Search Results for: Space hire

Community groups’ use of halls protected


The Greens on Marrickville Council have defeated a push by conservative Councillors to increase fees for community groups and local not for profit groups who use Council’s community meeting rooms and town halls.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “Marrickville Council currently has a policy of providing our community meeting rooms to local not for profit groups at a lower rate than commercial groups. Council also offers a limited number of fee waivers or free use of Council halls and spaces, using strict rules and an application process.

At the 1 December 2015 Council meeting Conservative Councillor Victor Macri, supported by Liberal Clr Rosana Tyler and business Independent Morris Hanna, unsuccessfully tried to overturn a Council decision to “… facilitate the use of [Council] town halls and community meeting rooms by local community groups and not for profits at minimal cost where possible [and] not increase fees …. without consultation with those groups that may be affected.”

Clr Ellsmore said, “Of course community groups and local not for profits are charged lower fees than commercial or out of area groups.

“We have had Council study after Council study[1] telling us local community and resident groups want more access to our town halls and meeting rooms, not less. The pressure on community groups has intensified over the last few years, with the State Government moving to charge commercial rents for use of its buildings, when previously it provided free or low cost access to community services.

“It is positive that the majority of the Councillors have rejected a suggestion of significant fee increases for not for profits last night.

“Council is currently investigating ways to attract more commercial users of our Town Halls – for local weddings and commercial events for example. Investigating these options will help Council raise some additional income. However, in doing this we cannot and must not push our local community & resident groups aside. Our Council halls should be for residents, first and foremost. They are community assets, and the community has a right to use them,” Clr Ellsmore said.

A copy of the hire fees for local not for profits is available on the Council website: Not for profit hirers are charged $42 per hour, with regular hirers charged a lower fee.

Hire fees are publicly advertised each year, and residents are invited to make submissions before fee structures are adopted. The current Council policy does not differentiate between types of not for profit groups – but groups which are local get priority. The definition of not for profit covers local bushcare groups, book clubs, community services, charities, local political groups, wine tasting societies, religious groups and more.

More information:                 Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

[1] See for example the “Recreation Needs Study” (2011) which found that access to small and medium sized meeting rooms was a key need in the community (available to download from See also the “Pressures Facing Local Community Services Organisations 2015” Report provided to Council on 17 November 2015, which found for the second year running that access to affordable premises in the Marrickville LGA was one of the most pressing issues facing local community services.

Detailed plans for Camperdown Bowlo released

The Development Application for the upgrade of the former Camperdown Bowling Club has been made to Marrickville Council, and residents can view and have their say on the specific plans by 11 August 2015. For full details see the Council page for DA201500378 HERE. Download the plans for the site, which are part of the DA, are extracted here: Architectural Plans – DA201500378 – 31A Mallett Street CAMPERDOWN.

The Camperdown Bowling Club site is located on Mallet and Pidock Streets, next to Camperdown Park. The land is owned by the State Government and is managed by Marrickville Council for the benefit of the community. After the Club went bankrupt in 2013 the Greens on Marrickville Council supported the process to lease the site to a not for profit organisation, so it could be reopened as a family friendly venue with a strong community focus.  After a competitive process, a contract was signed with ‘Camperdown Project Pty Ltd’, a subsidiary of Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club Pty Ltd for a ten year lease and $1 million investment in the rejuvenation of the club building and community facilities.

In addition to strong requirements to ensure the venue meets community needs outlined in Council’s “Recreation Needs Study”, Marrickville Council committed that any new venue will be pokie free, with the Greens moving a ban on pokies in this and all other Council managed venues. For more information see: 2013 Media Release “Camperdown Bowlo to become pokie free“.

The DA on exhibition proposes:

  • Internal upgrade works to the old Club building, to include a new food and beverage facility with a mix of indoor and covered alfresco spaces
  • A meeting space for hire by community groups.
  • No expanded height or redevelopment of the building proposed.
  • A casual lawn area/childrens’ playground where young people can play.
  • The majority of the area which was previously dedicated to bowling greens converted to a community farm, to  encourage school and families to learn about sustainability living through an urban farm environment. There is also a chicken run proposed.
  • Potentially, a food stall at the Mallet St entrance.
Former Camperdown Bowling Club Site (highlighted in yellow) in the context of Camperdown Park and adjoining courts

Former Camperdown Bowling Club Site (highlighted in yellow) in the context of Camperdown Park and adjoining courts

The proponents have established an email list and website where residents can receive updates at

Lewisham Towers


UPDATE: The Greens worked with the community to form the No Lewisham Towers residents action group.  This group has combined with the local Council’s to win the first round, with the developer coming back with amended plans.

