Tag Archives: David Leary


10 September, 2014

Exploratory drilling for the Westconnex motorway will take place at 18 different sites in Tempe, Sydenham, and St Peters this month, Marrickville Greens Councillor David Leary revealed today.

“When Councillors were advised early this month that drilling would commence in September  I wanted to know exactly where this drilling would be. So I asked questions on notice asking for these sites to be identified ”, commented Clr Leary.

“I was absolutely stunned to see drilling will take place at 18 different locations including St Peters Public School and Sydney Park” commented Clr Leary.

“While this may be dismissed by the State government as simply exploratory drilling, we can now start to see what the possible route for Westconnex may look like. No wonder the State government has wanted to keep this all secret” noted Clr Leary

“This is very disturbing news. I am especially concerned to see drilling will take place at St Peters Public School and Sydney Park. This is sheer madness. What on earth is this rotten state government thinking?” exclaimed Clr Leary.

Exploratory drilling will take place this month at the following locations:

  1. Kendrick Park, Tempe
  2. Princes Highway, Tempe near Kendrick Park;
  • Princes Highway, Tempe/Kendrick Park near Bay Street (west);
  1. 886-896 Princes Highway Tempe;
  2. Brooklyn street, Tempe, near no 10;
  3. Samuel street, Tempe near no 20;
  • Sydenham Green, Sydenham near Coptic Orthodox Church building;
  • George street, Sydenham, approximately 30 metres from Princes Highway
  1. Grove street, St Peters, approximately 30 metres west of Princes Highway;
  2. Berne Street, St Peters, approximately 30 metres east of Princes Highway
  3. In or near no 1 Canal Road St Peters;
  • In 314 Princess Highway, St Peters (Dial a dump site);
  • Roberts street, St Peters, near Roberts Lane;
  • Edith street, St Peters, near no 9;
  1. 93A Church street, St Peters (St Peters Public School);
  • 110 Campbell street, St Peters;
  • 4-16 Campbell Street, St Peters and
  • Barwon Park Road, St Peters (or in adjoining Sydney Park)

Some of these locations involve multiple boreholes. Transport for NSW has advised that the locations are approximate and will be dictated by conditions on site at the time of drilling.

This information is contained in next weeks Council business paper which will be available on Marrickville councils web site Wednesday.

Media contact: Clr David Leary 0409 421 323


Media Release 5 February 2014

Local bike activists save cycleway from Cooks River to Camperdown

Local bike activists and Greens Councillors on Marrickville Council have successfully defeated an 11th hour attempt to kill a long-waited cycleway project.  The “Carrington Road Separated Cycleway” is the missing link in Regional Route 5, which runs from the Cooks River to Marrickville Station and beyond to Camperdown. The decision by Marrickville Council last night means the final link in the cycleway will be constructed by the middle of the year.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “The Greens on Marrickville Council are strong supporters of separated cycleways. Lanes specifically for bikes, separate from other traffic, protect the safety of cyclists and have been proven to encourage more people to cycle.


Greens Councillor David Leary, who represents the Sydenham area, said “We received many submissions from commuters and young families who currently feel unsafe when using Carrington Road. They are particularly concerned about cyclists sharing the road with trucks, and have been calling on Council to build the separated cycleway.

“We also received submissions from people running or working in businesses on Carrington Rd, who will now be able to cycle safely to work,” he said. Other submissions in support of the cycleway were received from members of Bike Marrickville, Bike Leichhardt, Ashfield BUG, ArtCycle, Ride 2 Work and the Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club.

Clr Ellsmore said, “Over the last five years the Greens and local bike activists have successfully defended the Carrington separated cycleway against several rounds of threats, always led by conservative Councillors and a handful of local businesses opposed to the small loss of parking.”

“The most recent threat to came in the form of a recission motion, which was moved by Independent Councillors Macri and Hanna and former ALP Deputy Mayor Tsardoulias at the final Council meeting of 2013. The recission motion effectively placed the project on hold for two months until it could be debated again.

