These are some of the past local issues that we are have worked on with members of the community.
Click here to see the current issues we are working on with the community.
SUCCESS! After many years of advocating with the community, we were pleased to see that the 2019-20 NSW budget set aside $5.4million to upgrade Petersham Station. The planned works include two new lifts connecting the existing footbridge to the Terminus St entrance and the station platform, a new access ramp and stairs from the Trafalgar St entrance to the existing footbridge, additional accessible parking spaces, a formal ‘kiss and ride’ are on Terminus St, new bicycle parking on both sides of the station and accessibility upgrades to the toilets.
Work on the upgrade is now complete and Petersham station is fully accessible for all. You can read more on the accessibility of the station here.
"Hi Jenny, I just wanted to thank you for your campaigning of the state government for increasing accessibility in the inner west. As someone with a disability living in Petersham, the upgrading of Petersham station will open up my world and allow me to access the community more easily".
The accessibility of Petersham station meant so much, not just to us, but to the entire inner west community. It was so lovely to receive this message from a local Petersham resident.
After it was announced that the Australian Technology Park sold off to Mirvac, our office worked hard together with the community to preserve the heritage, living history, innovation and inner-city green space at the ATP and Eveleigh Tram Sheds precinct.
We joined with community groups including REDWatch, the Alexandria Residents Action Group, and the Friends of Erskineville to ensure that these valuable inner city spaces were properly protected.
To help raise awareness of the issue, Jenny made a speech in Parliament about the history and significance of the Australian Technology Park site. She said:
“The Australian Technology Park was once the site of Australia's largest industrial complex, the Eveleigh Railway Workshops. The site has been recognised both nationally and internationally for its heritage significance. The site is equally important for its social and industrial history, being the site of important struggles for historic working conditions including work-free weekends, amenities and fair pay. The Greens have strongly objected to the idea of privatising this site since it was first announced and we will continue to do whatever is possible to ensure that this important heritage site is preserved and remains accessible to the local community.”
Watch Jenny’s speech below or read the full transcript in Hansard here.
In January 2016, our office hosted then Minister for Heritage, Mark Speakman for a tour of the ATP to explore the site and here from local heritage experts about its significance. Following the tour, our office wrote to the Minister to reiterate the calls of the local experts to protect and preserve key elements of the site.
Our office also made a formal submission to Mirvac's development application and lead a campaign encouraging local residents to do the same.
As a result of a fantastic community campaign, the Government worked with Mirvac to ensure that the heritage, living history, innovation and inner-city green space at ATP and Eveleigh Tram Sheds precinct was preserved.
After it was announced that the Liberal government would be pushing ahead with plans to privatise Inner West bus services, our office worked with Greens MP for Balmain Jamie parker, community groups, unions, and others to campaign to keep our public buses in public hands.
Privatising our buses means they are run for a profit, instead of providing the quality public transport for our community. We know that the privatisation of our transport system only leads to fewer services, less reliability and higher fares.
Jenny has spoken out against the privatisation of public transport in Parliament on a number of occasions, including supporting a 10,000 signature petition opposing the privatisation of inner west buses in November 2017:
The Greens are committed to public transport. When we talk about public transport, we mean publicly operated and owned public transport. The idea of public transport being privately run or privately operated is bizarre. It is a completely inappropriate way to manage public transport in this State. The Greens commit to fight every day in this place for public transport to remain in public hands. If the Liberal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure proceeds to privatise inner west bus services then The Greens will call on a future Labor Government to commit to returning that service to public hands. The Greens are committed to seeing all privatised bus networks across the State returned to public hands—because public transport should be in public hands.
Read Jenny's full speech here.
And against the Liberal Government's plan to privatise more public bus services in June 2020:
If we are committed to the idea of creating jobs and having a world-class public transport system in this State, we need to recognise the importance of keeping the system public. We must recognise that if we want to deal with the challenges that face us ahead, we need to do everything we can to create more public jobs and more jobs that are in the interests of serving our community members during this time.
Watch Jenny's full speech in Parliament here.
Over the last five years we've seen a reduction in the quality and quantity of bus services in the Inner West with the removal of bus stops and bus shelters and the privatisation of bus services. Back in 2017, Jenny advocated for the maintenance of bus stops in Stanmore and in Newtown and surrounding suburbs as stops were being 'rationalised' making the distance longer between stops. As we said at the time, public transport should be accessible for everyone and particularly the elderly and parents and those with disabilities who are the ones who are impacted most by a lack of bus stops.
In 2018 Jenny Leong MP,Member for Newtown and Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain jointly called for the Liberal Coalition government to reverse its decision to privatise bus services in the Inner West. And again in 2020 Jenny called for a stop to the ongoing privatisation in a speech in the NSW Parliament.
Public transport needs to be a convenient, safe and accessible option for all users. Not only because it is a sustainable transport option that reduces dangerous carbon emissions, but also because increased use of public transport will ease congestion on our overcrowded roads.
Additionally, we believe that all bus stops should be covered and have seats - which is so important not just for older people but also crucial to protect passengers from the heat and weather when using public transport. We advocated for local commuters when the City of Sydney renewed its contract for bus shelters at the end of 2021 which meant that many bus shelters simply disappeared overnight and were not replaced for many months. This situation comes about because of privatisation - public transport should be kept in public ownership.
The Greens are committed to seeing more investment in public transport. You can read more here.
The Sydney Metro City and Southwest has impacted local residents over many years with compulsory home and substratum acquisitions as well as changes to the heavy rail system which will mean that the Metro line will replace heavy rail services on the Sydenham to Bankstown line by 2024.
Sydney Metro City and Southwest will extend from the end of Sydney Metro Northwest at Chatswood and run under Sydney Harbour, through new CBD stations and south west to Bankstown. It is a massive transport project which has been partially privatised with the NSW Government's Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018 which was opposed by the Greens. You can read Jenny's speech here which calls out the privatisation of public transport and the closures of heavy rail corridors between Bankstown and Parramatta.
The bill established the Sydney Metro corporation as a corporation and a New South Wales Government agency under the Transport Administration Act. While this bill allows the Sydney Metro to be owned by the New South Wales Government and be part of the Government's transport cluster, it gives much broader powers to Sydney Metro, especially in relation to land acquisitions and residential and commercial developments. Our office advocated for local residents in the Newtown Electorate who found themselves unable to sell or take new loans on their properties for long periods due to the government's compulsory substratum acquisitions and bureaucratic delays.
Artist impression of Waterloo Metro Quarter
We've seen massive commercial and housing development proposals above some of the Metro stations on lands which were compulsorily acquired at rates which were under the market rates. These developments will have little or no affordable and/or social housing and community infrastructure such as schools and sporting facilities yet they will bring many thousands more residents into communities where the infrastructure is already inadequate.
In Waterloo where the Waterloo Metro Quarter development has been approved there will be three towers —a 17-storey office building, 24-storey apartment building and a 25-storey student accommodation building (which means that the accommodation in this building will not be subject to affordable housing percentages) as well as commercial and plaza space below with the new Metro station stop. Even though this development is right above a Metro station, there will be huge parking for tenants which will cause further traffic congestion in this densely populated area. This new precinct will cover the area bounded by Botany Road, Cope Street, Raglan Street and Wellington Street in Waterloo and yet it will not even have a community centre - which was planned but revised into a privatised childcare centre. More information here and here.
The Greens do not support the privatisation of public transport, lands and airspace such as is occurring in relation to Metro stations and believe that public transport must be publicly owned and managed, and that any Metro housing and commercial developments must include significant numbers of affordable and social housing as well as adequate community infrastructure.
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