13 January 2016
Following the end of year break, my office is back at work and I’m preparing for parliament, working with the community and supporting local activities.
ULTIMO PUBLIC SCHOOL
This week I met with the Minister for Education’s officer and the Department of Education to urge them to re-open negotiations with the City of Sydney over the Fig and Wattle streets site. They made it clear that the department plans to go ahead with redevelopment on the current site, with planning advanced for a larger school operating by the start of 2019.
I will continue to push for possible use of the Fig and Wattle site for community benefit and education infrastructure, which the community has been demanding for years. I remain hopeful that the government will come to the table with the council to achieve a positive outcome for the community.
I was assured that students will be temporarily relocated together and not split up during construction, with a decision soon on the relocation site. The department will set up a reference group and update the school community when school starts.
Ignoring Woollahra Council’s strong economic position, social achievements and the wishes of its residents, the government will amalgamate it with Waverley and Randwick councils. The Boundaries Commission will be reformed and conduct a public process on the proposal and other proposed mergers, bypassing Parliament. If mergers go ahead, I will push to maintain services and limit disruptions. Public inquiry sessions are on 4 February and submissions due 28 February: https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/randwick-city-waverley-and-woollahra-municipal-councils/.
I welcome the government’s recognition that the City of Sydney is financially and socially strong and any change to its boundaries would put its position and Sydney’s global city status at risk.
The government’s plans: https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/
SUPPORT CONTAINER DEPOSITS
The government is considering two schemes to reduce drink container litter: a deposit scheme which adds a 10 cent fee to containers that gets refunded on return for recycling or an industry proposal for new investment in litter bins and community education. The container deposits are the only proven scheme that significantly increases recycling, but the beverage industry opposes regulation. Plastic litter is killing bird and sea life.
I encourage you to make a submission in support of container deposits by 28 February:
LOCAL SPORTS GRANTS
The NSW Government small grants program for local sports groups to help with training, inclusion programs, events, facilities or club development. Only incorporated, not-for-profit sport clubs are eligible, with a total of $50,000 for each electorate. Applications close 11 February. Details:
BLACK HOLE DOCUMENTARY
Join me Monday night at the screening of the documentary ‘Black Hole’ which shows the impact coal mining is having on agriculture, heritage and the natural environment of the Liverpool Plains. Following the film I will join a local elder and local farmer in a panel discussion: 18 January 6.30pm at Dendy Cinema, Opera Quays Circular Quay. Tickets: www.tugg.com/events/79839