Tag Archives: Marrickville Council

De-merger for Inner West Council should happen before next council election

Marrickville Greens – Media Release

2 February 2017

Former Marrickville Greens Councillors have called for a de-merger of the Inner West Council to happen before the next council election due in September 2017, after the State Government indicated that the policy of forced amalgamations will be abandoned and recently amalgamated council areas could hold plebiscites to opt to de-merge back to their original constituent councils.

Former Greens Councillor for Marrickville and current Local Representative Advisory Committee Member, Max Phillips said: “The extensive consultation conducted by Marrickville Council prior to the amalgamation made it clear that the majority of residents were opposed to the amalgamation.”

“Given the amalgamation was forced on the community by the state government, there is no real need for a plebiscite to de-merge the council, but if one is required, then it should be conducted well before the next council elections to ensure the de-merger happens as soon as possible and a democratically elected council is established.

“The Administrator should freeze all work towards the amalgamation until the future of the council or councils is sorted out,”he said.

Former Greens Councillor for Marrickville and current Local Representative Advisory Committee Member, Melissa Brooks said: “It is a great pity that Labor, Liberal and Independent Councillors did not agree to the Greens proposal to hold a plebiscite prior to the amalgamation or pursue legal options more vigorously.

“The state government has been dishonest about its amalgamation process from the start, if they seriously want to repair the damage they should enable a de-merger to happen quickly and not delay until 2019 for nor good reason.”


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.

Labor & Liberal Councillors push Victoria Road rezoning and dismiss Department of Planning directive

Marrickville Greens – Media release

4 February 2015

The Marrickville Greens Councillors today expressed their grave concern at the decision by Labor and Liberal Councillors to dismiss a Department of Planning request to withdraw the proposal to rezone 18 hectares of industrial land to high density residential in the Victoria Road Precinct Marrickville, and to instead push the developer’s proposal by trying to arrange a lobbying meeting between the development consortium and the Department of Planning.

After considering the rezoning proposal for gateway assessment, the Department of Planning wrote to Marrickville Council to “request Council withdraw the planning proposal to incorporate the recommendations of the [Employment Lands] study and allow for further investigation of the strategic merit of retaining the Victoria Road industrial lands in the context of the broader local government area and subregion”

“I am very concerned that Councillors made a decision to push the interests of developers over the significant, clear and strong advice from the Department of Planning, Council’s own planners, and the conclusions of the Employment Lands Study,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“The Department of Planning’s response was crystal clear that the rezoning proposal developed by the consortium was flawed in multiple ways, would not get through the gateway process and that it should be withdrawn. Councillors have thumbed their nose at this directive and instead moved to help lobby for the developer’s high-rise plans.

“We have left the realm of genuine, logical debate, and entered the strange world where certain Councillors are actively trying to use their power to do favours for a development consortium. Residents should be very concerned.

“The resolution passed by Council 7-5 rejects the Department of Planning’s request to withdraw the rezoning proposal and requires Marrickville Council staff to arrange and facilitate a meeting between the development consortium and the Department of Planning.

“These Councillors are effectively forcing Council staff to act as lobbyists for a private developer. This creates a major conflict for Council’s planning staff whose assessment recommended rejection of the rezoning proposal.

“The Greens want Council to heed the request of the Department of Planning to withdraw the rezoning proposal and initiate its own review of the precinct with the broader community interest in mind.”

The vote on the resolution was:
For Gardiner, Tyler, Macri, Hanna, Woods, Iskandar, Barbar.
Against: Phillips, Leary, Brooks, Ellsmore, Haylen.

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Greens move for Council to conduct its own planning review for Victoria Road precinct

Marrickville Greens – Media Release

12 November 2014

Greens move for Council to conduct its own planning review for Victoria Road precinct

Greens Councillor Max Phillips will move a notice of motion for Marrickville Council to commence its own independent review of the zoning and development controls for the Victoria Road precinct once the employment lands study has been received, in a move designed to provide an alternative vision to that of developer driven proposal currently being reviewed by the Department of Planning.

The motion reads:

That Council:


  1. Notes the public meeting regarding the development of the Victoria Road precinct that occurred at the Red Rattler Theatre on 30 September;


  1. Notes the formation of the Marrickville Community Planning Collectivewhich aims to engage residents, businesses and other stakeholders in planning issues;


  1. Resolves to commence its own independent review of the zoning and development controls for the Victoria Road precinct once the Employment Lands Study has been received.

Councillor Max Phillips said: “The Greens believe it is important for Council to conduct its own community orientated planning review of the zonings and developments controls for the Victoria Precinct so as to provide an alternative to the developer driven plans currently being assessed.

“The Council’s creative industry study has already been received, while the employment lands study will soon be finalised. This provides the perfect opportunity for Council to conduct a holistic and strategic review of the precinct.

“Council plays an important role in the strategic review and development of development controls, and the Victoria Road precinct should be no different.  If we leave it to a developer to conduct the review, we have essentially privatised strategic planning of an important area in Marrickville,

“The plans developed by the Danias Holdings led consortium are driven by the profit motive, which is not necessarily in the broader and long-term interests of Marrickville residents, business and workers.

The motion was developed in conjunction with the Marrickville Community Planning Collective who are working to ensure broader community interests are represented and injected into planning reviews of the Victoria Road precinct.

Council has previously drafted a master plan for the McGill Street precinct in Lewisham when confronted by a sizeable Lewisham Towers project.  Since its adoption, this master plan has been an important reference point for planning authorities and the community.

Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

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.

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.

A Citizen’s Question Time for Marrickville Council

The Greens are moving to establish a citizen’s Question Time for Marrickville Council in an attempt to open up council more to citizens and improve accountability.  The motion is for 30 minutes to be allocated for citizens to ask a question of elected Councillors on any issue relevant to Councillors, and provide a public forum for Councillors to respond.

“Clean politics can only be achieved by engaging citizens in council processes and providing them with the ability to hold Councillors to account and doing so in an open and transparent way,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“The aim of a Council Question Time is to increase public participation with the elected Council, to hold Councillors to account, and to increase the broader community’s voice in the Council chambers.”

“While citizens may currently address Council meetings on issues that are on already on the meeting business paper, there is no mechanism for other issues to be discussed at Council meetings.
“A Question Time would allow citizens to raise issues that are not being pursued by staff reports or by elected Councillors, seek a response in a public forum, and also raise issues that may not ordinarily get on an otherwise crowded agenda.
“I hope my fellow Councillors will embrace this enhancement to local democracy – at least on a trial basis.
“While this may present some challenges in how it is run, these can hopefully be dealt with by clear rules for interaction during a question time session.
“The aim is to increase public participation with council, particularly with elected Councillors, to hold elected Councillors to account, and to increase the broader community’s voice in the Council chambers.”
Notice of Motion

Question Time for Council

1) That a Question Time of 30 minutes be implemented at each Council meeting where residents can ask a question of Councillors on any issue relevant to Council, and Councillors can respond.
2) That a suitable system be implemented to ensure relevant questions and a fair allocation to members of the community.
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