Clr Ellsmore said, “If Council had passed the recission it would have sent the project back to the drawing board & reduced the cycleway to a painted bike symbol on a busy road for years to come. Council would have lost $150,000 in State funding.

“Last night’s vote is a victory for the growing number of cyclists in our local area. The Carrington Road Separated Cycleway will be one of only a handful of separated cycleways in the Marrickville Local Government Area, but the Greens want to see more built in coming years. We have a responsibility to keep our residents and commuters safe,” she said.

Media contact:

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213, sellsmore@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Greens Councillor David Leary 0409 421 323, dleary@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Greens vision for local pools realised

Petersham Pool officially re-opened this weekend following an extensive refurbishment, including new play equipment in adjoining Petersham Park.  A series of events were held to celebrate the opening, including games to mark the birthday of its namesake – Sarah “Fanny” Durack. Fanny Durack was the first woman swimmer to win an Olympic Gold Medal at Stockholm 1912 and held every world freestyle record from 100 yards to one mile.

Greens Councillor David Leary said, “The opening of the pool realises a long term vision of the Greens on Marrickville Council, to ensure that we invest and upgrade our essential public services.

“The previous Greens Councillors had strongly supported the upgrade of Petersham Pool.

“However it had been slipping behind current standards, so the Greens on Council worked to ensure it was prioritised on the list of Major Works. Community love this facility as an open air neighbourhood pool and the Greens were conscious to have it remain just that.

“The pool remained open while Enmore Aquatic Centre was being built to ensure swimming facilities were always available in the Council area.

“The new Petersham Pool will provide all the amenity of the old pool but its new filtration system will ensure better water quality. The new café will operate into the pool area and Petersham Park providing improved service to park and pool users alike. Integration of the pool into the park was a major concern when developing the design program to ensure that the historic Petersham Park received the respect it deserves,” Clr Leary said.

Greens Councillor Max Phillips highlighted that the opening of the pool was linked to the ongoing work of the Greens on Council to increase investment in Council owned services. In particular last term the Greens worked to ensure that the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre (Enmore Pool) was upgraded and reopened as an energy efficient, 50 metre pool, café and gym complex.

Clr Phillips said, “Greens councillors championed the pool against some pretty stiff opposition from the other Councillors, so this is really heartening.”

“The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre is now the most popular service in our local area, for very young families through to our more mature residents. The new pool also generates revenue for Council to invest in other infrastructure and services.

“This result shows Council can deliver big projects that provide the facilities our community wants without being a burden on rate payers. It is great to the Greens vision for the upgrade of Petersham Pool also realised,” said Clr Phillips.

For more about the Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre Petersham including opening hours visit http://www.fdac.com.au

For more info about the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre Petersham visit http://www.akac.com.au/



Greens Slam Fast Track of Marrickville High Rise Tower

Media Release 19 September 2013


The Greens have today condemned the ALP controlled Marrickville Council for its decision
to give the “Green light” to a developers outrageous proposal to building a 16 storey high rise
apartment tower in Marrickville.

Proposed 16 Storey Tower next to Marrickville Station, currently zoned for 8 storeys maximum.

Proposed 16 Storey Tower next to Marrickville Station, currently zoned for 8 storeys maximum. Image as published in 17 September 2013 Marrickville Council papers.

The planning proposal put to Marrickville Council on Tuesday night proposes the construction of a 16 storey building with 120 residential apartments and ground floor retail outlets at 2-18 Station street and 1 Leofrene Ave Marrickville.

In exchange for councils support of the proposal and council selling the developer the road in Station street, the developer has proposed a voluntary planning agreement which does little more than provide for a public forecourt outside the building, a few park benches some trees and some road works.

“This proposal is totally unreasonable, is totally outside what the current planning regulations allow and is not supported by local residents.” said Greens Councilor David Leary.

