Tag Archives: Tempe

Protection for historic Fatima Island

The Greens have welcomed this week’s Marrickville Council decision to fund urgent investigations into the work needed to protect Fatima Island, one of the last remaining islands in the Cooks River.

At its 3 December 2013 meeting the Council voted to allocate the $25,000 necessary to obtain a professional report about the current state of the island and to provide recommendations for appropriate remediation strategies.

The action was taken after the Greens put an urgent notice to the August Council meeting (see August 2013 post below), urging Council to take action to prevent the island from eroding away.  

Greens Councillor David Leary said, “There has been a huge groundswell of community support for Fatima Island, which helped sway some of the Labor and Liberal Councillors who had previously a expressed reluctance to fund or take responsibility for protecting Fatima Island.

“Protecting our precious green spaces, local biodiversity and heritage are important to our residents. This was evident from the many people who forwarded stories of their association with Fatima Island, going back as far as the 1950s.”

Some of this important heritage and environmental values of the island are detailed in the background to the Greens motion (below).

“The Greens look forward to receiving the report early next year, and hope that our fellow Councillors continue to stand with the community in voting to protect Fatima Island,” said Clr Leary.

For more information contact Clr Leary at dleary@marrickville.nsw.gov.au.

In the lead up to the meeting the following community groups expressed their support for the investment by Council in Fatima Island:

Cooks River Valley Association

Marrickville Heritage Society

Wolli Creek Preservation Society

The Mudcrabs (Cooks River Eco-Volunteers)

Saving Our Trees

Total Environment Centre

NSW Heritage Network

Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance

Friends of Tempe House

As well as numerous individuals including parishioners of Sts Peter & Paul Parish Tempe and members of the Cooks River Motor Boat Club.

A new FRIENDS OF FATIMA ISLAND email list has also been established by residents who are driving the campaign. To receive updates, please subscribe to: fatimaislandfriends@gmail.com 

Photo by John Veage, from St George Leader, at http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1608145/fatima-island-memories-of-little-surprises/
Photo by John Veage, from St George Leader, at http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1608145/fatima-island-memories-of-little-surprises/

Greens Notice of Motion for 20 August 2013 Marrickville Council Meeting

That Council:

  1. Urgently investigate the erosion of Fatima Island in the Cooks River;
  1. Undertake any urgent, necessary remedial works identified, in order to protect the island against further erosion pending the development of the Cooks River Plan of Management;
  1. Liaise and consult with relevant agencies and community groups to ensure that any urgent works are identified and undertaken appropriately, including the Cooks River Valley Association, Canterbury Council, Sydney Water, Metro Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Marrickville Heritage Society;
  1. Include in the investigations consideration of whether nearby work on the banks of the Cooks River and/ or people visiting the island are contributing to the erosion;
  1. Consider funding for any urgent works in the September budget revision; and
  1. Provide a report to Council of the investigations.


Urgent action is needed to protect Fatima Island, which has become seriously degraded in recent years.

Fatima Island is an important historical and environmental site in the Cooks River, near Kendrick Park, Tempe. It is a sanctuary to local birds such as pelicans, ibis, common silver gull, little pied cormorant, little black cormorant and the crested tern.

In recent years the island has been getting smaller, and the rock retaining wall along one side of the island has partially collapsed. At least two trees have been washed away, and the roots of the large remaining tree on the edge of the island are increasingly exposed and appear at risk of falling over.

Fatima Island is the only remaining island of several that existing prior to European invasion.

It is close to a significant midden site at Kendrick Park and, together with the two adjacent islands that were known to have existed circa 1880, was a place of early contact and relationships between the local Aboriginal Traditional Owners and non-Aboriginal communities.

In 1951 it became a place for a Catholic rosary pilgrimage, honouring a Portugese statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was from the 1950s that it became known as Fatima Island. In recent years this name has provided a familiar reference point for Muslim community members.

Local organisations such as the Cooks River Valley Association and the Marrickville Heritage Society have been campaigning to protect Fatima Island.

In 2013 Marrickville Council committed to include Fatima Island in the Cooks River Parks Plan of Management.

However the current state of the island requires urgent action to prevent further damage to this important cultural and environmental site.

How to get better pedestrian access across the Cooks River? Build a bridge!

Sign the petition here

A new campaign has started in South Marrickville to get better, safer pedestrian access across the Cooks River. The Cooks has rapidly improved and the community is responding to the river’s new, greener status by using its banks for recreation and alternative transport.

There are still some black spots and one of these is Unwins Bridge, Tempe. As can be seen in the photos below, the north-western side of the bridge doesn’t have pedestrian access. Those people who use the riverside pathways on the banks at this point are forced on to busy Bayview St. This is dangerous and unnecessary.

The Greens on Marrickville Council want to improve the safety and amenity of the river and are calling on the state government to help make Unwins Bridge more pedestrian friendly. Fixing this is a real “no brainer”. Many people in the South Marrickville/Tempe area agree this simple measure would vastly improve safety and accessibility. Add  your name to the online petition http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40571.html, or, email Clr Peter Olive on polive@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

This map shows two possible locations for a new foot bridge across the Cooks River: Unwins Bridge, Tempe (see above photos) and at Warren Park, South Marrickville. Either or both of these options would be deliver a great result for the surrounding community and sit very well with Council’s policies on pedestrian access, bike infrastructure, public transport usage and amenity.