You can put in a submission online here.  The Greens will continue to oppose this overdevelopment.  For more information visit the No Lewisham Towers website.


A developer wants to build multiple residential towers and a huge supermarket mall at the corner of Old Canterbury Road and Longport Streets Lewisham.  The proposal is an outrageous overdevelopment of the site that will be detrimental to the local community.  The Greens are opposed to this development and are campaigning against it.  View our leaflet.   Download a poster for your window.

A separate website has now been set up for the No Lewisham Towers campaign.

The Greens put to motions to Marrickville Council recently.  Our motion for a master plan for the area was successful, but Labor Mayor Sam Iskandar used his casting vote to oppose a second motion stating Council’s opposition to the development and the use of Part 3A to bypass the community.  Read all about the meeting on this blog entry.

Public meeting – standing room only!


The development is located here:

The Developer’s Plans

The developer’s proposal to the Department of Planning is available online.

The towers
The developer wants to build a total of 524 apartments in five separate towers. The proposed towers consist of:

  • 14 storey tower – 126 flats – 13,440 square metres
  • 14 storey tower – 140 flats – 12,040 sqm
  • 12 storey tower – 108 flats – 5,220 sqm
  • 6 storey tower – 90 flats – 7,650 sqm
  • 6 storey tower – 60 flats – 5,380 sqm

The Supermarket Mall

The developer also proposes to build a supermarket mall of 26 shops and a total of 12,380 square metres.  This includes

  • supermarket – 3,345 square metres
  • Liquor store – 1,594 sqm
  • Fruit & Vegetable shop – 1,116 sqm
  • Other retail shops – 3,605 sqm

The basement car parking

The proposal includes basement car parking for the retail and residential complex.  This will cause a substantial increase in traffic and congestion in the Lewisham and Summer Hill areas.

A breakdown of the floor area is available online.  A copy of the basic plans is also available online (beware the artistic sketch of the proposal does not show the true height of the buildings).

Watch a presentation outlining the plans:


14 storey towers and 524 units is a massive overdevelopment – the surrounding community consists mainly of one and two storey residences.  Lewisham does not have the infrastructure to cope with such an influx of people and cars in such an intensive development.  Local residents will lose amenity due to this development.

Traffic congestion and pollution – 524 flats, a supermarket mall and basement car parking will generate significant amounts of traffic.  Local streets will suffer increased congestion, noise, particle pollution and a lack of parking.  The intersection at Old Canterbury Road and Railway Terrace is already heavily congested during peak hours.  It will not function under the pressure such a large development will place on it.

Community disruption – Lewisham is currently a quite residential area.  Building such massive towers and a supermarket mall will change the nature of the community.  Construction of such a huge development will also cause severe disruption and inconvenience for local residents.

New precedents for building size – The proposed development is off-the-scale for building heights and size.  If this development proceeds they will be the highest buildings in the Marrickville local government area.  This means other developers will attempt to build larger, taller buildings in our community.

Local shopping strips hurt – Such a large amount of retail will affect the viability of local shopping strips such as Petersham, Dulwich Hill and Summer Hill shops.  It will attract car based shoppers and our main streets will suffer as a result. Marrickville Metro hurt local shopping strips badly when it opened.  This shopping centre is half the size of Marrickville Metro and will have a similar effect.  Do you want your local shopping strip to be filled with struggling and empty shops?

The Cooks River to Iron Cove Greenway project – the Greenway project envisions a green corridor for cyclists, walkers and light rail running along the old goods line and linking the Cooks River to Iron Cove.  The proposed development will build right up to the rail line and pose a significant obstacle for the continuity of the Greenway project.

