Tag Archives: Sylvia Hale

Twenty Years of Greens on Marrickville Council

Twenty years ago, on the 14th of September 1991, Bruce Welch was elected to Marrickville Council and John Sutton was elected to Newcastle Council. They were the first Greens elected to local government in NSW.

How To Vote 1991

How To Vote Green in 1991

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Bruce’s election, Marrickville and Petersham Newtown Greens have organised a get-together of all eleven Greens elected to Marrickville over that twenty year period.

There will be brief speeches from Bruce Welch, our first Greens Mayor, Sam Byrne, and our current Greens Mayor, Fiona Byrne.

Members are welcome to join us in this modest celebration of our two decades of representation on Marrickville Council.

When: Thursday the 22nd of September 2011
Where: Petersham Town Hall, Crystal Street Petersham
Time: 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

RSVP to Colin Hesse for catering purposes at colinh@nsw.greens.org.au

For more details on the history of the Greens in the inner west (and Colin Hesse’s hair style through the decades) visit http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2011/09/14/greens-celebrate-twenty-years-in-local-government/

Sale of Enmore School is a Scandal – Daily Telegraph

Today’s Daily Telegraph has an opinion piece about the sale of Enmore Schooltele logo

Maralyn Parker – 24 June 2009

The planned auction of Enmore Public School grounds next month has mobilised a range of inner city locals from parents of pre-schoolers to TAFE teachers and students. It is another great example of how to stir up a local community.
Carmel wrecking ball

And the debacle highlights one great edifying achievement in education by the NSW Labor government. It has managed to convert many parents of school age children into political activists over the past ten years.

Fighting to stop the sale of school grounds by pollies looking for easy cash can do that to you.

I have seen hundreds of normally mild mannered mums and dads discover their secret inner ratbag this way. Enmore parents now know all about it.

Those budding activists should keep in mind some parents do win. Thriving schools at Erskineville and Hunters Hill can attest to this – as can the still intact, though in remission during an inquiry, Hurlstone Agricultural High School farm.

The Enmore school is on prime real estate in trendy Metropolitan Road. It has not been used as a school for years. Its last incarnation was an adult learning centre and since 2003 it has been left to decay as the local community continued the fight to save it from being sold off.

And that is probably the most despicable part of the decision to go ahead with the sale in 2009. Since 2003 many things have changed in Enmore. The most obvious is the local baby boom.

According to convener of the community action group Save Our School, Alan Crocker, the number of “birthing age adults’’, that is 25 to 39 year olds, in the area is now 10 per cent higher than the Sydney average.

Childcare centres and pre-schools are full. One mother I spoke to yesterday has had to put her four children into three different pre-schools over the past few years and she is grateful even for that.

It is such a problem the federal government has identified the inner city of Sydney as one of 11 high priority areas of NSW in need of an Early Learning Care Centre and there has been a quest to find a school to house the centre.

But follow this – a NSW education department spokesman told me on Tuesday no suitable site had been found so at the beginning of June it ran an advertisement seeking proposals to establish a centre.

It is outrageous that the Enmore site has been ignored. It has 14 classrooms and other areas that, refurbished and upgraded, could be a brilliantly located child care centre and more.

Nearby Stanmore Public School is full – enrolling only strictly local children. But it has classrooms currently being used to house the Distance Education Unit. This unit could easily be moved to Enmore to free up space.

Other inner city primary schools such as Forest Lodge and Ultimo are also full.

And if we need yet another reason to keep this public property for public use, the TAFE college just 250 metres down the road needs room to expand. The Design Centre Enmore is part of this TAFE and demand is high and increasing for its arts based courses. The spillover could be accommodated on the old school site.

According to Alan Croker, who is an architect, the Enmore site could cater for all three of these suggested educational facilities and would be great to reopen as a primary school or small inner city high school in the future.

So selling it off is worse than short sighted it is verging on bloody mindedness. And that makes me wonder what else is going on here.

The school is in deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt’s electorate of Marrickville, Nearby Balmain, another inner city electorate, is held by Education Minister Verity Firth. Both electorates are under threat from the Greens.

The Greens have been the most politically supportive in trying to save the site. Action by Marrickville Council, lead by Greens councillor Cathy Peters, blocked the sale until former planning minister Frank Sartor orchestrated the go-ahead to sell the site. And Greens Education spokesman MLC John Kaye as well MLC Sylvia Hale have pursued the government in parliament over disposal of the site.

If the school is saved the Greens would rightly take some credit.

Surely the government and Carmel Tebutt in particular would not put a win over the Greens above doing what is best for education and the children of NSW.

Politics can be nasty but that would be just too contemptible.

Read it and write a comment on the Daily Telegraph’s website.

Lewisham and Summer Hill residents fight for village atmosphere

Read this story on The Glebe’s wesbite. glebe

By Lana Lam

A MASSIVE development proposed for Lewisham could make the small suburb a magnet for high-rise apartment blocks.

Marrickville Council is reviewing local planning controls and has identified the area around Lewisham railway station as a possible site for new multi-storey dwellings.

Lewisham residents concerned about the Lewisham towers development. Picture: Danny Aarons

Lewisham residents concerned about the Lewisham towers development. Picture: Danny Aarons

The areas immediately around Dulwich Hill, Petersham, and Marrickville stations have also been flagged as areas for new zoning controls.

Last week, about 100 residents met to discuss how to stop Demian Constructions’ plans to build five residential towers at the corner of Old Canterbury Rd and Longport St in Lewisham.

Residents fear it will destroy the village atmosphere of the area, harm shopping hubs in Leichhardt, Summer Hill, Petersham and Ashfield, and create traffic chaos.

The $150 million project includes about 500 apartments, 16 townhouses and a shopping centre. Two of the towers would be 14-storeys.

Under the council’s local environment plan, the proposal is not allowed, but Planning Minister Kristina Keneally will have the final say on the proposal because it has been declared state significant under a part 3A application.

NSW Greens MP Sylvia Hale said community participation was weakened under part 3A and that the 30-day exhibition and comments period was a “token process”. Ms Keneally said she would not decide whether to refer the matter back to the council until the plans had been publicly exhibited and assessed by the planning department.

She denied having had any talks about the plans with former Labor minister Carl Scully, who now works as a consultant for the developer. Demian Constructions has in the past donated about $20,000 to the ALP.

Marrickville Labor MP Carmel Tebbutt met senior council staff about two weeks ago to talk about the local environment plan review and the Lewisham development.

Ms Tebbutt said the plans were still in the early stages of assessment. “I will work with my constituents to ensure they are able to feed into the public consultation process,” she said.

Ms Tebbutt was not at last week’s community meeting, which was attended by Marrickville Council Greens and Ashfield independent and Labor councillors.

* * * * *

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, residents successfully fought off a massive development in Summer Hill.

This week, residents, including some veterans of the earlier campaigns, formed a new group to oppose the Lewisham towers.

Summer Hill resident Glenn Leembruggen was part of a grassroots campaign between 1984 and 1987 which defeated a big development proposed for the Summer Hill carpark.

“It was to retain the village atmosphere,” he said.

Back then, there was no such thing as a part 3A application so the fight this time is very different, Mr Leembruggen said.

“We have no confidence that due process will be given to this,” he said.

Bob Bow lives in Ashfield and works in Summer Hill. He was also part of that fight decades ago.

“It’s a different scenario now,” Mr Bow said. “It’s a much bigger fight because of the presence of 3A, but we have a history as Summer Hillians of doing things and winning.” Details: http://www.nolewishamtowers.org

Read this story on The Glebe’s wesbite.