Tag Archives: Liberals

Labor elects ex-Liberal Mayor

Media release 24 Sept 2014

The Labor-Liberal alliance on Marrickville Council last night voted to elect conservatives for both Mayor and Deputy positions. Despite an offer that would have ensured an ALP Mayor, the three Labor Councillors voted for Clr Mark Gardiner as Mayor and Clr Morris Hanna as Deputy. Clr Gardiner was one of two Liberals elected for the first time to Marrickville Council in 2012. Last Friday he announced he was becoming an independent.

“The Greens’ Councillors were so concerned about the conservative takeover of what has previously been a strong, progressive Council that we had offered to vote for a Labor Mayor this year,” said Greens Mayoral nominee Sylvie Ellsmore.

Over the previous two years of the Council term, the first time that Liberals have been  elected to Marrickville Council, the Greens have consistently raised concerns about development decisions being approved that exceed or short-cut Council planning laws.

Clr Ellsmore said, “Our offer did not require the Labor Councillors to vote for a Greens  Mayor, but instead asked Labor commit to some basic outcomes for the community, including greater transparency in development decision making.

“Last night’s decision shows local Labor would rather have a conservative mayor than risk shining a light on some of the recent development decisions of this Council.

“This was a disgraceful ceding of control over a Council with a proudly progressive history to conservatives – and in exchange for what? The ALP clearly had to offer so much to the conservatives through the deal that they were unable to field a candidate for even the Deputy Mayoralty position,” said Clr Ellsmore.

The Greens are aware that the deal between Labor, the Liberals and the Conservative  independents was personally brokered by the local MP and ALP faction heavy, Anthony Albanese.

Clr Ellsmore said, “This is a decision with significant consequences. It is a worrying sign for local progressive voters that this is how “Local Labor” does business, and how far they will go to avoid real transparency.”

The outgoing Mayor and Marrickville Councillor Jo Haylen is Labor’s candidate for the state seat of Summer Hill and helped broker the arrangement with the Liberal Party. Former Marrickville Councillor Penny Sharpe is Labor’s current candidate for the new State seat of Newtown.

“In the inner city, as across the State, it is clear just how much the major parties have in common. The Greens will continue to hold the new Mayor to account, and to work with the community to win back respect and trust in our democracy,” said Clr Ellsmore.

Media contact: Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

More information

The Greens on Marrickville Council have four elected Councillors. There are three Labor Councillors, two Conservatives Independents and, until Councillor Gardiner’s official resignation from the Liberals last week, two Liberals. 

Newly elected Councillor Mark Gardiner has previously clashed with the Greens after his unsuccessful bid to shut down the Newtown community markets. For more information see Oct 2013 post “Newtown Markets Saved!

In 2013 the ALP made any arrangement to elect one of the Liberal Councillors Deputy Mayor in exchange for Liberal support for an ALP Mayor. See September 2013 post “Labor-Liberal Alliance on Marrickville Council continues

In 2012 the ALP made an arrangement with the Liberals to support one of the Conservative Independent as Mayor with an ALP Deputy.

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

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

Libs plan to shut down Newtown markets failing

A Liberal plan to end the Newtown Markets is set to fail, in what appears to be a clumsy election stunt targeted at the Greens.

Newly elected Liberals moved on Tuesday night to immediately shut down the popular Newtown community markets. Due to the absence of a small number of Councillors at the meeting, the Liberals had the numbers to refuse the Development Approval for the markets. They went on to move a motion that enforcement officers be sent to issue stall holders fines this weekend.

The Greens encouraged an appeal against the Council decision. The appeal was made at 11am this morning by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

The motion to shut down the markets was passed with the support of the Liberals, two Labor Councillors and the Conservative Labor-backed Mayor, but the Labor Councillors are understood to be reconsidering their position.

Greens Councillor for North Ward Sylvie Ellsmore, said: “The move to shut down the popular Newtown markets and send in enforcement officers was an outrageous and heavy-handed action.

“The Newtown Markets are a social enterprise which was established with the support of the previous Council. The Greens support a vibrant community strip, and cancellation of the markets would have cut funding for important community projects.

“The Greens were the only party to stand united in support of the markets, and my phone was ringing off the hook yesterday as we worked to find ways to overturn the decision,” she said.

The Greens are confident that the full Council will uphold the appeal against the refusal of the DA for the markets.

Clr Ellsmore said, “In what I can only put down to an election brain explosion, the Liberals ignored the support of the local business association and the glowing reports from our own Council staff to move for the immediate shut down of the markets.”

The action comes on the same day that the Liberal Party announced that it would not preference the Greens in lower house seats. Support for expanding community markets in the inner west was a Greens commitment during the 2012 Local Council election.

“The appeal should prevent any fines for stall holders this weekend. We encourage local residents to come down to the markets on the weekend to show their support,” Clr Ellsmore said.

“We had engaged in talks with local businesses and called for reports months ago to ensure that any potential issues with the markets were dealt with through DA conditions. We may be in an election period, but Councillors of all parties owe it to the community to try and work together to find cooperative outcomes, and not to misuse our positions for political gain.

“What is even more disappointing is that, having refused the markets because of “overuse” of the site, at the same meeting the Liberals and Labor then moved or voted for a series of DAs by commercial developers which failed to comply with Council development controls,” she said.

“The Greens remain united behind the markets and call on the other Councillors to confirm that they will reverse the decision to shut down the markets,” said Clr Ellsmore.

Media Contact: Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Council’s review of the markets found it was a successful incubator for local businesses, with two local businesses growing from market stalls to renting shopfronts on King Street.

The Newtown Markets were also last year the successful recipient of an award from the adjoining Marrickville Chamber of Commerce. It is understood that a planned food and wine fair market day sponsored by the local businesses association (Newtown Business Precinct Association) will also not be able to proceed unless Council overturns its decision.

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.