Monday 3 April 2017
The government had to admit that forced council amalgamations may not deliver lower rates as it promised but could in fact result in much higher fees. While I do not support rate pegging, I supported its bill to require a merged council to use rate paths imposed by the previous council for three years to ensure Paddington, Woollahra and Edgecliff residents are not hit with a predicted 53 per cent rate rise if Woollahra Council is forced to merge with Randwick and Waverley. Forced mergers guarantee disruption and can mean larger bureaucracies and lose grassroots representation and local expertise.Read more
(Contribution to Debate, 29 March 2017, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
The Local Government Amendment (Rates – Merged Council Areas) Bill will give the Minister for Local Government the power to require a council that was established through a recent amalgamation of local government areas, to continue the same rate paths that were used by the former council areas, over the next three years. During this three year period, rates will reflect what they would have been under the former standalone council.Read more
Monday 27 March 2017
Tomorrow Tuesday 28 March from 12 noon there is a free BBQ outside the LPI building, opposite St Mary's Cathedral followed by a rally against privatisation of NSW Land and Property Information at Martin Palace near Macquarie Street at 1 pm. Details at www.concernedtitlesgroup.com.au or HERE.
I opposed the bill to privatise LPI – it risks the quality of service, property fraud and increased costs in buying and selling a home. However the government pushed legislation through Parliament and seems intent on proceeding with the sale.
Monday 20 March 2017
The YMCA Youth Parliament introduces young people to the NSW Parliament and it can create change, with residential camps in July and September including a Youth Sitting Week in Parliament where you develop and debate bills. Details HERE.
20 February 2017
I am disappointed the Berejiklian government has ignored city communities’ concerns about mega-councils; people want local councils that understand their area and needs, with easy access to decision makers. Woollahra Council is financially sustainable and residents overwhelmingly support existing boundaries: it should not be forced to merge with other local government areas.
Local government must cease to be the plaything of state governments: subject to sackings, mergers and de-amalgamations for political advantage; it should once and for all be recognised in the constitution with democracy protected.
Monday 13 February 2017
NSW Parliament sits again this week after the summer break, and I’ll use all opportunities to speak out and push for government action on community concerns. You can see the year’s sitting days HERE.
Monday 6 February 2017
The government’s willingness to revisit forced council amalgamations is encouraging and my recent letters call on the new Premier and new Minister for Local Government to support the community’s wishes and withdraw planned amalgamation. I’ve asked to meet with the minister about Woollahra Council’s future.
Monday 30 January 2017
I have written to new Premier Gladys Berejiklian to congratulate her and reinforce my commitment to working with the government to get the best outcomes for the community. Changes to NSW Cabinet bring in new ministers and I’ve already reached out to a number of ministers to seek meetings and get action. The new Cabinet information is HERE.
- Saved Moore Park from SCG development  
- Historic apology to 78ers 
- Saved 28 Millers Point homes for public housing tenants    
- Container deposits levy legislation introduced  
- City of Sydney not amalgamated   
- Inner city high school funded   
- Caps on local government donations  
- Against Powerhouse selloff    
- Against Woollahra Municipal Council amalgamation   
- Against massive fines for bike riders 
- Against overdevelopment of the Crown casino  
- Against land clearing laws  
- Against crown land selloffs 
- Against greyhound racing and animal cruelty   
- For National Art School independence and site  
- For strata rights including owners corporation power to restrict short term letting  
- For passive recreation on Moore Park  
- For a safe and vibrant nightlife   
- For drug harm minimisation and pill testing 
- To improve digital technologies education 
- To save the Sirius building