Rezoning proposal in Homebush wants to double heights of buildings

Rezoning proposal in Homebush wants to double heights of buildings

In mid February I attended a public meeting in Homebush run by the Eastern City Planning Panel, held to get community input into a rezoning proposal for 11-17 Columbia Lane Homebush. This property is within Strathfield Council area, but very close to Canada Bay area. The proposal, with apparent NSW Government support, is to increase the allowed height from 32m to 80m, say 22 storeys or maybe more! This will effectively double the height of buildings in that area, setting a precedent through the precinct. The entire community was dead-set against it. But the meeting was only about input; the community does not actually get a say! I had the opportunity to speak, and made the point that the precedent would continue right along George Street into the Canada Bay area, and most probably further. Once again we see the NSW Government pushing to take control of development out of the hands of democratically elected councils. The panel later said that they would defer their decision until a traffic study being jointly run by Strathfield, Canada Bay and Burwood Councils is ready. Meanwhile, further buildings much higher again have been put forward close by.

(From original Facebook post)

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NSW state government stops councillors determining development approvals

As of 1 March, the NSW state government has stopped councillors in Canada Bay from determining the outcomes of any development approvals (DAs). The excuse is to stop corruption. The “solution” is to remove the democratic influence of councils on development across Canada Bay, with the NSW government grabbing control and planning laws made even more developer-friendly than before.

Until now, DAs which were controversial were passed from council staff to the councillors. The decisions were made in an open council meeting, where people for or against a development had the chance to speak. But now, because of new NSW state government law, our councillors will no longer have any role in these decisions. Instead, they will be made by planning panels called IHAPs (Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels) – all across Sydney and Wollongong.

In most cases, the outcome would be the same. But in some cases it would be different, because elected councillors are concerned not just about following planning rules, but representing the community’s best interest. Councillors are accountable to the community and can be later voted out of office if enough people disagree with them.

This legislation is the latest example of the NSW state government taking power away from democratically elected local councils, and imposing their own rules. The fees for the extra bureaucrats is paid for by the council and if a party appeals to the Land and Environment Court against an IHAP decision, the council (who had no say in the decision) has to foot the legal bill. I still don’t know if the IHAP will make decisions in public, and when their meetings will take place.

Who asked for this backward step? The real estate industry. The IHAPs are called independent, but they are effectively controlled by the state government.

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT ASSESSMENT

Local people will continue to send me emails about their concerns about developments going on around them. Yes, I can send them to the IHAP. But I won’t be able to do much to help them. If you are concerned about this, learn about what the state government has done and continues to do about planning laws. Yes I know it’s complicated. That’s why they have gotten away with this – up until now.

[The Inner West Courier published a modified form of this post on 6 March 2018 on their letters page.]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Greens re-elected to Council

In a hard-fought election campaign, Greens member Charles Jago has been elected to the City of Canada Bay Council to replace retiring councillor Pauline Tyrrell, who has completed three terms on Council. 

Overall voting trends in the Council area showed a swing away from the Liberals and Labor, while the Greens achieved a small positive swing of 0.75%. Two groups of Independents also ran in this election. Daniela Ramondino, a local business woman was successful in getting a seat, with the vote for independents coming from Labor and Liberals.

Despite an 8% swing against Labor, they were able to re-elect former Labor Mayor Angelo Tsirekas and also maintain three councillor positions. A 6% swing against the Liberals saw them lose one councillor position (down to three), at the expense of previous mayor Helen McCaffrey. Charles Jago for the Greens and Ms Ramondino hold the other two councillor positions.

Charles has been an active Greens member for over 15 years and has lived in the City of Canada Bay area since 1989. He currently works as an adult trainer and his professional experience includes working in the information technology and community development sectors.

Charles’s key concerns include:

  • Environmental sustainability, including climate change
  • Planning and development that serves the residents of the Council area
  • Information technology
  • Transport, especially public transport
  • Energy, including demand management and energy efficiency
  • Social justice issues
  • Local democracy to serve local residents.

 

Contact details:
Email:  use our Contact form
Telephone: 0403 902 613

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Candidates for Canada Bay Council election announced

Candidates for Canada Bay Council election announced
Candidates (l to r): Steve Maxwell, Alysha Hardy, Charles Jago, Pauline Tyrrell and James Okeby.

Candidates (l to r): Steve Maxwell, Alysha Hardy, Charles Jago, Pauline Tyrrell and James Okeby.

Canada Bay Greens are fielding a diverse team of candidates for the upcoming Council elections on 9 September.

Heading the team is Charles Jago who is also running as the Greens mayoral candidate.  He is supported Alysha Hardy, James Okeby, Pauline Tyrrell and Steve Maxwell.

