Tag Archives: Jenny Leong

Alice St Community Wins Development Battle

Residents on and around Alice St in Newtown are celebrating after the Land and Environment Court refused an appeal by the development company Al Maha to expand their Alice St development.

Al Maha’s Development Application (DA) to add additional storeys to the block was refused by Marrickville Council twice earlier this year. Both Council and surrounding residents are concerned that development beyond the approved 5-storeys will be too high-density for the area, where public space, amenities and public transport are already under pressure.

Al Maha went to the NSW Land and Environment Court to appeal Marrickville Council’s refusal of the expanded DA. This week the Court made a decision in Marrickville Council’s favour, which states that additional height requested by Al Maha “breaches building height and FSR development standards” and “introduces other undesirable amenity impacts.”

Read the full decision here: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/565ba12be4b003c5681fb06d

Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong said:

“This is a fantastic victory for local residents who have worked together to fight Al Maha’s attempts to build more storeys despite serious community concern.

“Developers like Al Maha need to learn to listen to community concerns, instead of trying to force through their short-sited plans for gargantuan developments that improve their profits but wreck our suburbs.

“Marrickville Council made the right decision by knocking back the expanded DA – twice – and it’s shameful that Al Maha tried to take advantage of state planning laws that favour developers to push it through.

“It says a lot that even with biased planning laws that favour developers this expanded development didn’t get through.

“This outcome proves that communities shouldn’t sit back and let developers pillage their local areas. A concerted community campaign can make a real difference.

Greens Councillor for Marrickville Council David Leary said:

“Marrickville Councillors have been proud to work alongside the local community to ensure that the Alice St development remains at a reasonable density.

“We had good reasons to deny the expanded DA and we’re understandably happy with the decision of the Land and Environment Court.


20150604_alice-st-developemnt-action_high-res cropped

Marrickville Council rejects Parramatta Rd plan

2 December 2015, Marrickville Council has voted to reject the ‘Draft Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy’, arguing that it fails to achieve genuine urban renewal, fails to address the affordable housing crisis, and will place significant pressure on already underfunded local infrastructure such as parks and schools.

The Greens motions accepted by Marrickville Council mean Council has formally rejected UrbanGrowth’s Parramatta Rd redevelopment strategy, and will call on the State Government to work collaboratively with Local Councils for genuine revitalisation of Parramatta Rd.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “The community is facing an onslaught of so-called ‘urban renewal’ plans from the Baird Liberal Government – all designed to deliver large profits for developers at the expense of local communities.

“This latest strategy aims to massively increased heights by overriding local Council’s strategies & removing the opportunity for residents to have a say.  In the Taverners Hill Precinct near Petersham for example, the existing 313 dwellings are earmarked to increase to 3,054 by 2050. Residential blocks up to 12 storeys will be located directly next to single storey dwellings,” she said.

Large public meetings were held across the local area in the weeks before the Council meeting. Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong spoke at the public meeting held at Petersham Bowling Club on 27 November 2015 organised by the ‘Help Save Lewisham’ group. Ms Leong said, “The State Government is not urban renewal, they’re doing property development. This plan is about allowing developers to make a profit out of our communities and neighbourhoods.”

Large public meetings were held across the local area in the weeks before the Council meeting. Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong spoke at the public meeting held at Petersham Bowling Club on 27 November 2015 organised by the ‘Help Save Lewisham’ group. Ms Leong said, “The State Government is not urban renewal, they’re doing property development. This plan is about allowing developers to make a profit out of our communities and neighbourhoods.”

Greens MPs Jamie Parker & Jenny Leong at Petersham Bowling Club, November 2015

Greens MPs Jamie Parker & Jenny Leong at Petersham Bowling Club, November 2015


Marrickville Council voted to make a damning submission to Urban Growth outlining key problems with the draft Parramatta Rd strategy.

Council’s submission highlights the lack of planning to ensure infrastructure like parks and schools will accompany any new development. The submission strongly criticises the suggestion that Parramatta Rd will become a walkable or cycle friendly road because of the planned WestConnex. Recent modelling shows WestConnex will actually redirect more traffic to Parramatta Rd, making it even more congested, because Parramatta Road will be one of the few remaining roads that won’t have a large toll imposed by the Liberal Government.

Council’s submission is also damning about the failure of the State Government to genuinely address affordable housing. Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “Council’s submission points out that the simplistic strategy of approving more apartment towers – and letting the market sort out the prices – has failed to deliver affordable housing.

