LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Extent of Hoddle's planning role is disputed

I have to correct Dr Tim Williams’ claim that Robert Hoddle laid out the streets of Liverpool. ("We’re a planning star," Champion, March 6).  Liverpool’s mythical Hoddle Grid thats keeps on being perpetuated was actually laid out by surveyor James Meehan. His map of Liverpool’s street grid was published in August 1819. Robert Hoddle’s survey of Liverpool was published in May 1827. Hoddle intended nothing for Liverpool as Dr Tim Williams asserts. He had nothing to do with its planning nor did he have a vision of a walkable city. Then, everybody either walked or rode a horse or carriage. If we're going to keep referring to Liverpool having "great bones" let's please be historically correct and start referring to it as the Meehan Grid. I've attached both city plans.

GLEN OP DEN BROUW

President, Liverpool & District Historical Society

Dr Williams responds:  I think the thrust of my piece is that Liverpool is now and has been innovative from the start – in its very structure. Its town grid reflects advanced Enlightenment thinking about how to structure new development on rational grounds. I leave to local historians to fight it out as to the exact weight to be given to Hoddle who definitely surveyed the town and a successor who then laid it out. The point, I think, is to be inspired by Liverpool’s past as a guide to its future.

Dr TIM WILLIAMS

Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney University

Liverpool Council responds: Liverpool is one of Australia’s oldest settlements. There has always been passionate debate about our early history and the council encourages this. There is no disputing Robert Hoddle's significant role in the early history of Liverpool. His survey of Liverpool’s streets was published in 1827.

KIERSTEN FISHBURN

Chief Executive, Liverpool Council

Bill posters taken to task

I’ve noticed the usual appearance of electoral posters for the forthcoming election in the state electorate of Liverpool. Quite outrageously, the Liberal candidate has seen fit to have his signs placed on council property. This has no doubt been done without the council's approval – and is in breach of the rules. It also represents a misuse of public assets for private electoral purposes. If candidates want to put up posters they should do so on private property with the approval of the property owners. If they have so little private support that no one will put up their posters they shouldn’t try to overcome this weakness by using public property.

BETTY GREEN [via email]

Liverpool Council responds: Dear Ms Green, thank you for your concern. The council takes this matter very seriously. The council has written to candidates reminding them that corflutes, banners, signs and any other political/electoral material and candidate signage are not permitted to be placed or displayed on council-owned land, public places and council-managed public land and roads. The council has the power to remove and impound unauthorised signage and issue infringement notices to offenders.

KIERSTEN FISHBURN

Chief Executive, Liverpool Council

Do locations matter?

The close of nominations for the state election in our area shows some locationally challenged candidates. For the two state seats of Liverpool and Holsworthy there are a total of 12 candidates. Only these candidates seem to actually live in the electorate which they seek to contest: Paul Lynch, Signe Westerberg, Alan Novek, Pavneel Chand, Michael Byrne and Charishma Kaliyanda. These don't: Paul Zadro, Michael Andjelkovic, Gae Constable, Melanie Gibbons, Chris Kerle and Roland Barber. You must make a better representative for an area if you actually live there. The fact that some candidates are from Summer Hill and Erskineville makes you wonder what on earth they’d know about this area.

DANIEL SINGLETON

Chipping Norton

The Liberal candidate for the state electorate of Liverpool in March’s state election doesn’t live within the electorate of Liverpool. His problems however aren’t restricted to him not being able to vote for himself. He’s got an election poster on Elizabeth Drive about nine kilometres west of the electorate he’s seeking to contest. Could someone please give him a map of the electorate?

ETHAN MONAGHAN [via email]

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Write to: ihorner@fairfaxmedia.com.au. Letters on election matters must bear the writer's name and address. Responsibility for election comment is accepted by Champion editor Ian Horner. Writers should disclose any alliance with political or community organisations and include a phone number for verification. Election candidates should declare themselves when submitting letters.

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