During the 30 years Charles has lived in the Council area, his children were educated locally and competed in local sports teams.  As a long-time Greens member he has been involved in such campaigns as saving the foreshore walk around Concord Hospital, improving public transport services, preserving Cabarita Park and more recently in fighting against forced council mergers.

Reinforcing Charles is three-term Greens councillor Pauline Tyrrell who has championed residents’ rights by promoting the building of a new primary school in Concord West, expanding the bush care program and cleaning up the Parramatta River foreshore. Pauline is retiring as councillor but will still stand on the Canada Bay Greens ticket.

Charles commented, “I am really proud to be following on from Pauline who has done a great job in her twelve years as a councillor.”

Alysha Hardy and James Okeby have first-hand experience of affordable housing issues for young people as well as being passionate about providing more accessible services for elderly and disabled persons in our community.  The final candidate Steve Maxwell is a local resident who represented the Greens in the battle to stop the Clyde Waste-transfer dump in Auburn. Currently retired, his interests lie in supporting the Arts, local Greens campaigns and reviving ‘Speakers corner’ in the Sydney Domain.

As local residents, the Greens team oppose unsustainable residential overdevelopment and support maintaining open spaces and community buildings.  The Greens have consistently opposed any forced merger of Canada Bay with Strathfield and Burwood Councils because surveys have shown that the majority of residents do not want a merger.  Ensuring good public bus services also has a high priority and the Greens will fight to ensure that buses are not privatised, that existing services are not reduced and that local bus routes are improved to better suit residents’ needs.

More information: view the Greens campaign flyer.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Date set for Canada Bay Council elections

Residents will go to the polls on September 9 to elect nine councillors to represent the community on the City of Canada Bay Council, despite uncertainty over the proposed amalgamation with Strathfield and Burwood Councils.

Under the Local Government Act 1993, Councils where a merger is proposed but have not been amalgamated by April 10 will have an election in September.

If the election proceeds it will have no bearing on the status of the merger proposal, so it is possible for the Council to be amalgamated a short time after the votes are counted.

If the State Government does proceed with its plans to merge the Council the interim the election will not proceed. In such a case, an Administrator will be appointed and election for a new Council will be postponed.

Strathfield Council is still contesting the State Government’s plans to merge it with City of Canada Bay and Burwood Council in Court. It is one of five metropolitan Councils contesting the amalgamation proposals.

Nominations for the Local Government election on 9 September open on July 31 and close on 9 August with pre-polling set to begin on 28 August. For more information about the election visit the Electoral Commission NSW’s website.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Earthball begins its journey around the State

Earthball begins its journey around the State

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham launched the Earthball on its journey around NSW in Wollongong highlighting how climate change affects our whole planet.  Getting a first-hand introduction to the size of the problem is Charles Jago who will be running in the Canada Bay Council elections to be held on 9 September 2017.earthball cj njb

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Win for first appeal against forced Council mergers

The NSW Court of Appeal has ruled that the process used to support the proposed merger between Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Councils did not accord with procedural fairness.

At the heart of its challenge was a report by consultancy KPMG, which recommended Council mergers and which the government refused to release in its entirety, claiming it was subject to “public interest immunity”.

Based on KPMG’s analysis and modelling, the Government’s merger proposal stated that “around $70 million in net financial savings over 20 years” would be achieved through the amalgamation of Ku-ring-gai with part of Hornsby Shire.

Judges Robert Macfarlan and John Basten ruled that the delegate appointed to assess the proposed merger could not have properly carried out his assessment without access to the KPMG report.  They also found that the public interest in keeping the report secret was outweighed by the public interest in making the information available.

Judge Basten found that the financial advantages identified by KPMG for the government were a critical element in favour of the merger, but this analysis was not provided to the delegate or public.  As a result, the delegate, Mr West had “constructively failed” in his statutory duty of examining the government’s merger proposal.

“The Council was right to assert that the delegate could not properly carry out his function of examination without having access to that material,” Judge Basten ruled.

“Release of the material was also necessary for public participation in the public inquiry to be meaningful.”

Greens local government spokesman David Shoebridge said: “Today the Court of Appeal has said the obvious, that it is blatantly unfair to forcibly amalgamate a local council on the basis of a secret report.

“This decision doesn’t just affect Ku-ring-gai Council, it could dismantle every single outstanding amalgamation proposal.”

This ruling could affect other Councils opposed to the merger, including Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield which have also lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court as well as Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde; Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby; and Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra.

Monday’s judgment ordered that Mr West’s report recommending the Council merger be set aside and that any subsequent review by the Boundaries Commission be set aside.

