Now that Baird is opting out of politics, his centerpiece project needs to be stopped. Since he and Tony Abbott turned the first sod of this toxic project back in March 2015, community opposition has continued to grow.
Public criticism of WestConnex, billion dollar budget blowouts, shonky, secretive planning and huge contracts to companies under federal police investigation, have all played a significant role in the declining popularity of Premier Baird, according to Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP.
More community members have been aggressively handled and violently arrested at Sydney Park as peaceful protests against WestConnex continue. The use of force and the subsequent charges laid show that the police are using the powers of the Baird Government’s new draconian anti-protest laws.
NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP, says:
“I have serious concerns about the level of police aggression and violence that’s occurred in recent days at Sydney Park.
“Local police, the riot squad and plainclothes police - some wearing leather gloves and refusing to display their name badge - have used disproportionate force against peaceful community members showing their opposition to WestConnex.
Contractors have begun cutting down trees in Sydney Park, as part of the WestConnex project.
Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP joined community members at the Save Sydney Park Camp, where one resident is stationed in a tree in an act on nonviolent direct action.
Almost 40 per cent of New South Wales households are now renting, and more people than ever will be lifelong renters.
Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on Rental Issues Jenny Leong MP explains why urgent reforms are needed to remove 'no grounds' evictions, to provide more security for renters in NSW.
At the last Inner West Council meeting of 2016, the Administrator Richard Pearson committed to spending half a million dollars toward modelling the impact of WestConnex on local streets and neighbourhoods.
“This is a welcome initiative and shows that local government shares the community’s concerns about how badly WestConnex will impact our neighbourhoods, said Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex.
“The RMS only plan to look at the impact of WestConnex 12 months after each stage has been opened - well after the traffic chaos and air quality impacts have occurred. Premier Baird’s appointed Administrator has called this wait-and-see approach, ‘totally unacceptable and inconsistent with the principles of modern environmental impact assessments’ and he should know, as he has come directly from the NSW Planning Dept.
In response to new data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), which shows increased demand for Specialist Housing Services in NSW, NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing Jenny Leong MP, says urgent action is needed to address homelessness and housing affordability.
“The increase in demand for Specialists Homelessness Services is stark evidence of the housing affordability crisis we’re facing in NSW,” she said.
In response to the changes to Sydney’s lockout laws that were announced today, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on Night-time Culture and Economy Jenny Leong MP, says the changes will do little to encourage a thriving Sydney nightlife.
RMS has announced plans to radically alter key local roads between Alexandria to Moore Park and they have put these plans forward without indicating that they are obviously the result of the impact that WestConnex will have on traffic in this area.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex has condemned this announcement .
"It’s obvious that this work is directly related to WestConnex and the St Peters interchange - attempting to provide a stop gap solution to the widely discredited plan that would put 70,000 more cars into the area.
"The pathetic attempt by RMS to try to pretend these works are stand alone so the true impact of WestConnex is hidden, will not fool anyone.
The NSW Government has proposed a number of reforms to the real estate and property services industry. While some of the proposals will improve the industry, the reforms do not do enough to protect the significant number of NSW residents who have dealings with the industry, either as renters or as the buyers or sellers of property.
As Transport for NSW put out notifications of works related to the light rail that will affect Surry Hills residents, we will pass on the updates.
The third Rental Affordability Index (RAI) released today shows that Sydney remains Australia's least affordable city for renters and makes it clear that significant change is needed to address this crisis.
NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP said:
"It is clear that any attempt to deliver housing affordability can't start and end with supply alone. What we need is an increase to affordable supply. Unless there are mandated significant targets for affordable rental housing in new developments, rents will continue to soar."
WestConnex Activist Pauline Lockie has been recognised as the 2016 Newtown Electorate Local Women of the Year.
The Greens say the split between state and federal Liberal ministers highlights the ongoing failure of the Turnbull government to act on the housing affordability crisis.
The Baird Liberal Government has released its final UrbanGrowth plan for The Parramatta Rd corridor, including Camperdown. The density of the precinct will triple, but there is no new infrastructure to support these new residents.
While UrbanGrowth has scaled back their plans considerably due to strong opposition from the local community, the planned density increase is still extreme. There are currently 720 people living in UrbanGrowth NSW’s Camperdown Precinct, and this plan will increase that to 2120.
Here's the latest community newsletter from the Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP, giving you an overview of her recent work in Parliament and in the community.
Read about local issues, community campaigns and organisations doing essential work in the Electorate of Newtown.
While incredibly common, abortion remains in a grey zone in the law in NSW. Shamefully, abortion offences remain on the NSW Crimes Act. This limits access to abortions, which are not routinely provided by public hospitals in our state.
Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi has been leading the #End12 campaign, calling for the repeal of Division 12, the part of the Act the makes abortion a crime. We are also asking for safe access zones around abortion service providers and clinics to prevent harassment of women accessing services. Safe access zones currently exist in Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.