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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 229

Tuesday 15 August 2017 

Local Democracy Weakened, Homelessness and Human Rights, Glebe Island Future & Seclusion and Restraint

Local Democracy Weakened

I opposed new laws to remove development decisions from councils in  Sydney and Wollongong and hand them to planning panels stacked with ministerial appointees.  

Despite claims that the bill is about preventing corruption, because panel members are not elected by and answerable to the community and will make decisions behind closed doors, corruption risks could increase. I told Parliament changes are really about fast tracking approvals. My speech is HERE.

Homelessness and Human Rights

Hiding homelessness does not solve it and moving and fining vulnerable homeless people in public places does not take them off the street. The solution is providing permanent, low-cost housing with support. But the government pushed through laws that give the police power to move homeless people on, confiscate their belongings and fine them $225, even if they are not causing a safety risk to others. It is not illegal to be homeless and I opposed the bill, which is a mean spirited response to the uncomfortable sight of vulnerable people sleeping rough. Read more HERE

The state government is responsible for housing and homelessness and while it sells off inner city public housing close to jobs, services and supports, and refuses to mandate strong affordable housing in major redevelopments, it blames the City of Sydney for the Martin Place ‘tent city’. Councils do not have the power to move people on. My speech is HERE.

I’ve again asked the minister to fund a second Common Ground supported accommodation project given the success of the Camperdown project, HERE

Glebe Island Future

Infrastructure NSW has confirmed that the long term plan for Glebe Island will include existing port and bulk concrete operations within the proposed White Bay Power Station innovation district. The Port Authority will make a commercial deal for an integrated port facility on Glebe Island. White Bay will continue to host cruise vessels, maritime contractors and vessel repair and events like fireworks. UrbanGrowth NSW plans a draft strategic framework and transport update for The Bays Precinct in late 2017. Information HERE

Seclusion and Restraint

You can make submissions to the review into seclusion, restraint and observation of people with a mental illness or attend a consultation meeting to have your say. The Sydney CBD meeting is Wednesday 16 August 5-7pm at Mercure Sydney 818-820 George Street Ultimo. Feedback is due 24 September. Information HERE