Monday 4 December 2017
Sydney Modern, Stadium Campaign, Electoral Changes, Woman of the Year, Land Clearing, Greener Sydney & Give a Dog a Bone
Proposals for the Sydney Modern Art Gallery of NSW expansion project are on exhibition. The award winning design is light and low rise with rooftop gardens, a publicly accessible art garden, new pedestrian links, and a repurposed naval fuel bunker as gallery space. There is also a hard paved entry plaza at the front. While the plans are a great outcome for the gallery, they remove vital open space including over the Eastern Distributor and on The Domain at a time when demand for public recreation space is increasing.
I know some people are very concerned while others believe the public benefits of a state-of-the-art gallery will outweigh losses in green open space. It should be up to the wider community whether this project should proceed in this location and I encourage you to view plans and provide comments. I am currently going through the Environmental Impact Statement before I make a submission. Comments close 15 December,HERE.
More than 86,000 people have already signed the online petition against NSW Government plans to spend $2.3 billion to knock down and rebuild the Olympic Stadium and Sydney Football Stadium. I oppose the rebuild which has little public benefit and am also concerned that there will be no public open planning process for the redevelopment because the SCG has a broad exemption from planning laws. I have asked the Premier to require an Environmental Impact Assessment or Development Application for the rebuild. Unfortunately the government and opposition blocked my 2016 bill to remove these exemptions. Support the campaign HERE.
My independent colleague Greg Piper, the Member for Lake Macquarie and I got the government to change a bill that would have made it harder for new independent candidates to contest future elections.
Currently independents have to secure 15 nominations from electors in their district in a short period during the hectic campaigning period; the government wanted to increase this to 50, while making no changes to party candidates who only need to be nominated by their party office. New candidates don’t have access to the electoral roll and can’t ensure nominators are properly enrolled. I argued that the proposed changes are anti-democratic and discourage competition in elections from community representatives. The government agreed and reduced the number to 25. My speech is HERE.
2018 Woman of the Year
You can nominate women who have outstanding contributions in NSW to industry, communities and society for recognition at the 2018 International Women’s Day. Each MP nominates a woman in their electorate to acknowledge their contribution and I’m keen to hear of women in the Sydney electorate to recognise. Public nominations close 18 December HERE.
Building new roads, infrastructure and housing has resulted in thousands of mature trees removed across greater Sydney. Evidence shows we need more trees to reduce air pollution, protect against increasingly dangerous heat impacts and to provide beauty and amenity. This is especially important in the densely populated inner city where few people have private green space.
The government’s draft Greener Places Policy sounds good but has a big gap in implementation and measures to protect green open space. Comment is due 26 February HERE.
The Nature Conservation Council and Environment Defenders Office are challenging the NSW Government’s Native Vegetation Code in the Land and Environment Court. These are similar to Queensland’s devastating code that saw nearly 300,000 hectares of bushland cleared in 2013/2014 – three times the rate prior to the codes. Our environment cannot cope with such a loss of biodiversity. Find out about the impacts of weakened land clearing controls and what you can do to help at the briefing: 6:15-8pm Thursday 7 December at Surry Hills Community Centre, information HERE.
Give a Dog a Bone
Don’t forget the Give a Dog a Bone, Keep Kitty Happy’ collection for pet treats, toys or food for animal shelters and rescue services until 15 December, information HERE.