Monday 31 July 2017
Community Building Funds, Sirius Heritage Win, Council Mergers Halted, Bank Street Betrayal & Human Rights Awards
Community Building Funds
Capital grants for non-profit community groups close 5pm 9 August, so any group applying must complete the online application process before then. The funds can pay to upgrade buildings or buy capital equipment worth at least $2,500. Details: www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au
Sirius Heritage Win
The Land and Environment court ruling in favour of Save Our Sirius Foundation and the Environmental Defenders Office is a win for Sydney’s heritage and the community campaign. The court determined that the former minister’s decision not to list the iconic Sirius building on the heritage register did not comply with the Heritage Act and must now reconsider the Heritage Council’s recommendation to list Sirius, determination is HERE.
While this decision does not prevent eviction of the tenants, it shows that the government should take heritage into account. I continue to work with local residents, National Trust representatives and the Australian Institute of Architects NSW to protect this rare and representative example of purpose-built social housing and Brutalist architecture. My support letters are HERE. The community Save Our Sirius campaign continues, information at http://saveoursirius.org.
Council Mergers Halted
The Premier’s decision to halt further council mergers reflects the strength of community opposition to overriding democracy, including the plucky response from councils like Woollahra under Mayor Toni Zeltzer, who stoutly defended their communities. I congratulate those councils and communities, and commend the minister and premier for stopping what has been a botched process from the start.
I was proud to speak at the Woollahra Council meeting that committed to support marriage equality. Council’s motion reflects support for the LGBTI community being full and equal members of the Woollahra community. The Wentworth Courier report is HERE.
Bank Street Betrayal
After the government promised to transform harbour land on Bank Street into a park with heritage boat workshop and museum, the site is now earmarked for charter boat mooring with supplies and rubbish storage. There would be stacked shipping containers up to the harbour, a demountable building, large bins, gas bottles and a sewage pump out facility, making this prime waterfront site an eyesore. Ships will come and go frequently until 1am every day and it is unclear how passive boating activities will be affected.
The marina facility would replace the Sydney Heritage Fleet plan. The proposal is for 10 years while a new fish market is built at the head of Blackwattle Bay but there is no guarantee that it would not be continued past that time.
This proposal betrays past work by numerous community and stakeholder studies supporting public recreation and access, and my submission asked the government to reject the proposal, HERE.
Human Rights Awards
Please consider nominating someone you think is a champion of human rights for one of the annual awards: Human Rights Medal, Young People’s Human Rights Medal, Business Award, Racism It Stops With Me Award, Media Award, Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award, Community Organisation Award or Law Award. Closing date 24 August, nominate HERE.