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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 250

Monday 29 January 2018

Short Term Strata Rentals, Sirius Campaign, Restraint Review, Religious Freedom Review, Financial Services Royal Commission & Queer Screen Film Festival

SHORT TERM STRATA RENTALS

The government will prepare a framework for regulating short term letting following its options paper last year. It’s important that we continue to push for owners corporations’ rights to impose bans and I have created a petition to lodge in Parliament. If we get 10,000 signatures, it will initiate a debate with both major parties likely to speak in response.

Short term letting can impact on other apartment owners and occupiers including from use of common property and waste facilities, building insurance costs and noise. Strata communities should be managed democratically and not have holiday lets forced upon them. I encourage you to distribute the petition in your building and collect signatures HERE.

SIRIUS CAMPAIGN

I nominated Myra Demetriou as the Sydney electorate 2018 Woman of the Year in recognition of her strong advocacy on this campaign and her contribution to the local community over 60 years. Myra has been a voice for social justice, equality and a fair go throughout her life, and been the voice and face of the Save Sirius campaign. I joined other MPs and Lord Mayor Clover Moore to speak at Myra’s farewell party.

While it was sad to see Myra have to leave her home – the last from Sirius – and follow all those others who have been forced out of the area, the campaign against the sale of this purpose-built social housing will continue. The campaign is working on a project to try to buy the building in order to keep inner city social housing. Support the Save Our Sirius campaign: www.facebook.com/SaveOurSirius.

A draft planning policy for Sirius is on exhibition for public comment until 16 February, which would allow any redevelopment of the site for residential, commercial and retail uses and maximum building heights across the site only below the height of the

Sydney Harbour Bridge deck although existing heights could be permitted if the buildings is retained. Details: HERE.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REVIEW

The federal government has appointed a panel to “consider the intersections between the enjoyment of the freedom of religion and other human rights” and this review is open for public comment until 14 February. I share community concern that this review is aimed at rolling back anti-discrimination provisions and encourage you to make a submission: HERE.

RESTRAINT REVIEW

Reports of mental health facilities causing trauma to patients are very concerning and I welcome recommendations from the report of the ‘Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities’ for cultural changes to create therapeutic programs and environments. Recommendations focus on reducing restraint and social exclusion with increased supervision and oversight when restraint and seclusion is used. The report calls for better physical design of facilities including consumer co-design as well as greater use of peer workers: HERE.

The St Vincent’s Hospital Executive Director told me that they redesigned and refurbished the Caritas ward and sensory space and implemented a person-centred

service model in 2015 that has consistently reduced seclusion incidents, putting them below the state average. The hospital is recruiting for two part time consumer participation workers and has received an additional $172,000 for assertive support for people when they leave the crisis service.

FINANCIAL SERVICES ROYAL COMMISSION

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation

and Financial Services Industry has now been established and is taking public submissions HERE

CHOICE is calling for consumers to let them know priorities for their work on this major review: HERE    

SHOPPING TROLLEYS

A number of constituent have contacted me about an increased number of shopping trolleys abandoned in the public domain.

While new shopping centres generally have conditions that require them to prevent trolleys leaving the centre, this does not apply to older centres. You can report dumped trolleys to the industry collection agency Trolley Trackers, telephone 1800 883 534 or online at trolleytracker.com.au/Report.

QUEER SCREEN FILM FESTIVAL

I’m proud to support the Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival again this year – on from 15 February to 1 March: HERE