“If anything this approach has helped drive the housing crisis in the inner west, and to concentrate more investment housing in the hands of the few.

“Council’s submission will also highlight that successive Labor and Liberal Government’s have failed to give Council the power to insist on affordable housing as part of urban renewal projects (inclusionary zoning). If the State Government is serious about affordable housing it must give Council’s this power, and set targets of at least 30% affordable housing,” Clr Ellsmore said.

Marrickville Council agreed to formally endorse and attach an alternative Parramatta Rd growth plan developed by local residents and the Help Save Lewisham Group, to Council’s submission.

More information:    Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Newtown: Green from the beginning

With the highest primary vote ever recorded by the Greens in a state or federal electorate, Newtown has become Greens from the very beginning. Jenny Leong will be the member for Newtown in the next parliament, joining Jamie Parker and the new Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith. We are still waiting on late returns to see what happens in Lismore, where the Greens recorded a swing of over 20% from the Nationals.

The Newtown campaign was one of the largest and most energetic of the election. Working closely with the community on issues like West Connex, affordable housing and human rights,  The Greens received approximately 60% of the two candidate preferred vote.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, spoke to friends and voted for the Greens in Newtown. We can now look forward to four years of working together to change progressive politics in NSW. Jenny is in the process of setting up her office, in the meantime you can contact our new MP through her website: http://www.jennyleong.org/

Sydney: Together we can stop WestConnex

By incoming Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong

30 April 2015- This article first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald


Jenny Leong heashot

The record-breaking support for the Greens in Newtown and re-election of Jamie Parker in Balmain demonstrates that communities in the inner city want to see world-class public transport – including light rail, accessible train stations, more frequent buses, and integrated cycleways.

Critics of the Greens say because we don’t have the majority of the numbers in the lower house we can’t deliver results. This misguided view doesn’t acknowledge the many strong community campaigns the Greens have been connected with that have shifted the government of the day, stopped the destruction of our heritage, protected our precious green space or seen a positive change in policy.

Jack Mundey – the living legend who led the Green Bans movement that saved The Rocks, public housing, heritage and green space from the developers’ bulldozers – was one of the people to support our Greens campaign for Newtown. Jack recognised the big challenges facing our area, including the threat of WestConnex.

We don’t have to go back to the 1970s to see examples of how strong community campaigns – supported by Greens MPs in parliament and local councillors – can make a difference.

A key tactic in the successful strategy to defeat the East/West Toll Link in Melbourne was to force the government to release details of its business case. When made public, the business case showed that not only was the tollway a bad idea from the perspective of transport but that it was also economically unviable.

That’s why from day one I will be pursuing the Baird Government to make public all details in relation to WestConnex. If they have nothing to hide and back the project, why won’t they make the business case public?

The lack of transparency is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed and something that the Greens at all levels of government will continue to pursue. Given construction is already underway, we can’t wait for the release of documents before we act. We saw the success of non-violent direct action and a grassroots community campaign that stopped the preliminary work in Melbourne and this is a tactic that we should not shy away from here.

Any successful campaign must build alliances – many of these have already started to form across local resident groups along the 33-kilometre West Connex route, collectives such as Reclaim the Streets, public transport advocates, local business associations, and local government. I look forward to working with these tireless advocates, as well as Lord Mayor Clover Moore and local government representatives who share our commitment to sustainable 21st-century transport solutions.

This project cannot go ahead without federal money. The federal election is 18 months away. It’s time for Labor to listen to the community and end their support of the Abbott/Baird obsession with roads.

Promoting and building support for world-class public transport and integrated cycleways will benefit people throughout Sydney. The Greens will continue to advance an alternative transport plan that delivers for the community.

Jenny Leong is incoming Greens MP for Newtown. To visit Jenny’s page go to http://www.jennyleong.org and check out the WestConnex campaign page.

To read about what your local Greens Councillors are doing to fight WestConnex visit the No WestConnex! campaign page on this website, or our Media page.

Cycle win for Newtown blackspot

A key missing link in Sydney’s regional bike network will be completed by June following the approval of plans by Marrickville Council at its meeting on 3 March 2015.

Greens Councillor and Chair of the Marrickville Council Transport Committee, Sylvie Ellsmore, said “This month Marrickville Council approved plans to establish a new shared path for bikes, pedestrians and cars at Eliza St Newtown, which runs from Camperdown Memorial Park to King Street. Building this missing connection is the culmination of years of negotiation across Councils and campaigning by bike groups.

