The NSW government released a discussion paper in May 2020 on a Housing Strategy for NSW. Jenny Leong MP, NSW Greens spokesperson on Housing and Jamie Parker MP, NSW Greens spokesperson on Planning made a submission on behalf of the NSW Greens. The following is an extract from this submission.
As a matter of protocol and a mark of respect, we acknowledge it always was and always will be Aboriginal land and pay our respects to Aboriginal elders past, present and emerging.
We also submit that ‘A Housing Strategy for NSW’ must prioritise ensuring Aboriginal housing needs are met along the housing continuum. This means resourcing Aboriginal-led homelessness services, supporting Aboriginal-led community housing providers, pro-actively involving Aboriginal-led organisations in the development and implementation of this strategy and recognising through reparation that the land that is the focus of this strategy is stolen land that was never ceded.
Incorporate plans for genuine consultation and input from Aboriginal-led organisations both in the development and implementation of the NSW Housing Strategy
Recognise the need for reparations given that the land all of this housing will be delivered on is stolen land
Ensure adequate resourcing and support for Aboriginal-led homelessness and housing services as well as community housing providers
Identify housing as a key component of the State’s infrastructure priorities
Establish an integrated Housing portfolio in NSW with a single Minister who has responsibility across private, public, community and rental housing areas, combined with the establishment of a Housing Ombudsman
Incorporate specific actions to progress protections for renters and advance rental reforms which enable security of tenure, affordability and habitability for renters in to the NSW Housing Strategy
Commit to large scale government development and provision of public, social and affordable housing as housing options for a range of tenants with varying incomes
Mandate 30% affordable housing in new private rental housing developments
Commit to ending homelessness and ensure there are no exits to homelessness from state institutions or as a result of family violence or economic disadvantage
Recognise the climate crisis as a key driver for strong action in the housing strategy and include actions to progress zero emissions sustainable housing and large scale retrofitting of existing homes.
Former Federal Labor Leader turned NSW One Nation MP Mark Latham has introduced a Bill in to the NSW Parliament to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act - this Bill is now the subject of an inquiry.
The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act is well overdue for a review, but this Bill does not offer the solutions we need, instead it promoted to rights of some people over many others.
These are very difficult times for many people, especially for those living in high-rise housing in our inner city. Our office is working hard to ensure that during this time, all public housing buildings across NSW are kept clean and safe for all residents, NSW Health leads any emergency response plans and procedures if there is a COVID-19 cluster in a public housing tower and most importantly, that the dignity and rights of public housing tenants are protected.
NSW Greens Statement on the opening of WestConnex M8
WestConnex is one of the most expensive transport infrastructure projects that Australia has ever built. The M8 section of tollroad cost more than $4.3b for a 9 km series of tunnels and the St Peters Interchange.
This polluting, private tollroad further locks people who commute in NSW into a highly tolled transport system that’s unsustainable and environmentally unsound.
The social and environmental damage of the M8 has been enormous with homes and green spaces bulldozed and communities broken up and dispersed.
Some of our inner city suburbs, including Newtown, St Peters and Alexandria have been now ringed and carved up by massive above ground, multi-lane roads which will become car parks, as traffic congestion increases and heat sinks, as temperatures rise.
The amount of traffic that will be now funnelled onto local streets and to vibrant King Street is alarming. Roads like Euston Road and Campbell Road have been widened to many lanes around the perimeter of the new St Peters Interchange. This means that traffic will spill out from the Interchange and back up above ground as it is funnelled into smaller residential streets and local roads in the surrounding suburbs.
The King St Gateway was supposed to protect the high street from increased traffic congestion but to date, nothing much has happened. It is unacceptable that local residents and businesses are not being provided with any clear details on this - they are understandably anxious about the impact that this tollroad and the increased congestion will have on their homes and businesses.
Despite this latest opening, there is still no direct connection to Mascot airport or the Port Botany which was the original justification for WestConnex.
The impact on air quality is a major concern for local residents as there will be four large pollution stacks in St Peters – with some in close proximity to St Peters Public school and near local residential apartments.
The impacts for those beyond the inner city, the tolls for the M8 are huge – and tolls are being reintroduced on the existing M5 East. These tolls are some of the highest in Sydney and have made Sydney one of the highest tolled cities in the world.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown
Abigail Boyd MLC, NSW Greens Transport Spokesperson