Category Archives: State politics

Lock The Gate community action

Image from Lock The Gate alliance website

Let’s all get behind the Lock The Gate Alliance and protect the Australian environment

Many Australians are against the exploration of and drilling for coal seam gas in protected areas, national parks, on our most fertile agricultural plains as well as in and around cities and towns. Continue reading

NSW state elections

Election posters at the Nicholson Street booth in Balmain 26 March 2011

The signs are out for a massive swing against the Labor Government: these signs lead voters to the Nicholson Street booth in East Balmain

It looks like it will be a blood bath for Labor in this election. In Balmain, Verity Firth is running her campaign under the banner, Keep Verity. I ask myself why would we? For any of the big issues affecting the people of Balmain which forms a significant part of her electorate, she was noticeable only by her lack of action. Jamie Parker, the Green candidate, looked more like the compassionate, caring Labor person.

On the Barangaroo redevelopment that is opposed by many local councils, the National Trust of Australia, numerous respected members of the community and locals in surrounding districts including Balmain, Verity (a member of cabinet) did absolutely nothing and said virtually nothing.

On Baileys Marine Refueling Depot dumped on the Balmain foreshore (where there should be recreational space as it is one of the best vantage points on the inner harbour), Verity did nothing.

When Sting was going to perform on New Year’s Eve on the old vehicle terminal at White Bay, Verity violently opposed the concert because of the noise: it’s New Year’s Eve. Give me a break, Verity.

As for the rest of the Labor Government, the Premier and the the lot of them, don’t tell people like me that you want a fair go for the people of New South Wales. Barangaroo – you supported big business over the people’s wishes, Baileys Marine Refueling – same. And if I lived in the Hunter region which is being destroyed with mining, I’d be furious.

I’m not saying the Liberals would be any different. I don’t trust them either. The Friends of Barangaroo have been calling for a full enquiry into the process for granting Lend Lease the right to develop (overdevelop) the area. The O’Farrell team remain pretty much mute on the subject.

From my perspective, it’s time all politicians embraced renewable energy options, stopped damaging the environment with coal and gas mines, and started thinking about how, as a state, we can provide an exemplary vision for the future that doesn’t bow to the pressures of large development corporations such as Lend Lease and the like.

If the Keneally Government had been in power when the Opera House was on the drawing board, I’d hate to think what monstrosity would be sitting there today.

Campaign against Baileys Refuelling Depot at East Balmain builds support

The community of Balmain came out in force today in Darling Street outside Woolies to campaign against the refuelling depot planned for the prime residential area of East Balmain.

Young children holding placards in protest of the Baileys Refuelling Depot proposed for East Balmain

The campaign heats up in Darling Street Balmain as residents muster support from locals

It was a sea of  ‘Stop Baileys’ banners, people discussing the implications, signing petitions. Even the kids are keen to make sure that the refuelling facility does not go ahead.

From the support of the shoppers and locals, this campaign is only going to get stronger. And the protesters are going to keep up the fight. With only a 10 year lease, the campaign will be working firstly to stop the depot in the first place and secondly to ensure that the lease will not be renewed in 202o thus making the whole project potentially nonviable.

John Stomolis, left, with local residents fighting against the Baileys fuel depot planned for East Balmain

Balmain residents out in force in Balmain on Saturday 17 October to protest against Baileys Fuel Depot

The residents of Balmain were promised a consultative process for the redevelopment of White Bay with promises of community and recreational facilities. So far, all the State Government has delivered is industrial [money making] projects that will do nothing to enhance one of the most desirable suburbs in Sydney.

Notable absence at the protest this morning in Balmain was local state member, Verity Firth.

Write to Verity and other cabinet ministers and the directors of Baileys Marine to object to this obscene plan to dump 400 o00 of fuel in the middle of East Balmain residences. See a draft email to use.

Read more about the consequences of putting a refuelling depot in Balmain.

Go to the Stop Baileys website for more information and to join the campaign. We need your support right now.