“Marrickville’s Local Environment Plan only allows buildings to a maximum of 26 metres in this area and this development involves a building of 59 metres, or more than double the height allowed. It also dramatically exceeds many other planning controls” highlighted Clr Leary

“There is no real public benefit from this development. Instead local residents will be stuck with a 16 storey high rise apartment right next door to their homes, massive overshadowing, extra traffic and major disruption during construction” noted Clr Leary.

“I am totally gobsmacked that the Mayor, Labor Councillors and the Liberal Party would all combine to vote to give the ‘green light’ to this proposal without even stopping to think about its impact on the community. It seems to me these councilors think their role is to look after the interests of property developers rather than local residents” said Councilor Leary.

“The Greens voted against this proposal and will work with the community to fight this hideous over-development” explained Councilor Leary

The vote on Tuesday night now means the proposal will be rushed to the Department of Planning with the endorsement of council to proceed through the “Gateway Process” which fast tracks approval.

Media contact: Clr David Leary 0409 421 323 dleary@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Protection for historic Fatima Island

The Greens have welcomed this week’s Marrickville Council decision to fund urgent investigations into the work needed to protect Fatima Island, one of the last remaining islands in the Cooks River.

At its 3 December 2013 meeting the Council voted to allocate the $25,000 necessary to obtain a professional report about the current state of the island and to provide recommendations for appropriate remediation strategies.

The action was taken after the Greens put an urgent notice to the August Council meeting (see August 2013 post below), urging Council to take action to prevent the island from eroding away.  

Greens Councillor David Leary said, “There has been a huge groundswell of community support for Fatima Island, which helped sway some of the Labor and Liberal Councillors who had previously a expressed reluctance to fund or take responsibility for protecting Fatima Island.

“Protecting our precious green spaces, local biodiversity and heritage are important to our residents. This was evident from the many people who forwarded stories of their association with Fatima Island, going back as far as the 1950s.”

Some of this important heritage and environmental values of the island are detailed in the background to the Greens motion (below).

“The Greens look forward to receiving the report early next year, and hope that our fellow Councillors continue to stand with the community in voting to protect Fatima Island,” said Clr Leary.

For more information contact Clr Leary at dleary@marrickville.nsw.gov.au.

In the lead up to the meeting the following community groups expressed their support for the investment by Council in Fatima Island:

Cooks River Valley Association

Marrickville Heritage Society

Wolli Creek Preservation Society

The Mudcrabs (Cooks River Eco-Volunteers)

Saving Our Trees

Total Environment Centre

NSW Heritage Network

Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance

Friends of Tempe House

As well as numerous individuals including parishioners of Sts Peter & Paul Parish Tempe and members of the Cooks River Motor Boat Club.

A new FRIENDS OF FATIMA ISLAND email list has also been established by residents who are driving the campaign. To receive updates, please subscribe to: fatimaislandfriends@gmail.com 

Photo by John Veage, from St George Leader, at http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1608145/fatima-island-memories-of-little-surprises/
Photo by John Veage, from St George Leader, at http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1608145/fatima-island-memories-of-little-surprises/

Greens Notice of Motion for 20 August 2013 Marrickville Council Meeting

That Council:

  1. Urgently investigate the erosion of Fatima Island in the Cooks River;
  1. Undertake any urgent, necessary remedial works identified, in order to protect the island against further erosion pending the development of the Cooks River Plan of Management;
  1. Liaise and consult with relevant agencies and community groups to ensure that any urgent works are identified and undertaken appropriately, including the Cooks River Valley Association, Canterbury Council, Sydney Water, Metro Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Marrickville Heritage Society;
  1. Include in the investigations consideration of whether nearby work on the banks of the Cooks River and/ or people visiting the island are contributing to the erosion;
  1. Consider funding for any urgent works in the September budget revision; and
  1. Provide a report to Council of the investigations.


Urgent action is needed to protect Fatima Island, which has become seriously degraded in recent years.

Fatima Island is an important historical and environmental site in the Cooks River, near Kendrick Park, Tempe. It is a sanctuary to local birds such as pelicans, ibis, common silver gull, little pied cormorant, little black cormorant and the crested tern.

