Tag Archives: Newtown

Newtown: Green from the beginning

With the highest primary vote ever recorded by the Greens in a state or federal electorate, Newtown has become Greens from the very beginning. Jenny Leong will be the member for Newtown in the next parliament, joining Jamie Parker and the new Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith. We are still waiting on late returns to see what happens in Lismore, where the Greens recorded a swing of over 20% from the Nationals.

The Newtown campaign was one of the largest and most energetic of the election. Working closely with the community on issues like West Connex, affordable housing and human rights,  The Greens received approximately 60% of the two candidate preferred vote.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, spoke to friends and voted for the Greens in Newtown. We can now look forward to four years of working together to change progressive politics in NSW. Jenny is in the process of setting up her office, in the meantime you can contact our new MP through her website: http://www.jennyleong.org/

Sydney: Together we can stop WestConnex

By incoming Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong

30 April 2015- This article first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald


Jenny Leong heashot

The record-breaking support for the Greens in Newtown and re-election of Jamie Parker in Balmain demonstrates that communities in the inner city want to see world-class public transport – including light rail, accessible train stations, more frequent buses, and integrated cycleways.

Critics of the Greens say because we don’t have the majority of the numbers in the lower house we can’t deliver results. This misguided view doesn’t acknowledge the many strong community campaigns the Greens have been connected with that have shifted the government of the day, stopped the destruction of our heritage, protected our precious green space or seen a positive change in policy.

Jack Mundey – the living legend who led the Green Bans movement that saved The Rocks, public housing, heritage and green space from the developers’ bulldozers – was one of the people to support our Greens campaign for Newtown. Jack recognised the big challenges facing our area, including the threat of WestConnex.

We don’t have to go back to the 1970s to see examples of how strong community campaigns – supported by Greens MPs in parliament and local councillors – can make a difference.

A key tactic in the successful strategy to defeat the East/West Toll Link in Melbourne was to force the government to release details of its business case. When made public, the business case showed that not only was the tollway a bad idea from the perspective of transport but that it was also economically unviable.

That’s why from day one I will be pursuing the Baird Government to make public all details in relation to WestConnex. If they have nothing to hide and back the project, why won’t they make the business case public?

The lack of transparency is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed and something that the Greens at all levels of government will continue to pursue. Given construction is already underway, we can’t wait for the release of documents before we act. We saw the success of non-violent direct action and a grassroots community campaign that stopped the preliminary work in Melbourne and this is a tactic that we should not shy away from here.

Any successful campaign must build alliances – many of these have already started to form across local resident groups along the 33-kilometre West Connex route, collectives such as Reclaim the Streets, public transport advocates, local business associations, and local government. I look forward to working with these tireless advocates, as well as Lord Mayor Clover Moore and local government representatives who share our commitment to sustainable 21st-century transport solutions.

This project cannot go ahead without federal money. The federal election is 18 months away. It’s time for Labor to listen to the community and end their support of the Abbott/Baird obsession with roads.

Promoting and building support for world-class public transport and integrated cycleways will benefit people throughout Sydney. The Greens will continue to advance an alternative transport plan that delivers for the community.

Jenny Leong is incoming Greens MP for Newtown. To visit Jenny’s page go to http://www.jennyleong.org and check out the WestConnex campaign page.

To read about what your local Greens Councillors are doing to fight WestConnex visit the No WestConnex! campaign page on this website, or our Media page.

Cycle win for Newtown blackspot

A key missing link in Sydney’s regional bike network will be completed by June following the approval of plans by Marrickville Council at its meeting on 3 March 2015.

Greens Councillor and Chair of the Marrickville Council Transport Committee, Sylvie Ellsmore, said “This month Marrickville Council approved plans to establish a new shared path for bikes, pedestrians and cars at Eliza St Newtown, which runs from Camperdown Memorial Park to King Street. Building this missing connection is the culmination of years of negotiation across Councils and campaigning by bike groups.

