Alex's Update Issue 247

Alex's Update Issue 247

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Submission Season, 2017 Achievements, Community Grants, Seasonal Events, Telling Tales & End of Year Closure

Submission Season

The end of year marks the time when comments on lots of big development proposals are due: last week I made five submissions.

I urged the government to weigh up impacts and benefits for the Art Gallery of NSW expansion to ensure the final determination reflects the best public outcome. There is division in the community on the project because it will remove significant amounts of open space. I opposed the outdoor Entry Plaza that paves and covers large amounts of land for a ‘meeting place’ that could be left green making it more appropriate and sensitive to the garden setting. My submission: HERE.  

UrbanGrowth’s response to our opposition to transforming the approved Bank Street public recreation site into a backend charter boat storage and waste facility does not address the fundamental problem that the proposal is a terrible outcome for prime waterfront land. I restated my objection to the department HERE

Revised plans for Cockle Bay still propose a massive commercial tower with waterfront podium that will further erode the public domain through wind, shadows and views loss. I opposed the newly proposed boardwalk over the water, which removes more harbour. Other significant impacts include traffic from 150 car parking spaces and ruined views in adjacent homes and on Pyrmont Bridge. I again asked the government to be custodian of the harbour and reject this damaging proposal HERE

Barangaroo South development continues to disrupt the peaceful enjoyment of Kent Street residents’ homes. My submission on the latest medium rise proposal aims to reduce noise impacts during construction and building operations HERE

My submission on the amended proposal for 201 Elizabeth Street asked that claims that overshadowing of Hyde Park would be reduced by 50 percent be properly investigated. The shadow diagrams for demolishing the existing tower and building a new one further south appear to compare changes between the existing and proposed tower without accounting for “collateral shadows” from other buildings that currently land on the existing tower. I opposed the four levels of car parking proposed in this already congested area that is heavily serviced by public transport. My submission HERE.  


2017 Achievements

This has been another productive year working for the Sydney community to defend our amenity, the natural environment, fairness and vibrancy. Some of the issues I have pushed include better planning in The Bays Precinct, Moore Park protections, housing affordability, a plastic bag ban, a marine park for Sydney, new approaches to criminal justice and drug use, and better protections against building defects. Sometimes the wins get overshadowed by the ongoing struggles so it is always useful to look back on what we have achieved and here’s my short list of key wins from 2017:   


Community Grants

I’m pleased to announce grants to 10 organisations in the Sydney electorate under the Community Building Partnership, which provides capital funds for local groups. Grants go to Kings Cross Community Centre community bus $65,000, The Station Drop-In Centre renovation $50,000, Sydney Jewish Museum foyer upgrade $25,000, KU Children’s Services Rushcutters Bay air conditioning $16,889, ACCA Dragon Boat Racing Team new boat $23,000, Local Community Services Association community training room $44,611, National Council of Jewish Women accessible toilets $20,000, Pyrmont Heritage Boating Club solar power $10,500, Eastside Radio studio $20,000 and UTS Australian Football Club Trumper Park food service area $25,000.


Seasonal Events

You’ll find lots of events on in Sydney over the Christmas and New Year period HERE and HERE, for Christmas Day HERE, and for New Year’s Eve HERE or HERE.  

Wayside Chapel is open on the holidays and will have lunch on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. They need donations and volunteers HERE. You can also contribute to the Smith Family’s appeal HERE or one of the many welfare and charity groups working in Australia and overseas.

While this time of year can be joyful and happy, it can also be a time of loss and loneliness. I encourage you to reach out if you are feeling down or alone: phone BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636, Lifeline 131 114 or the Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.


Telling tales

I’ve written a forward for Richard Hedger’s book telling stories from 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. You can support his crowdfunding campaign to get it published HERE


End of Year Closure

NSW Parliament and Electorate Offices close for two weeks from COB Friday 22 December and re-open 9am Monday 8 January. I hope you have a fabulous holiday season and wish you the best for 2018.

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