(SMH, 27 March 2017)

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Forced Council merger is likely to go ahead

Following the rejection of the previous Delegate report by the Land & Environment Court, the Delegate has now issued his revised report recommending that the merger of Strathfield, Canada Bay and Burwood Councils proceed.

The report is dated September 2016 but was only made public on 21 December 2016 and gives until 20 January 2017 for any public submissions to be made.

Council made representations to the State Government demanding that such a tight deadline be extended given the Christmas/New Year holiday period to allow sufficient time for Council and any residents to review and respond appropriately to such a significant document. However, the State Government has now declined to extend the deadline.

Residents can review the Delegate’s revised report on the Strathfield Council website at https://dpcsc-ss.s3.amazonaws.com/Uploads/1482211006/Strathfield.pdf.  

If residents wish to make any representations to Council for possible inclusion in Council’s submission, any representations must be sent to submissions@strathfield.nsw.gov.au and received by Council no later than 15 January 2017.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Annual Councillor’s Report

Annual Councillor’s Report

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Pauline Tyrrell, Greens Councillor, City of Canada Bay Council  Here is a summary of my activities over the past year: Environment: I participated in several community events in support of: the Parramatta River Catchment Group’s ‘Make Parramatta River Swimmable’ Campaign; a meeting of Sydney Water with residents; Clean Up Australia Day with CBG members; and Canada Bay Bushcare. I was successful in convincing Council to lobby for more action on … Continue reading

2016 Election day wrap-up

2016 Election day wrap-up
lachlan at burwood

Lachlan at Burwood Girls – a smiling face in a sea of blue

election day

Luke Foley and Craig Laundy try to recruit a new member

newington election day

Mauricio and Chris at Newington

chalmers st

On the job at Chalmers Street PS

mortlake queue

Long queues at Mortlake PS were the order of the day

As of 15 July 2016
Eight days after the big day, Bill Shorten conceded defeat and Malcolm Turnbull was confirmed as continuing in his role as Prime Minister, having reached the necessary 76 seat majority to form government, and with support from three independents to govern. 

This election has been remarkable in a number of aspects: it was the first double dissolution of Parliament since 1987 and it was one of the longest election campaigns on record, officially running for nearly 8 weeks after its announcement on 9 May 2016. This election has also seen cliff-hanging results in at least 5 seats which has meant that even after 10 days, the final seat count of the election is not yet final and relies on the counting of absentee and postal votes.

It did not bring Mr Turnbull the glorious victory that he might have hoped and the issue that triggered the DD, the establishment of the Australian Building & Construction Commission, barely got a mention by either of the big parties in the campaign.

Although nationally there was a swing towards the Greens of 1.3% with a first preference vote of 9.98%, we did not clinch our most likely inner-city seats such as Grayndler in Sydney and Batman in Melbourne.

Greens candidate Alex Bhathal in Batman received a 9.6% swing but was outbid at the last moment by Labor. In Grayndler, Labor candidate Antony Albanese preferenced the Liberals ahead of Greens candidate Jim Casey, despite his false claims that the Greens would preference the Liberals, apparently calculated to destabilise voter confidence in the Greens.

In Reid, sitting member Craig Laundy recorded a 0.9% loss in primary votes but retained a comfortable 4.7% majority including preferences, while Labor candidate, Angelo Tsirekas, the former Canada Bay Council mayor, also recorded a slight swing against him. Greens candidate, Alice Mantel increased the Greens first preference vote to 7.9% and recorded a 0.9% increase. The Christian Democrat Party and Family First recorded 6.2% of the overall vote, representing a 4.8% increase in the religious vote.

The full outcome of Senate voting is not yet known but Lee Rhiannon has been returned as Greens Senator for NSW and the Greens have certainly lost one of two senators in South Australia, with other Greens senators still at risk in Western Australia and Tasmania. It can also be expected that the representation of smaller parties such as the Xenophon party and Pauline Hanson’s party can expect to increase their share of seats and cause on-going disruption to an over-confident Coalition government.

Greens leader Richard di Natale commented in his National Press Club speech that “there have been some policy differences at the margins but overall there’s been a lack of courage, imagination and vision” in the election campaign. In that speech, Richard outlined key Greens policies and emphasised that we are in politics for the long haul. He concluded his speech saying,

Elections are about making choices. The choices we make reflect our values and aspirations. For those who choose for their precious places to be protected, for a smart economy based on education and innovation, for women to be safe to thrive and succeed in their chosen careers, for younger people to get a fair go in the housing market, for children and future generations, for a just settlement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, for poverty alleviated not entrenched in our society, for equal access to first class education, health and social services, and for a vibrant, prosperous and creative Australia — your choice is the Greens.

Thank you to all the members and supporters who contributed their time and energy to our campaign – we could not do it without you.
Alice Mantel

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter