Tag Archives: Max Phillips

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.”

Contract deal a community win for marrickville library

Media Release 13 October 2015

Following a campaign stretching over many years, the Greens on Marrickville Council have welcomed the signing of a historic contract to re-develop the old Marrickville hospital site, the key final step in committing Council to build the long promised new library, park and affordable housing on the site.

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said, “We fought the last election on a platform of investing in our community. We promised to build a new library, to invest in affordable housing and in quality open space. Today we are so proud to see that vision turning into a reality.

“Marrickville Council has signed a detailed contract which ensures this project will be built in line with the concept designs picked by the community last Council term. The new library site will have a park opening onto Marrickville Rd, a library and multi-purpose community hub, and a mix of community and retail uses. I am confident it will become a thriving new heart for our community,” Clr Phillips said.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, Co-Chair of Council’s Affordable Housing Committee, said, “This decision is a huge win for our community. We will have over $60 million of benefits delivered for the community. It is the largest single investment ever undertaken by Marrickville Council.

“The development of site will come at no cost to Council and will protect the significant heritage buildings – the Old Marrickville Hospital site and Nurses Quarters – which will be retrofitted as the new library and community hub. And importantly, those community facilities, the park and the affordable housing will stay in public ownership,” she said.

The project has a long and tumultuous history. Marrickville Council has owned the site, earmarked to build a new library, for 20 years. Council had invested more than $1 million undertaking a design competition and preparatory works for the new library and park last Council term.

However following the 2012 Local Government elections a number of different options were canvased for the site by the newly elected Council, including building residential development at the front of the site (Marrickville Rd) where the library and park was planned, and residential rather than public uses for the heritage buildings. A numbers of unsolicited bids to sell the whole site to a private developer were received, but were rejected following a community outcry.

Clr Phillips said, “This final decision, which received unanimous support from all Councillors, returns Council to the original vision for the site. This is what we have been fighting for and we have now, finally, engaged a developer to get on and build the project. It is a huge win for our local residents and the future of our community,” said Clr Phillips.

More information:   Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213 and Clr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

What the final decision means:

At its Council meeting on Tuesday 6th October Marrickville Council approved the terms of a contract with developer Mirvac to develop the entire site, including the public aspects and private residential and commercial development at the back of the site. The contracts were formally signed by Council and Mirvac today.

One of the concept images for the library opening up to a sunken park/ public square, corner of Livingstone Rd and Marrickville Rd, by BVN Architects, 2012

One of the concept images for the library opening up to a sunken park/ public square, corner of Livingstone Rd and Marrickville Rd, by BVN Architects, 2012

As a result of the arrangement Council will retain over $64m in value from the redevelopment of the site made up of:

  1. the construction of a new library, community hub, open space and associated car-parking opening onto Marrickville Road;
  2. the provision of 4% affordable housing (currently estimated at 9 apartments (3x1bedroom, 5×2 bedroom and 1×3 bedroom);
  3. a cash payment;
  4. land retained by Council as part of the redevelopment; and
  5. residential development at the back of the site.

The historic main hospital building and the old nurse’s quarters will be fully conserved and reused as part of the redevelopment and the old hospital lane will be retained as a central access spine through the development site. Entry and exit of vehicles is expected to be from Livingstone Road.

The developer was selected following a competitive tender process which assessed applicants against their ability to deliver key aspects of the project which included the concept for the new library selected by the community (known as the ‘BVN design’), new open space and affordable housing.

View of winning design from Lilydale Street, showing the historic Marrickville Hospital main building and Nurses Quarters, with additions. St Brigid's Church across Marrickville Rd is shown on the left.

View of winning design from Lilydale Street, showing the historic Marrickville Hospital main building and Nurses Quarters, with additions. St Brigid’s Church across Marrickville Rd is shown on the left.

Following the competitive process Council resolved to work with the most suitable applicant – Mirvac – on a non-complying tender which will see the project delivered quickly and at no cost to the community.

For details of the Greens campaign for the project see https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/issue/library-and-community-hub/.

For details of the history of the project, including the stages and key milestones to get to this point, and images of the plans see the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/development/major-projects/new-library-and-community-hub/

The full concept model of the project by Mirvac which indicates the scale of residential development on the back of the site and how it interacts with the community design for the library has been on public display and will be available again at the Marrickville Library later in the week.

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

Marrickville library saved from sale to property developer

17 March 2015

The Marrickville Greens have welcomed the vote by Marrickville Council tonight to reject the proposed sale of the planned Marrickville library site to a foreign property developer for $52 million dollars.

Maxma Developments Pty Ltd owned and controlled by sole shareholder and Director Xianhon Ma approached Marrickville Council to buy the site of the old Marrickville Hospital, which is currently undergoing an expression of interest process for construction of a new library, community hub and park.

The offer to buy the site was an unsolicited offer outside the current process.

In a letter to council Xianhon Ma’s lawyer Jeffrey Wong  said “Director and sole shareholder Xianhong Ma had been actively engaging in property development in Foshan, China for years”. The letter also claims that Xianhon Ma had constructed museums for movie stars Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

“But councils own due diligence revealed that Maxma Developments Pty Ltd was incorporated on 5 May 2014 and has only $100 in paid up capital. No security for the proposed transaction was offered by this entity apart from a 10% deposit” revealed Clr Leary.