Email today to stop the Baileys refuelling depot at East Balmain

WRITE TO A MINISTER OF MLA MEMBER TODAY
Write to:
the Premier – currently Kristina Keneally
the Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly (Sharon Armstrong is given as the email contact name on the Minister’s website)
the local State Labor member, Labor’s Verity Firth

Ask the opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell, what he intends to do to stop the Bailey’s refuelling depot going ahead should he be elected Premier. If it came down to it, many Inner West Labor voters could well vote Liberal if there were guarantees to stop Bailey’s.

Let’s not forget the Greens. Write a letter asking for them to raise the issue in Parliament and for their support of the campaign to stop the refuelling depot. Here’s a few: Ian Cohen, Cate Faehrmann, John Kaye, David Shoebridge. Who knows, the Greens may end up with the balance of power in State Parliament and we want to make sure that the Bailey’s plan for intensive refuelling operations right next door to people’s homes does not go ahead.

Send your objection directly to Bailey’s Marine: Scott Bailey, Managing Director; Guy Bailey, Director.

Get a sample protest email to start your ‘stop baileys’ campaign. Here’s another sample protest email.

Read the Inner West Courier article on the proposed Green Ban to halt the Bailey’s plan.

Go to the Stop Baileys website for more information and to join the campaign. We need your support right now.

You can also visit the Balmain Rozelle community website to lodge your objection to the refuelling depot.

Example email to object to Bailey’s refuelling depot at White Bay

Local residents of Balmain campaign to stop the Baileys Refueling Depot at White Bay / East Balmain

Local residents of Balmain campaign to stop the Baileys Refueling Depot at White Bay / East Balmain

Here is something that you may like to copy and paste into your email or change into your own words.

Whatever you choose, the residents of Balmain and all those who want community recreational development of valuable harbour foreshore, please act now to stop this development.

I object to Bailey’s Refuelling Depot being built at White Bay’s headland. This foreshore area should be set aside for recreational facilities for the people of Sydney. It should not go ahead without the master plan for the development of White Bay promised by the Labor State Government in 2007.

The State Government and Baileys Marine need to change the location to a more appropriate location of the harbour – not 40 metres from residences. This is a high density residential area and this foreshore area should be developed for the people of Sydney to enjoy. It should not have a smelly, hazardous refuelling depot.

The decision to put Baileys at East Balmain was absolutely wrong. You have not listened. We said ‘no’ to Baileys. 900 submissions at an independent hearing said ‘no to Baileys’. Baileys must go.

Together, the residents of Balmain and the people of Sydney can stop this travesty from occurring. I urge everyone to take 10 minutes to send emails to members of State Parliament, Bailey’s Marine and the media.

See a list of state parliamentarians and Baileys Directors to click on names to send an email easily.

Go to the Stop Baileys website for more information and to join the campaign. We need your support right now.

Stop the Bailey’s refuelling depot at East Balmain

Luxury homes in East Balmain are a stone's throw from the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot with 400,000 litres of fuel

Luxury homes in East Balmain are a stone's throw from the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot with 400,000 litres of fuel

Balmain Labor voters – and all voters – will take their revenge at the next election if this State Government allows the Bailey’s refuelling depot to go ahead at White Bay Wharf 6 which is, in fact, in East Balmain.

It seems the State Labor Government doesn’t give a fig about people’s lives when it comes to making a buck as it has approved the building of a refuelling depot right in the midst of one of the most desirable residential addresses in Sydney, East Balmain.

Banner with the words 'no fuel depot' put up by angry residents at East Balmain to stop the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot

Banner put up by angry residents at East Balmain to stop the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot

The depot has the capacity to hold 400 000 litres of fuel literally metres from high density housing. It will operate 365 days a year, with a capacity to operate 24/7 and after hours refuelling will be unsupervised.In 2008, a special independent review heard compelling technical experts argue against the Bailey’s development at White Bay. In addition, Sydney’s feul and barge operators have said that White Bay is an inappropriate place to locate the refuelling depot and that the Bailey’s proposal is an inefficient way to provide fuel in Sydney Harbour.

