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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 223

Monday 26 June 2017

Budget 2017, Fish Market, Marina Changes, Community Grants & NAIDOC

Budget 2017

The 2017-2018 NSW Budget continues the long history of funding roads over public transport. WestConnex will get a whopping $7.2 billion this year alone, compared to $4.9 billion over four years for the metro. Other Sydney motorway projects include the M12, NorthConnex and M5. Expanding roads reduces community space, pollutes the environment and adds to long term congestion.

There is funding for the Edgecliff Station upgrade, however it is packaged in with other station upgrades so it is unclear what work will occur in the coming year. New CBD bike paths including a link between Kent Street and the Harbour Bridge are welcome but it’s not enough to fix dwindling cycling rates caused by recent anti-cycling policies including harsh penalties for small offences.

There are few wins for the environment. A fund has been established to save threatened species but this comes at a time when biodiversity protections have been destroyed and it will do little to save rare flora and fauna. There is funding for electricity efficiency and encouraging the uptake of renewables but these modest programs will fail to transfer NSW to a clean green economy.

In addition to funding for the Sydney Modern Project, over $1 million will fund planning for extensions to the Australian Museum.

Homelessness services will receive an additional $20 million, which will have minor impact. Again the budget fails our parklands with no recurrent operational funds.

Fish Market

3XN Architects and GXN have been awarded the contract to design the master plan for a new Fish Market at Blackwattle Bay, with more foreshore dining and shops, a bigger carpark and more direct pedestrian access to Wentworth Park. According to media reports, the Premier says that the current site will be sold for apartment development to pay for the $250 million project and traffic congestion will be considered after the detailed plan is finished, HERE.

Marina Changes

The RMS will go ahead with plans to expand the Elizabeth Bay Marina. Our campaign got berths for 20-metre boats replaced with 15-metre boats, which will reduce view impacts, 24-hour water access for kayaks and water taxi, and night work restrictions. While there will be no net gain in boats with four swing moorings to be removed, there are still more and larger boats berthed, which will reduce views and increase activity. The facility is bigger with more concrete on the water.

As the owner, developer and consent authority, RMS can now proceed. The process has been inferior and harbour development should be subject to an independent, open and transparent environmental impact assessment.

Community Grants

Local non-profit groups can apply for funds to cover building works and capital projects through the Community Building Partnership, with $300,000 available in each electorate and applications closing 9 August. Each MP helps determine the priority projects. Last year grants went to the rooftop garden at St Canice Church Rushcutters Bay; a medical evacuation sea boat for the Sydney Heritage Fleet; homelessness service repairs at Christ Church St Laurence Sydney; a disability access lift at the Australian Design Centre; disability access for St Johns Church Darlinghurst; a building upgrade at the Australian Chinese Community Association Surry Hills and an office update for the National Council of Women Sydney.

Do you know a group needing funds for building, repairing or refurbishing community infrastructure? Information HERE.

NAIDOC

NAIDOC or National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee Week originated with the 1938 Day of Mourning and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. NAIDOC is 2-9 Julywith the theme ‘Our languages matter’. Check the Indigenous Language map, which locates the 250 odd original language groups across the country, of which only 120 are still spoken, HERE.

NSW Parliament has an event for school age children Tuesday 4 July 10am-3pm, with Aboriginal storytelling, art and crafts, didgeridoo, dances and Dharawal language workshops plus an optional BBQ ($3 sausage sandwich). Bookings essential: telephone 9230 2047 or email dps.education@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

The NAIDOC Woolloomooloo Committee is showing The Sapphires film 5.30pm Thursday 6 JulyForbes Street Woolloomooloo (rug up for the cold). Join me at the annual NAIDOC Week Festival Saturday 8 July 10am-4pm in the Forbes Street reserve. Information: WEAVE Community Hub, telephone 9331 2153. More NAIDOC Week events, City of Sydney LGA Events HERE, Woollahra Council LGA Events HERE.