Alex's Update Issue 273

Monday 16 July 2018

Unaffordable Housing, Smoking Impacts, Bowling Club Site, Kids on Bikes, Water Grants, Seniors Grants, Homeless Street Count & Welcome Refugees

UNAFFORDABLE HOUSING

In Parliament, I supported Member for Newtown Jenny Leong’s motion on the affordable housing crisis. Anglicare's research shows only 1 per cent of private rentals are affordable for people on low incomes across Sydney, and it is worse in the inner city. About 40,000 people are sleeping rough every night and 60,000 families are waiting for social housing.

We need strong affordable housing targets, a commitment to a Housing First policy to help homeless people get off the street and back on their feet as well as more social housing, especially in the inner city. My speech is HERE.

I hope that the upcoming SBS program ‘Filthy Rich and Homeless’ will help get community and government focus on addressing homelessness. Information HERE

SMOKING IMPACTS

In response to community concerns, I asked the Minister for Health about smoke drift and health impacts from smoking in public places. According to the minister, there is very high compliance with smoke-free rules and public place bans have been extended to e-cigarettes, response HERE. My earlier questions followed up community concerns about enforcement of smoking bans, HERE

You can report problem locations to NSW Health: telephone 1800 357 412 or online HERE.

BOWLING CLUB SITE

In response to my questions in Parliament about the Paddington Bowling Club site, the Minister for Lands and Forestry says the lease was transferred to Quarry Street Pty Limited in November 2017 and the new lessee is complying with lease conditions. Adjacent residents have been raising concerns about retaining this Crown land as recreation space. My questions are HERE.

KIDS ON BIKES

I’ve asked the minister to review the rules which force children between 12 and 16 to ride on the road. The rule applies even on heavy arterial roads with fast moving traffic and puts young people who are not experienced riders in conflict cars. It also has ridiculous anomalies which mean a 12 year old must ride on the road while their parent and younger sibling can ride on the footpath. New South Wales is the only state other than Victoria with this rule. I will follow up again about the outcome of the promised Centre for Road Safety review, see HERE. Support the community reform campaign HERE

WATER GRANTS

Sydney Water has small grants for arts, heritage, safety, welfare or education projects as well as community clean up groups. Grants close 27 July. Apply HERE.

SENIORS GRANTS

Applications are open for 2019 Seniors Festival grants, for projects with people over 60 up to $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000. Closing date is 10 August. Apply HERE.

HOMELESS STREET COUNT

The City of Sydney needs volunteers for its August Street Count from 11.45pm Monday 13 August through until 4am Tuesday 14 August. Volunteers spread out across streets, parks and other public places to count the number of rough sleepers in the inner city, which helps us campaign for increased support and housing. Information HERE.

WELCOME REFUGEES

I’ve opposed the Commonwealth Government’s axing of the Status Resolution Support Service, which will push refugees and asylum seekers into poverty and homelessness, leaving state governments, charities and the community to pick up the pieces. The government response is shameful in contrast to positive community care and support for people in need and I’m aware of many constituents giving time, money and support. 

Help the Asylum Seekers Centre HERE or Refugee Advice and Casework Service HERE. Be a Welcome to Sydney Ambassador with Settlement Services International and the City of Sydney HERE or host a refugee in your home HERE.