Say no to the planned refuelling depot across from the Sydney CBD

Say no to the planned refuelling depot across from the Sydney CBD

The Leichhardt Municipal Council has been campaigning against the proposal for five years. Residents are furious. This valuable harbourside land should be developed as parkland with amenities that attract Balmain residents and visitors from further afield to picnic and enjoy this wonderful harbour waterfront.With the State Election coming up, now is the time to write to those who can overturn the decision.

See a list of State Ministers and members with an example email to register your objection – starting with the Premier, Kristina Keneally.

Send your objection directly to Bailey’s Marine: Scott Bailey, Managing Director; Guy Bailey, Director.

See a draft email to use when sending your objection email.

Go to the Stop Baileys website for more information and to join the campaign. We need your support right now.

You can also visit the Balmain Rozelle community website to lodge your objection to the refuelling depot.

Read the Inner West Courier article on the proposed Green Ban to halt the Bailey’s plan.

 

Example objection email to Bailey’s refuelling depot

People power can stop the refuelling depot

Here is an example of an objection email to Government ministers. Yes, we can make a difference!

I totally object to the proposed refuelling depot at White Bay in the heart of East Balmain, one of our premier residential areas of Sydney for the following reasons.

1. Balmain is one of the most desired residential addresses in Sydney. The proposed intensive refuelling operations have the capacity to operate 24/7 with marine fuel tanks that can store 400,000 litres. It makes no sense whatsoever to put such a facility next door to a prime residential area.

2. This magnificent harbour location should be set aside for public usage with parks and outdoor facilities and transport access (ferries, water taxis). The refuelling depot will be an eye-sore on our beautiful harbour, off limits to the public and not predominately for a few thousand wealthy power boat owners. The current usage is a container wharf but these are being removed gradually and being replaced by common public access areas.

3. The inner Sydney Harbour is a major tourist attraction. Sydney attracts $5 billion p.a. in tourism dollars. It makes no sense to put a powerboat refuelling depot right in the middle of this valuable harbour environment. Not to mention the environmental issues surrounding such a facility!

As a citizen of this state, I request that the building of a refuelling depot at White Bay be overturned and that this valuable harbourside land be designated for public use for all to enjoy.

Regards

Write to a minister of MLA member today

Write to:
the Premier – currently Kristina Keneally
the Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly (BTW, Sharon is the contact name on the email address on Mr Kelly’s website)
the local State Labor member, Labor’s Verity Firth

Ask the opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell, what he intends to do to stop the Bailey’s refuelling depot going ahead should he be elected Premier. If it came down to it, many Inner West Labor voters could well vote Liberal if there were guarantees to stop Bailey’s.

Let’s not forget the Greens. Write a letter asking for them to raise the issue in Parliament and for their support of the campaign to stop the refuelling depot. Here’s a few: Ian Cohen, Cate Faehrmann, John Kaye, David Shoebridge. Who knows, the Greens may end up with the balance of power in State Parliament and we want to make sure that the Bailey’s plan for intensive refuelling operations right next door to people’s homes does not go ahead.

Send your objection directly to Bailey’s Marine: Scott Bailey, Managing DirectorGuy Bailey, Director.

Visit the Stop Baileys website and register your objection.

Redevelopment of Barangaroo needs to be for the people

What is the actual plan for the redevelopment? This image shows some building actually built over the Harbour.

I endorse Phillip Cox’s call that the proposed redevelopment at Barangaroo needs to be ‘seriously reviewed as pocket park development providing usable civic space for the people of Sydney who live and work there’ (Letters, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September, 2010).

We’ve completely lost the original winning design to a Lend Lease monstrosity that Mr Cox argues will end up a bleak ‘sunless series of residue spaces … dominated by an indifferent hotel that has no architectural possibility of being iconic’.

