Tag Archives: Library

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


Marrickville Greens – media release

15 March 2015

The Greens Councillors believe Council should reject an offer made by a developer experienced in building developments in China, to purchase the entire old Marrickville Hospital site outright, saying Council should stick with the tender process to build a new library and community hub and resist the temptation to make a fast buck.

At next Tuesday’s Council meeting, Councillors will resolve whether or not to agree to the sale of the entire site to a developer, after initial meetings occurred between the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and some Labor and Independent Councillors in November 2014.  

“While it may be tempting for Councillors to make a quick buck by flogging the old Marrickville Hospital site off to a developer, it will ruin the new library project and would be against the broader interest of the community,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips. 

“Council has spent many years, conducted a lot of consultation and spent $3.4 million towards delivering our community hub project and we should carry all this investment through to fruition.

“Land values have risen dramatically in Marrickville in recent years, making selling the site superficially attractive, but it would just mean Council would have to find another suitable parcel of land in the area in the same inflated market.

If Council flogs off this land the cash being offered it is highly unlikely it will be enough money to build a similar project anywhere else in the local area. 

“This large purchase offer should boost the confidence of Council and the community that the new library, community hub and new park can be delivered through the value in the back-half of the site.

“The Greens will be voting to reject this offer and to continue the tender process for a new library, community hub and park in the long-term interest of the broader community.

Consultation results on new Marrickville Library development

The biggest project that Marrickville Council will progress in the 2012-2016 term is the redevelopment of the old Marrickville Hospital site (corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads).  Council has owned the site for almost 20 years and has long had plans to build a new purpose built library and community hub on the site.  In addition, part of the site would be opened up to residential redevelopment to help fund the civic project.

An expression of interest process has been held and a community consultation process based on the EOIs conducted. Some of the results are available in the Council’s public business paper (there is more detail in confidential papers).

The community response can be summarised:

  • Some concern about the density of proposed residential component (54% preferred less density).
  • Strong support for at least 1,200 square metres of open space, and strong support for the open space to be fronting Marrickville Road. (57% said 1,200sqm was about right, while 38% said it was not enough).
  • Support for the proposed car park of 60 public spaces.
  • Strong support for affordable housing (45% said the amount was about right, while 44% said it was not enough).

Council will decide on the parameters to progress to a tender for developing the site at the 16 September Council meeting.

Have a look for yourself by downloading this PDF.

Community needs to have a say on Marrickville Hospital site development

Marrickville Greens – Media Release

16 July 2014

The Marrickville Greens are urging the community to engage with the consultation process about the old Marrickville Hospital site development, saying it will be critical to achieving a good civic outcome.

“The developers have outlined their plans, now it is the community’s turn to have a say about what they’d like to see on the old Marrickville Hospital site,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips

“The developers obviously want to maximise the number of apartments built, so the community need to balance that demand by asserting their right to a good civic outcome on the site.

“Council can deliver a dramatically better library, new community meeting rooms, a new park, underground parking, and affordable housing, but this will only happen if the community engage to tell Councillors what they want.”

Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Council should not squander opportunity for old Marrickville hospital site

Marrickville Greens – media release

7 July 2014

The Greens are calling on Councillors to remember their civic duty when considering the development of the old Marrickville Hospital site as the Expression of Interest process reports to council next week.

“Development of the site should be a community hub and civic space to make Marrickvillians proud, which means a much improved library and a significant new park,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“There is a real danger that after almost two decades of holding this site, Council will squander the opportunity for a truly civic development and instead simply let a developer build high-rise apartments all over it.

“The Marrickville LGA has the lowest amount of open space in Australia, so the Greens want to use this unique opportunity to provide a new park.

“Councillors should remember they are there to represent the long-term community interest and not simply there to play the role of a developer maximising the financial return.”

“The Greens have also been campaigning hard to ensure that any new development includes some real affordable housing”

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Council could triple affordable housing

A report commissioned by Marrickville Council has found that the Council could triple affordable housing on the Marrickville Hospital Site, at no cost to Council, by encouraging development by not-for-profit housing providers and using innovative models such as Community Land Trusts. The next step for the site will be an Expressions of Interest process.

The Old Marrickville Hospital Site is a Council owned property with multimillion dollar potential, which is set to be developed by the Council this term. It is the largest project ever to be developed by Council.

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

Affordable housing is a key priority for the Greens on Marrickville Council. The Greens moved to form the bi-partisan Affordable Housing Committee earlier this year, and the first priority of the committee was to commission research on the smartest and most cost effective ways to build affordable housing on the Hospital Site.

