Alex's Update Issue 264
Thursday 17 May 2018
Here is an update of the work I have been doing in parliament and the community, and information about how you can get involved in local activities.
Developer Metro, Housing Abuse Survivors, Harbour Tunnel Plan, Safe Clinic Zones, Paddington Pub Project, Candlelight Rally & Walk Safely to School
‘Special interests’ continue to get government favours with approval for Macquarie Bank’s two towers over the Martin Place Metro Station despite planning breaches for excessive floor space and shadowing of Hyde Park and the public domain. To deal with the breaches the planning minister just changed the Local Environment Plan to make the development compliant – a process known as spot rezoning that encourages a culture of development deals for mates. Meanwhile the minister has been sitting for two years on the City of Sydney’s proposed amended LEP that would protect CBD open space while setting aside areas for higher development.
The government supported Macquarie Bank’s unsolicited proposal for the Martin Place towers without a public tender even though it is part of a major public infrastructure project. Last week in Parliament I opposed a government bill to make Sydney Metro a statutory corporation with powers to develop land around stations. The change in structure is likely about getting Sydney Metro ready for privatisation, which will incur a huge price with its new ability to maximise the development potential of metro land.
From WestConnex to Packer’s Barangaroo casino to the knockdown of Aussie Stadium, it is time NSW stopped giving private interests carte blanche to do what they want with our neighbourhoods. My speech is HERE.
Housing Abuse Survivors
In response to my request, the Minister for Social Housing will recognise the far-reaching and ongoing impacts on survivors of childhood institutional sexual abuse by making this a qualification for urgent social housing. The serious impacts like mental illness, addiction, self-harm and other destructive behaviours can contribute to and entrench homelessness. Priority for urgent social housing for eligible survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will provide real help for healing and recognise the role of successive governments in allowing and covering up this horrific abuse.
My question and the minister’s response is HERE.
Harbour Tunnel Plan
Yet another disgraceful road expansion associated with the WestConnex has been submitted, with the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project, which includes a new tunnel beneath Sydney Harbour to link WestConnex at Rozelle with the Warringah Freeway. I understand that this proposal includes a construction site for the huge concrete tubes to build the tunnel and store dredged contaminated sediment at White Bay. The proposal will soon be on exhibition and I encourage people to keep informed Information HERE.
Safe Clinic Zones
Women often get harassed when they go to and from an abortion clinic and Penny Sharpe from Labor and Trevor Khan from the Nationals are working together on a bill to establish 150-metre “safe access zones” around clinics in which it would be an offence to harass, record or distribute a recording to someone without their consent. Safe access zones currently operate effectively in Victoria, the ACT, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
If the bill comes to the Legislative Assembly, I will vote in favour of it so that women can access the health care they need, but it needs to pass the Legislative Council first and I encourage you to add your voice to the campaign at www.fairagenda.org/safezone.
Paddington Pub Project
I hope that Woollahra Council supports next week’s motion from Residents First councillors Luise Elsing and Harriet Price for a conservation controls for Paddington hotels, helping to protect traditional corner pubs: HERE. The Notice of Motion will be online from Friday afternoon at HERE.
Congratulations to The Peoples Republic of Paddington on their campaign. You can still sign their online petition HERE.
Walk Safely to School
Friday 18 May is the annual Walk Safely to School Day, information HERE. We need to make sure kids learn about road safety and drivers take pedestrian safety seriously.
The annual Candlelight Rally organised by Positive Life NSW and ACON is an opportunity to reflect on and remember all those lost to HIV/AIDS. This year it is on Sunday 20 May at 3.30pm at the Eternity Playhouse 39 Burton Street Darlinghurst, information HERE.