Category Archives: Community stuff

How poor are you?

Image of $2 coins

If you think you are doing it tough on $150K, think about the Aussies earning much less than 49 000.

We read a lot in the media about how a family on $150 000 a year in Australia is reported as ‘struggling’ to make ends meet – the new middle class poor. Continue reading


Defend our harbour foreshore meeting at Sydney Town Hall, Tuesday 3 August 2010

For many moons now the Balmain-Rozelle community, Leichhardt Councillors and concerned citizens have been lobbying the State Labour Government to develop a proper masterplan for the development of White Bay. The State Government wants to put a refuelling depot right in the middle one of the most desired residential suburbs in Sydney and to throw in the International Cruise Terminal as well.

The cruise terminal is currently situated at Bangaroo on the city side of the harbour and this is where it belongs. It was always planned to be at Bangaroo. The proposed shift of the cruise terminal to Balmain Rozelle is to allow for a hotel to be built by developers at Bangaroo.

A community meeting is being held at Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday 3 August 201o at 6.00pm. Councillors from Sydney City Council, Leichhardt Council, North Sydney Council and Wollahra Council, architects, town planners, numerous community groups and concerned citizens are meeting to form an alliance against draconian planning laws and developer interests that have allowed this situation to occur.

Significantly, the cruise ship industry has said that the cruise ship terminal does not logically belong at White Bay on the Balmain side of the harbour. It is evident to all the residents that they are correct.

The foreshore of Balmain should reflect the interests of the residential community with parks and other public ammenities. The walkway around the Glebe Point foreshore is a great example of community action getting  great result for the community, not only the Glebe residents, but for all who enjoy the foreshore pathway.

The Labor State Government (and any future state government) would do well to listen to the views of its constituents.  If you want a development plan for Sydney Harbour’s foreshore at Bangaroo and White Bay that enhances our beautiful harbour, come along on Tuesday 3 August to the Sydney Town Hall.

Community vegetable garden in Balmain

A community vegetable garden grows on a footpath in East Balmain, Sydney

An experimental community garden in East Balmain, Sydney Australia

On an early evening walk the other day, Bill and I happened across an ‘experimental community garden’ which had all manner of organic vegetables growing. There it was on a footpath – three small hand-built planter boxes growning spinach, herbs and tomatoes.

The sign simply said:

Experimental Community Garden: you are welcome to pick what you need for your next meal … all of the seedlings are ‘heirloom variety available from Anyone can contribute. Water is mostly recycled while the soil is mostly organic garden compost which is topped up periodically. No herbicides have been used.

I’m not sure whether this is part of a community garden project or just something that the local community has started. We have parkland near us at East Balmain that is rarely used, some of which could be turned into another community garden. Bill and I have been talking about it for some time so the wonder of finding one in Balmain already has spurred us on to talk to our local councillor about getting our community garden going.

Love to hear if others are starting their own community gardens or if you belong to a network like