“The plans will finally enable cyclists to legally cross King Street in order to get to and from the Wilson Street cycleway. Currently cyclists going to or from Wilson St to Camperdown have no way to cross King Street in either direction without getting off their bikes, riding on part of the footpath or ignoring one of the “no right turn” signs.

“Hundreds of bikes cross King Street from Camperdown to Redfern and the city using this bike route every day, and the numbers keep growing. After years of campaigning I am very proud that Marrickville Council is acting to fix this major bike blackspot,” Clr Ellsmore said.

Greens candidate for the State seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, said, “The new Eliza Street bike path is a key missing link in what is one of Sydney’s busiest regional bike routes.  Its approval brings us another step closer to implementation of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network.”

The Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network is the key bike plan endorsed by the 15 inner Sydney Councils. It identifies 1 or 2 key regional routes connecting across each Council area as priorities to be built or completed, including a crossing at King Street.  The Greens NSW have committed to the full implementation of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network, which has been costed at $185 million.

Ms Leong said, “Our local Greens Councillors have been driving the implementation of bike paths and increasing investment in bike paths. The Greens on Marrickville Council were last year successful in doubling the Council’s bike budget.

“But Local Councils cannot do it alone. It is good news that after many years of planning and reports the State Government has come to the party with some funding to enable this section of bike path to be built. However the reality is that there are many, many other parts of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network which will not be built because State Government funding has not been provided.

“Building proper, safe bike infrastructure takes real investment – not a piece-meal approach of funding bits and pieces of projects. It is time for the State Government and Labor Opposition to step up, and to work with the Greens to ensure that we’re investing in new cycleways and active transport, not new dirty tollways that will further choke our city,” said Ms Leong.

The Eliza Street cycleway plans were approved at the 3rd March 2015 Infrastructure Committee meeting of Council, pending some final discussions with local residents to deal with parking issues and approvals by the State RMS of the final plans. The path is likely to result in the loss of two parking spaces in Eliza Street. Once implemented bike, people and car traffic on Eliza Street will share the space in a 10km zone. The approved plans also include changing the current two-way cycleway on Mary Street to one way, with cyclists encouraged to travel instead on the larger, safer Eliza St cycleway.

The new cycleway will be partly funded by Marrickville Council and partly by the State Government, which has provided $100,000. The Greens Transport vision including costed commitments to public transport and cycleways can be downloaded at http://nsw.greens.org.au/sites/nsw.greens.org.au/files/Greens-Transport-vision-2020-Plan.pdf The ALP launched their transport vision last month. It included no reference to funding for cycleways.  

A recent ALP announcement indicated that the ALP plans to join the Greens in committing to fund the Greenway active transport corridor. For more information or to sign up to the Greens campaign to build the Greenway visit the website of Greens MP Jamie Parker.

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213 Greens candidate for Newtown Jenny Leong 0434 095 865   

State Election 2015

In 2015 we have the opportunity to reset NSW politics. To create a clean economy, a fair and inclusive society and to remove the corrupting influence of money politics.

In the inner west we will be campaigning to keep our communities diverse, our housing affordable, to transition to 100% renewables and to build a 21st century public transport system.

At this election we have a real choice between:

  • privatisation vs public investment
  • money politics vs democracy
  • cuts in community services vs investment in a caring community
  • massive new road projects vs investment in public transport
  • dirty coal vs renewable energy
  • the politics of fear vs an inclusive society, and
  • discrimination vs human rights for all.

Meet the Greens candidates

Jenny Leong heashot

With the creation of the new seat of Newtown, when residents go to the polls on 28 March 2015 they will have the opportunity to elect the Greens candidate Jenny Leong, a human rights activist and former president of the University Sydney postgraduate association.


Learnt more about Jenny and support the Greens for Newtown campaign by visiting the Jenny Leong for Newtown website (local campaigns, media and upcoming events are posted here), volunteering, making a donation (the Greens only take donations for individuals, not businesses) or following the campaign on Facebook.

