Alex's Update 154
2 February 2016
Parkland Tree Destruction, Residential Tenancy Review, Women’s Family Law Support Service, CBD Buses, Public Housing Maintenance, Year of the Monkey and Greyhound Rally
Parkland Tree Destruction
The destruction of Centennial Parkland trees to make way for the light rail continues despite community outcry. I opposed changes that moved the route from adjacent to the racetrack into Centennial Park which requires massive mature tree losses. My initial submission supported using the existing busway instead of parkland.
Plans have already been approved so it will take a concerted community campaign to get the government to reconsider and I encourage you to keep engaged with the local campaigns and speak out in the media and social media. Facebook page HERE
We need a change in thinking that values our trees and open green space or ‘urban sanctuaries’ and I encourage concerned citizens to link up with the Total Environment Centre’s work in this area, inforamtion at www.tec.org.au
Residential Tenancy Review
More than half of inner city dwellings are rented and my submission on the five year Residential Tenancies Act 2010 review argued that people in shared houses not covered by a lease need legal rights including access to the tribunal to get bond back. I called for an end to no-grounds evictions which are often used to evict a tenant as retribution for exercising their rights, and I supported requirements to give prospective tenants bylaws before they sign a lease. I also supported pet bonds to encourage more pet friendly apartments.
My submission is available HERE.
Women's Family Law Support Service
I have written to the Premier to request that ongoing funding is provided to ensure the vital service provided by Women’s Family Law Support Service is able to continue after funding was lost last year.
The Women’s Family Support Service helps women who experience domestic and family violence negotiate the court process and links them with support, counselling and emergency accommodation so that they can get back on their feet. For over 10 years the service has helped about 3,000 women. I support calls from the Family Law Court, Chief Justice and women’s services for the state government to restore funding for this vital service. My letter is available HERE.
Many constituents have contacted me about the changes to CBD bus services that require passengers to change to other buses or trains to get to Martin Place or the northern part of the CBD including Circular Quay. I’ve received complaints about bus services from Paddington, Darlinghurst, Rushcutters Bay, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Woolloomooloo, Millers Point, Ultimo and Pyrmont residents.
Responses to my repeated representations to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure have all stated that the new system will stay, and that Transport for NSW is monitoring service levels and will make changes as needed. The minister says that late, missing or buses that don’t stop should be reported for follow up and as part of this monitoring: Transport Info telephone 131 500 or online at www.transportnsw.info.
These changes make getting around more difficult for less mobile people, with more walking to make the connections. Some people may need to use Community Transport, especially for medical trips and shopping. Information: www.sesct.org.au or telephone 8241 8000.
I will follow up inner city bus services with further questions when Parliament resumes.
Public Housing Contracts Inquiry
NSW Parliament’s Public Account Committee is holding an Inquiry into the Management of NSW Public Housing Maintenance Contracts and I will make a submission based on constituents’ reports of problems they face. The Inquiry will examine repair status and physical condition of public housing, repair costs and maintenance contracts, how to improve management and meeting the needs of people with a disability and aged people.
Submissions are due Friday 5 February. Please send me a copy of your submission. Details HERE.
Year of the Monkey
I’ll be attending Chinese New Year events to help celebrate the lunar new year – we are entering the Year of the Fire Monkey, focused on creativity, playfulness and fun; plus their energy, intelligence, community and social interaction. Details HERE.
Join me Sunday 7 February 12-2pm at Hyde Park near Metro St James Café for the National Day of Action calling for a ban on greyhound racing in Australia. Details HERE.