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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.
 

Alex's Update Issue 203

Monday 30 January 2017

New Premier, Harbourside Centre Overdevelopment, Cockle Bay Tower, 389 Buses, Energy Bills and Lead in the Soil 

New Premier

I have written to new Premier Gladys Berejiklian to congratulate her and reinforce my commitment to working with the government to get the best outcomes for the community. Changes to NSW Cabinet bring in new ministers and I’ve already reached out to a number of ministers to seek meetings and get action. The new Cabinet information is HERE.

Harbourside Centre Overdevelopment

My submission opposes the proposed Harbourside Shopping Centre, which will result in a 39 storey residential tower above a four storey commercial podium, blocking views, overshadowing the waterfront, detracting from Pyrmont Bridge, generating traffic congestion and further cutting Pyrmont off from the CBD.

This is another in a series of private towers that will change the low rise landscape of Darling Harbour making it less accessible and attractive. My submission is HERE

I urge concerned residents to also make submissions before 14 February, HERE

Cockle Bay Tower

I’ve also called for the Department of Planning and Environment to reject the Cockle Bay Wharf 235-metre tower proposal. It will contribute to making Darling Harbour an unpleasant place to spend time. My submission is HERE

The harbour and foreshore is rapidly being blocked and privatised, contrary to good planning principles. You can make submissions until 14 February, HERE

389 Buses

While many constituents have welcomed the new route for the 389 bus service linking North Bondi to Pyrmont, it appears that longstanding problems with reliability during peak travel times have worsened since the changes. I’ve repeatedly asked the minister for action to prevent cancelled services and delays, but the only response to date has been to remove some bus stops, which may speed up buses but does not help people who have to walk further to catch buses.

If you have problems with the 389 bus, please report to the Transport Infoline (ask for a response) telephone 131 500 or online HERE.

You can also download and collect signatures on my petition for better 389 bus services HERE. I regularly submit these in Parliament to keep this on the government’s agenda.

Energy Bills

A number of constituents have contacted me about excessive gas and electricity bills. I understand that new rules mean that meter readers no longer have to leave a card asking for self-readings and can use estimates rather than actual readings for all but one meter reading each year. Check with your energy provider about payment plans if you are having trouble paying the amount due now.

If your bills don’t seem correct and appear to be based on estimates, the independent Energy and Water Ombudsman can check accounts, information HERE.

Lead In The Soil

Macquarie University VegeSafe project research shows high levels of lead in inner city soil – generally a legacy of previous paints and petrol. This may be a concern if you have children or an edible garden and the Macquarie project provides free soil metal screening. The research is HERE and screening applications HERE

For general information about lead and how you can prevent problems, see the EPA website, HERE.