M5 Expansion: Keneally should use launch of transport plan to cancel M5 expansion

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon – 19 February 2010 – Media Alert/Release

With the expected release of the government’s transport plan this weekend and a Saturday rally of residents at Tempe opposing the M5 Expansion, Greens MP and roads spokesperson Lee Rhiannon is calling on Premier Keneally to cancel the RTA’s $4.5 billion M5 duplication project and redirect funding to public transport and rail freight infrastructure (‘Elevated motorway meets with protests, p 2, SMH, http://tiny.cc/Dl8Pg)

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon will join residents at the Tempe protest on Saturday 20 February. Residents in ‘No Way RTA t-shirts’ will meet at 10.45am at Victory Park, South Street Tempe and walk to the RTA Information Day.

“Premier Keneally must use the launch of her new transport plan to drop the M5 expansion, in particular the Southern Sydney Connection which will go through Tempe destroying parklands and dumping approximately 15,000 vehicles a day at Euston Road, Alexandria.

“Ms Keneally should instead turn her attention to public transport, rail freight and active transport solutions which are the key to Sydney’s traffic and transport woes,” Ms Rhiannon said.

“The billion dollar RTA expansion of the M5 is the wrong direction in an era of climate change and peak oil.

“Increased spending on public transport and rail freight infrastructure is the key to dealing with a congested M5 tunnel and increased traffic from an expanded Port Botany and the airport.

“Inner West suburbs will be the traffic sewer for the RTA’s misguided motorway plans.

“The M5 Expansion project is strongly opposed by residents in Tempe, Alexandria, St Peters and South Newtown.

“Premier Keneally needs to listen to the community, including affected local councils, and can the project now.

“Dumping this misguided project at an early stage will save taxpayers millions of dollars in consultants fees, assessment plans and tendering processes,” Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information:
9230 3551, 0427 861 568

Albanese should block funding for M5 expansion


6 February 2010

Expressing support for Tempe residents’ rally this Saturday against the M5 corridor expansion, Greens MP and road spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the Federal Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese to say ‘no’ to Infrastructure Australia funding the $4 billion road project being proposed by the NSW government.

Ms Rhiannon says she will work with the community and local Greens councillors to build on the ‘no M5 expansion’ campaign when NSW Parliament resumes in mid February.

The ‘Rally Against the Road’ is at 11am, Sat 6 February, Tempe Lands, South St.

“This monster road project will destroy residential communities, increase greenhouse emissions and air pollution, induce more traffic and rob funds from public transport solutions. It will also make the controversial M4 East inevitable,” Ms Rhiannon said.

“If Mr Albanese gives the nod to funding the project he will severely erode the climate change credentials the Rudd government is attempting to build.

“Labor at both Federal and State levels has created an enormous traffic problem by expanding Port Botany and Sydney Airport. They are now struggling with the wash up.

“The M5 expansion is a bankrupt, non-solution which fails to consider better alternatives to congestion like public transport, freight on rail and active transport.

“The NSW government has failed to learn from history and is again condemning Sydney to another motorway disaster, like the Cross City Tunnel, the Lane Cove Tunnel and the current M5 motorway.

Lee Rhiannon

“Premier Kristina Keneally has tarred herself with the same old Labor government brush by backing this ill-conceived project before releasing the long overdue Transport Blueprint.

“The M5 feasibility study again shows the government prefers to listen to the RTA and big business rather than local communities and public transport planners.

“The proposed Southern Sydney Connection, a four lane surface road, will crash through the $17 million remediated Tempe Lands, the site of Saturday’s rally, and spew traffic into local streets in St Peters and Alexandria.

“The Inner West community will not thank Labor at the polls for this mega-road project.

“Both Federal and State Labor would be wise to dump the proposal, or see damage at the ballot box,” Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information – 0427 81 568

NO WAY RTA M5 rally a success despite rain

Tempe residents rally against the M5 expansion

Greens Councillor Olive (centre) joins Tempe residents to oppose the expansion of the M5

Many Tempe and other Marrickville residents came out with their umbrellas, raincoats and gum boots to show their opposition to the proposed extension of the M5 motorway through Tempe Reserve to Campbell Road.

Marrickville Council will discuss and vote on its submission to the M5 expansion consultation process this Tuesday, starting from 6.30pm.  Council meetings are held on level 3 or the Council Administration Building,  2 Fisher Street Petersham.

The RTA wants to spend $4 billion widening the M5, building additional tunnels, and a ‘Southern Sydney Extension’ that would dump up to 1,800 vehicles an hour on Campbell Road.  This plan only makes sense when combined with the RTA and state government’s long standing plans to extend the M4 East and connect the M5 via a tunnel under the Marrickville local government area.  There have also been long standing plans to build an F6 south from Tempe to Sutherland.

A video of the event is now on YouTube and photos are on this flickr page.

Video courtesy of  Tempe 2020, a community group set up to provide a positive vision for Tempe.

Rally against the M5 Extension

Community Group Tempe 2020 have organised a Rally Against the Road to be held on Saturday Feb 6th from 11am in the Tempe Lands, South Street (between Hart and Fanning St). This rally is a great chance for the local neighbourhood to get together and show the RTA what we think of their new “Road to Nowhere” – an extension of “the worlds dirtiest tunnel” which includes an arterial road through Tempe Reserve and Wetlands to Campbell Road.

The approximate route of the roads are shown here, and is also available on the government-sponsored BuildingSydneyMotorways.

The Rally will be a fun and visible way of sending a message to the RTA and the State Government. There will be entertaining guest speakers, a sausage sizzle and a live band. If you don’t already have a “No Way RTA” T-shirt, they will be available for sale at the rally on the day.

You can also add your voice by making a submission through the RTA’s consultation process – using this feedback form.

Find the Tempe 2020 on Facebook.