitted use at this location.”

One of Waverley’s Jewish councillors Leon Goltsman told J-Wire: ““The record shows exactly how much this council actually does for the Jewish community, and it’s distressing the way mainstream media is so quick to jump onto a story without first researching the facts”

Comments

6 Responses to “New shul site denied for security reasons”
  1. Joe Weinstein says:

    It is true that Waverley Council has indeed been very helpful to the Jewish community, over the years, as stated to J-Wire (& elsewhere) by Leon Goltsman; However, after doing ones research one can easily discover that there were “negative forces” within the council that were very much against this development. Indeed I can report that those “forces” participated aggressively and their actions could also be best described as “deceitful.”

    The Council made a Statement, last Friday, which can now be described as “Damage Control”.
    I too was misled by that statement into the false belief that the Council was “guilt free” in Mr Browns negative (& Cowardly) decision. I was wrong!

    The Council asserted that it was “Not to Blame” for a decision to ban the construction of a synagogue because it could become the target of a terrorist attack.

    On Friday: The Council made a further statement : “Waverley Council did not refuse this development application, ….It was a decision of the Land and Environment Court and confirms that a synagogue is a permitted use at this location.” Whilst this statement may be true within itself. However, I can now say that the Council were fully Asertive, indeed Agressive in the cause of the Land and Environment Courts decision.

    And therefore the Worlds Outrage over the Land and Environments decision by Comissioner Brown is completely justified, not just against the Court Order but against the willful actions of the Council.

    Joe

    • Erica Edelman says:

      Doesn’t matter how flat the pancake is …it ALWAYS
      HAS TWO SIDES!

      It was obvious from the beginning the council were complicit

      Guilty are the by standers at a rape. Complicit are the
      Perpetrators !

  2. michael Burd says:

    I believe the applicants were asked by the Waverley Council to submit in Writing what security measures the Shule would be carrying out.Obvioulsy when ever anybody refers to Security and the Jewish community it is a taken that they mean potential attacks by Muslims or Muslim extremists, Muslim lonely wolves, what ever PC version that works for you.

    I understand that these stringent measures included in the applicant’s submission scared off the Land and Environment Court and that was the predominant reason the application was knocked back. Security:
    The Issue is Security and the bottom line is still the same just because Jews must live under siege and have these unreasonable security burdens that our government should be 100% responsible for the Jews once again are the victim or meat in the sandwich.

    Just imagine the outcry if one of the hundreds of Mosque applications were knocked back specifically because their mosque might be a Target for Jewish terrorists!

    There will be all different versions of this story but there is always a bottom line:

    The spin cycle has already started I am getting dizzy?

  3. Erica Edelman says:

    Another attempt to stifle history.

    It is also a disgusting, transparent attempt to stifle Judaism.

    And what a lame excuse (and must be a historical excuse) – security reasons. Whoever heard of that?

    This is set for the Supreme Court unless the decision is turned about.

    Anyone reading this should have a look at the stats for Jewish population growth and Muslim population growth in Australia during the last five years.
    Astounding!

    There will never be a LOGICAL reason for knocking back a development used for A HOUSE OF PRAYER.

    NOT FOR ANY RELIGION. Unless that HOUSE OF PRAYER is going to be a known hedge/hide-out for a Terrorist Organization.

    Heads will roll.

  4. Tony Coburn says:

    I am a bit confused by this article. On the one hand you say that the Council refused the development application, suggesting that Council made a decision. On the other hand, you also seem to be saying that FREE chose to take the matter out of Council’s jurisdiction for a decision by the Land and Environment Court. If FREE did this, then it appears that the Council made no decision. Rather, the court heard and determined the question. I had thought that this second version is correct. That is, FREE decided to go the court for a decision, and the Council did not make one. Please clarify as it is important.

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