Clover's eNews - No 559

This week I met with international night-time economy expert Dr Phil Hadfield, who was in Sydney sharing his research on what makes a great night-time city. Dr Hadfield was briefing our industry roundtable, made up of key people with an interest in improving Sydney at night, including Assistant NSW Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch. Dr Hadfield told us that night time economies in Europe and the US require coordination between police, council, licensees, venues, retailers, transport operators and health providers to be successful. His research and the findings from our extensive consultation will be analysed and reported back to the community in October.

City staff also welcomed Curtin University's PSurry Hills LIbrary and Community Centrerofessor Peter Newman, in Sydney talking about his research which shows that cities investing in light and heavy rail are seeing real increases in public transport use. In these cities, higher petrol cost means more people in outer suburbs are leaving the car at the train station and using public transport to get to work.

Public dental care in NSW is appalling and I spoke to the issue in Parliament this week. NSW has the lowest funding per capita for any state or territory - only $23.20 per person compared to $54.61 per person spent in Tasmania. People on low incomes suffer the most. Many are unable to afford fees for private dental services and face long waits for care at the Sydney Dental Hospital. The NSW Government must increase funding for public dental services, develop a plan to help more dentists to provide public treatment and place more emphasis on the prevention of dental problems.

Awaiting debate in Parliament is my Private Members bill giving councils the power to make it illegal for backpackers to sell their vehicles on certain streets where they are causing inconvenience to residents and business. In the meantime, I met with local residents and business owners today on Victoria Street, Potts Point to discuss opportunities to beautify and improve Victoria Street. I continue to be impressed with how active this community is and I reaffirm my commitment to addressing the ongoing problem with backpacker vehicles.

I also met with East Redfern residents to discuss their concerns about fast moving traffic and rat running in their area. I have been working with residents on these issues since my first petition about traffic on Bourke Street in the early 80's. Though things have improved a lot - it's now a much more pedestrian friendly area. However there are new problems because of a dramatic increase in residential development in the Green Square area. I look forward to working with residents to solve the problem.

I also had a look at some inspiring new office space at the GPT Group's new MLC Centre. Flexible workspaces, secure cycling spaces, shower facilities, as well as a first aid room that doubles as a child-friendly space. Even the CEO has his own locker. GPT group is a founding member of our Better Buildings Partnership, a coalition of major building owners working with us to reach our sustainability targets.

Finally, Council's committees will consider 31 reports this Monday, including the public exhibition of our draft Greening Sydney Plan; exciting proposals for Perry Park, Alexandria; various park improvements; allocation of our annual grants; and tenders relating to our New Year's Eve celebrations, building energy and water efficiency retrofits and energy efficient street lighting.

This week:

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