Tag Archives: Peters

Marrickville Council condemns treatment of refugees

Media Release 23/05/10

At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Marrickville councillors unanimously condemned the Federal government’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers and voted to write to their local federal Minister, Anthony Albanese and Immigration Minister, Chris Evans seeking the closure of all Australian detention centres.

“My motion to support the rights of refugees, to lift the freeze on visa processing of Tamils and Afgans and to close all offshore and mainland detention centres was passed by all councillors at the meeting which is an indication of the general sense of outrage in the community at the federal government’s actions, said Greens councillor Cathy Peters

“Marrickville is home to thousands of refugees from all cultures and

our community wants refugees and asylum seekers treated fairly according to international human rights law.

“We don’t want to see Christmas Island and the Curtin dentention centre used to exile innocent people as they wait months and years for a poor functioning bureaucracy to process their legitimate claims  for  asylum.

“The Rudd government’s treatment of refugees shows how cynical politicans will abuse human rights if their pollsters think it will boost

votes in an election year.  We saw it throughout the Howard years and then when leadership was promised with the ALP, we find only empty rhetoric masking similar reprehensible actions.

Enquiries:  Clr Cathy Peters


MINUTES :   Marrickville Council Ordinary Council meeting May 18, 2010


File Ref: 4056-06

Motion: (Peters / Phillips)

That Council:

a) make a contribution to World Refugee Week by displaying banners on the Petersham Town Hall and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre acknowledging the Council’s support

of refugees and promoting World Refugee Week and the Rally for World Refugee Day planned for Saturday June 26;

b) write to the Federal Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evans and also local MP Anthony Albanese, expressing Council’s concern at the freeze on visa applications for

Sri Lankan and Afghan refugees and asking for an immediate removal of this freeze in line with international human rights law; and

c) write to the Federal Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evans and also local MP Anthony Albanese, expressing Council’s concern at the reopening of the Curtin detention centre and asking that asylum seekers be housed in our communities while

awaiting visa and asylum applications and that Curtain and Christmas Island detention centres be closed immediately.

Motion Carried

For Motion: Councillors Byrne, Wright, Phillips, Peters, Olive, O’Sullivan and Kontellis

Against Motion: Nil

Absent: Councillors Macri and Hanna

Newtown RSL development

Hotel upgrade, democracy downgrade?

Inner West Independent (read the original article on their website)

Posted:Thursday, 22 April 2010

Improvement of social equity and the interaction of a community have traditionally been held up as paramount in good urban planning. But local Newtown residents and councillors say such principles, along with the voices of the community, have been stricken from the proposal for the new 63-room hotel, club and retail plan set to grace Enmore Road, on the site of the existing Newtown RSL.

‘Undemocratic’... (from left) Marrickville Greens Councillor Cathy Peters, and local residents Therese and Jim Archibald, object to the plans for the redevelopment of the Newtown RSL site

While the aesthetics of the present RSL building inspire about as much excitement as a boiled potato, the East Joint Regional Planning Panel (at the core of the NSW Government’s new planning system) has set forth a plan to ‘do it again’, only this time on a larger scale. The major issues opposing the development, besides its appearance, are primarily concerned with its significant departures from parking requirements and non-compliance with the height, floor space ratios, and heritage and design guidelines governing all developments in this Heritage Conservation Area.

Marrickville Greens Councillor, Cathy Peters, is at the centre of this debate, providing fervent opposition. “To build this huge modern style, non-sympathetic building in amongst Newtown and Enmore’s beautiful Victorian and Federation buildings amounts to architectural vandalism,” she said. “It contravenes its own planning laws. Here we are preserving old Victorian houses by law, but then we put forth these large, obstructive building plans. It is unfair to the residents and businesses who adhere to the strict heritage regulations enforced. There’s also a significant lack of parking for a hotel and club of this size, with plans for only 17 parking spots in an area that is experiencing Sydney’s worst parking crisis.”

It is not just the prospect of a beefed-up hotel which has caused the stir – accusations of undemocratic methods have also reared their head. “The NSW Government, by introducing these Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPPs), have effectively removed power from the local communities, who do the research, the groundwork, and transferred it into the sole hands of these centralised panels,” Cr Peters said. “These hotel and club plans have been passed by the JRPP even though Council refused it on various grounds. It is the councils who are doing comprehensive reports analysing the prospect of such projects, with taxpayer money, to then have them discarded by the panels.”

