Alex's Update Issue 258

Alex's Update Issue 258

Monday 26 March 2018

Eastern City Plan, Close the Gap, Night City, Felling NSW, Religious Freedoms & 2019 Election


The Greater Sydney Commission has released its long term plans for Sydney’s future. The Eastern City District covers the Sydney electorate and inner and eastern suburbs: HERE.

While the plan refers to the need for housing diversity and affordability and proposes 5-10 per cent affordable rental housing in new developments, this needs government legislation to happen. There is a clear gap between plans to increase green cover and the government’s current approach to remove trees and use parks for construction. Councils will have to review local planning controls and schemes against the District Plan.


Failure to narrow the gap in life expectations for Indigenous Australians, with the latest reports showing reduced federal expenditure, a widening gap on life expectancy and six of seven key measures not ‘on track’ after 10 years of the national Close the Gap strategy are shameful.

In Parliament, I asked the Premier for action to Close the Gap and complete the ‘Unfinished Business’ report on the 1997 'Bringing Them Home' report on the Stolen Generation: HERE and HERE.

More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are reporting their heritage in the Census and there has been progress in education but basic markers like health need urgent action. Please support community campaigns for justice such as: HERE and HERE and HERE.


The Committee for Sydney’s ‘Sydney as a 24-Hour City’ report identified serious concerns with the lockout laws’ impacts on Sydney’s nightlife. It also made useful recommendations to improve vibrancy and provide more options late at night that could happen regardless of the laws, including opening cultural institutions and shops later while providing supporting transport. These recommendations are not controversial and are in line with the City of Sydney's strategies and the government’s Sydney Night Time Economy Task Force and the Sydney Night Time Economy Roundtable. If Sydney is seriously going to be a global city, we need to remove the 1.30am lockout for small bars and well managed venues.

The report is HERE.


Six months have passed since laws commenced to make it easier for land owners to clear native vegetation and threatened species’ habitat yet the government still hasn’t released data on how much bush has been cleared or the promised maps specifying no-go zones. This follows exposés that prosecutions for illegal land clearing have fallen under this government and concerns that data is hidden and compliance staff have been reduced. NSW has lost most of its biodiversity and the return to broadscale land clearing will destroy what is left. I am working with the Nature Conservation Council to expose the government’s environmental recklessness.

Join the campaign HERE. My recent questions are HERE.


The Commonwealth Government has extended the deadline for submissions on the Religious Freedom Review to 18 May, after they received more than 16,000 submissions. Is the balance right between religious freedom and discrimination and recognition of other rights? I encourage anyone who has experienced unfair treatment by a religious organisation to tell your story to the expert panel: HERE.  


The next State election is a year away. Do you need to update your enrolment details?

You can update this information online:

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