Tag Archives: stanmore

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/

Temple Street, Stanmore gum tree

Council proposed to remove a magnificent gum tree from Temple Street, Stanmore.  The tree is healthy and well formed, but has dropped the occasional branch in the past.

We do not such a healthy tree should be removed and we are moving the following notice of motion at the upcoming Council meeting on Tuesday 20 November

Notice of Motion

Councillor Phillips

Street tree outside 16 Temple Street Stanmore

Motion: That Council monitor the Lemon Scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) street tree outside 16 Temple Street for 12 months and then review the decision for removal.

Background:

Recently Council officers have recommended for removal a large Lemon Scented Gum on Temple Street Stanmore.  The tree is in a healthy condition, however, there have been complaints about branches falling.

Since the notification was listed,  numerous residents have objected to the plans for removal.  One such objection states:

“I find it very alarming that council would consider taking down this tree. It is an important tree because of its height & species. It is important because there are so few tall trees on this street. These trees are gradually disappearing from our streets and this weakens our already challenged tree canopy.”

The tree is a significant and beautiful tree, making an exceptional contribution to the streetscape.  The proposed replacement tree is a small, slow growing species.

Advice from the Council officers includes:

“An inspection of the tree by myself, and comprehensive independent assessment by Dennis Marsden on the 3 September 2012, found the tree to be in acceptable health and no obvious structural defects were recorded at the time of inspection. The mode of branch failures was attributed to the tree being an individual with a greater propensity for branch failure under windy conditions than most typical trees. The independent arborist concludes that the level of risk associated with this tree cannot be anticipated and is impractical to effectively maintain.”

Thus Council is proposing to remove a well-formed, healthy and substantial tree, because of a complaint about previous branch failures.

There are many other large eucalyptus that could be removed on the same grounds as this tree.  If you look around the local area, it is often a larger eucalyptus that will be the largest tree in the area and provides the greatest contribution to the canopy,  aesthetic and the Australian character of neighbourhoods.

Other areas of Sydney and Australia have a much larger number of eucalyptus trees than Marrickville.  Living with gum trees is part of the Australian experience.

To remove a healthy, well-formed tree on these grounds will not only be a considerable loss to the local community, but sets a bad precedent for Council’s approach to other large street trees.

We live in an organic world and trees are big part of this world.  They enrich our lives in many different ways.  Many people regard trees as a substantial asset.  It would be a  considerable disservice to the community to start to remove healthy, well-formed trees because of some potential future liability.

Council maintains footpaths, roads, drains, sporting fields, playground equipment, buildings, childcare centres and many other things that may have potential future liability.  We do not remove these assets from the public domain because of potential future liability.  Neither should we remove this tree unless a it is of poor health or structure.

If there are further failures of the tree within the 12 month trial period, or a re-assessment finds the tree in poor health or bad structure, then removal may be necessary.

Risk averse Council condemns Stanmore’s biggest eucalypt to the chainsaw

One of Stanmore’s largest Eucalypt trees on Cambridge Street will be removed by Marrickville Council on Monday 18 January in a move The Greens have labelled as taking the practice of risk aversion too far.

This magnificent tree will be chopped down by Marrickville Council on Monday 18 Janurary 2010

The Lemon Scented Gum (Corymbia) citriodora opposite Stanmore Public School is in fine health and provides shade and contributes to the busy pedestrian street.  However, newly arrived residents have lodged a claim with council that the tree is responsible for cracking to their hundred year old terrace.

“This is an example of our litigious society and the practice of risk aversion being taken too far at the expense of the community and environment,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“Most older houses in the Inner West suffer some cracking, mostly due to the clay soils expanding and contracting,

“Such magnificent trees should only be removed if they are dangerously diseased or there is conclusive proof they are doing damage.  To remove such a tree on speculation and fear of litigation is a mistake and represents risk aversion being taken too far and against the public interest.

“The insurers and lawyers are making the decisions and it is unfortunate that the Labor and Independent Councillors refused to intervene in the public interest and save the tree.

“The Greens moved a motion in December to conduct more investigations into whether the tree was actually causing or would continue to cause damage to the house and look at alternatives to removal.  This motion was narrowly defeated 6 votes to 5.

Several community members, including a local residents who has lived in the street for decades spoke against the killing of the tree at the Council meeting.

“Marrickville Council has a cultural problem when it comes to trees.  Council sees them as liabilities rather than assets and remove them at the slightest indication.

“Many of the Labor and Independent Councillors think protecting trees is a joke and not something Council should waste time on.

Independent Councillor Dimitrios Thanos recently emailed Councillors and staff saying: “I’ll grab my chainsaw and meet the staff down there on the appointed day :)”

“Their attitude is from the 1950s and it is time these councillors understood what benefits trees bring to the local community and environment.”

The Greens and the community have had to conduct several campaigns to save various trees in the local government area, including two huge figs at Mackay Park and a large fig on Margaret Street, Dulwich Hill.

Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

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