More information about the report received at the July meeting, and the latest Council decisions on the future of the Old Marrickville Hospital Site overall, is below. Also check out:

1 August 2013

Media Release: “Report finds Marrickville Council could  triple affordable housing at no extra cost”

A report commissioned by Marrickville Council has found that the Council could triple affordable housing on the Marrickville Hospital Site. The report was one of the items debated at the July 2013 Council meeting, the same meeting at which Marrickville Councillors approved the Expressions of Interest (EIO) for the site.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore and Co-chair of Marrickville Council’s Affordable Housing Committee said, “One of the Greens first actions this Council term was to commission research about the most cost effective way Council could deliver affordable housing at the Old Marrickville Hospital Site.”

A report entitled “Affordable Housing and the Old Marrickville Hospital Site Report” by Dr Stewart Lawler and Dr Peter Phibbs was received at the July 2013 Council meeting. Drawing on evidence from other local housing projects and previous modelling commissioned by Council the report found that if Community Housing Providers were encouraged to develop part of the site this could deliver significantly more affordable housing, compared to using a private developer.

Clr Ellsmore said, “The Council has set a basic target of 4% affordable housing for the Old Marrickville Hospital Site. Given the scale of the affordable housing crisis in the inner west this is a very minimal standard.

“This latest report has confirmed that there are ways for Council to get more bang for our buck, if we’re smart about it. The report finds that by encouraging not-for-profits organisations to be involved as developers we may be able to deliver as much as three times the affordable housing, with no extra cost to Council.

Clr Ellsmore said, “By adopting the recommendations of the affordable housing report and making changes to the EOI we are encouraging a wide range of Community Housing Providers to put their hand up to be involved in the development of the Old Marrickville Hospital site.

“Council is also sending a message to the Community Housing sector that we are open to innovative projects, including home ownership models such as the Community Land Trust model, which is also discussed in the report,” she said.

Community consultation: Council voted to make affordable housing a key aspect of the consultation about the development of the Hospital Site.

Clr Ellsmore said, “The community has consistently identified affordable housing as a key priority. However affordable housing is a diverse and complex term.

“If Council is going to build housing for high needs families we also need to look at related issues such as what local services are available. I look forward to consulting with local community services and residents about these important issues.”

Next steps: The EOI for the Old Marrickville Hospital Site will now be considered by the Department of Planning, before being finalised and publicly advertised in the next 1-3 months. Council will use the EOI to test the interest of the market in developing the site, before making further decisions about what final development plans it will support, including for the proposed library and community hub.

The affordable housing recommendations were passed by the Greens and ALP Councillors, and opposed by Conservative Mayor Macri and the Liberals.

Clr Ellsmore said, “The Greens remain committed to the delivery of the community hub based on the preferred design and features identified through extensive community consultations, held in previous years, and a public park at the site, alongside residential and commercial development.

“While the Greens have concerns about overdevelopment at the Old Marrickville Hospital Site, we have also been working actively with fellow Councillors to ensure that whatever outcome it includes meaningful new affordable housing stock,” she said.

Other affordable housing projects: The Old Marrickville Hospital Site was one of several affordable housing issues debated at the July Council meeting. Also passed at the July meeting was an ALP motion for “in principle” higher densities for new developments by Community Housing Providers, subject to “acceptable planning impacts”

Clr Ellsmore said, “Current planning regulations include concessions for Community Housing Providers looking to build new community housing near public transport. The Greens support these concessions, and are concerned that proposed changes to planning laws threaten to remove them.

“The Greens do not support simplistic policies of land release or higher density development, under the guise of creating more affordable housing.

“This has been a failed strategy of both the current and past State and Federal Governments and it has done little or nothing to reduce the affordable housing crisis in Marrickville.

“However we strongly support sustainable infill development, where this properly balances the needs of current and future residents. We will continue to work with and support Community Housing Providers to build and maintain affordable housing in our local areas in a sustainable way,” Clr Ellsmore said.

A copy of the “Affordable Housing and the Old Marrickville Hospital Site: A Report to Marrickville Council – June 2013” report by Dr Lawler and Dr Phibbs can be found in the Council papers on www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au.

