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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 222

Monday 19 June 2017

Police Changes, George Takei, Sydney Modern, Schools Update, Litter Strategy, Over Martin Place Station & NDIS Coming 

Police Changes

Media reports suggest the new Police Commissioner will review the allocation of police officers to areas with high crime and reinvigorate the Police Citizens Youth Club program and work with young people to divert them from crime and anti-social behaviour. I support these sensible directions. However, I’m concerned about reports about amalgamating police commands at Kings Cross and Rose Bay, which have very different communities and crime. I’ll monitor any proposals.

George Takei

The amazing, smart, funny and generous George Takei (best known as Start Trek’s Hikaru Sulu) is donating 10 per cent of ticket sales to The Equality Campaign for marriage equality. He’s in Sydney for one night only Friday August 11 at the State Theatre – do join me. Book tickets HERE

Sydney Modern

The government committed $244 million to the Sydney Modern extension to the Art Gallery of NSW enabling the project to proceed. Plans have changed since my last briefing in 2015 when I raised concerns about loss of parkland. It is not clear whether all issues have been addressed and I will seek a further briefing. The gallery needs new exhibition space, has engaged world-renowned architects and I support the project, however it is vital that plans protect much needed inner city green open space.

Information HERE. Final plans should go on exhibition later this year on the planning department’s website, HERE

Schools Update

The Department of Education is developing a planning proposal for the use of part of Wentworth Park for a temporary Ultimo Public School, while the existing school is demolished and a new facility built. The school will continue on the current site until the temporary facility is ready. Information is HERE.

The design for the planned high rise Cleveland Street Sydney high school has been released and it will not overshadow Prince Alfred Park or adjacent residents, and will retain heritage buildings and key views. There will be new open space and some community facilities, information HERE.

We won’t get details of the school catchment and how enrolments will grow until 2018 with the new school due to open in 2020, eventually to have 1,200 students. The detailed proposal is being prepared for exhibition HERE

The education department is building a new facility for the Cleveland Street Intensive English High School adjacent to Alexandria Park Community School.

I’ve asked the Commonwealth Minister for Education to fund schools based on need according to the 2011 Gonski ‘Review of Funding for Schooling’. Federal funds are vital for all schools, my letter is HERE.

Litter Strategy

There is a huge and increasing number of largely unregulated contaminants lawfully produced by the chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries in common consumer products that we wash down our drains that end up untreated in the water we drink, the fish we eat and other marine life, information HERE. In response to my questions in Parliament about product stewardship (extended producer responsibility), the minister says the government supports product stewardship at the national level while conceding that there are no mandatory schemes in Australia, HERE.  

You can comment on the draft NSW Litter Prevention Strategy on exhibition until 31 July. The strategy proposes community education, littering fines and clean ups but while it notes that businesses produce and promote throwaway consumables, there is no clear action to require them to reduce packaging and create products that last, information HERE

Over Martin Place Station

Macquarie Bank’s unsolicited proposal to develop two commercial towers over the planned Martin Place Metro Station is on exhibition. My submission calls for further work to prevent shadowing and wind impacts in Martin Place and shadowing in adjacent streets, particularly at bus stops. Martin Place provides vital open space for pedestrians seeking respite from the city that must not be eroded.  My letter is HERE

NDIS Coming

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) starts in the Sydney electorate from 1 July, with people who use NSW specialist disability services and Commonwealth disability programs moving into the new scheme first. Existing support services will continue until the NDIS takes over. New applicants for NDIS support won’t be able to apply until 1 July 2018 unless there are urgent or exceptional circumstances. The NDIS aims to provide individualised support for people with disability, their families and carers based on a care plan. There are information sessions on Monday 26 June at 31 Alfred Street Circular Quay, at 10.30am-12.30pm and 5-7pm. Details HERE or phone 1800 800 110.