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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.

NAS Threat

Wednesday 3 August 2016 While the amalgamation of the Sydney College of the Arts and University of NSW Art and Design school will not go ahead at this stage, I understand talks are continuing on absorbing the National Art School into the university system. The National Art School provides a unique education that cannot be lost, teaching under the atelier style and accepting students based on portfolio and interview. The school should be modelled on NIDA and AFTRS, with independence, national recognition and federal funding. In Parliament I called on the state government to ensure the school's independence, occupation of the old Darlinghurst Gaol site and funding until there is federal funding. My speech is HERE.   Join the campaign at http://gotothisurlrightnow.com and sign the petition HERE. 

National Art School (NAS)

(Private Member's Statement, 2 August 2016, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament) The National Art School provides a unique form of arts education that has produced generations of successful Sydney artists and is essential to a thriving Sydney arts scene. Tonight I speak in support of protecting the future of this vital arts institution, which is again under threat.

National Art School

25 July 2016 The National Art School provides a unique studio-based form of arts education that has produced generations of successful Sydney artists and is essential to a thriving Sydney arts scene. But talks are advancing to subsume the school into the university system, which as of last month only consists of two schools, and there are indications the site could be flogged off by the NSW Government for residential development. Sydney must provide different arts education approaches and more than just residential apartments. Get involved in the campaign to keep the school independent. Follow Friends of the National Art School at www.facebook.com/Friends-of-the-National-Art-School-FONAs. I will raise this in Parliament when it resumes next week.
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.

National Tree Day

25 July 2016 Planet Ark’s National Tree Day will be held on Sunday 31 July. Now in its 20th year, National Tree Day has been responsible for planting 22 million trees. Now it’s more important than ever to make our city greener and help restore shade and habitat for wildlife. More information HERE. Find a tree planting event near you HERE.

Carbon Budget Talk

25 July 2016 On Tuesday 26 July at 6pm the Powerhouse will host a free Carbon Budget Talk as part of Sydney Climate Justice Series. Speakers include Lesley Hughes, ecologist and professor at Macquarie University; Anna Skarbek, CEO of ClimateWorks; and Miriam Lyons, Renewable Energy Campaigner at Get Up. The event will consider Australia’s carbon budget and what strategies can be adopted to stay within the Global Carbon Budget. The event is organised by UNSW Practical Justice Initiative and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Get your free ticket HERE. 

Diminishing the National Estate

6 June 2016 Only nine per cent of NSW is protected national park and few additions have been made in recent years. While I accept some revocations are necessary, such as to reflect a native title decision, included in the government’s recent repeal of 350 hectares of protected land is the revocation of a part of the Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park to expand a pistol club facility. So-called ‘compensation’ for the loss will be kilometres away in Heathcote, in land that should be reserved regardless. I told Parliament national park declarations are meant to be in perpetuity and expanded, not repealed for private land grabs. My speech is 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.

Marriage Equality

15 August 2016 My oped in the Huffington Post reviews the 12 year anniversary of the federal Howard Government and Labor Opposition amendments to the Marriage Act to exclude same-sex couples from the celebration of marriage. The change was in response to Australians getting married overseas in jurisdictions that had marriage equality – the then government wanted to block recognition of these marriages and to stymie any court challenges. We’ve come a long way since then, with more than 70 per cent of the community supporting marriage equality and increasing pressure for reform. Read my oped HERE. 

No Plebiscite Public Funding

Monday 8 August 2016 Sign the Australian Marriage Equality Campaign petition calling for no public funding for the proposed plebiscite on marriage equality. Public funds should be spent on vital community services, education and health – not a public debate on equality. Sign the petition HERE.

Reminder: Equality, Discrimination & Faith Forum

25 July 2016 Tickets are still available to join me for the PIAC forum on ‘Equality, Discrimination & Faith’, 6:30pm on Monday 1 August. As a speaker on the panel I look forward to the discussion and hope you can attend. Start the conversation on Twitter @PIACnews or pose a question for our panel using #AskJulieMC. Book your tickets HERE. 
My latest actions on Equality.