“The plans will finally enable cyclists to legally cross King Street in order to get to and from the Wilson Street cycleway. Currently cyclists going to or from Wilson St to Camperdown have no way to cross King Street in either direction without getting off their bikes, riding on part of the footpath or ignoring one of the “no right turn” signs.

“Hundreds of bikes cross King Street from Camperdown to Redfern and the city using this bike route every day, and the numbers keep growing. After years of campaigning I am very proud that Marrickville Council is acting to fix this major bike blackspot,” Clr Ellsmore said.

Greens candidate for the State seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, said, “The new Eliza Street bike path is a key missing link in what is one of Sydney’s busiest regional bike routes.  Its approval brings us another step closer to implementation of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network.”

The Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network is the key bike plan endorsed by the 15 inner Sydney Councils. It identifies 1 or 2 key regional routes connecting across each Council area as priorities to be built or completed, including a crossing at King Street.  The Greens NSW have committed to the full implementation of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network, which has been costed at $185 million.

Ms Leong said, “Our local Greens Councillors have been driving the implementation of bike paths and increasing investment in bike paths. The Greens on Marrickville Council were last year successful in doubling the Council’s bike budget.

“But Local Councils cannot do it alone. It is good news that after many years of planning and reports the State Government has come to the party with some funding to enable this section of bike path to be built. However the reality is that there are many, many other parts of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network which will not be built because State Government funding has not been provided.

“Building proper, safe bike infrastructure takes real investment – not a piece-meal approach of funding bits and pieces of projects. It is time for the State Government and Labor Opposition to step up, and to work with the Greens to ensure that we’re investing in new cycleways and active transport, not new dirty tollways that will further choke our city,” said Ms Leong.

The Eliza Street cycleway plans were approved at the 3rd March 2015 Infrastructure Committee meeting of Council, pending some final discussions with local residents to deal with parking issues and approvals by the State RMS of the final plans. The path is likely to result in the loss of two parking spaces in Eliza Street. Once implemented bike, people and car traffic on Eliza Street will share the space in a 10km zone. The approved plans also include changing the current two-way cycleway on Mary Street to one way, with cyclists encouraged to travel instead on the larger, safer Eliza St cycleway.

The new cycleway will be partly funded by Marrickville Council and partly by the State Government, which has provided $100,000. The Greens Transport vision including costed commitments to public transport and cycleways can be downloaded at http://nsw.greens.org.au/sites/nsw.greens.org.au/files/Greens-Transport-vision-2020-Plan.pdf The ALP launched their transport vision last month. It included no reference to funding for cycleways.  

A recent ALP announcement indicated that the ALP plans to join the Greens in committing to fund the Greenway active transport corridor. For more information or to sign up to the Greens campaign to build the Greenway visit the website of Greens MP Jamie Parker.

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213 Greens candidate for Newtown Jenny Leong 0434 095 865   

State Election 2015

In 2015 we have the opportunity to reset NSW politics. To create a clean economy, a fair and inclusive society and to remove the corrupting influence of money politics.

In the inner west we will be campaigning to keep our communities diverse, our housing affordable, to transition to 100% renewables and to build a 21st century public transport system.

At this election we have a real choice between:

  • privatisation vs public investment
  • money politics vs democracy
  • cuts in community services vs investment in a caring community
  • massive new road projects vs investment in public transport
  • dirty coal vs renewable energy
  • the politics of fear vs an inclusive society, and
  • discrimination vs human rights for all.

Meet the Greens candidates

Jenny Leong heashot

With the creation of the new seat of Newtown, when residents go to the polls on 28 March 2015 they will have the opportunity to elect the Greens candidate Jenny Leong, a human rights activist and former president of the University Sydney postgraduate association.


Learnt more about Jenny and support the Greens for Newtown campaign by visiting the Jenny Leong for Newtown website (local campaigns, media and upcoming events are posted here), volunteering, making a donation (the Greens only take donations for individuals, not businesses) or following the campaign on Facebook.

Max Corflute design one small

In Summer Hill, the former seat known as Marrickville, the Greens candidate is experienced Greens Councillor Max Phillips. Max has a strong track record of defending the interests of residents of the Inner West, fighting off bad developments, exposing dodgy dealings and campaigning for greater transparency in government.  Read about Clr Phillips media releases and campaigns on this site, or follow the Max Phillips for Summer Hill campaign on Facebook.

To meet other Greens candidates in the 2015 State Election, to download Greens policies, volunteer or donate to the State campaign visit the State campaign website.