The whole process for the redevelopment of Barangaroo should start again with the goal to provide open public space, low-rise public and community buildings set into the existing landscape. The space is perfect for a series of spaces for community gatherings, places of entertainment, parks, gardens, places for celebrations.

One plan from 2006 put forward for redevelopment of Barangaroo with low rise buildings and lots of open space
The return on investment for Barangaroo should not be about how much money the State Government can get but about what the site can give back to the people of Sydney

It is too valuable a space in the city to destroy with overblown, sun-sapping high-rise buildings that will benefit the builder, Lend Lease, and leave the people of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia bereft of a central part of the city.

Barangaroo also needs to retain the passenger wharf for ocean liners. If these big ships can dock at Circular Quay in the heart of the city, there’s no reason why the passenger wharf can’t stay at Barangaroo. Moving it to White Bay is utter madness causing even greater conjestion on the Balmain Peninsula and making access to the city difficult for passengers. But of course, it is Lend Lease again who benefits from moving the wharf because they get to build on even more land. And let’s not forget that their design plans to reclaim some of Sydney Harbour.

Another view of proposed Lend Lease highrise at Barangaroo that will block sun and light
Say no to the overdevelopment of Barangaroo – write to a state politician today!

The question is: has the Labor Government got the strength of character to take notice of the criticisms from the people of Sydney, the Australian Institute of Architects, and other prominent civil citizens and stop the current over-development which will be a blight on our city for generations to come? It’s a long question but an important one. The waterfront of Sydney Harbour belongs to the people and Barangaroo should be developed for the enjoyment of Sydneysiders, all Australians and overseas visitors, not just a few wealthy business people and tourists.

Here’s another question. What is Barry O’Farrell’s position on this? I might be mistaken but we’ve heard nothing from him about his views. Given the cozy relationship in the past between the conservative Liberals and multinational companies such as Lend Lease, we all can expect the worst. Barry, do you endorse the Lend Lease monstrosity? Come on, Barry, tell us what you will do if you win the election.

Footnote: The public interest in Barangaroo is only going to increase as more people realize what a travesty the current Lend Lease project is. Public forums have attracted huge numbers of people who oppose the plans. Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, has resigned from the Barangaroo Delivery Authority overseeing the project. The Mayors of Leichhardt and North Sydney oppose the project as do many constituents in these electorates. We’re growing in numbers and we’re not going away.

Write to a minister of MLA member today

We can make a difference and make sure our harbour foreshore is developed for the people of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia.

Write to:
the Premier – currently Kristina Keneally
the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor
the local State Labor member, Labor’s Verity Firth

Ask the opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell, what he intends to do about the redevelopment of Barangaroo and reversing the decision to hand over control of the development to one multinational development company, Lend Lease, a company, one could argue, does not have the people’s interest at heart.

Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister may also be interested to hear what we have to say about this. Bob Hawke stopped the Franklin Dam. Julia could stop Barangaroo.

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.

Sale of Sydney ferries still up for grabs

It seems that the Labor Conference last weekend did not resolve the issue of whether Sydney ferries will be sold by this state’s Labor Government to a private operator. There is huge resistance to such a sale as most Sydneysiders understand that a public transport service is not about making money but about providing a safe, efficient means of transport that happens to take pressure off the roads.

At the conference, delegates passed a resolution that demanded any proposal to privatise or franchise the ferries would need to be approved by the party and not just by the cabinet.

However, it is not sure that the Rees Government will abide by the resolution. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 2009), a spokeswoman said that the  ‘market-testing’ process (read, steps to privatise) would go ahead as planned for a final decision later this year.

However, it is not just the Maritime and other unions that are determined to ensure that Sydney Ferries stays a part of the public and publicly-owned transport system. From the meeting at the Balmain Town Hall recently, there is huge community support for the campaign to keep Sydney ferries in public hands.

Watch this space!