Inner City Mayors Meeting

(12pm 15 Nov 2011, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)

Hello, everyone, and welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the traditional custodians of our land, and to acknowledge the 200 nationalities who now call Sydney home.

A special welcome to those of you who are here for the first time:

  • Mayor Morris Hanne of Marrickville
  • Mayor Scott Nash of Randwick and
  • Mayor Lyall Kennedy of Ashfield.

The aim of these forums is to find solutions of issues affecting residents and workers in the inner city. The most pressing of these concern transport, affordable housing, and issues around climate change.

They concern all of us and can best be dealt with by a cooperative approach. It's the only way we'll be able to get better outcomes for our communities and they certainly are expecting us to take action on these issues.

It's also the only way we will get the State and Federal Governments to listen to us and to take our concerns seriously.

We've already shown what we can do by working together.

For example, we have developed the Inner Sydney Regional Bike Plan. This identifies priority routes across inner Sydney and the development of implementation plans for each local government area.

People are already on their bikes in increasing numbers. This plan will make cycling a safer and easier transport option, reducing pollution and congestion.

We've developed the Inner Sydney Affordable Housing Strategy and secured funding to identify potential sites across the inner city.

We've worked on joint submissions on planning changes proposed by the NSW Government and continued our advocacy for the light-rail extension to the inner west. Construction on the Dulwich Hill extension is now underway.

These Mayors' meetings also act as an important forum for sharing information and knowledge - whether it's about green infrastructure such as trigeneration and LED lighting or sustainable transport initiatives or our efforts to support a safer and more varied night-time economy.

Now are priorities include identifying 20 potential affordable housing sites in the inner city and advocating for support from other organisations and levels of government to deliver it.

We want to implement the Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network and develop inner city transport options - once again, continuing our advocacy with governments and agencies to deliver those options.

We need to review the LED lighting trials and call on other government and organisations to implement LED lighting across inner Sydney.

And of course we will continue to share information on all the issues that are common to us all.

I hope you'll find these forums useful.

Today City staff will take you through our work on OPEN, developing Sydney's late night economy which makes a significant contribution to the State's economy, as well as to our reputation as a thriving global city.

We'll also give you an update on our Streetshare projects to make cycling a safer and more acceptable transport mode. Building cycleways is one part of the equation but education and behaviour change - for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists themselves - is another aspect we need to work on.

Once again, thank you all for your time today, and before I hand over to Suzie Mathews to talk about the late night economy, I suggest we go round the table for introductions….