However, Cr Peters’ position was rejected by Cr Victor Macri, one of Council’s representatives on the JRPP, who voted in favour of the project. “You’ve got to look at your starting point,” he said. “In size, bulk, [and] scale, it’s actually an improvement in sightlines for the building behind it. It will interact with the community – the area needs a boutique hotel – and the impact will be far less than an operational RSL.
“[The hotel] actually represents a deintensification of the site,” Cr Macri added. There was a parking study done – the majority of the use will be from people without a car, using public transport.”

For her part, Cr Peters does not object to the existence of a hotel such as that proposed in the area, but believes the current proposal to be ill-thought-out. This view is shared by local resident, Theresa Archibald, who expressed her dismay at how her opinion was received before the appointed panel.
“The building proposed is too big and inappropriate and has been decided upon with the intentional absence of the community,” she said. “I emailed them to say I would like to speak. During the hearing, I was spoken to with disdain and was hardly allowed to express myself. I was shocked by the undemocratic treatment I received [from] the chair, John Roseth. Also, when an on-site meeting was called, none of the community was invited to attend. Suddenly, with the new system, all projects which miraculously exceed the total of $10 million become a matter for these so-called ‘specialists’ in the panels, and the decision is taken away from the communities.”

Cr Peters likewise claimed her objections were met with “flippancy” by the panel. “The response I received from the panel after I spoke was almost with annoyance and the cynical argument, ‘The plans reproduce the rhythm of the traditional elements of the streetscape’.”
According to Peters, the community needed to remain vigilant against the increased planning powers vested in the state government. “Nobody knows of the government’s intention to extend these laws and further estrange the community from its own future,” she said. “It is not just happening in Enmore. This is just one example of what this new system robs from a community’s right to democracy. Not many are aware of the implications.”

by Jake Moss – Inner West Independent

Stanmore’s largest gum tree turned into woodchip

Today Marrickville Council killed a beautiful healthy native tree.  It took maybe 40 years to grow to such a magnificent size, but only four and a half hours of chainsaw wielding before it became a pile of woodchips.

Many local residents pass the tree and made inquiries as to ‘why on Earth Council would cut down such a beautiful healthy tree?’  Many shook their heads and said it was a tragedy.

Greens Councillors Max Phillips and Cathy Peters went down to witness the destruction. It was awful to watch what is the death of a large organism and the loss of a substantial community and environmental asset.

All this destruction because of a few cracks in a hundred year old house that were probably caused by the clay soils, not the tree.  This is truly madness and risk aversion taken too far.  You can read more here.

Even some of the workers weilding the chainsaws could not understand why they were removing such a healthy tree.

Cambridge Street, Stanmore is now without a beautiful tree that provided shade and added to the streetscape.  This is a great great shame.

The Greens moved a motion on Marrickville Council in December to save the tree and make further investigation as to whether it was actually causing any damage to the house and whether other alternative repairs were available.

This motion was lost 6 – 5 with Labor and Independent Councillors voting against The Greens.  The other Councillors were unwilling to even go down and inspect the tree and house prior to making the decision.

Elected Councillors are responsible for the decision they make.  Below are the councillors who voted to kill this tree.

Cr Sam Iskandar (Labor)

Cr Laura Wright (Labor)

Cr Mary O'Sullivan (Labor)

Cr Emmanuel Tsardoulias (Labor)

Cr Dimitrios Thanos (Ind)

Cr Victor Macri (Ind)

The large stump is all that is left of this magnificent tree

The Stanmore lemon scented gum

The following Greens Councillors voted to try and save the tree:

Cr Fiona Byrne (Greens)

Cr Peter Olive (Greens)

Cr Cathy Peters (Greens)

Cr Max Phillips (Greens)

Cr Marika Kontellis (Greens)

Tragedy: the last bit of life cut from this forty-year-old Lemon Scented Gum

Huge Stanmore eucalypt getting the chop

Stanmore is set to   loose a large eucalypt  as Labor and  Independent  councillors  on Marrickville council voted last night against a Greens motion to attempt to save the tree

The corymbia citriodora in Cambridge St., Stanmore is a grand street tree planted in the 70’s, that’s at the centre of a tussle between those that believe the tree is the cause of cracking in a property nearby and those that cite the prolonged drought and clay soil in the inner west, as the major culprits.

“The ongoing drought combined with above average temperatures over a prolonged period, has made many properties in the Marrickville area experience ongoing movement and cracking due to the contraction in the clay soils ” said Councillor Peters

“It’s counterproductive to remove such significant trees from our environment unless there are absolutely no other options.  In this instance the Greens were seeking a period of grace so that proper testing along with amelioration attempts, could be undertaken.”