The Greens put a notice of motion on the Lewisham development to Marrickville Council.  The Council tied 6 – 6 on the motion, (5 Greens and Ind. Thanos for, 4 Labor and Ind. Macri and Ind. Hanna against) and the Labor Mayor, Sam Iskandar used his casting vote to vote the motion down.

Watch a presentation outlining The Greens’ concerns about this development: (please excuse the flashing screen at the beginning of this video)

Bypassing the local community – Part 3A

The developer has decided to bypass the local Council and community and apply straight to the state goverment’s Minister for Planning, Kristina Kenneally.  They are able to do this under the controversial Part 3A of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Part 3A was introduced by the NSW Labor government  in 2005.  It allows big developments to be declared ‘state significant’ which then allows them to be assessed and approved by the Minister for Planning.  Locally elected councils and the community are bypassed in a process that lacks transparency.

Part 3A was widely seen as a reward to big developers who have made big donations to help fund the NSW Labor Party’s election campaigns.  Property developers donated $9.9 million to the NSW Labor Party between 2002-2007.

According to the Department of Planning’s own figures, under Part 3A 295 of 296 applications were approved (that’s 99.6% of applications).  That’s despite 14,000 public submissions being received against proposals.  Clearly, Part 3A serves developers well.

The Greens believe that this development should be assessed and decided by the locally elected council – Marrickville Council.  Local councillors know their community well and are directly responsible to the community.

The Lewisham site

Marrickville Council is currently in the processes of updating its Local Environment Plan (the master plan for the whole area).  During this work the old industrial sites along the goodsline in Lewisham have been identified as an area for possible re-zoning and urban renewal.  The Council was to produce a master plan for the entire area to ensure that it complements and contributes to the existing community.

The surrounding area generally consists of one or two storey residences.  Building sizes between three and six storeys are considered  appropriate for a residential redevelopment of the old industrial area of Lewisham.  The fourteen and twelve storey towers in this proposal area ‘off the scale’ in terms of height and bulk.  They would set new precedents for the Marrickville and Ashfield area.

Marrickville Council produced and adopted a comprehensive Urban Strategy in 2007.  This strategy involved extensive community consultation.  Lewisham was identified as a ‘neighbourhood centre’.  Locating a major supermarket mall at Lewisham would make it an urban centre.  However, Lewisham does not have the infrastructure to be an urban centre and it will result in sevre traffic congestion and loss of amenity for existing residents.

What you can do!





Carmel Tebbutt  is the local member and is Deputy Premier.   She has the power to stop this development. But she will only act if the community demands that she act.  So it is up to you to let her know, as your repersentative, what you want her to do.

Contact the local member Carmel Tebbutt and ask her to protect the local community from this overdevelopment.

Carmel Tebbutt’s address is:  244 Illawarra Road, Marrickville NSW 2204.
Her email is:
Her phone number is: 9558 9000 Her fax number is: 9558 3653

Write a letter to the local paper opposing this development. Email: or or

Attend the public meeting: 7pm, Wed 20 May at Summer Hill Community Centre, 131 Smith St Summer Hill.  See the developer’s plans, air your concerns and show your opposition to this development.

The Donations and the Consultant

Over the past decade there has been an unhealthy connection between big developers donating to the Labor and Liberal Parties and pro-developer laws and decisions being made.

The community is cynical and has lost confidence in our planning system.

A poll conducted by Galaxy Reserch for The Greens found an overwhelming 83% of NSW voters want a ban on donations from property developers to political parties and candidates.

A check on reveals that the Lewisham developer  “Demian Constructions” has donated over $20,000 dollars through its sister company “Demian Developments”.

Former senior Labor Minister Carl Scully is a consultant for the developer.  He met with Marrickville Council staffon behalf of the developer prior to lodgement of the Part 3A application.  Carl Scully is not known for his architectural knowledge, so presumably he has been hired for his contacts and influence within the NSW Labor government.

For more information contact:  Councillor Max Phillips 0419 444 916 or


Sylvia Hale MLCGreens MLC and Petersham resident, Syvlia Hale, gave a speech in the NSW Parliament on the Lewisham development.  You can read the speech here.


Lewisham Development ControversyInnerWest Courier
Mall for LewishamInnerWest Courier
Crikey story on this development


Alex Mitchell writes:

NSW Deputy Premier and Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt and Planning Minister Kristina Keneally are heading for a showdown over a $150 million development in Tebbutt’s inner-city electorate of Marrickville.

