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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 268

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Vale Irene Doutney, Short Term Letting, Safe Access, Stadium Secrecy, High School Start, Men’s Health, Women in the House, TPP Rally & Logging The Future

VALE IRENE DOUTNEY

I’m saddened at the passing of former Greens City of Sydney Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor Irene Doutney. Her record and tireless dedication will continue to inspire me and so many others to stand up for those in need. I first met Irene in 2008 when we spoke together at my very first marriage equality rally. For over a decade, I was honoured to work with Irene for public housing residents, sex workers rights, LGBTIQ rights, women’s rights and animal welfare.

SHORT TERM LETTING

Our community campaign got the government to give owners’ corporations the power to ban holiday lets for lots that are not the “principal place of residence” of the host, but this very limited power will do little to stop buildings turning into quasi hotels. It is unclear how principal place of residence will be determined, and there are no controls to stop buildings being overrun, to help owners corporations recoup increased costs from hosts or enforcement mechanisms. There will be an express prohibition on by-laws that control or limit short term renting for lots that are the host’s principal place of residence. Please continue to collect signatures on my petition calling for strata controls on short term letting, HERE.  

A planning instrument on short term letting will be released to specify that a breach of a residential zone will only occur if a home is let on a short term basis for more than 180 days a year – 180 days represents so much of the year the limit will be difficult to enforce. Six month leases could become common with tenants evicted over summer to make space for more profitable holiday lets.

London, San Francisco, New Orleans and Reykjavik use 90 days and Paris, which used 120 days, has had to introduce a registration system because its limit was being flouted. Problems in New York and Berlin have led to near outright short term let bans. The government has failed to look at international models to create a sustainable, workable system that protects communities and I’ll work with the minister and opposition to improve the scheme. The government plan is HERE.

My media release is HERE.

SAFE ACCESS

Last week Parliament passed laws so that women can safely access reproductive health clinics without harassment, intimidation or obstruction. Some anti-abortion activists try to hinder, harass, moralise, intimidate and distress women and staff attending clinics. This is not political protest but an invasion of women’s privacy. Safe access zones cover only 150 metres around clinic entrances and activists will be able to speak out and distribute material on abortion in other public places.

Women have a right get the medical care they need without interference and I supported the bill, HERE.

STADIUM SECRECY

Ahead of the expected exhibition of an Environmental Impact Statement, in Parliament I again asked the government to withdraw its plans to knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium and reinvest funds in the parklands and community recreation. I called for release of the full business case, which has since happened following a Legislative Council motion and which shows a business case filled with poorly justified estimates and assumptions. Secrecy remains on other associated SCG plans including where the pool and gym will be relocated, what other buildings will be constructed and expansions into the Entertainment Quarter. Hearings as part of the Sydney Stadiums Strategy show that the rebuild process is being significantly rushed when viewed against comparable projects. My speech is HERE.

HIGH SCHOOL START

Demolition work starts this week on the new Inner City High School, with students planned from 2020. There will be a foundation parent group and catchment to be settled later this year. Details are HERE.

MEN’S HEALTH

It is men’s health week this week, see HERE. Try Broga in the city, HERE or check out a Men’s Shed, HERE.

WOMEN IN THE HOUSE

The law was changed 100 years ago to allow women to stand for and sit in Parliament as MPs. There’s a lighting display and re-enactment of the first female MP Millicent Preston Stanley’s campaign for mother's custody rights Friday 15 June 5-6pm. Free but bookings essential: email dps.education@parliament.nsw.gov.au or phone 9230 2047. Details HERE.

TPP RALLY

The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network AFTINET is holding a rally 12.30 Friday 15 June at Farrer Place Sydney. The 11th version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership tabled in federal Parliament – it still allows corporations to sue governments over health, environment, consumer and public interest laws. Details HERE.

LOGGING THE FUTURE 

Join me, the National Parks Association of NSW, Nature Conservation Council and The Wilderness Society for the launch of a new report ‘Public Native Forests - The Case for Change’ 6.30-8.30pm Wednesday 20 June in the Macquarie Room, NSW Parliament. The event will examine the impacts of native timber logging on our environment and wildlife, the economic contribution and why and how we need change. Register HERE.