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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 241

Monday 6 November 2017

Eastern City Plan, Manus Cruelty, Firearms Explosion, School Das, Walsh Bay Revamp, Cycling Backwards, Racing Whips

Eastern City Plan

The Greater Sydney Commission has released revised plans for Sydney to 2056. The Eastern City District covers the Sydney electorate and includes a five year target of 46,550 new homes, with 18,400 in the City of Sydney and 300 in Woollahra Council. The plan expects 157,500 new homes in this district by 2036. See Elizabeth Farrelly’s comment HERE.

I have been pushing for an affordable housing target of at least 15 per cent. The plan supports a target of 5-10 per cent of new floor space, which if delivered, would be an improvement on the government’s current meagre one to four per cent aim – at Barangaroo we will only get 2.3 per cent and even then it may not be on site. It is unclear how GSC will enforce the target or whether inner city developments will provide the lower end of the target. There is a dire absence of affordable housing with ordinary income earners unable to afford homes close to jobs and services and we need urgent action to provide people on low incomes housing options. Current student accommodation proposals say $300/week is affordable!

Councils will have to review their LEPs to comply with the final plans. The plans rely entirely on various infrastructure agencies to provide transport, parks, schools and community facilities but it is unclear how the GSC will make this happen. You can comment until 15 December HERE.

Manus Cruelty

A number of constituents have contacted me distressed about the federal

government’s ongoing cruel treatment of more than 800 refugees on Manus Island. Both the federal government and opposition have left hundreds of refugees in limbo and the closure of the detention centre exposes them to further risk. It will take a concerted community campaign directed to federal MPs to get a humanitarian response. There’s a great action list HERE.

Firearms Explosion

I’ve asked the minister for action to prevent gun violence HERE. The alarming report on gun regulation shows NSW has never complied with the 1996 National Firearms Agreement, with gun controls eroded further since the 2006 report. In two years, the number of guns increased by 65,000, with over 900,000 registered guns in NSW. The Sydney University School of Public Health report is HERE. The Greens have developed a website showing the number of registered guns and gun owners in local areas: www.toomanyguns.org. Support Gun Control Australia’s campaign at www.guncontrolaustralia.org.

School Das

Amended plans for the Inner City High School on Cleveland Street to cater for 1,200 secondary students are open for comment until 10 November. Details HERE.

The Ultimo Public School redevelopment proposal is on exhibition until 30 November. The proposal includes 30 classrooms for 800 students, three program rooms, multi-function spaces, library, school hall, rooftop sports court, play spaces, landscaping, out of school facilities and space for a 40-place child care centre. All trees will be removed and new ones planted in four landscaped gardens. Details HERE

Walsh Bay Revamp

Plans for the redevelopment of Walsh Bay arts venues are on exhibition for comment until 24 November and include upgrades to the venues, new pier entrances, three new retail, cafe and restaurant spaces and use for major events. There’s an information session Wednesday 15 November 12-2 or 5.30-7.30pm at Pier 2/3 Hickson Road. More information HERE.

Cycling Backwards

While the government will fix the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway, the minister’s response to other needed city centre cycle routes is disappointing. The William/Park streets separated cycleway dangerously stops at Elizabeth Street, there is no easterly route from Darling Harbour along Druitt Street to Park Street and the main north-south Castlereagh Street cycleway ends at Liverpool Street.

Unfortunately the transport minister also won’t act on safe direct cycling routes to the planned Cleveland Street high school, now cut off by light rail works and surrounded by high risk roads like Cleveland, Devonshire, Chalmers, Elizabeth, Lee and Regent streets. Instead, the government boosted cycling offence penalties; cycling rates have decreased where there are no safe routes. My letters and the responses are HERE.

Racing Whips

During the Melbourne Cup frenzy, don’t forget the cruelty of whips in horse racing, which would be prosecuted if it happened outside the races. Support the RSPCA campaign against whips, HERE.