Tebbutt is from the ALP’s Catholic left and Keneally from the Catholic right.

Tebbutt is married to federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Keneally’s husband Ben is a senior NSW bureaucrat in charge of offloading the state-owned ferries to the private sector.

Keneally has “called in” a massive development proposed along Old Canterbury Road in Lewisham which is within the borders of Tebbutt’s electorate. She has made herself the final consent authority on the five-tower development which will include two 14-level towers, one 12-level tower, plus 524 residential units and a 9,000 square metre retail space for a supermarket, liquor store and 15 specialty shops.

The developer is a $1, one-share company called Demian Developments Pty Ltd which, according to Greens MP Sylvia Hale, has donated $20,000 to the NSW Labor Party since 2002. Certainly, the company is well-connected, as Ms Hale explained in the NSW Upper House.

“Accessing the Labor old mates’ network, Demian has engaged the former Minister for many things, Carl Scully, to argue its case to his former colleagues,” she told MPs.

Scully, a former Police Minister and Transport Minister, retired from parliament before the March 2007 state election after his ambition to be premier was dashed by his former factional associates, Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid.

This is not the first time that the Parramatta and Silverwater-based Demian group has been in the sights of the Greens. In March 2007 Ms Hale called on former Planning Minister Frank Sartor to block Bankstown Council’s rezoning application to allow the development company to build a five-storey commercial premises, gated community and marina on the site of the Riverlands Golf Course.

Two years later, the project remains log jammed and going nowhere, due to council objections.

According to ASIC records, the original sole director of the company was 46-year-old Charbel Demian, born in the Lebanese town of Koubayat.

Marrickville Council, with five Green councillors, four Labor and three independents, is deeply divided over the multi-million-dollar project. A Greens motion calling on Keneally to reject the development application was deadlocked six-all but the Labor mayor’s casting vote saw the motion lost.

Locals fear that the development will cause gridlock in the adjacent streets and lead to the ruin of many local family businesses.

With the Greens hopeful of winning Marrickville at the state election in March 2011, Tebbutt is under pressure to declare where she stands on the Demian project.

Write to the local member Carmel Tebbutt and ask her to protect the local community from this overdevelopment.  (cut out and fill in the letter above or write your own)
Write a letter to the local paper opposing this development.  Email: or or
Attend the public meeting: 7pm, Wed 20 May at Summer Hill Community Centre, 131 Smith St
Summer Hill.  See the developer’s plans, air your concerns and show your opposition to this development.

Planning and Heritage

The Greens have been working to protect our heritage and our communities from overdevelopment.

Threat to NSW Planning Laws

May 2013 – The NSW Government proposes drastic changes to planning laws in NSW, laid out in a White Paper, will have a direct, and damaging, impact on our neighbourhoods and our local environment.

Rather than putting an end to the pro-developer planning culture cultivated by Labor, the Liberal Government is planning to entrench it.

In brief, the planning system proposed by the O’Farrell Government will:

  1. Hand over the key planning decisions on land use to unelected regional bodies dominated by Ministerial appointees.
  2. See up to 80% of development approved in 10 to 25 days without any community notification or input
  3. Force local councils to deliver unpopular planning decisions made at a state and regional level
  4. Further reduce heritage and environmental protections
  5. Take the democracy out of planning by removing elected councillors from most
    decision making on developments
  6. Let developers off the leash by “letting the market decide” where new housing and development will occur
  7. Introduce new taxes so that new in-fill development subsidises unprofitable and
  8. Expand the use of developer-paid private certifiers to assess and approve the majority
    of developments

More information below. These measures constitute a direct betrayal of the O’Farrell Government’s pre-election promise to return planning powers to the community. The proposed changes massively tip development laws in favour of developers, at the expense of communities.

Have your say by making a submission by 28 June 2013  – See the White Paper: ‘A New Planning System for NSW’ website .

For latest news about actions by your local Greens on Marrickville Council in support of the campaign, including Public Forums about the changes, visit the Media page.

