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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 254

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Glebe Island Facility, Protecting Sirius, Computers in Cells, Mardi Gras Turns 40, Short Term Strata Rentals, Music and Arts Inquiry & Battery Hens

GLEBE ISLAND FACILITY

There is support for the inner city to retain some level of the working harbour but the government wants to significantly intensify port operations at Glebe Island despite it being adjacent to Pyrmont, Australia’s most densely populated neighbourhood. Massive cargo ships will load bulk construction materials to store onsite to be delivered to the CBD by truck for construction projects. No real controls are proposed to protect residential amenity with ship and truck movements allowed to expand to meet demand and 24-hour, seven days a week operations. There are no bans on ships running generators while berthed or leaving lights on at night. Residents already experience impacts from existing port operations and the White Bay Cruise Ship Terminal and the proposal will result in a drastic increase in operations.

Approving plans in the Bays Precinct before the promised strategic plan for the area is piecemeal and it is of great concern that the Port Authority of NSW is putting forward, assessing and approving this proposal. My submission called for an independent environmental impact assessment process that imposes enforceable conditions on the operations including night and weekend bans. Thanks to all those Pyrmont residents who made submissions to the Port Authority. My submission is HERE.

PROTECTING SIRIUS

While I welcome proposed controls in the draft Sirius SEPP to protect sightlines to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, the SEPP fails to protect the rich social and architectural heritage of this iconic building. There are also no affordable housing targets, no conservation management plan for future owners who choose to retain the building and no work to ensure integration with The Rocks precinct – indeed the process represents more spot rezoning.

The loss of a diverse community through the eviction of disadvantaged and vulnerable tenants, and the proposed sale and potential destruction of the iconic building, remain controversial. Retaining Sirius for use as social and low cost housing would provide

the greatest community benefit. My submission is HERE.

COMPUTERS IN CELLS

The Minister for Correction’s response to my questions about providing computers in prison cells shows progress in prisoners being able to access counselling and education, vital to rehabilitation and re-integration into the community. The Offender Digital Services Program Blueprint has measures to prevent misuse and will give prisoners access to education, legal resources and prison programs. My questions are HERE

MARDI GRAS TURNS 40

This year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a time to reflect on the heroism of the 1978ers who marched for fairness, equality and ending discrimination, but were met with brutality and violence, media exposure, loss of jobs and social stigma. I joined other MPs in the Legislative Assembly to honour the 78ers bravery and consider our progress towards equality forty years later, and re-commit to continue that work. Read my speech HERE.

This year Lord Mayor Clover Moore and I will march with a walking group to thank Sydney for helping achieve fairness and end discrimination.

SHORT TERM STRATA RENTALS

Lots of people have sent in signed petitions calling for apartment communities to make their own rules, and that includes being able to say no to short-term rentals. We need 10,000 signatures for the issue to come up for debate in Parliament. Parliament only accepts hard copy signed petitions.

Download the petition now so you can collect signatures – or call my office and we’ll post you a copy. Petition HERE.

MUSIC AND ARTS INQUIRY

The Legislative Council Inquiry into The Music and arts economy in NSW is open for submissions about the Night-Time Economy Roundtable Action Plan as well as support for music and arts culture, venue spaces, reducing red tape and funding options. Closes 28 February, see HERE.

BATTERY HENS

More than a thousand people contacted me about the draft Poultry Code – there is strong community opposition to cruel factory farming and I thank all those who took the time to give feedback to the government. My submission called for stronger standards and a ban on cage egg farming, see HERE.

I intend to follow up again in Parliament and keep the pressure on for reform.