In recent years the island has been getting smaller, and the rock retaining wall along one side of the island has partially collapsed. At least two trees have been washed away, and the roots of the large remaining tree on the edge of the island are increasingly exposed and appear at risk of falling over.

Fatima Island is the only remaining island of several that existing prior to European invasion.

It is close to a significant midden site at Kendrick Park and, together with the two adjacent islands that were known to have existed circa 1880, was a place of early contact and relationships between the local Aboriginal Traditional Owners and non-Aboriginal communities.

In 1951 it became a place for a Catholic rosary pilgrimage, honouring a Portugese statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was from the 1950s that it became known as Fatima Island. In recent years this name has provided a familiar reference point for Muslim community members.

Local organisations such as the Cooks River Valley Association and the Marrickville Heritage Society have been campaigning to protect Fatima Island.

In 2013 Marrickville Council committed to include Fatima Island in the Cooks River Parks Plan of Management.

However the current state of the island requires urgent action to prevent further damage to this important cultural and environmental site.

Marrickville residents denied vote on amalgamation

Marrickville Greens Councillors have condemned Marrickville Council’s decision to deny residents a vote on amalgamation as an attack on democracy.

At this week’s council meeting Mayor Macri and the Labor-Liberal alliance which controls Marrickville Council voted down a Greens proposal to put any future amalgamation proposal to a referendum.

“I was gob-smacked that our Mayor, the Labor Party and the Liberals all thought residents should not have the right to vote on the future of Local Government in Marrickville” said Greens Councillor David Leary who brought the motion for a referendum to council.

“The Mayor and the Labor-Liberal alliance seem to think that back room deals done by bureaucrats and politicians are far better than an open and transparent democratic vote by the people. It’s just not democratic and its stinks” stated Councillor Leary.

The decision to not hold a referendum took place on the same night it was revealed that a key part of Council’s consultation strategy on amalgamations had failed to materialise. It was revealed last night that a contractor has failed to deliver thousands of printed brochures on the amalgamation proposals to residents.

“Even if these brochures are delivered late this week this doesn’t give residents enough time to consider the implications of amalgamation and to make submissions to council before the deadline for consultation closes. How can residents comment on the amalgamation proposal when they don’t even know it’s happening?” stated Clr Leary

The Local Government Review Panel established by the State government has recently recommended amalgamation of many local councils across NSW including Marrickville Council. Three possible models for amalgamation of Marrickville Council are currently under consideration: (1) Amalgamation with a so called “Sydney Group” of Council’s including Sydney City Council, Leichhardt, Waverley, Randwick, Botany Bay, and Woollahra councils; (2) Amalgamation with Leichardt, Ashfield, Burwood, Strathfield, and Canada Bay Councils to form a so called “Inner West Group” of Councils; and (3) Amalgamation with Canterbury Council.

Media contact: Clr David Leary 0409 421 323


Greens move urgent action for residents on planning reforms

Marrickville Council this week voted in favour of an urgent Greens motion to inform residents about the State Government’s plans to radically overhaul planning laws.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “The State Government has released a White Paper and draft legislation which will radically change the way that developments are assessed. The changes would remove most existing rights for residents to be notified or have a say over development in their local area.

“The State Government has set a target that 80% of development is to be fast tracked or “code assessed” under the new system, meaning residents will not be notified of developments or have any real powers to object, even to high rise development,” said Clr Ellsmore.

“Environmental and heritage considerations are also being watered down, with a stronger emphasis on “economic development” and the interests of developers.

Clr Ellsmore said, “The proposals are being sold by the State Government as increasing community participation because they give residents a say at the early, high-level “strategic” stage.

“What is being lost is the right for residents to object or even be notified down the track, when a development application is put in. The State Government knows this is actually the stage when most residents want to get involved – when there is a specific development being considered for their street,” said Clr Ellsmore.

