This week I launched Elsie Walk - a laneway in Glebe named in honour of Australia's first women's refuge and also hosted a City Talk about how to foster innovation in Sydney with Chris Anderson, founder of TED, and a panel including Nick Leeder (Google), Hael Kobayashi (UTS), Ann Mossop (Opera House), Mark Scott OA (ABC) and David Vandenberg (Fishburners).
(Photo: David Vandenberg, Nick Leeder, me and MC Adam Spencer)
I debated why same sex marriage should be legalised at an IQ2 debate and took part in the Government's latest roundtable about light rail.
This week there's also been a lot of discussion about a Development Application (DA) for a tattoo parlour in Kings Cross that was approved by staff under delegated authority in February.
A human error meant Councillors (including myself) weren't briefed about the DA ahead of its approval and so the DA wasn't brought to a Council meeting for determination. While I am disappointed with what has happened it's important to note that the DA was legally approved under NSW planning law.
The DA was placed on public exhibition and submissions were received - including one from NSW Police. Staff considered all the submissions and imposed a number of conditions on the approval that were requested by Police.
The DA was approved under state planning laws which determine what councils can and can't take into account when assessing development applications.
The fact that Councillors weren't briefed about this DA is a serious issue and so I have called an extraordinary Council meeting for Monday to discuss this matter and an independent probity investigation is also underway.
On Tuesday night I'll be joining residents and businesses in Kings Cross as well as Police, state government agencies and representatives from the hospitality industry to talk about practical ways we can improve the amenity of the area (more information below). I hope you can join us.