Alex's Update Issue 208

Monday 06 March 2017

Housing Affordability, Cruise Ship Pollution, Sydney Plans, Elizabeth Bay Marina, IWD & Urbanistas, Sports Grants, Welcome Tree and Redfern Legal Fundraiser

Housing Affordability

The escalating price of homes amid stagnant wages is excluding first home buyers from entering the market but renting in the inner city is also ‘extremely unaffordable’. The inner city’s diversity is at risk and people who help it function like teachers, nurses and police can’t afford to live here.

The government will establish a housing affordability strategy for first home buyers but it must include the inner city and address rental affordability. In Parliament, I called for a mandated 15 per cent target for social and affordable housing in redevelopments, developer levies and a fairer tax system and warned that change to short term letting laws must not worsen affordability. The government also needs to revive its Affordable Housing Taskforce which hasn’t released anything since a 2012 interim report.  My speech is HERE

Cruise Ship Pollution

The simple solution to cruise ship noise and air pollution is providing shore-to-ship power supply.  Emissions from ships berthed in Sydney Harbour can affect thousands of residents, workers and visitors and I’ve asked another question in Parliament about plans for the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Cruise Terminal. With federal law changes overriding the State’s tightening of fuel standards to lower sulfur emissions, this matter has become more urgent. My question is HERE.

Sydney Plans

The Greater Sydney Commission’s draft district plans for jobs and housing targets over the next 20 years are on exhibition. The ‘Central District Plan’, which includes the City and Woollahra Council, proposes 157,500 new homes and up to 333,000 new jobs by 2036. Councils have to change planning instruments to meet targets; government agencies have to develop plans for needed services and infrastructure.

The affordable housing targets of 5 to 10 per cent of floor area in urban renewal projects are welcome. You can make submissions until 31 March HERE.

Elizabeth Bay Marina

Revised plans for the Elizabeth Bay marina are on exhibition. Planning laws allow the RMS to approve its own proposal, so this could be the last chance to comment before the marina is expanded. The minister’s response to my submission promised that detailed design would ensure beach access and address building heights, which have slightly lowered, but the facility will still accommodate more and larger boats and the jetty will protrude into the water. The proposed upgrade does not appear to allow a future ferry wharf. I am still assessing plans and will try to meet with the minister to ask for a public meeting. Information and public viewing times are HERE.

IWD & Urbanistas

International Women’s Day is Wednesday 8 March, with events celebrating the movement towards gender equality HERE. The annual march and rally is on Saturday 11 March from 10am at the Archibald Foundation Hyde Park. Information HERE.

Urbanistas Sydney and UTS have a gender equality fundraiser for the Robyn Kemmis Scholarship Fund, with MC Verity Firth and panel members Anne Summers, Natalie Isaacs and Kerryn Phelps Wednesday 8 March 6.30-9.30pm. Information HERE.

Woollahra Council’s ‘Women of Woollahra’ exhibition opens Wednesday 8 March 6-8pm at Woollahra Library showcases self-portraits from Woollahra women at a photography workshop. Information HERE.

Sports Grants

I congratulate local sports groups on success with small grants to help with equipment and training. This year’s grants go to the ACCA Dragon Boat Racing Team, City of Sydney Aquatic Club, Naga Spirit Dragonboat Club, Sloths Dragon Boat Club and Sydney Tsunami Dragonboat Club.

Welcome Tree

Join Lord Mayor Clover Moore for the People Like Us and the City of Sydney to post a welcome message on the Welcome Tree Sunday 12 March 11 am in the Barnet Long Room Customs House 31 Alfred Street Sydney. Details and RSVP HERE.

Redfern Legal Fundraiser

Redfern Legal Centre celebrates forty years of working for social justice Thursday 27 April and you can show your support at the fundraising dinner at Sydney Town Hall, with MCs Wendy Harmer, Triple J’s Veronica and Lewis, live music by the Pragmatics, an auction and special guest speaker Justice Virginia Bell AC. Details HERE