Tag Archives: heritage

Launch of Marrickville Peace Park Sun 8 Nov 2015


Marrickville Peace Park2

Join us for the launch of Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park on Sunday, 8th November from 11.00am to 12.30pm.

The park’s address is corner of Holt Crescent and Richards Avenue in Marrickville.

The event will consist of a Welcome to Country, five local speakers and the performance of a number of songs by the Solidarity Choir.

Program details:

11.00 Introduction by GCPC convenor (John Butcher)
11.05 Welcome of Country (Allan Barnes)
11.10 Solidarity Choir
11.20 Address by GCPC convenor (John Butcher)
11.25 Address by Mayor of Marrickville (Clr Sam Iskandar)
11.30 Address by Marrickville Councillor (Clr Sylvie Ellsmore)
11.35 Solidarity Choir
11.45 Address by State Member for Canterbury (Linda Burney MP)
11.50 Address by State Member for Summer Hill (Jo Haylen MP)
11.55 Poetry reading (Moneisha McKenzie and Jo Blackman)
12.05 Solidarity Choir
12.20 Conclusion.

Soft drinks and snacks will be provided.

GCPC’s brochure ‘Why Marrickville Peace Park?’ can be found here. The publicity leaflet for the event can be downloaded from here.

All welcome.

For more information about the history of the project see the Gallipoli Peace Campaign page on this website.

Contract deal a community win for marrickville library

Media Release 13 October 2015

Following a campaign stretching over many years, the Greens on Marrickville Council have welcomed the signing of a historic contract to re-develop the old Marrickville hospital site, the key final step in committing Council to build the long promised new library, park and affordable housing on the site.

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said, “We fought the last election on a platform of investing in our community. We promised to build a new library, to invest in affordable housing and in quality open space. Today we are so proud to see that vision turning into a reality.

“Marrickville Council has signed a detailed contract which ensures this project will be built in line with the concept designs picked by the community last Council term. The new library site will have a park opening onto Marrickville Rd, a library and multi-purpose community hub, and a mix of community and retail uses. I am confident it will become a thriving new heart for our community,” Clr Phillips said.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, Co-Chair of Council’s Affordable Housing Committee, said, “This decision is a huge win for our community. We will have over $60 million of benefits delivered for the community. It is the largest single investment ever undertaken by Marrickville Council.

“The development of site will come at no cost to Council and will protect the significant heritage buildings – the Old Marrickville Hospital site and Nurses Quarters – which will be retrofitted as the new library and community hub. And importantly, those community facilities, the park and the affordable housing will stay in public ownership,” she said.

The project has a long and tumultuous history. Marrickville Council has owned the site, earmarked to build a new library, for 20 years. Council had invested more than $1 million undertaking a design competition and preparatory works for the new library and park last Council term.

However following the 2012 Local Government elections a number of different options were canvased for the site by the newly elected Council, including building residential development at the front of the site (Marrickville Rd) where the library and park was planned, and residential rather than public uses for the heritage buildings. A numbers of unsolicited bids to sell the whole site to a private developer were received, but were rejected following a community outcry.

Clr Phillips said, “This final decision, which received unanimous support from all Councillors, returns Council to the original vision for the site. This is what we have been fighting for and we have now, finally, engaged a developer to get on and build the project. It is a huge win for our local residents and the future of our community,” said Clr Phillips.

More information:   Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213 and Clr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

What the final decision means:

At its Council meeting on Tuesday 6th October Marrickville Council approved the terms of a contract with developer Mirvac to develop the entire site, including the public aspects and private residential and commercial development at the back of the site. The contracts were formally signed by Council and Mirvac today.

One of the concept images for the library opening up to a sunken park/ public square, corner of Livingstone Rd and Marrickville Rd, by BVN Architects, 2012

One of the concept images for the library opening up to a sunken park/ public square, corner of Livingstone Rd and Marrickville Rd, by BVN Architects, 2012

As a result of the arrangement Council will retain over $64m in value from the redevelopment of the site made up of:

  1. the construction of a new library, community hub, open space and associated car-parking opening onto Marrickville Road;
  2. the provision of 4% affordable housing (currently estimated at 9 apartments (3x1bedroom, 5×2 bedroom and 1×3 bedroom);
  3. a cash payment;
  4. land retained by Council as part of the redevelopment; and
  5. residential development at the back of the site.

The historic main hospital building and the old nurse’s quarters will be fully conserved and reused as part of the redevelopment and the old hospital lane will be retained as a central access spine through the development site. Entry and exit of vehicles is expected to be from Livingstone Road.

The developer was selected following a competitive tender process which assessed applicants against their ability to deliver key aspects of the project which included the concept for the new library selected by the community (known as the ‘BVN design’), new open space and affordable housing.

View of winning design from Lilydale Street, showing the historic Marrickville Hospital main building and Nurses Quarters, with additions. St Brigid's Church across Marrickville Rd is shown on the left.

View of winning design from Lilydale Street, showing the historic Marrickville Hospital main building and Nurses Quarters, with additions. St Brigid’s Church across Marrickville Rd is shown on the left.

Following the competitive process Council resolved to work with the most suitable applicant – Mirvac – on a non-complying tender which will see the project delivered quickly and at no cost to the community.

For details of the Greens campaign for the project see https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/issue/library-and-community-hub/.

For details of the history of the project, including the stages and key milestones to get to this point, and images of the plans see the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/development/major-projects/new-library-and-community-hub/

The full concept model of the project by Mirvac which indicates the scale of residential development on the back of the site and how it interacts with the community design for the library has been on public display and will be available again at the Marrickville Library later in the week.

