Alex's Update Issue 197

Alex's Update Issue 197

29 November 2016

Compulsory Acquisitions, GSC Plans, Sydney News No 12, Short Term Rentals, World AIDS Day, Support Redfern Legal, Woolloomooloo Celebrates and Equality Shop


I welcome changes to compulsory property acquisition improving the process and adding some fairness when the government resumes homes for government projects. Increased solatium compensation for non-financial disadvantage is welcome, but reform is needed to make sure that people can buy another home in the same community when forced to sell. My speech is HERE.

I am concerned that people forced to sell from light rail and metro acquisitions should receive full benefits and have asked the minister to make sure they are all informed HERE.


The Greater Sydney Commission released plans for greater Sydney to 2036, dividing the urban area into three districts with the City of Sydney and Woollahra councils included in the Central District of the Eastern City area. Plans are arranged under headings: productivity, liveability and sustainability and are open for comment. Full details:

Councils across Sydney will have to provide for an extra 46,550 dwellings in five years, but only 5-10 per cent will need to be affordable and only where this is ‘viable’. A greater proportion of housing must be affordable if Sydney is to remain diverse and liveable. Join the Sydney Alliance call for higher levels of affordable housing HERE.


My latest ‘Sydney News’ No 12 is now being delivered across the Sydney electorate. You can also read it online HERE


If regulated properly, short term letting can provide a great experience for visitors and hosts without impacting on neighbours and other owners. But if not done right, short term letting can create problems, particularly in strata buildings, like increased insurance costs from change of use, security risks from transient neighbours, intrusive noise from visitors in holiday/party mode and loss of a sense of community. The proliferation of short term letting can also reduce housing affordability as homes get converted to hotels.

Last week I met with the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation and argued that where hosts do not stay with visitors, they must get permission from owner corporations to let their apartment on a short term basis. Restrictions to limit the number of days a home can be offered for let on a short term basis will be difficult to enforce and fail to address cumulative impacts.

The government is yet to establish its position, however the minister expressed a preference for additional safeguards in apartments over giving owner corporations the right to refuse short term lets. I will continue to work to ensure owner corporations have a say in the management of their buildings.


Show your support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died on World AIDS Day 1 December. HIV testing and treatment advances mean we can now end the HIV epidemic by getting people to test more, treat early and stay safe. My electorate office has red ribbons you can wear to show support. Check local World AIDS Day events and support the Red Ribbon Appeal fundraising There’s a new app MyLife+ to help people living with HIV manage their health and life, download HERE.


Redfern Legal Centre provides vital legal help on a wide range of topics like tenancy, credit/debt, jobs, policing and international students. I’ve worked with their dedicated staff and volunteers on law reform and getting help to vulnerable people. Like other legal centres, Redfern faces budget cuts that will restrict services and they are linking up with ‘Giving Tuesday’ on 29 November. I hope you can help:


Help me celebrate the history and diverse community of Woolloomooloo at the ‘Woolloomoolivin’ Biannual Festival of Urban Arts and Culture Christmas Block Party Saturday 3 December 11am-6pm Corner of Pring and Dowling streets. Details HERE


Australian Marriage Equality’s shop at 122 Oxford Street is open Thursday to Sunday 12noon to 6pm and has products to promote the equality message like t-shirts, towels and badges: Thanks to the volunteer staff and the City of Sydney for the subsidised premises.

There are 86 House of Representatives members in support of equality, 69 non-government, so supporters in the Coalition are needed to get the 76 votes to pass bills. Similarly, there are 41 Senate marriage equality supporters, but 35 of those are non-government, so we need another four Coalition votes to get the 39 needed for reform.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!