Update Issue 155
8 February 2016
Liquor Restrictions Review
There has been lots of commentary on the ‘lockout laws’ and their impact on Sydney’s nightlife. It is now two years since all CBD, Oxford Street Darlinghurst and Kings Cross venues have had to close doors to new patrons at 1.30am and cease alcohol service at 3am, and the changes are set for review. The government has agreed to my request to provide opportunity for public comment and I encourage all those impacted to make a submission when the assessment report is released. My request and the response are HERE.
Social Housing Reform
The government’s ‘Future Directions for Housing in NSW’ is a welcome step forward after many years of declining budgets, reducing numbers of homes and big maintenance backlogs, tied with increasing waiting lists.
The key strategy of handing public land to developers in exchange for redeveloping social housing will get the government out of the current limbo, but leave the community with a smaller asset base in future. Redeveloping large estates with 30 per cent social and affordable housing won’t result in enough low cost housing to meet community needs, but it makes sense to reduce concentrations of disadvantage.
The plans to help more people get on their feet with schooling, training, jobs, support to get into private rental and removal of penalties when tenants get work are good steps – if the policy recognises tenants with complex needs need secure housing and the new programs are not used as punishment. The policy is HERE.
Marriage Equality Petition
The joint Australian Marriage Equality / GetUp online petition calls on the Prime Minister to legislate for marriage equality right now. The planned $158 million dollar plebiscite on same-sex marriage is unnecessary and expensive, with some senators saying they’ll ignore it anyway. I’ve been working on reform for some years and know we are getting close to making it happen. Please support the reform campaign at www.equalitynow.org.au
There’s another rally about the government’s announced changes to cycling regulations on Thursday 18 February at Martin Place. Information HERE.
Kings Cross Pics
I’m joining the celebrations for the Kings Cross Festival from 27 February and helping to judge the Instagram photo completion, which closes 26 February, and encourage you to enter your favourite picture of the Cross. The best pic wins a night’s accommodation in Woolloomooloo’s Ovolo Hotel. Details HERE.
Cambodia Speech Therapy
More than 600,000 Cambodians have a communication or swallowing disorder but there are no speech therapy services. You can help with a new fundraising campaign including a dinner on 16 February. Information and tickets available HERE.