Tag Archives: labor

Newtown Markets saved!

Media release 15 October 2013

Greens and community force Council backflip on markets

The Newtown community markets have been saved, with Marrickville Council voting to overturn its earlier refusal of the Development Application to continue the markets.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, who represents Newtown, said, “Tonight half of the Marrickville Councillors changed their vote, in front of a packed gallery demanding Council save the markets. We saw Liberal and several Labor Councillors backflip in the face of a wave of anger from the community.

“This is a huge victory for the residents and the local business community, who rallied behind the markets. The Greens are the only party to have consistently stood with local residents in support of the markets,” she said.

Residents gather for Newtown Markets

Supporters of Newtown Markets gather outside Council before the vote, 15 October 2013

In a shock decision, the Liberals and a selection of ALP Councillors had voted in August to shut down the markets, which operates out of Council’s Newtown Square on King Street. The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, which runs the markets, put in an immediate appeal and was able to keep operating until the appeal was decided tonight.

During the Marrickville Council meeting supporters of the markets packed the Marrickville Council gallery, wearing or carrying “I love Newtown Markets” signs and stickers.

Clr Ellsmore said, “In lead-up to the appeal Marrickville Councillors received nearly 4000 signatures on petitions and large numbers of detailed, individual submissions, one of the strongest responses ever received by Council. We received supportive submissions from numerous individual businesses – none opposed to the market – and a survey which showed there is 87% support for the markets from the local business strip.

“We heard from local residents who love the markets because it brings the community together, local manufacturers who got their start through a market stall, local artisans who use the markets to promote their wares and locals and residents alike who love the vibrant, creative and activist spirit of Newtown that the markets represent.

Residents at the Council meeting clapped in support as the Councillors announced they would vote to keep the markets

Residents at the Council meeting clapped in support as the Councillors announced they would vote to keep the markets

“Tonight’s win is a testament to the community and their campaign. If it had not been for the overwhelming community response the markets would have been shut down.

“The Greens were proud to support the community throughout their campaign by leading the charge on Council to save the markets. I was immensely proud tonight to be part of this important win for Newtown,” said Clr Ellsmore.

Media contact: Greens Councillor for North Ward, Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

For more background to the Council decisions leading up to the vote see previous posts:

12 October 2013 (including copies of meeting papers for the 15 October 2013 Council meeting) and

21 August 2013  (including copies of the original DA for the markets, staff recommendations and reports about the impacts on local business)

Waste services to stay in Council control

Media Release 18 September 2013

On Tuesday night the Greens on Marrickville Council voted against a motion to outsource key parts of its waste services.

Outgoing Conservative Mayor Macri moved the recommendation to outsource with the strong support of Liberal Councillors.

The Greens voted with the Labor Councillors to defend the Council’s garbage workers against the outsourcing proposal.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “The Greens strongly support keeping council services in-house and in public hands.

“It’s crucial that Council maintains direct control of these essential services, and that the workers that provide those services are afforded decent pay and working conditions.

“The Greens have a strong record of opposing the outsourcing of council services, and were proud to bring apprenticeships back in house under a Greens Mayor in the last term of council,” she said.

The outsourcing recommendation followed a long period of negotiation with the United Services Union to deal with issues such as the high rate of injuries to garbage workers and integration of the management of garbage services with councils other employment processes. The USU presented a petition to the Council meeting signed by local residents opposed to outsourcing.

Clr Ellsmore said, “Outsourcing attempts to cut costs by reducing conditions for workers. It also shifts control of essential services to a private body interested in profit, and not the quality of services to residents.

“Across the State we are seeing Liberal dominated Councils slashing and outsourcing essential services like garbage and childcare.

“As a Green, a unionist and a local resident I was proud to stand in solidarity with our Council workers on Tuesday night against outsourcing,” she said.

Media Contact: Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

For more information about the Greens campaigns against insecure and temporary work, see the website of Federal MP Adam Bandt http://adam-bandt.greensmps.org.au/worklifebalance and State MP David Shoebridge http://davidshoebridge.org.au/industrial-relations/

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore signed pledge in support of the campaign to keep the local in local government, August 2012

Greens Councillors Melissa Brooks and Sylvie Ellsmore (r) signed pledge in support of the campaign to oppose outsourcing, August 2012

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

Community rallies to save market

20 August 2013

In less than a week more than 2500 people have signed petitions calling on Marrickville Council to reverse its decision to shut down Newtown Markets.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “I spent Saturday at the Newtown markets, talking to local residents and visitors who had come to show their support.

“People are very, very angry at what they see as an attempt to gentrify Newtown and attack its creative and activist spirit. People were also very angry at what they see as a mean-spirited decision to cut funding to the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

180818 Markets Signing Petitions2 low res

Residents sign the petition to save the markets

Residents sign the petition to save the markets

“Markets add to the vibrancy of Newtown and provide an opportunity for small and emerging businesses. They represent a place for our community to connect, amongst an expanding number of chain stores and frozen yoghurt shops,” she said.

The Liberals, Conservative Mayor and a minority of Labor Councillors moved to shut down the markets last week, in a decision which will be reconsidered on appeal by the full Council. No stall holders were fined on Saturday, and the markets will be able to continue until the appeal is considered.

Clr Ellsmore said, “The Greens are strong supporters of the Newtown Markets, and want to see expanding food and creative markets in our local area. During the last term of Council the Greens moved to introduce night noodle markets but were opposed by Conservative and Labor Councils on the basis that markets compete with local business.

Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore talks to residents signing the petition to save the markets

Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore talks to residents signing the petition to save the markets

“The claims that the markets detract from Newtown or are opposed by local business are a total beat up. Local businesses are rallying behind the Newtown markets. The Newtown Business Precinct Association held a stall at the markets on Saturday, and several local businesses have contacted Marrickville Council to express anger at the decision.

