Monday 16 January
Short Term Rentals
Ensuring short term letting regulations protect residential amenity, strata costs and housing affordability will be a major focus this year. The government agrees with the parliamentary inquiry recommendations that some short term letting should be permitted within residential zones but it is unclear what steps it will take to establish limits.
I have asked the planning minister to consult with the community on draft reforms before presenting anything to Parliament. My letter is HERE.
More WestConnex Roads
Late last year the government released alarming proposals to widen roads and intersections, and introduce clearways between Alexandria and Moore Park. Details are scarce but it looks like parts of Moore Park would be sacrificed for the project. The changes are to deal with expected new traffic spilling from the WestConnex St Peter’s Interchange, despite government promises that the local roads network would be able to cope.
It is unsustainable to continually expand road space and it only encourages private vehicle use, leading to more congestion. I asked the government to abandon proposals and work across roads, public transport, environment and planning agencies to address future congestion. My submission is HERE.
Clean Air Consultation
Comment is open on proposed action to improve air quality. The Environment Protection Authority says air pollution causes 520 premature deaths and 6300 cumulative years of life lost and 1180 hospital admissions in Sydney alone. A recent report in The Lancet suggests links between heavy traffic noise and air pollution and dementia. Read article HERE.
However the government’s proposed Clean Air for NSW strategy offers minor action on motor vehicle pollutants that does not challenge major vested interests while the government builds more tollways and expands major roads. Comments due Friday 20 January, HERE.
Civil Justice Reforms
The Department of Justice is consulting on options to improve civil justice. This branch of the law is not about crimes and policing but everyday problems like disputes with a neighbour, problems with a product or service or tenancy disputes. The department reckons about 40 per cent of people give up and don’t do anything, and proposes changes to make it easier to tackle these concerns.
You can do the online survey or comment on the discussion paper by 24 February, HERE.
The Ankali Project is looking for volunteers who provide emotional and social support to people living with HIV, with training planned for February. Details HERE.