NSW Greens spokesperson for WestConnex and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP has condemned the Sydney Motorway Corporation’s latest land grab of an extra 6,000 square metres from Sydney Park and surrounding areas.
"It’s been abundantly clear since the St Peter’s interchange was announced that WestConnex will have a devastating impact on Sydney Park, but this latest land grab will mean that approximately 3 ½ acres of public green space will be taken from this area.Read more
The NSW Government has known for three years that the process for valuing homes forcibly acquired for major infrastructure projects - including WestConnex - is unfair to home owners.
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald (p1) this morning a parliamentary committee chaired by Liberal MP Matt Kean found the compulsory acquisition system is "unfair and inadequate". Yet the Government has forged ahead, acquiring a number of homes along the WestConnex route, with many more targeted for acquisition in the coming months.
MP for Newtown and NSW Greens WestConnex spokesperson Jenny Leong has called for a moratorium on all home acquisitions until a fair process has been determined and an independent inquiry of WestConnex has been undertaken.
“This is yet another reason why the construction of WestConnex needs to be halted until a full inquiry is undertaken. With the whole WestConnex project looking shakier by the day, people should not be forced out of their communities for what is looking more and more likely to be a failed project.Read more
The Baird Government has confirmed their plans for forced amalgamations of local councils across the state, in the face of growing community opposition.
According to the State Government’s plan, Marrickville Council will be merged with Ashfield and Leichhardt Councils. This is despite clear indications that residents in the Marrickville LGA do not want their Council to be merged and strong public statements by the Liberal Government before the election that they would not force amalgamations.
Member for Newtown Jenny Leong says:
“Residents expect good local representation. Under this plan the size of LGAs will increase dramatically, but the number of Councillors won’t. That will give residents less access to their Local Councillors, reducing the ability for local advocacy.
“Marrickville Council is known for delivering local services that cater to our community. We fear that those localised services, like Council run-childcare, community festivals – and the Magic Yellow Bus - are under threat.Read more
As Australia’s performing arts sector is reeling from the announcement that many performing arts companies have lost their federal funding along with drastic cuts to peak national arts organisations, the real impact will be felt by many artists and arts organisations in NSW.
In the wake of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) announcements, Screen Australia will lose $10.4 million over four years, which is the third cut to the funding body for local film and television in 18 months, while a 3% efficiency dividend has been imposed on federally funded galleries, museums and art galleries who will lose $36.8 million.
And while Screen Australia’s budget shrinks, an additional $47.3 million will go towards international films shot in Australia over the next two years - Ridley Scott’s new Alien film and the third Thor movie.
NSW Greens spokesperson for the Arts and Creative Industries Jenny Leong MP said, “This is a terrible blow to our cultural life and to our ability to tell Australian stories, with savage cuts to key arts organisations and to our emerging artists which will impact on us all for decades to come.Read more
NSW Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong, which covers the Redfern area, and Jan Barham, Housing spokesperson have responded to today’s announcement that a private Metro station will be built in Waterloo highlighting the serious housing concerns.
Two thousand existing public housing residences will be demolished to make way for the development.
Member for Newtown Jenny Leong says:
“The announcement by the state Government today will see Urban Growth taking over the development of large parts of our Redfern/Waterloo public housing community. This is cause for serious concern – not because redevelopment of public housing isn’t needed, but because Urban Growth’s track record in our area has seen some pretty devastating outcomes – including the selloff of the Australian Technology Park site and massive proposed overdevelopment at North Eveleigh.
“While we acknowledge the Government’s commitment that the number of social housing dwellings will be maintained in the new development, we need to ensure that these dwellings will continue to house the same number of residents.
“We have seen cases of redevelopment of public housing where the number of dwellings has been maintained but with a significant reduction in size. As a minimum we need a commitment that there will be no reduction in the number of bedrooms or number of residents that can be housed.Read more
Under the new ‘Clean Air Agreement’ NSW has opted for air pollution standards below World Health Organisation guidelines.
State ministers were divided on appropriate levels of the dangerous PM10 particles. According to reports, the decision to allow a threshold over WHO recommendations was driven by NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman. Stricter standards have been self-imposed by Victoria and the ACT.
The decisions have implications for WestConnex and the levels of emissions released by traffic along its route.
Member for Newtown and Greens spokesperson for WestConnex Jenny Leong MP said: “We don’t have to look far to see why the NSW Government is so opposed to meeting the recommended levels for PM10 pollution given that the polluting WestConnex tollway, one of the state’s most significant infrastructure projects, won’t meet those standards.Read more
In the wake of the release of the updated WestConnex Business Case and the New M5 EIS the Greens have criticised the federal government for ruling out a review of the project that has now shown a multi-billion dollar blowout in total costs.
Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong said “With the cost of the WestConnex blowing out from the initial $10 billion to $16.8 billion, this project should be urgently reviewed.
“Neither the WestConnex Business Case or the new M5 EIS adequately address the fundamental issue of public transport solutions but instead offer spurious benefit cost figures based on questionable financial benefits to the NSW economy.
“This is just Utopia-style spin and unfortunately the outcome for locals will be more congestion and polluted air.Read more
Residents on and around Alice St in Newtown are celebrating after the Land and Environment Court refused an appeal by the development company Al Maha to expand their Alice St development.
Al Maha’s Development Application (DA) to add additional storeys to the block was refused by Marrickville Council twice earlier this year. Both Council and surrounding residents are concerned that development beyond the approved 5-storeys will be too high-density for the area, where public space, amenities and public transport are already under pressure.Read more
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong today announced a win for inner city cyclists and bike commuters, with confirmation of 50 secure bike spaces to be installed at Redfern Station.
This announcement is part of a NSW Government active transport initiative, which will install secure bike sheds at more than 40 train stations and transport interchanges around Sydney and surrounding regions.
Ms Leong said, "This is a fantastic initiative for people who ride to Redfern station every day, giving them free, secure bike storage.
“It’s recognition that bike riders are entitled to facilities like this as they are actively promoting healthy and sustainable commuter options and easing congestion on the roads.Read more