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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 221

Tuesday 14 June 2017

Home Building Defects, Alternative Westconnex, Refugee Week, Fridge Buyback, Nuclear Weapons Treaty, All for Trace & Blood Pressure Check

Home Building Defects

Defects can create considerable costs and disruption for homeowners but the options for getting relief are limited. The timelines and types of defects homeowners can pursue a builder for under statutory warranties have become overly restrictive and home building insurance is only available when the builder has died, disappeared, is insolvent or refuses to comply with a court or tribunal order. The system doesn’t cover large apartment buildings. Notwithstanding, the home building insurance fund underwritten by the government, is over $300 million in deficit and I understand this is because so many builders go insolvent, often to continue working under a new company.  

To make the system sustainable, the government will open up home building insurance to private insurers, with an authority to oversee premiums and make rules. During debate, I asked the government to address concerns that the bill’s drafting could limit coverage and again called for apartments to be included in the scheme. The government should focus on ways to encourage better building practices to make the system more sustainable. My speech is HERE

Alternative Westconnex

I support Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s call for the government to bring forward the Western Sydney Metro and return Westconnex to the original plan to connect Western Sydney with the port and airport, not dumping tens of thousands of cars into already congested inner city streets. The government should stop Westconnex Stage 3 and invest this money in public transport – nearly 90 per cent of Western Sydney commuters travel into the city on overcrowded public transport. Details HERE.   

Refugee Week

Next week is Refugee Week, with the launch Friday 16 June 10am-2pm at Paddington Town Hall, with speakers from refugee backgrounds, celebrated poet Hani Abdile, live entertainment, the 2017 NSW Humanitarian Awards and Mem Fox reading from ‘I'm Australian Too’. RSVP HERE

Sydney Multicultural Community Services has a celebration on Wednesday 21 June 10.30am-12.30pm with entertainment and food. Details: phone 9663 3922. The Refugee Film Festival 17-18 June, information HERE

More events HERE

Fridge Buyback

The government is closing down the Fridge Buyback scheme that helped remove old second fridges and freezers from 30 June. Check if you can benefit from the program: https://www.fridgebuyback.com.au

Nuclear Weapons Treaty

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons are holding a rally, march and picnic midday 17 June at 2-12 Macquarie Street Parramatta to promote UN negotiations for a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty. While Australia has signed the treaties to ban chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions, the federal government is not supporting this treaty. Details HERE.    

All for Trace

Neil Pennock continues his fundraising campaign in memory of partner Trace Richey to build a new Bone Marrow Transplant Ward in St Vincent’s Hospital, with a bit over $50,000 needed to reach the $300,000 target. Join the team entering the City2Surf Sunday 13 August, HERE and the fundraising campaign HERE

Blood Pressure Check 

There is time to get a blood pressure check as part of the Stroke Foundation’s campaign to prevent stroke, cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes. Free checks are available until Wednesday 14 June, information HERE