“This street has numerous properties that exhibit similar cracking in door and window areas and yet in most cases, do not have any trees near them.  This sort of cracking is something most people in the inner west live with and understand that the cracks will close when the soil conditions improve.”

“Trees of this maturity are important assets in our community as they clean our air, sequester large amounts of carbon, provide shade and thus cool the environment as well as providing habitat for native birds and insects. They also add value to our properties and enhance our streets and we need to be mindful of these positive aspects rather than seeing trees as potential risks or nuisances that can be chopped down continually at no cost to us all.”

December 12, 2009

Contact :  Clr Cathy Peters 0419444974

Marrickville Greens Councillors arrested at climate blockade

Marrickville Council’s Green Deputy Mayor, Fiona Byrne and Greens
Councillors Max Phillips and Cathy Peters were arrested at Parliament
House on Monday Nov 23 as they joined over 200 protestors demanding stronger action from the government on climate change.

Climate activists block the front entrance to Parliament House

The three Greens Councillors were arrested after a mass sit-in in front of the entrance to Parliament House in Canberra along with 130 other
people, but released without charge.  They were  seeking meaningful
emission reduction targets of 40% by 2020 and binding agreements in   Copenhagen.

Councillor Bynre  stated, “When I read the latest research which suggests the Arctic icecap  could be completely melted during summer by as soon as 2013, I  realized that before my children even finish school, the planet could
be irreversibly changed. We must have real action now and that’s why I
had to be prepared to be arrested during this peaceful protest”.

“The fact that 130 people from diverse backgrounds were prepared to be arrested reflects the strength of feeling in the community and I wanted to show the politicians in Canberra that ordinary people are prepared to take action to  demand realistic reductions in greenhouse gas pollution so that our community and communities around the world can have a safe future,” commented Greens Councillor Cathy Peters

Councillor Max Phillips at the blockade.

Clr Cathy Peters arrested at Parliament House 23.11.09


“Action on climate is so important that sometimes we have to leave our comfort zones and put our bodies on the line. The government’s 5% target and deeply flawed emissions trading scheme is betrayingthe climate and our collective future,” said Greens Councilor Max Phillips.”We have a small window to stop catastrophic climate change, so it is now or never and that’s why I felt so strongly that I was willing to be participating in peaceful civil disobedience.”

Protestors blocking Parliament House entrance 23.11.09

Sale of Enmore School in the Herald

The sale of the Enmore school was reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald on page 5.

Heritage school sale infuriates residents smh_logo

Paul Bibby Urban Affairs Reporter

July 8, 2009

THE former Enmore Public School was snapped up yesterday by a Sydney property developer who plans to convert it into townhouses.

enmore-boys-school-webRay Newey bought the 112-year-old heritage-listed building for $2.8 million at auction, amid accusations that the state Education Department had ignored regulations for the sale.

The heritage listing prevents Mr Newey from demolishing buildings, but he can renovate them to accommodate 15 townhouses.

“It was never going to be a school again once it was sold – the contract with the Education Department forbade it,” he said. “We’re going to preserve the heritage value as much as possible.”

The sale was a blow for activists and the NSW Greens, who had fought to retain the site for educational purposes. They say the number of children in the region is growing.

The department has consistently claimed that demand for education in the area has been static or falling in recent years. But its own statistics show that between 2003 and 2008 enrolments at five schools within a five kilometre radius of the site had risen by 60 per cent or more…

Read the rest of this story on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website.

Dulwich Hill Astroturf story in the Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald has a story on Marrickville Council’s plan to replace the grass at Dulwich Hill’s Arlington Oval with artificial turf on page 5.

Something funny is afoot, and not everyone is laughing

Paul Bibby Urban Affairs Reporter

July 8, 2009

OVER nearly a century Arlington Oval at Dulwich Hill has hosted many sports events, including rugby league and the Empire Games in 1938. Now a most modern phenomenon is about to take to the field: synthetic grass.

The grand old ground will become the first council football field in Sydney to be resurfaced with synthetic grass, as the local council tries to deal with a chronic shortage of usable sporting fields in the region.FOOTBALL2

Made from hundreds of tonnes of shredded tyres covered by a synthetic green carpet, the turf provides an even, all-weather surface that can survive the daily stampede of football studs.

The move is a win for local sporting teams which have been forced to travel across the city to play and train to avoid turning Arlington into a quagmire.

But the plan has drawn criticism from some residents and councillors who say the artificial surface is overpriced, may leach toxins into the air and soil, and will diminish Arlington’s proud history…

To read the rest of this story visit the smh.com.au.

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