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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 253

Monday 19 February 2018

Eastern Suburbs High School, Subtenancy Limbo, Cycling Support, Family Drug Support, Redfern Comedy Night & Ethics Volunteers


Last week I met with parents and councillors from Woollahra and Waverley about growing needs for a new public high school in the east. Rose Bay Secondary College, the only public high school in the east has had to install demountable classrooms and has no space to expand. The expanded Alexandria Park and planned Cleveland Street high schools will fill quickly with local students, and are far from Paddington, Woollahra and Edgecliff and further east. The government should not assume eastern suburbs parents can or want to send their children to private schools in the area; most are selective, have waiting lists, expensive, religious and single sex. Population densities are expanding under development targets and renewal projects and the government must start planning new schools before there is nowhere left to build them.

I continue to ask questions in Parliament and CLOSEast has a questionnaire for eastern suburbs parents to get evidence for community need to present to government. For Paddington primary students see HERE and for Woollahra HERE. Join CLOSEast’s Facebook HERE. My last questions are HERE – and I’ll follow up with further questions.


Renters who haven’t signed a lease with a landlord but have an informal agreement with another tenant are not covered by tenancy laws and have few rights: they can be evicted without notice and refused bond for no reason, and can’t access the tribunal for recourse. The government has been reviewing tenancy laws and in Parliament I asked the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation to introduce protections. While his response acknowledged a gap, he said the government would monitor the situation and complaints. My question is HERE.

Redfern Legal Centre Tenants’ Advice Service, 9698 5975 or the Tenants’ Union, 1800 251 101 can advise renters.


Cycling is clean and healthy and can reduce traffic and public transport congestion but this government has shown contempt to cyclists, with its biggest moves to massively increase penalties and remove one of the most used safe cycleways. In Parliament, I called on the government to follow other cities’ lead and make cycling a safe option, see HERE.

We need to provide safe cycle routes to the planned Cleveland Street high school, which are required under the light rail consent conditions. Safe cycling links are needed from the eastern suburbs to the CBD, including for bike riders using the planned upgraded Edgecliff bus and railway station. We must remove the footpath bans which force children as young as 12 to ride on the road with trucks and fast moving traffic.

The growth in bikeshare and food delivery apps is seeing more people ride bikes and we must make it safe. I asked the minister about accreditation of bikeshare operators to protect the public domain and riders: HERE. My questions on New South Head Road HERE; around the light rail route HERE and for Edgecliff HERE.


International Family Drug Support Day reminds us about the families suffering behind every statistic of a drug related overdose death, arrest or hospitalisation, often in an environment of stigma and shame: see HERE. Family Drug Support Tony Trimingham CEO and Founder and other families will speak at a forum at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts 2-4pm Friday 23 February: HERE.


Redfern Legal Centre finishes celebrating 40 years with a Comedy Night on Thursday 8 March 7.30-9.30 pm at the Giant Dwarf Theatre 199 Cleveland Street Redfern. You can also buy a commemorative tea towel or t-shirt. All funds help Redfern Legal Centre provide free legal advice and advocacy for vulnerable people. Details HERE.


Volunteers are needed to teach ethics classes at primary schools, including Crown Street Public School. There is training, lesson materials and ongoing support, and it may be only an hour a week. See HERE or contact