Alex's Update Issue 249
Wednesday 24 January 2018
Australia Day, Street Count, Climate Change Action, Darlinghurst Road DA, Marriage Law Reform & Manus/Nauru Speakout
For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the 26 January date is not something to celebrate because it marks the start of invasion, dispossession and killings, stolen wages, stolen children and ongoing inequality. Australia Day has not always been celebrated on this date and since 1938 many Indigenous people have seen this day as a day of mourning, calling it Invasion Day or Survival Day. Clearly this view is shared and growing across Australia HERE.
We must acknowledge the truths of our shared history and I believe we can trust Australians to have this important conversation about a more appropriate day and to work harder towards reconciliation. I support the call for Makaratta and the Uluru Statement from the Heart HERE.
The annual Invasion Day at The Block Redfern is on from 10am: https://www.facebook.com/events/391724361255983
Join the ANTAR campaign HERE.
You may also wish to support the DIY campaign HERE.
Support the ACOSS petition backing the Uluru Statement from the Heart HERE.
Support flying the Aboriginal flag permanently on the harbour bridge HERE
Join other volunteers to make contact with and log the number of homeless people across the City of Sydney on 19/20 February HERE.
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION
Last week, I met with the Nature Conservation Council to discuss plans for campaigns to tackle climate change. Its new report ‘Repowering our Regions: A clean-energy roadmap to #Repower NSW’ outlines how NSW could transfer from 77 per cent coal power to 100 percent clean energy by 2030. Our reliance on dirty coal is archaic and has economic and environmental costs and we urgently need to meet our international obligations to prevent catastrophic climate change. We are falling behind Victoria and South Australia which are making excellent progress.
DARLINGHURST ROAD DA
Kings Cross must continue to be a diverse and vibrant hub and my submission opposed the proposal to demolish multiple buildings consisting of the Bourbon and Empire hotels, a pharmacy, a medical centre, commercial space and serviced apartments into a uniform block of 83 apartments with two smaller licensed venues and a retail space. The beautiful Bourbon Victorian façade would be lost and a six storey bland wall would occupy the site. The proposal breaches a number of heritage and height controls, neighbouring apartments would lose light and views and over 100 new cars would be introduced to the already congested area.
This proposal must be determined by an appointed Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) not the City of Sydney, following legislation passed last year that I opposed in Parliament.
MARRIAGE LAW REFORM
The Attorney General’s office has informed me that the department is reviewing over 40 pieces of state legislation that may need updating following changes to the federal Marriage Act to allow all couples to marry. This includes the requirement for a person to be unmarried if they want to update the sex on their birth certificate following sex affirmation surgery – often called “forced trans divorce”. I look forward to working with the government to ensure these changes occur as soon as possible this year.
People who want an end to the intolerable situation for the 1,400 people held on Manus and Nauru for five years are meeting every Friday 6-7pm at the Queen Victoria statue in front of the Queen Victoria Building. They’re holding a friendly forum and demonstration, with tea, coffee and conversation afterwards. Details: Stephen 0451 509 232.