Alex's Update Issue 231
Tuesday 29 August 2017
Short Term Rental Options, Energy Poverty, NDIS, More Light Rail, Disappointing 389 Bus & Northcott Pet Day
Short Term Rental Options
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.
The NSW government no longer regulates energy prices, leaving the federal government’s energy body and market forces to drive prices, which continue to increase. There are now a large number of different contract options for electricity and gas. The Australian Energy Regulator’s comparison website may make it easier to find the best offer, www.energymadeeasy.gov.au.
If you think a bill is wrong or you’re unhappy with how your account is managed, the independent Energy and Water Ombudsman can investigate and help with disputes: www.ewon.com.au. There’s some financial help if you are having trouble with energy bills HERE, and I’ve asked the minister how the government helps people facing energy poverty, HERE.
More Light Rail
I welcome the government’s decision to increase the frequency of light rail services on the inner west line, although this won’t help in peak times when track and vehicle limitations prevent more services being added. This follows community complaints about overloaded services, review of Opal data and my questions in Parliament, HERE.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) started in the Sydney electorate in July and will have a huge impact on people living with disability. St Vincent de Paul Local Area Coordinators will meet consumers and then develop individual plans that lead to funding. Plans should go beyond disability support services to include support for contributing in the community. I’m concerned that vulnerable people with disability should have an advocate to help make their plan fit their needs and priorities. You can get independent information and links to local advocates from IDEAS: www.ideas.org.au or learn through My Choice Matters: www.mychoicematters.org.au.
NDIS Information, linkages and capacity building will provide information and help with plans and services but is not running yet, see HERE. I’ve asked the NSW Minister for Disability Services to ensure ongoing funding for independent information and advocacy during the transition period.
Disappointing 389 Bus
RMS intends to proceed with removing some bus stops along the 389 route including Stanley Street East Sydney near Yurong Street and near Bourke Street, plus outbound and inbound stops at Hargrave Paddington Street near Taylor Street. Community feedback appears to have saved the Yurong Street stop and Brown Street near Macdonald Street Paddington. It is very disappointing that the roads authority drives changes that will reduce access for bus passengers. Details HERE.
Northcott Pet Day
The 10th anniversary Northcott Pet Day is on at Surry Hills’ Ward Park and Northcott Community Centre on Saturday 2 September 11am-3pm. I congratulate Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the City of Sydney for this longstanding support for people and pets.
The free event includes pet health checks and advice from vets, microchipping and desexing bookings for dogs and cats for City of Sydney pensioner and healthcare cardholders, photo booth, pet tag engraving, giveaway bags and pet gift packs, advice on pet nutrition and a barbecue.