The developer’s offer shows the developer planned to construct a 4 star hotel with 110 rooms, 400 residential units, an exhibition centre and commercial premises totalling 2000 square metres.

Up until this offer was received Marrickville council was involved in an expression of interest process for the construction of a library and community hub, 1200  square metres of park and residential and commercial development on the balance of the site including a minimum of 4% affordable housing.

“Council has never considered flogging off the entire site until this developer came along and if the developers offer had been accepted it would have derailed the process for the new library” commented Greens Councillor David Leary who succesffuly moved that confidential information relating to the project be released to the public at last nights meeting.

“The Old Marrickville hospital site has always been earmarked for use by the community for construction of a new library, community hub and a park. This was why Marrickville Council bought the site from the State government. Now that this deal has been rejected Council should get on with building these important community facilities without delay” said Councillor Leary.

Contact: Cr David Leary 0409 421 323

For more background and comments from Greens candidate for Summer Hill, Clr Max Phillips, see Greens Media Release from 15 March ‘Council should reject developer’s offer and stick with building a new library and new park’

Greens move for giant slip & slide for Marrickville Festival

Update! Marrickville Council votes unanimously to trial the Slip and Slide at the 2015 Marrickville Festival. For more info see the media release before the vote, below, and watch this space!
Marrickville Greens – media release
11 March 2015
Greens Councillor Max Phillips is moving a motion for Marrickville Council to investigate hiring a giant slip and slide for the 2015 Marrickville Festival, saying such an attraction would add a new and fun element to the popular festival.
Recently various cities in Australia and overseas have enjoyed a street slide, or giant slip and slide. The street slide takes the very Australian backyard Summer tradition of a few sheets of plastic, detergent and a hose to the next level. It offers up to 315 metres of slip-sliding fun.
“I saw some news footage of a giant slip and slide being enjoyed in Perth and immediately thought how cool would it be to have one run down Marrickville or Illawarra Road at the next Marrickville Festival,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.
“The Marrickville Festival is often held on a scorching hot day and I think this attraction would be enjoyed by both our younger residents, and the young-at-heart.
“I understand these giant slip & slides started as an art installation in the United Kingdom, but has since evolved into a commercial operations that can install a slide overnight and recycle the water they use.
“Marrickville Council has adopted the Sunday Streets idea where  roads are reclaimed for physical and fun activities.  What could be more fun than a giant slip & slide?”
Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Voters should send a clear message on asset sales

Media Release – Max Phillips, Greens candidate for Summer Hill

 

10 February 2015

 

The Greens candidate for Summer Hill, Max Phillips said today that Summer Hill voters should use the 28 March state election to send a clear message on privatisation of public assets, citing a Ipsos poll that found only 23% of NSW voters supported the sale or partial lease of electricity assets.

 

“The poles and wires are a monopoly, so flogging them off to a private corporation will just lead to households getting ripped off as the private corporation seeks to maximise its profits,” said Max Phillips.

 

“NSW needs to undergo a significant transformation of our energy network over the next decade to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy.  Selling the distribution network only complicates the transition task and will build in a resistance to change.

 

“Voters in Queensland sent a very clear message that they did not want public asset sold off, by emphatically voting the Newman government out of office.  NSW voters have this same power and asset sales will be a major election issue.

 

“The Greens are opposed to the privatisation of public assets, particularly selling a monopoly to a private corporation.  If elected to parliament I would vote against privatisation.

 

“Private ownership of monopolies brings the downsides of capitalism like the exploitation of consumers and workers and a short-term outlook, without the benefits of a competitive market.

 

“With bond rates at an all time low around the world, government’s have an opportunity to raise funds for infrastructure projects without selling public assets.  The Greens support leveraging the historically low bond rate to invest in key projects such as improving Sydney’s public transport network and extending the light rail.

 

“The Liberal Party’s privatisation fetish demonstrates that they care less about good economic policy and more about delivering for their corporate supporters.  The government’s support for a significant price rise for electricity shows they want to fatten the lamb for sale, while disregarding the impact on households.”

 

Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

 

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

Council should take control of Victoria Road precinct planning

Marrickville Greens – media release

20 January 2015
Greens Councillor Max Phillips today welcomed news that the Department of Planning had rejected the proposed developer driven rezoning of the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville and said that Marrickville Council should now commence its own planning review rather than wait for the developer to submit revised plans.
“It was no surprise that the Victoria Road precinct failed to pass through the Department of Planning’s gateway process given it was badly flawed and and more of an ambit claim for developers dreaming of mountains of profit,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.
“It’s vital that Marrickville Council now re-assert its role as the planning authority and representative of the broader community interest, by commencing its own planning review of the Victoria Road precinct.
“The Employment Lands Study has been delivered and found that the precinct was an important part of Sydney’s position as a global city and generates considerable employment.  It concluded that the precincts location close to the CBD, airport and sea port, made it incredibly strategic land for industry in Sydney.
“This study provides a clear direction for Council to promote a positive evolution and rejuvenation of this area.
“Council has an important role to bring together disparate visions for the precinct and conduct a genuinely strategic planning review in the long-term and broader interest of the community.
“The Greens moved to begin such a review in November 2014, but other Councillors wanted to wait until the Department of Planning had completed its gateway assessment. Now that assessment is complete, there should be no more excuses for Council to begin its own planning review,” he said.
Contact: Councillor Max Phillips – 0419 444 916
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