Erskineville Town Hall re-opening and Ashmore Estate DCP

(11am, Saturday 23 March 2013, Erskineville Town Hall)

Hello, everyone. Welcome. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

Welcome to the re-opening of our refurbished Town Hall . Welcome also to Uncle Max who'll shortly conduct the traditional smoking ceremony.

Apart from showing you the work we've done here, it's also an opportunity to show you how this rejuvenated Town Hall - still going strong in its 75th year - can work for your community.

We've made it structurally sound with extensive repairs to the brickwork. This included repointing all the external facades, rebuilding the parapets, fixing cracks and replacing deteriorated brick ties and joints.

All window lintels have been replaced, and reroofed the building.

We demolished joinery that wasn't original, reinstated the original stage, put in new floors (including a timber floor in the main hall) and painted the building throughout.

As well as upgrading the electrical services and lighting, and putting solar panels on the roof, we've installed an environmentally sustainable heating and cooling system.

Finally, we installed a new ramp at the front entry to make the building more easily accessible, and replaced the old "South Sydney City Council" lettering over the portico with Erskineville Town Hall in an identical type and font size.

This local landmark can now serve your community into the future.

Today, I also encourage you to have a look at the Ashmore Estate DCP and the Goodman site LEP amendments which you can see on the presentation boards and discuss with our staff. These have come out of the extensive consultations we've held with the community.

As a result of our representations, we achieved an important victory when the Planning Minister agreed that 19 storeys was completely out of character and would be reduced to the original proposed 9 storeys.

What we have now is the result of the consultation and investigation of the issues you raised during the exhibition period. These included the provision of services, traffic issues and design issues, and City staff are available to discuss them with you.

Not all the issues have been entirely resolved but we are continuing to work with you and with the Government to ensure future needs - particularly regarding issues like transport - are met.

The City also recently consulted about parking in Erskineville, following the work we did in Alexandria and an independent parking study of the area, we asked residents if they would like the introduction or extended timed parking restrictions on their streets. Four streets supported parking changes, three of which were endorsed by the City's Traffic Committee on Wednesday.

Signs will soon be installed in those streets and the 4th street will be considered by the Traffic Committee in April.

On Monday, council will vote on publically exhibiting a draft parking policy for all areas within the City Of Sydney. This is an opportunity for you to have a say on concerns you still have about parking in your area and provide your ideas for improvements to shape Council's new policy.

I encourage you to look at that draft policy and make a submission when it goes formally on exhibition, probably after the Easter school holidays next month.

Today is also an opportunity for you to find out more about a number of Council activities in the area, with displays and city staff available to talk with you about:

  • sustainability programs
  • cycling programs
  • customer service
  • Sydney Park water re-use
  • the City Farm, which is today doing its summer harvest at Sydney Park
  • the new Coulson Street through-link under construction
  • matching grants
  • community gardens
  • business precincts program
  • planning controls
  • kids map activity.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

So thank you for coming here today. I officially declare a renewed Erskineville Town Hall officially opened.