Budget increase a WIN for cyclists

26 June 2016: Following a heated debate in the Marrickville Council chamber on Tuesday night, the Greens were successful in their bid to significantly increase the budget to build bike paths. The additional funding will bring forward completion of a priority regional bike route through Camperdown, Newtown and Enmore.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “On Tuesday night Marrickville Council voted to include an additional $200,000 in the annual budget for new bike paths. That’s nearly double the $310,000 included in the draft budget.

“In the lead up to the vote, the Greens had released research showing that only 9% of the priority bike paths in Council’s Marrickville Bike Strategy 2007-2016[i] have been completed to date.[ii] Years of underfunding had led to a short fall of more than $7 million to build the priority bike paths identified by Council – half of which was to be funded by Council and half by the State Government.[iii] At that rate we would not have met our local bike targets until 2039,” Clr Ellsmore said.

While the Greens were not successful in their bid to increase the bike budget even further, to $1 million, in addition to the $200,000 budget boost they secured other commitments from the Labor-Liberal dominated Council, including:

  • A commitment that Council would prioritise bike infrastructure projects when seeking grant funding from other tiers of government; and
  • A commitment that opportunities for new bike paths would be included in the existing $1.35 million per annum ‘Connecting Marrickville’ project, a new program focused on upgrading footpaths and roads.[iv]

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said, “While Marrickville Council is not a wealthy Council, it is damning that only 1% of our infrastructure budget was to be allocated to bike paths. The modest funding increase won by the Greens (to 2% of infrastructure spending) is important, but it is clear that several of the Marrickville Councillors did not support the change.

“Repeated comments were made during last night’s debate by Labor and Liberal Councillors that Council could not “afford” to find any additional funding for bike paths. This is very troubling given that the Labor and Liberal Councillors were able to find an unbudgeted $1.2 million last year on top of $1 million for the one controversial Arlington Reserve artificial turf project alone last year.

“The real issue is one of priorities. The Greens think building better bike paths should be a priority for local Councils,” Clr Phillips said.

The Greens candidate for the State seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, said “the new State seat of Newtown has some of the highest numbers of commuter cyclists in the state.[v] The city has many excellent cycleways through Surry Hills and Redfern. However, the further we get from the CBD, the more inadequate cycling infrastructure becomes.

“This week our local Greens had an important win. While at 2%[vi] of the Council’s infrastructure budget Marrickville Council’s bike spending is still modest, the increase shows the positive effects of years of sustained campaigning by local residents and the Greens for better cycling infrastructure.

“At the same time, there is only so much that Councils can do in the face of increasing cuts from State and Federal Governments. In the most recent NSW budget the Coalition allocated $60 billion to infrastructure that prioritises motorways and roads, but has failed to commit to funding bikepaths that will lower rates of injury for cyclists and reduce pollution in Sydney.

“The Greens think building better bike paths should be a priority for all levels of Government. We will continue to campaign to ensure that we aren’t condemning our growing community of inner-west cyclists to decades of infrastructure backlogs,” Ms Leong said.

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Find out more – visit our local Greens bike campaign page.


[i] Marrickville Bicycle Strategy available to download from the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/ .

[ii] For details of the level of underspend in Marrickville Council’s bike budget see the Answers to Questions on Notice provided put by the Greens to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting, at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/bike-path-questions-2014/

[iii] As above, Answers to Questions on Notice by the Greens. In relation to the cost for Marrickville Council to meet its bike targets, Council staff advised: “The remaining bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design.”

[iv] The commitments outlined in a late Mayoral Minute (Item 21) put to the Council by Mayor Jo Haylen, included that Council would prioritise bike infrastructure projects when seeking grant funding from other tiers of government; and opportunities for new bike paths would be included in the existing $1.35 million per annum ‘Connecting Marrickville’ project, a new program focused on upgrading footpaths and roads.

[v] Based on Census data, reported at page 26 of the ‘Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network – Demand Assessment and Economic Appraisal’ (September 9th 2010), as available to download from http://www.thinkingtransport.org.au/library/2010/09/inner-sydney-regional-bicycle-network-demand-assessment-and-economic-appraisal

[vi] Prior to the increase voted last night, Marrickville Council’s DRAFT annual bike budget was $310,000 pa, out of a total annual Capital Budget of $28,772,363 – or 1%. The increase to $510,000 brings the figure closer to 2%. Figures are outlined in the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 2, ‘Operating and Capital Budget 2014-5’.