Monday 2 July 2018
Supporting Vibrancy, Supporting Social Housing, Parrabell Reports, ABC Defenders, Volunteer Awards & Keeping Women Out of Prison
Following release of City of Sydney findings that Sydneysiders want longer trading hours, more places to go and more diverse options after dark, I again called on the government to make Sydney’s night time economy an urgent priority. Small wins like half hour extensions to lockouts and trading hours for live music venues have helped but more is needed to restore business and consumer confidence. We continue to wait for action from the NSW Government Night Time Economy Taskforce, including a music action plan and a night time economy master plan. The Minister for Racing still hasn’t responded to my April request for a meeting to discuss this matter.
Police tell me there were few incidents when the 1.30 am lockout was lifted in the Oxford Street precinct during the Mardi Gras Parade night. We should remove the lockout for well managed venues and introduce measures like saturation zones, late night transport and renewable licences to ensure we retain the safety improvements.
My speech: HERE.
SUPPORTING SOCIAL HOUSING
Given the final court appeal for tenants in Millers Point has been lost, ongoing City of Sydney support for social housing is very welcome, with Lord Mayor Clover Moore again calling on the government to retain and re-tenant the remaining 26 vacant homes that have not been sold yet, to keep the Sirius building and not sell any further properties. I’ve repeatedly called for the government to retain all inner city low cost housing.
My most recent questions ask the government to return some of the tenants forced to leave Millers Point to the homes included in the 28 properties we saved from the sales program that remain empty. My questions: HERE and Clover Moore’s Lord Mayoral Minute: HERE.
I welcome the Strike Force Parrabell report and commend NSW Police and Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell for committing the resources to thoroughly review the violent deaths of 88 gay men or perceived to be gay between 1976 and 2000. The associated academic review by Flinders University provides an independent check. The report: HERE.
The re-investigation and review confirmed targeted gay hate murders of 27 men during a wave of ‘gay bashing’ and ‘moral panic’, but does not show systemic police bias. It is disappointing that the lack of evidence and poor records after such a long time limits the results.
Importantly Parrabell shows it is vital for police to build relationships with affected communities to address crime and safety. Work over the last decade to improve homicide investigations and record keeping, and the introduction of a Bias Crime Unit, the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) program and police training with LGBTIQ community representatives was identified as essential.
I congratulate advocates including ACON and the former Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Anti-Violence Project for pushing to reform police systems and expose this terrible history. It is vital that NSW Police embed reforms into police systems so all police officers consider bias. I will follow this up with the Minister for Police and work with colleagues across NSW Parliament for a Parliamentary inquiry.
We must be vigilant and make sure that this type of attack on vulnerable communities and individuals never occurs again.
There’s a rally Sunday 8 July 2-4pm at the Teachers’ Federation Auditorium 37 Reservoir Street Surry Hills to support an independent ABC: HERE.
Nominations are open for the 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards until 13 July. Do you know of someone whose unpaid work and effort needs to be recognised?
KEEPING WOMEN OUT OF PRISON
Sydney Women Fund and Keeping Women Out of Prison Coalition have a lunch session ‘Exploring the care to prison pipeline: how women and girls end up in custody’ Friday 12.30-2pm Friday 13 July: HERE.