Alex's Update Issue 232

Alex's Update Issue 232

Monday 4 September 2017

SCG Redevelopment, M4-M5 Link, Art from the Heart, Retirement Villages, Blackbirding Symposium, Woollahra Election & Cities Taking the Lead

SCG Redevelopment

A full scale redevelopment of Allianz Stadium could see the SCG creep beyond its boundary and use the parklands as a construction site. There is a long history of successive governments giving the SCG what it wants at the expense of community open space needs and both the government and opposition opposed my bill in Parliament to remove exemptions that allow the SCG to build without a development application. A refurb of the stadium would address concerns raised about ageing and out-of-date facilities.   

M4-M5 Link

Just two weeks after consultation ended, the government has released the EIS on the Westconnex M4-M5 link, an eight lane, 7.5km tunnel that will bring more cars onto inner city roads, increase greenhouse emissions and increase air pollution. The government admits these plans are only ‘indicative’ with major changes likely during detailed design, so public feedback cannot be specific. Local communities will get years of construction noise, dust and traffic. The $1.8 billion cost is on top of the already mammoth Westconnex budget, which does not include flow-on changes to local roads such as those that will shave off more parts of Moore Park!

Billions of dollars allocated to motorways should be used for public transport instead. Westconnex will change Sydney in all the wrong ways and entrench car dependence for people in outer suburbs. Comment due 16 October, HERE.

Art from the Heart

I’m proud to support the Kings Cross Medically Supervised Injecting Centre and their work saving lives and helping vulnerable people get help with drug problems. I joined centre staff and clients Saturday for the launch of their 10th annual Art from the Heart of the Cross exhibition, showcasing the creativity of MSIC clients. Information HERE

Retirement Villages

The recent 4Corners program showing some retirement village residents in awful situations reveals profit is driving some industry players, with limited consumer protection and gaps between federal and state regulation. See the ABC report HERE.

The state government overhauled retirement village laws in 2013 to create more transparency on contract fees and charges, with an online calculator to identify real costs, and increased compliance, but this does not help people who entered into contracts prior to the changes and improvements for those on newer contracts are unclear. I’ve followed up with questions in Parliament HERE

Blackbirding Symposium

The Australian South Sea Islanders Association symposium on Friday 8 September will review 170 years since the first Melanesian slaves were ‘blackbirded’ to Australia and 110 years since the mass deportation of their descendants under the White Australia Policy. Details HERE.

Woollahra Election 

Don’t forget the Woollahra Municipal Council election on 9 September. Candidates HERE and polling booths HERE.

Cities Taking the Lead

The next City of Sydney CityTalk 6.30pm Tuesday 12 September at Sydney Town Hall focusses on the role of cities tackling critical issues like climate change and housing affordability where national governments are failing to act. Speakers include Christiana Figueres Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Gregor Robertson Mayor of Vancouver, Lord Mayor Clover Moore and John Hewson Crawford School of Public Policy ANU and former Opposition Leader. Free but bookings essential HERE.

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