“These draft Planning Act Bills were released amidst a flurry of State Government White Papers last month, including information about proposed amalgamations, and residents have only a few weeks left to have a say,” said Clr Ellsmore.

“The Greens are concerned that the Liberal Government wants to implement these complex and wide reaching changes as soon as possible, before residents have a real chance to learn about the reforms and respond.

“The new laws have the potentially to radically change the face of our local areas. I am proud that Marrickville Council voted to adopt the Green’s motion for Council to undertake an urgent information program for residents,” she said.

The Greens are organising and supporting community groups to organise public forums, including at Redfern Town Hall on Monday 27 May 2013.

The ALP and Conservative Councils voted to remove the commitment for Marrickville Council to hold public forums on the planning changes, when the Greens Notice of Motion was passed. Neighbouring Councils such as the City of Sydney and Leichhardt have previously organised or voted to support public forums on the issue.

Media contact:            Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

A copy of the Notice of Motion is below:

Notice of Motion – Urgent Consultation on Planning Reforms 

That Council:

  1. Notes that the State Government released the White Paper: A New Planning System for NSW on 16 April 2013, which will significantly overhaul planning laws and radically alter the process for development assessment;
  1. Notes that public submissions on the White Paper and two draft Bills close on 28 June 2013 and that the State Government’s Sydney information session for the public is already full;
  1. Urgently organises a public information forum for forums or local residents to provide an overview of the White Paper: A New Planning System for NSW and what it could mean for residents’ future input into planning decisions;
  1. Urgently develops and implements a public information strategy to inform residents about the proposed reforms and encourage them to make a submission; and
  1. Calls on the NSW Government to ensure there is at least 6 months of public consultation on the planning reform White Paper.


On 16 April, the NSW Government released the White Paper – A new planning system for NSW for public feedback (http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/a-new-planning-system-for-nsw).

The White Paper and Draft Exposure Bills would radically reshape planning laws. The proposed changes include:

  • 80% of all development in NSW assessed as ‘complying’ or ‘code assessment’ development with no community consultation and limited environmental assessment;
  • removal of key zoning to protect sensitive environment or heritage areas;
  • a presumption in favour of a right to develop and significantly increased appeal powers for developers;
  • substantial removal of the power of local Councils to oversee development;
  • substantial increase in powers for the NSW Minister for Planning to override Council plans which have been developed in consultation with the community; and
  • removal of the principle of Ecologically Sustainable Development from planning legislation – amongst others.

Overdevelopment and loss of heritage remains one of the top 5 issues of concern for local Marrickville Council residents.

When the Planning Green Paper was released in 2012 Marrickville Council raised urgent concerns about the direction of the reforms, particularly the removal of opportunity for meaningful community consultation. See a copy of Council’s submission to the NSW Government on the Green Paper, dated 25 September 2012, on the Council’s website.

Council also put a motion to the 2012 Local Government Association Conference:

(a) That the State Government ensures that the new Act genuinely achieves the stated objectives of the Green Paper and does not include mechanisms that enable the development industry to avoid proper planning assessment by councils via rezonings in subregional plans;

(b) That the new Act provides that individual Council’s determine the membership and terms of reference of any IHAP established to evaluate development applications in-lieu of elected Councillors;

(c) That the new Act does not diminish the level of community consultation that occurs as part of land use planning; and

(d) That the new Act does not facilitate the expansion of certification of development to merit based matters or in sensitive areas such as heritage conservation areas.

Marrickville Council’s submission, along with many similar concerns raised by other Local Council, have been ignored in the White Paper.

Marrickville Council has recently embarked on a major information and consultation program in relation to proposed reforms to Local Government, which were also released in April 2013.

The proposed planning reforms are just as significant – and are even more urgent, given that there is already draft legislation developed.

The changes are very complex and require easy to understand information needs to be developed so that residents understand what it could mean for them and their Council.

It is essential that Marrickville Council informs the community about these proposed reforms and facilitates residents having a real say on changes.

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