To get involved in the campaign to improve the draft Bill visit the website of the Greens NSW Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge MLC; join the Better Planning Network – a coalition of local residents, community groups and Councils; or download information about the proposed changes from the Environmental Defenders Office or the Nature Conservation Council.

The Greens’ vision

The most important principle we can enshrine at the heart of our planning system is that of ecologically sustainable development (ESD). ESD can protect and enhance biodiversity while ensuring we have the jobs and housing we need. The White Paper changes proposed by the Liberal State Government would remove the principle of ESD from our planning system.
The Greens support sensible infill development in existing suburbs, accompanied by the infrastructure required to support increasing densities – this means more public transport, better protected and improved public open space and the retention of ‘main streets’ as community hubs.

Rather than endless urban sprawl, a smart planning policy would encourage appropriate development on land that is no longer needed for warehousing, industry or other defunct uses. What the development industry and their supporters in government don’t tell you is that we can redevelop these areas with high densities without covering them with high rise towers.

Stopping the sprawl also ensures that precious farmland and bushland can be preserved, protecting our future biodiversity and food production. This also means giving regional and rural communities the ability to protect endangered ecological communities and productive farmland through protective zoning measures.

We need to learn the best lessons of the past and match them with the brightest technologies of the 21st century. Much of the development in NSW in the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries produced beautiful, liveable and walkable suburbs that we now greatly prize. These Victorian terraces and garden suburbs were designed to be low energy and low impact developments with active local shopping precincts and main streets that generated local jobs and economic activity.

While we preserve the past we must also adopt the best new technologies in old and new development. This means facilitating local energy production both solar and wind, energy efficiency, recycling and reusing urban water and building smarter, not bigger, new housing. Co-operative medium density housing, publicly owned and active open space and community owned energy infrastructure need to be key planks in a new planning act.

Achieving such a vision requires best practice planning controls – developed with local communities, town planners, ecological consultants and health policy experts – and the consistent application of these controls. “Flexibility” sounds good as a concept, but when you realise that the main driver for most development in NSW is profit, flexibility means c

utting back on social benefits, reducing open space and minimising expense.

Part 3A – back again? 

Part 3A of the planning law allowed the Minister for Planning to strip local councils of their power to determine large development applications.  Instead of locally elected councillors making the decision, the Minister or an unelected panel appointed by the Minister makes the decision.  Under Part 3A 99.6% of  applications are approved!  Many developers have donated to the NSW Labor Party and it is seen by many as a way developers can bypass local councils

It's time to ban developer donations to political parties

and community scrutiny.

In Marrickville, two development proposals were ‘called in’ under Part 3A.

1) A huge overdevelopment in Lewisham that includes 14 storey residential towers and a large supermaket mall.

2) An IKEA bulky goods store on the Princes Highway at Tempe.

The Greens believe that the locally elected council should make such development decisions.  The local council process is much more responsive to local community concerns and allows greater community participation.  The Part 3A process is murky, distant and effectively locks the community out of the decision making process.

The Liberal State Government promised to repeal Part 3A in 2012. However the proposed changes they want to bring in would return the same powers to the Minister and Regional Boards to bypass local councils and local residents.

Complying developments and Code development

Complying and exempt developments law means that developments that meet a simple set of criteria do not have to go to council for consent.  Instead, a developer can hire their own private certifier to tick off and approve the development (that’s right, someone who you are paying will sign off on your own development!).

Not only do complying developments bypass council scrutiny, but neighbours do not have to be informed until 48 hours before construction (or demolition) starts.  Even then they will only be informed that the development has already been approved!

The Greens voted against past shonky laws in the State Parliament, when they were introduced by the Labor Government. Now a Liberal Government is planning to take them even further.

They plan to massively increase the number of developments which are “complying”, and also plan to introduce a new category of “code development”. A code would be developed outlining things like how tall a building could be, and if a development does not unreasonable exceed this a Council will have no choice but to approve the development.


Archive – We have also been working on Marrickville Council to protect the community and our heritage from current laws.

The Greens previously moved a motion that would have protected all houses built before 1939 from these laws.  Unfortunately, the Labor and Independent Councillors voted this excellent motion down.  Perhaps they’re more concerned with protecting the state Labor government than protecting the local community and heritage?