Marrickville Councillors and staff inspect preparation works at the Old Marrickville Hospital Site, 2012

Marrickville Councillors and staff inspect preparation works at the Old Marrickville Hospital Site, 2012

Vision for new library one step closer

Marrickville Council has moved a step closer to delivering on the commitment to build a new library and community hub on the Old Marrickville Hospital vote, with a key vote at the 19 May 2015 Council meeting.

The vote means that the project will move to “Stage 2” of the Tender, where four shortlisted developers will be invited to provide detailed concept plans for the whole site. The plans must reflect the community endorsed design for the library and community hub on the site, as well as the developers’ proposals for residential and commercial development at the back of the site, which will fund the project.

The four developers’ concepts plans and models will be presented to Council and the community, with a final decision to be made by Council in November 2015, and the contracts signed. Importantly, one of the terms of the tender is that the successful developer will be required to build the new library and park before beginning on the residential (private) development. The library, park and proposed affordable housing will be publicly owned.

Over the many years that this project has been under development, the Greens have successfully campaigned for:

  • a new library and community hub built in the winning design selected by the community;
  • a new park adjoining the community hub and fronting Illawarra Rd which can also be used as a space for public events;
  • protection and appropriate adaptive re-use of the key heritage buildings on the site;
  • residential housing at the back of the site – which will fund the community investment; and
  • at least 4% of affordable housing in the new residential development, which will be targeted on supporting key, low income workers, to be owned by Council and managed by one of our local Community Housing Providers.

The decisions at the 19 May 2015 meeting move one step closer to making this vision a reality.

For more information about the project, including images of the winning design for the site, see our Library and Community Hub campaign page. See also our Affordable Housing campaign page, for more info on the work we have been doing to ensure that affordable housing is to be built as part of the project.d

Historical signs installed

Max & historical sign Petersham Town Hall

Cr Max Phillips with a historical sign at the “new” Petersham Town Hall.

One of the best parts of being a local Councillor is seeing your ideas take concrete form in our community.  In late 2012, I moved a motion for Council to install pictorial signs around the municipality to make people aware of the area’s history and evolution.  I think history is important and wanted to bring it out of the dusty archives and into the streets.

Last week Council official launched the signs with a brief tour around Petersham with the Marrickville Historical Society.

max & historical sign

Cr Max Phillips with a sign in Maundrell Park.

The Inner West has a fascinating history,  and many buildings or relics still remain.  Understanding local history can give a greater sense of place for both residents and visitors.

19 signs have now been installed around the municipality, and I hope the number continue to expand.  Eventually I’d like to see a Marrickville historical trail that people can walk, cycle or drive between the signs and enjoy our rich history.

Sometimes things take a while to happen on local council, but when they do happen it is great.

You can read a media release from when these signs were originally funded here.

Beynon & Hayward building granted heritage protection at last

Marrickville Greens – Media release

3 September 2014
The iconic Beynon & Hayward building at 6 Livingstone Road Petersham has been granted heritage status by Marrickville Council after over 500 people signed a petition urging heritage protection, and a successful rescission motion passed at Tuesday night’s Council meeting by a 6-5 vote.
“This is a great outcome for the community and preserving our precious heritage,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.
“There was a huge response from the community when they learnt this iconic building was in danger of demolition for a car park.  Many people know and love this building.  
“The Greens are pleased that this building will remain as part of the character of our area as well as our history.
“Any redevelopment will hopefully adaptively reuse this building in a creative way,” he said.

A professional heritage study conducted to NSW government guidelines found the building has significant heritage value, is one of the last few examples of this type of industrial architecture left in the Inner West, and recommend it be granted heritage status to protect it.

The Greens first flagged heritage issues with the building in June 2009 when Councillor Macri raised the idea of its demolition for a car park.

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Greens will fight to protect Beynon & Hayward heritage building

Marrickville Greens – media release
7 July 2014

The Marrickville Greens have declared they will do all they can to protect the iconic Beynon & Hayward building at 6 Livingstone Road, after Council split 6 – 6 last Tuesday to reject an expert heritage report that the building had significant heritage value.  A rescission motion was lodged, which means the issue will be revisited by Council on 4 August.

The heritage study conducted to NSW government guidelines has clearly found this building has significant heritage value, is one of the last few examples of this type of industrial architecture left in the Inner West, and should be granted heritage status to protect it.

“It would be shocking for Councillors to allow it to be demolished to expand a council car park,” said Greens Councillors Max Phillips.

“I know this is an iconic building that is much loved in our community and the Greens will do all we can to protect its heritage value.

“Development of the council car park and other areas can still occur, it will just need to work with and protect the heritage value.

“The argument that we can’t declare this particular building heritage because it might mess with a developer’s plans and Council’s own wishes to expand the Chester Street car park, goes against the whole notion of heritage protection.>

“Heritage decisions should be blind to who may want to develop a particular site. They should be purely made on whether a building has heritage value or not.

“It concerns me that some Councillors seem to be more concerned about protecting the interests of a potential developer, than about protecting the remaining heritage fabric of the Inner West.

“The numbers are finely balanced on this decision and the ball is in the Labor Councillor’s court.  They can vote to destroy heritage or they can vote to preserve it,” he said.

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Attachments: 1) Report on Beynon & Hayward building is here.  2) Transcript of the meeting debate is here. 3) Photo of the building is here.

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.

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