Join Up

Alex is committed to government transparency and accountability; protecting the natural and urban environments, open space and Sydney’s unique heritage; retaining inner city social and affordable housing; the humane treatment of animals; improving transport options; and fairness and equality for the LGBTI communities.

Key Issues

Public high schools in the local area are full or fast filling up and families need new options. In Parliament I asked the Education Minister to allow Sydney Boys High School to increase local enrolments to provide additional capacity for the area. The Minister said he would consider the suggestion, which has the support of the school’s headmaster, and the parents and citizens association. Following a meeting with the Minister, Education Department, and City of Sydney a working party has been established to address the growing education needs of inner city families.

Education Standards Authority

Monday 17 October 2016  All students must have access to a safe and inclusive learning environment free from discrimination regardless of their sex; LGBTI, marital or domestic status; or if they have a disability. In debate on the Education and Teaching Legislation Amendment Bill which will set up a new Education Standards Authority, I asked the minister to ensure that existing protections for students in private schools stay under the new scheme. My speech is HERE.

National Art School Petition Debate

(Debate on Petition over 10,000 signatures, 13 October 2016, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)  The National Art School provides a unique form of arts education that has produced generations of successful artists and is essential to thriving arts scenes in Sydney and the state, and to Australia’s artistic reputation. There is strong community support for the school with over 14,000 people having signed this petition and we could have another 10,000 soon! Petitioners come from across New South Wales including Manly, Coogee, Rose Bay, Castle Hill, Hornsby, Penrith and Byron Bay. I acknowledge supporters in the gallery and the hundreds of people who attended the August rally which closed roads from Oxford to Macquarie streets.

Education & Teaching Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

(Debate, 11 October 2016, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament) The Education and Teaching Legislation Amendment Bill restructures the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards into a new body which will be known as the NSW Education Standards Authority.  This is important because the board of studies provides an essential function in terms of protecting children from discrimination that must continue after the change.
My latest actions on Education.
I want to ensure Sydney is sustainable for the future, and will advocate for action on climate change, while ensuring the government gives households support and information to save money on electricity and gas bills. I will campaign hard for NSW to embrace renewable energy.

Vital Bees

13 September 2016 Bees are vital to crop pollination and ecosystems worldwide, but they’re under threat from ‘colony collapse’ and huge decline in numbers. While Australia has not yet suffered the same impacts, this has already affected almond production in Australia. I will again ask the Minister for Primary Industries what the NSW Government will do to protect bees. You can learn about bees in the inner city from Doug Purdie, the ‘Beevangelist’ Tuesday 20 September 6.30-7.30pm at Kings Cross Library. Details HERE. 

Regulate Mining

5 September 2016 Government MPs tried to prevent me from speaking about the impact of climate change in Parliament when I raised concerns about coal mining and coal seam gas. Rapid mining expansion is unsustainable and putting our food, water, biodiversity and health at risk. We need exclusion zones to ban mining on or adjacent to productive agricultural land, water catchments and the waterways that feed into them, high conservation value land and towns. Mining companies should not be able to avoid rehabilitating sites, leaving the community to make good. The Victorian Government has taken bold steps to prevent destructive fracking and coal seam gas exploration and mining in order to protect farmland and a moratorium on new conventional gas extraction until July 2020. NSW also needs to act. My speech is HERE.     

SOS Green Spaces

5 September 2016 Total Environment Centre’s SOS Green Spaces forum Monday 12 September 6.30-8.30pm at Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts covers the new urban tree SEPP that will override existing tree preservation orders and set new native vegetation clearing controls across urban areas in NSW; Crown Lands legislative changes; the review of SEPP 19 (Urban Bushland) and how the Greater Sydney Commission will affect planning decisions. Details HERE. 
My latest actions on Environment.
As a member of the NSW Cross-Party Marriage Equality I am working to progress same-sex marriage in NSW. Soon I will introduce amendments to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act to end discrimination against NSW LGBTI high School Students. The NSW Parliament recently unanimously supported my motions welcoming openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson to NSW and acknowledging the important work done by ACON towards HIV/AIDS prevention and education. I am also working towards greater recognition and protection for the Trans and Intersex communities in NSW laws.

Honour Award

5 October 2016 I was very proud to be part of the NSW Parliamentary LGBTI Cross Party Working Group given the joint President’s Award at this year’s NSW annual LGBTI community service Honour Awards. MPs from across the political spectrum have been working together for community outcomes and includes Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith, Labor MLC Penny Sharpe, The Greens MP Jenny Leong, Nationals Legislative Council Deputy President Trevor Khan and myself. Winners of the 2016 Honour Awards HERE.  

Safe Schools

26 September 2016 I joined parliamentary colleagues from across the political spectrum to show support for LGBTI and same sex attracted students and the school programs like ‘Safe Schools’ that protect them from bullying and abuse. Unfortunately the issue came up through a petition calling for the program to be abolished and the contribution from some members fed community misinformation; however LGBTI allies in the house continue to grow. My speech is HERE. 

Safe Schools Program

(Discussion, 22 September 2016, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament) By leave: I join the member for Coogee as the other openly gay member of this Chamber. I begin by making two important points. First, I assure the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] students who are concerned that this petition is being debated in this place that there is strong support for the LGBTI community across all political parties in the New South Wales Parliament—the Liberal Party, The Nationals, the Labor Party, The Greens and the Independents. We are all committed to working together to protect them. Secondly, I assure the members of the multicultural backgrounds who are in the gallery today, and who have expressed their concern by signing this petition, that just as they do not want young people in their communities to be bullied, taken advantage of or treated poorly, I do not want young people in my community to be bullied or treated poorly. Indeed, that is why the Safe Schools program should continue to be available in New South Wales schools.
My latest actions on Equality.