Also check out:

Media Contact: Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, North Ward (Wali) 0403 977 213

Marrickville Council Meeting 16 July 2013 – Item 4 AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMITTEE


1. receive and note the report prepared by Dr Stewart Lawler and Dr Peter Phibbs titled

Affordable Housing and the Old Marrickville Hospital Site: A Report to Marrickville Council – June 2013”;

2. note the conclusion to the above report that a greater percentage of affordable housing could be achieved on the Marrickville Hospital site, without reducing the return to Council from its sale, through use of alternative development mechanisms and arrangements that include:

  • development of one of the precincts C, D or E by a community housing provider that would fund the construction through sale of some of the units;
  • use of shared equity, co-ownership or a Community Land Trust model, that would generate income to contribute to capital and maintenance costs of the project;

3. consider increasing the minimum affordable housing on the site to 10% of total dwelling yield;

4. maximise the provision of affordable housing by Community Housing Providers on the Marrickville Hospital site through allowing submissions in relation to one of, or any combination of, precincts C, D and E;

5. consider giving concessions to Community Housing Providers where appropriate;

6. encourage Expressions of Interest from Community Housing Providers interested in a shared equity, co-ownership or a Community Land Trust Model;

7. consider including the following criteria in the EOI:

a. more weight be given to proposals that maximise affordable housing on the site without reducing the return to Council;

b. affordable Housing is defined as housing provided at a cost geared to income and the household’s ability to pay and that is available to low, very low and moderate income households;

Very low income household Less than 50% of median household income

Low income household 50 or more but less than 80%

Moderate 80 – 120%

c. units to be self-contained, flexible and diverse in size. Design to be durable and

sustainable – with low maintenance and running costs, energy efficient features and low embodied energy materials and construction;

d. a range of unit types (including 3 plus bedroom) with ground floor units for families and those that need easy access;

e. affordable Housing tenants to have connection with Marrickville – employment, familial or educational link;

f. affordable housing can be for rent or purchase through a shared equity scheme.

g. affordability to be maintained in perpetuity – either the same number of units on the site or on other land within the Marrickville LGA;

h. community Housing Providers must have a demonstrated ability to deliver and maintain affordable housing;

8. reaffirm its commitment to public consultation in relation to affordable housing on the Marrickville Hospital Site, including as part of the proposed consultation strategy which will be developed for the Site’s Redevelopment EOI; and

9. commit to ongoing engagement with the community regarding Council’s Affordable Housing Strategy. As previously recommended by the Committee this includes the immediate development of enhanced information and feedback tools through the Council’s website.

Marrickville Council commits to strong action on affordable housing

May 2013, Update: Follow the latest Affordable Housing actions on Marrickville Council by visiting our Blog or Media pages.

Feb 2013, Marrickville Council this week voted in favour of Greens’ Notices of Motion to urgently act on the inner west affordable housing crisis.

The two Notices of Motion submitted by Greens Marrickville Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore were to establish a bi-partisan affordable housing committee and require Council to more actively pursue options for affordable housing on the Old Marrickville Hospital site.

The Greens’ motions were passed at this week’s Council meeting because they were supported by all political parties. They were opposed by the Conservative Independent Mayor Victor Macri, who was in the minority.

The decision of the Council means that Marrickville Council now has an Affordable Housing Committee Co-Chaired by Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore and ALP Clr Jo Haylen, an affordable housing officer and will begin actively pursuing partnerships with community housing providers and others who can provide advice and expertise on the best ways to create meaningful affordable housing at the Old Marrickville Hospital Site.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said: “Rents have doubled in five years. I, like other local residents, know too many young couples who have been forced to leave our community because they can’t afford to raise a family here.

“The Old Marrickville Hospital site is of our best opportunities as a Council to be proactive in addressing the inner-west affordable housing crisis.

“Research undertaken by the Greens and included with the Greens’ Notices of Motion demonstrate the depth of the housing crisis in the inner west and a range of successful models which other Local Councils have implemented in partnership with community housing providers.

“The Greens research shows we can deliver significant new affordable housing, while strengthening the Council’s budget bottom line. It also identify the risks and danger for Councils when entering Public Private Partnerships with private developers that involve the sell-off of public land.

“We need to be smarter about how we deal with the Old Marrickville Hospital site – the largest development project Council has planned for this term.

““I very excited that the Council has committed to moving forward in a bipartisan way. We need to work together if we are to defend the diversity and inclusiveness of our local areas, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to do that,” said Clr Ellsmore.

Media contact: Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Copies of the Notices of Motion are available at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/greens-push-affordable-housing-vision-for-marrickville-hospital-site/

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