Alex's Update Issue 234
Wednesday 20 September 2017
Bays Precinct Risks, Mixed Public Health, YE$ Needs You, Marine Parks, Microplastics & Festival Weekend
Bays Precinct Risks
In Parliament I called for proper engagement with the local community and open and transparent planning to ensure the Bays Precinct is a great place to live and work and does not impact on surrounding communities. Thousands of new residents are expected but the government has not released demographic information or established traffic, transport or social infrastructure plans. Darling Harbour’s failings in access are a classic example of planners ignoring community concerns. In Parliament I again asked the government to provide a single point of contact for the community to provide information, address concerns and coordinate plans across the area. My speech is HERE.
Mixed Public Health
Last week the government took two steps forward and one step back in its response to sexually transmitted infections. Current requirements for people to disclose their STI status with sexual partners were replaced with a requirement to take precautions not to spread the infection. Disclosure laws are unique to NSW and they discourage testing.
But the government also created a new criminal offence with maximum penalties of six months in prison for a person with an STI who does not practice safe sex. Criminal offences already exist to deal with people who intentionally or recklessly put others at risk and there is no evidence that the spread of STIs warrants criminal justice intervention over other infections, particularly given most are easily treated. The biggest threat to the spread of STIs is people who don’t know they have a condition and we must focus on encouraging frequent testing. I was pleased the government supported amendments that I moved to bring forward review of the relevant sections by three years so that we can ensure our all-time high rates of STI testing are not impacted by the threat of criminal consensual sex. My speech is HERE.
YE$ Needs You
Out for Australia’s inclusive fundraising event for Yes is at COMMUNE, 901 Bourke Street Waterloo, Thursday 21 September 6-10pm, with Gordi and The Domestics, tickets HERE.
The NSW government lists Sydney Harbour as an iconic and valuable part of the NSW marine estate and it is listed as Australia's 16th national landscape on the National Landscapes program in recognition of great its significance, but there has been little progress with protecting the area as a marine park. The minister’s response to my latest questions refers to committees, assessment and research but little practical action, read it HERE.
Sydney Harbour’s unique environment of more fish species than the Mediterranean, New Zealand or the UK, faces growing threats. A marine park with sanctuary zones would help marine life thrive and help us achieve World Conservation Union targets on which we’ve fallen far behind.
Support the campaign to oppose federal government plans to drastically reduce the National Network of Marine Sanctuaries, currently suspended, HERE.
More and more governments are banning lightweight plastic bags to prevent waste and major marine plastic pollution, with Western Australia joining most recently. The environment minister’s response to my latest question shows little leadership, relying on litter prevention, businesses choosing to act and CSIRO research. Governments must act fast and decisively to halt the environmental and health disaster that is looming. My questions HERE.
The fabulous Surry Hills Festival is on again Saturday 23 September with a new arts project Double Take across Ward Park, Devonshire Street, Shannon Reserve, Crown Street, laneways, pop up spaces and more, information HERE.
Reclaim The Streets has a Marriage Equality Festival: Signed Sealed Delivered in Prince Alfred Park, including a mass posting of marriage surveys at Strawberry Hills Post Office, HERE.