Alex's Update Issue 229
Tuesday 15 August 2017
Local Democracy Weakened, Homelessness and Human Rights, Glebe Island Future & Seclusion and Restraint
Local Democracy Weakened
I opposed new laws to remove development decisions from councils in Sydney and Wollongong and hand them to planning panels stacked with ministerial appointees.
Despite claims that the bill is about preventing corruption, because panel members are not elected by and answerable to the community and will make decisions behind closed doors, corruption risks could increase. I told Parliament changes are really about fast tracking approvals. My speech is HERE.
Homelessness and Human Rights
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.
The state government is responsible for housing and homelessness and while it sells off inner city public housing close to jobs, services and supports, and refuses to mandate strong affordable housing in major redevelopments, it blames the City of Sydney for the Martin Place ‘tent city’. Councils do not have the power to move people on. My speech is HERE.
I’ve again asked the minister to fund a second Common Ground supported accommodation project given the success of the Camperdown project, HERE.
Glebe Island Future
Infrastructure NSW has confirmed that the long term plan for Glebe Island will include existing port and bulk concrete operations within the proposed White Bay Power Station innovation district. The Port Authority will make a commercial deal for an integrated port facility on Glebe Island. White Bay will continue to host cruise vessels, maritime contractors and vessel repair and events like fireworks. UrbanGrowth NSW plans a draft strategic framework and transport update for The Bays Precinct in late 2017. Information HERE.
Seclusion and Restraint
You can make submissions to the review into seclusion, restraint and observation of people with a mental illness or attend a consultation meeting to have your say. The Sydney CBD meeting is Wednesday 16 August 5-7pm at Mercure Sydney 818-820 George Street Ultimo. Feedback is due 24 September. Information HERE.