Monday 4 September 2017
The recent 4Corners program showing some retirement village residents in awful situations reveals profit is driving some industry players, with limited consumer protection and gaps between federal and state regulation. See the ABC report HERE.
The state government overhauled retirement village laws in 2013 to create more transparency on contract fees and charges, with an online calculator to identify real costs, and increased compliance, but this does not help people who entered into contracts prior to the changes and improvements for those on newer contracts are unclear. I’ve followed up with questions in Parliament HERE.
Tuesday 29 August 2017
The government has released an options paper on possible ways to regulate short term holiday letting, ranging from industry self-regulation to licensing operators. The paper does not take a position and my submission will again push for owner corporations to have the power to approve, limit or ban short term letting, and for limits on when a home can be let on a short term holiday basis. Short term letting can be a great way to experience the city and help people make some extra money from a spare room or while they are away, but it needs appropriate regulation to protect community, housing affordability and neighbourhood amenity.
Comment is due 31 October and I encourage you to make a submission on how short term letting should be regulated, HERE.
Tuesday 15 August 2017
Hiding homelessness does not solve it and moving and fining vulnerable homeless people in public places does not take them off the street. The solution is providing permanent, low-cost housing with support. But the government pushed through laws that give the police power to move homeless people on, confiscate their belongings and fine them $225, even if they are not causing a safety risk to others. It is not illegal to be homeless and I opposed the bill, which is a mean spirited response to the uncomfortable sight of vulnerable people sleeping rough. Read more HERE.Read more
(Opposition to Bill, Wednesday 9 August 2017, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
The Sydney Public Reserves (Public Safety) Bill 2017 is a mean‑spirited response to the uncomfortable sight of vulnerable people sleeping rough in public places, and I strongly oppose it. The bill will give police officers the power to move rough sleepers away from Martin Place and seize their tents and belongings. If rough sleepers move to another public reserve in the City of Sydney local government area, the Minister will be able to confer the powers for use there too. Rough sleepers can incur fines of $220 if they do not leave when ordered to do so.Read more
Tuesday 8 August 2017
The ongoing ‘tent city’ in Martin Place has drawn national attention to increasing homelessness and housing unaffordability, which is approaching a crisis. I understand why some ‘tent city’ residents do not want to accept temporary housing given hostels and refuges are full and they have food, clothing and feel safe at Martin Place. Getting authorities to dismantle the camp will only move rough sleepers to other areas like Woolloomooloo, Belmore Park and Wentworth Park.
Monday 31 July 2017
The Land and Environment court ruling in favour of Save Our Sirius Foundation and the Environmental Defenders Office is a win for Sydney’s heritage and the community campaign. The court determined that the former minister’s decision not to list the iconic Sirius building on the heritage register did not comply with the Heritage Act and must now reconsider the Heritage Council’s recommendation to list Sirius, determination is HERE.Read more
Monday 5 May 2017
I’m concerned about the increased numbers of people sleeping rough across the inner city and in Parliament asked the Minister for Social Housing for action to help those sleeping rough in Woolloomooloo, Belmore Park, Martin Place, and Wentworth Park.
We urgently need a second Common Ground project like that in Camperdown, which provides long term homeless people with complex needs a home and onsite support to get back on their feet. My questions are HERE and HERE.
Monday 5 May 2017
The ‘This is Sirius’ exhibition celebrates the purpose-built brutalist Sirius building at The Rocks and its residents, with about 60 exhibits and a preview of the documentary ‘Forced Out’ about the destruction of the Millers Point social housing community. The exhibition is at the Annie Wyatt Room, National Trust Centre Observatory Hill from 8 to 16 June 10am-4.30pm. Details: http://saveoursirius.org/
(Second Reading Debate, 30 May 2017, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
Home building insurance has long been criticised by consumer groups for helping too few home owners get relief from faulty building work. A home is often someone’s biggest investment and defects can cause the owner considerable economic loss and disruption to life.Read more
Monday 22 May 2017
St Canice’s Church works with some of the most vulnerable people in the local area. The Heart and Hand 2 Concert of Opera + Song on Sunday 28 May, 3pm at St Canice’s will raise funds for the St Canice’s Kitchen and Railaco Jesuit Mission East Timor. Details HERE.