Max Corflute design one small

In Summer Hill, the former seat known as Marrickville, the Greens candidate is experienced Greens Councillor Max Phillips. Max has a strong track record of defending the interests of residents of the Inner West, fighting off bad developments, exposing dodgy dealings and campaigning for greater transparency in government.  Read about Clr Phillips media releases and campaigns on this site, or follow the Max Phillips for Summer Hill campaign on Facebook.

To meet other Greens candidates in the 2015 State Election, to download Greens policies, volunteer or donate to the State campaign visit the State campaign website.

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)

Vote on markets’ future Tuesday

Marrickville Councillors will vote to save or shut down the Newtown Markets at their meeting this Tuesday 15 October 2013. Please show your support for the markets by sending an email or text to the Marrickville Councillors.


  • Contact the Marrickville Councillors before Tuesday’s meeting at councillors@marrickville.nsw.gov.au or by phone on the contacts below
  • Come to the markets on Saturday and sign the petition by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
  • Come to the meeting at 6.30pm Tuesday 15 October, Council Chambers, 2-14 Fisher St, Petersham

You can also

Greens Newtown Markets

The Greens have been campaigning to save the markets. Greens Marrickville Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said: “The markets are a much loved part of Newtown. The Greens want to see more local markets which promote our creative arts, promote local manufacturers, encourage use of our public spaces, and raise much needed funding for community programs. I am calling on the other Marrickville Councillors to vote to KEEP the Newtown Markets.”

Newtown Market Stall 20 August 2013   Newtown Market Stall 20 August 2013

180818 Markets Stall Residents SE CL mid res

Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore talks to residents signing petitions in support of the markets, August 2013

Why did the Council vote to shut the markets show down?

In August this year the newly elected Liberals and some of the Labor Councillors on Marrickville Council voted to shut down the community market, by rejecting the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s Development Application (DA) for use of Newtown Square. Tuesday’s meeting will decide the appeal against this decision.

The Councillors who moved to shut down the markets claimed that the markets: compete with local business; are an “inappropriate use” of the square; and there were problems with the DA. In fact, Councillors had received glowing reports about the positive impact on local business, and staff recommended approval of the DA. Copies of the papers provided to Councillors at their August meeting can be found in a previous post here.

Newtown Markets are good for business and the community

The markets are good for the whole community – they are enjoyed by local residents, with more than 2000 signing petitions in support – and importantly the markets fund some of the community programs run by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

Newtown Markets are strongly supported by local businesses. A recent survey of 100 businesses on King St and Enmore Road found 87% of local businesses in Newtown support the markets and most think it increases business. A report by Council staff found the markets have been a successful “incubator”, giving several emerging businesses their start through a stall at the markets.

Copies of the Council papers for Tuesday’s Council meeting can be found on the Marrickville Council website – Item 5, Bedford Square (also known as Newtown Square).

Who are your Marrickville Councillors and do they support the markets?*

√ Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

√ Greens Clr Melissa Brooks 0409 235 802

√ Greens Clr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

√ Greens Clr David Leary 0409 421 323

√ ALP Clr Jo Haylen 0417 114 404

√ ALP Clr Sam Iskander 0421 494 515

X ALP Clr Chris Woods 0425 363 209

X ALP Clr Emanuel Tsardoulias 0432 684 120

X Liberal Clr Mark Gardiner 0402 424 987

X Liberal Clr Rosana Tyler 0414 859 630

X Conservative Independent Clr Victor Macri 0408 219 260

X Conservative Independent Clr Morris Hanna 0417 660 997

*Based on most recent votes

Group email all Councillors at councillors@marrickville.nsw.gov.au or download the full Councillor Contact List here.

To follow the campaign or the Greens on Marrickville Council go to www.facebook.com/MarrickvilleGreens

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

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