“The Liberals are clearly out of touch not only with local residents but with the local businesses of Newtown.

“To date only one business has come forward opposing the markets – the Hub. While I hope that the iconic Hub Theatre building can reopen in the future, at this point it has no approval to operate and has not applied to Council for approval.

“A cooperative plan to allow the markets and the Hub to both operate is something that can be accommodated when we know what the Hub’s plans are.

The Hub Theatre at Newtown, currently closed

The Hub Theatre at Newtown, currently closed

Clr Ellsmore said, “The fact that the markets are a not for profit enterprise makes the decision even more misguided. I hope this decision does not threaten the strong partnership Council has historically had with the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.”

Media comment: Clr Sylvie Ellsmore (Wali- North Ward)    0403 977 213

More information is available in Council reports and meeting minutes:

  • 13 August 2013  DA Newtown Markets including staff report recommending approval with extensive conditions
  • 13 August 2013 Markets Hub Fire Safety Report – a copy of the fire report about the Hub, and the recommendation from staff indicating that there was no issue with the markets operating as long as suitable conditions are imposed
  • 13 July 2013 Econ Report Newtown Markets – The report from Council’s Economic Development Unit about the positive impact of the markets on local business
  • June 2013 Council votes to waive the “pitch charge” for the Newtown Markets
  • 12 May 2013 May Council Meeting Minutes Markets – At its May meeting the Council adopted two Greens Notices of Motion about the Newtown Markets. The motions were supported by Liberal Councillor Mark Gardiner.

Copies of media comment by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre can be found here: http://www.newtowncentre.org/_pdfs/save_newtown_markets.pdf

Copies of the public statement in support of the markets made by the Newtown Business Precinct Association can be found here: http://www.newtownprecinct.com.au/article/we-love-newtown-markets

Newtown Market Stall 20 August 2013

Newtown Market Stall 20 August 2013

Newtown Market Stall 20 August 2013

Newtown Market Stall 20 August 2013

Newtown Market Live Music 20 August 2013

Newtown Market Live Music 20 August 2013

Newtown Market Stalls and Bikes 20 August 2013

180818 Markets Stall Residents SE CL mid res

Labor-Liberal Alliance votes against community consultation on planning

Media release 9 April 2013

Labor-Liberal alliance votes against community consultation on Planning Agreements

The Labor and Liberal Councillors and Marrickville’s Conservative Mayor Victor Macri have voted against notifying the community before Council decides to enter into negotiations with a developer for a Voluntary Planning Agreement.

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said: “The Greens have consistently fought for the right of the community to be informed when Council is considering entering into a Voluntary Planning Agreement with a developer.

“Last week the Greens moved to insert protections for community consultation into a new draft policy, which will guide how Marrickville Council negotiates “Voluntary Planning Agreements” (or ‘VPAs’) with developers.

“The Labor-Liberal Alliance on Council instead voted to approve the draft policy with only the bare-bones requirements for community notification required under the current law,” he said.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said: “The draft policy and the current law mean that Council can negotiate a VPA which would breach planning standards with a developer in secret. Council could then enter into the agreement without even putting the agreement out for public consultation or notice – if the Council feels it is not “practical” to do so.

“Mayor Macri and the Labor-Liberal Alliance are misleading the community if they claim that this draft policy will ensure community consultation about VPAs,” Clr Ellsmore said.

The Labor, Liberal and Conservative Business Independent Councillors last month voted down a similar Motion by Green’s Councillor Max Phillips which would have ensured a presumption in favour of transparency when planning agreements are being considered. At the same meeting those Councillors voted to sanction Councillor Phillips for notifying the community in December that Council would be debating an offer by Meriton to massively exceed their development approval, in exchange for millions in cash, through a VPA.

“Planning decisions should be made in public. The Greens urge residents to contact their local Councillor to let them know that residents don’t want to be kept in the dark about important development decisions,” said Councillor Phillips.

Media contact: Greens Clr Max Phillips 0419 444 916 and Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services Committee Meeting 2 April 2013

Item 6 – Draft Voluntary Planning Agreements Policy 


  1. That Council resolve to publicly exhibit the draft VPA Policy for 28 days.

Greens amendment – Moved Clr Phillips, Seconded Clr Ellsmore

  1. The draft VPA Policy be amended prior to exhibition to include:
    1. The insertion of a section on community consultation which outlines how and when the community will be involved and consulted;
    1. Confirmation that the general nature of a voluntary planning agreement be made clear to the public as part of the publicly available business paper, when the elected Council is deciding whether or not to enter into negotiations;
    1. Confirmation that where a voluntary planning agreement involves any significant exceedance of planning regulations or Council’s policies or plans or involves a substantial decision that affects Council infrastructure or services, that the general nature of the above be made public and that public consultation occur to inform Councillor’s prior to a decision to enter negotiations;
    1. Confirmation that any confidentiality relating to a voluntary planning agreement be restricted only to specific information when confidentiality is required under legislation or regulations, and that the reason for confidentiality is clearly articulated and justified to Councillors and the public, and that where an item is considered confidential, every reasonable efforts will be made to provide a public version of Council papers which omits any confidential details, but still allows the community to be informed about the general terms of the proposed voluntary planning agreement.
    1. Amendment of existing sections, including the VPA flowchart, to indicate clearly to the community and developers the points at which the community will be involved and consulted.
    1. Insertion of a requirement that the time and location of any meetings held between a developer and any Councillor and/ or staff be recorded in a ledger which is publicly available.

Also available on the Council website www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Council Meeting 19 March 2013

Item 6 – Green’s Notice of Motion: Transparency in Dealing with Voluntary Planning Agreements