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FOKE is a community group with membership drawn from across Ku-ring-gai, opposing inappropriate and unsympathetic overdevelopment within Ku-ring-gai, and defending and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of Ku-ring-gai.

FOKE is not anti-development.  We work on behalf of residents and friends for the maintenance of Ku-ring-gai’s heritage and the enhancement of the existing traditional character and amenity of its environment, both built and natural.

Current Issues

  • NSW Planning increasing Ku-ring-gai bushfire risk!

    Since 21 November 2002 the bushfire hazard on our doorstep has been mapped and certified by the RFS Commissioner and Gazetted by NSW Government. The Bushfire Evacuation Risk in Ku-ring-gai was also gazetted from 2002 pursuant to the SEPP Seniors Living for People with Disabilities, Rural Fire Act and the Environment Planning and Assessment Act.
    Alarmingly, in January 2018 Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has added the 13 previously protected areas in Ku-ring-gai to the KLEP, rezoning them to Environmental Living 4. This new zoning permits the addition of secondary dwellings on existing developed blocks in areas of evacuation risk, thus increasing density across these areas.
    Why has this Government decided to allow for increased density resulting in overpopulation and increased vehicles to evacuate on roads, in areas of gazetted compromised evacuation risk? If the authorities cannot guarantee safe evacuation of the existing population in wildfire conditions, why would they increase the population and number of vehicles to be evacuated?
    We need to have this rezoning overturned! Please contact your MPs about what can only be seen as an act of the highest irresponsibility!

  • Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) Final Plans

    On March 2018, the GSC released their strategy for Sydney, A Metropolis of Three Cities. The Commission has also released their final District Plans that support the Cities strategy. These plans will be the basis of planning, development, infrastructure and transport at the local level. Councils such as Ku-ring-gai will be required to achieve these outcomes. FOKE has reviewed the North Plan in detail, and find very little of substance has changed since the draft plan. You can read the overall strategy here and the Plan that will affect Ku-ring-gai's future at North District Plan.

  • Sydney's Empty Buildings
    In 2017 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that "a quarter of Chinese buying property overseas leave their apartments vacant and the majority pay for their purchase with cash, a survey of mainland Chinese customers by investment bank UBS shows.Another 25 per cent of overseas property owners use their homes on a temporary basis, suggesting about half of the overseas properties owned by mainland Chinese were not fully utilised." Our suburbs are being bulldozed and radically altered so that non-residents can invest their capital while it does nothing to ease rental pressure, accommodate existing residents, or reduce prices for people looking to purchase their first home.
    The need for a more sustainable population policy is required to improve the prospects for the next generations. Higher population does not equate to a higher standard of living. In fact, In the year to December 2017, real GDP grew by 2.36% in seasonally adjusted terms, however per capita GDP increased by only 0.8%. The Government is relying on population, rather than improved productivity, to maintain GDP. This implies that we, as individuals, are not benefitting from our current high levels of population growth. Click on the link for a more detailed perspective on Population and Housing.

  • Single Dwelling Zoning Under Attack

    NSW Planning's proposed legislation, called the draft Medium Density Housing Code, aims to extend medium density development throughout current low density single dwelling (R2 zone) residential areas as complying development. As complying development, developers will not need to get development application approval, with neighbours only required to be informed of these developments without the right to object. As long as the developments meet a predetermined set of guidelines they can be fast-tracked through Council. Currently the R3 zone has been specifically designed to deliver medium density. The proposed plan is to allow complying medium density development on residential R1, R2 land where multi-dwellings are allowed, with a street frontage of 12m or more and a minimum lot size of 400sqm, with 5 townhouses on a lot of 1000 square metres.
    These medium density complying developments include townhouses, terraces, manor homes (2up, 2 down) and dual occupancies.. This proposal applies an extended rezoning for medium density (with minor exceptions) to low-density residential R2 land. It does not take into account the cumulative effects of intensifying development on local infrastructure, services, traffic, street car parking, social services and amenities. It overrides local environment plans and planning conttrols to the detriment of residents. FOKE has made a submission against this extension of complying developments
    Also please read FOKE's Media Release Low Density Residential Zones to Disappear,

News & Updates

Loss of more Ku-ring-gai Community Assets - Turramurra
We now understand that the historic Hillview site is also in danger of losing its heritage conservation status in preparation for sale. In February, Ku-ring-gai Councillors voted to consign another Public Asset for development. Council planners recommended to allow development of the small green space in Turramurra, known as the Little Village Green. This is despite the recommendation of an independent inquiry to retain this space in the middle of a future massive town-hub development. This vote illustrates the development-driven system that the residents of NSW are enduring under the current State Government. Last September, the Lindfield Library and Senior Centre site were reclassified as operational land by Ku-ring-gai Council. Overall 25 community assets have now been reclassified by our Council to pay predominantly for the purchase of their new administation building. These so-called “under-utilised assets” included the Culworth Avenue Car Park, Killara; the Lifeline Centre, Gordon; the Gordon Community Pre-school; the Ku-ring-gai Town Hall, Pymble; and various pieces of public land adjacent to East Killara, West Pymble and East Lindfield shops. 

With all these sites being rationalised for more highrise development, where will the community facilities and public spaces exist for current and future generations' benefit and use? With an increasing population and high costs to repurchase land when needed, this is short term thinking in the extreme. More».

NSW Government's Council Amalgamation Push lacks validity The NSW Government has backed away from the amalgamation threat to Ku-ring-gai and a small number of other city Councils. However we remain concerned that this may still be a longer term policy of the Local Government Minister. The proposal to amalgamate council areas makes many assumptions which are not backed by evidence. Mayor Abelson from Mosman is an economist and has co-authored an interesting and thought-provoking paper called Smoke and Mirrors on the forced amalgamation issue. To read the summary presentation, click here Smoke & Mirrors Presentation 2015. To download the full report, click here Smoke & Mirrors Report.

See also our latest newsletter  For copies of all our newsletters, visit our newsletter archive.

Check out our latest Media Releases , detailing the detailing the fight to save the heritage gardens at the listed Gordon Railway Station. Media Release 4 March 2018