Traffic Committee to Formally Recognise Pedestrians and Cyclists

Pedestrians, cyclists and calm local streets will be formally recognised in the City's traffic management and planning if Council supports the unanimous recommendation of the Monday's meeting of the Planning, Development and Transport committee to rename Sydney Traffic CommitteeThe committee will be renamed the Local Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee to reflect the Committee's aims, objectives and the matters it considers.The Committee is an open monthly meeting chaired by the City and attended by the Roads and Traffic Authority, State Transit Authority, Police, Transport Workers Union, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and a Cycling representative. As Member for Sydney, I am represented by a local resident on the committee, as is the Member for Heffron and the Member for Marrickville.The Committee manages activities which occur on streets and footpaths across the City, which may include applications for street events, changes in parking, introduction of car share spaces, pedestrian amenity, traffic calming measures and cycleway projects.Information The Committee meets on the third Wednesday of the month Planning, Development and Transport Committee Report Related information: | Transport | eNews

Chinese New Year Festival Concludes This Weekend

The City's 15th Chinese New Year Festival concludes this weekend with spectacular Dragon Boat Races on Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour. Twelve metre long boats, decorated to feature a dragon head and tail, seat up to 22 people who paddle to drumbeats as they compete to reach the finish line first. Thousands of people are expected to line the harbour to watch over 3000 people take part in the races throughout the day.The final weekend of the Festival also features live performances, films, exhibitions, talks, tours and the Australian Chinese Community Association's Chinese New Year Banquet.Several exhibitions featuring in the Festival program will continue beyond Sunday. They include The First Emperor: China's Entombed Warriors and Homage to the Ancestors: Ritual Art from the Ancient Chu Kingdom, both at the Art Gallery of NSW. Homage to Ancestors, which I welcomed to the Art Gallery on Wednesday, is being presented in conjunction with the Chinese government and Hubei province. Over 250 people from Hubei have travelled to Sydney to take part in our Chinese New Year celebrations. The exhibition features bronze vessels, lacquer wares, jades and bronze bells from the Hubei Provincial Museum.Information Chinese New Year Festival: Until 13 February: Dragon Boat Races, Saturday 12 and Sunday13 February, 8am to 5pm, Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour The First Emperor: China's Entombed Warriors: Art Gallery of NSW until Sunday 13 March. Homage to the Ancestors: Ritual Art from the Ancient Chu Kingdom: Art Gallery of NSW until Tuesday 26 April. Exhibition information: Related information: | Arts & Culture | eNews

Planning Minister Silent on Late Night Violence

One day after Council adopted refinements to our Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan (DCP) 2007, the Planning Minister directed us to revoke them, without explanation.The amendments to the current DCP were adopted following extensive community and industry consultation and support from residents, the Police Association, Australian Medical Association and the Nurses Association whose members see the devastating effects of alcohol fuelled violence first hand every weekend.Contrary to an ugly and misleading campaign financed by a few anonymous people with industry interests, the DCP amendments had nothing to do with a blanket shut down of Sydney's nightlife.Our nightlife economy is strong and I want it to stay that way. Under the DCP, many venues can operate until late. Good operators need not fear their hours will be restricted.This is about creating a vibrant city night life. I believe that the City should have many options for people visiting at night and that is what the small bars campaign was about.What our amendments do is simply ensure that unsafe and poorly managed venues are not rewarded with later trading particularly those where violent, anti-social behaviour results in attacks on patrons, fights spilling out onto the streets, serious disturbances to neighbourhoods and police and paramedics continually being called to respond.The amendments are minor. They include grammatical corrections, removing references to legislation and planning instruments that no longer exist, updating maps and making adjustments to recognise new powers given to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.Given they were so minor, the City has sought clarification about the Minister's concerns and his reason for ordering it be entirely revoked. It's been two months and we still have heard nothing. I am concerned he is simply bowing to pressure by vested industry interests.On Monday, Council's Planning, Development and Transport Committee will consider publicly exhibiting the changes ordered by the Minister, as required by State legislation.Members of the public are welcome to address Councillors at that Committee meeting.Information The Planning Policy Sub-Committee meets from 4.30pm, Monday 7 February. The report is available at For more information contact Ben Chamie, City Plan Development Unit on 9265 9333 or at To address the Committee, register to speak by calling Council's Secretariat on 9265 9310 before 12 noon.

Harold Park on the Agenda

Following extensive public consultation, Council will consider adopting proposed new planning controls for the Harold Park site that will ensure that the 35 per cent of previously private open space on the site will become 35 per cent of public open space.The controls also provide land for affordable housing, community space in the Tram Sheds, and an $8.25 million developer contribution toward creating the park and essential infrastructure.The report to Council's Planning, Development and Transport Committee on Monday carefully reviews submissions from the recent public exhibition. It recommends that Council endorse the proposal, with key elements unchanged from the exhibited plan.The report recommends Council adopt building heights in the exhibited plan because the development in the valley would be limited to the height of the predominant terrace housing in the area. It would improve or maintain public views throughout the area, with taller buildings towards the centre of the site to reduce overlooking and overshadowing.It also recommends that Council decrease the amount of retail space within the development by about 50 percent to reduce impacts on established local shopping precincts. Issues of site access have been addressed, with the Roads and Traffic Authority agreeing to primary access from The Crescent, rather than smaller local roads.Following suggestions from the Heritage Branch of the Department of Planning, Council will also strengthen some of the heritage controls to ensure the protection, conservation and adaptive reuse of the site's significant heritage items.InformationOfficer's report:

Make Sure You Can Vote in March

Don't forget to update your electoral enrolment if you become eligible to vote or have moved, so that you are correctly enrolled to vote on Saturday 26 March at the State election.You can check your enrolment details online at the Australian Electoral Commission and update details there. You can also get enrolment forms from Post Offices, Medicare, Centrelink or Australian Taxation Office offices, or call my Electorate Office for a copy.If you will be away or unable to vote on election day itself, you can request a postal vote or vote early via pre-poll from 14 March onwards. Contact the Electoral Commission NSW for details, or call my Electorate Office for a postal vote application form.Information Check enrolment at or phone 132 326 Enrolment update forms Early voting: or phone 1300 135 736

Support Keeping Sydney Independent

Unlike the major parties, I don't accept donations from developers or large corporate donations. I rely on hundreds of volunteers and community donations to support my election campaigns.With the NSW election just two months away, several of my supporters have organised a fundraiser at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington on Saturday 19 February.I invite you to join us for a non-party party. It's an opportunity to dress up, mingle with other friends and supporters, and have a fun time helping retain independent representation in Sydney.Information Clover 2011 Campaign Fundraiser: Saturday 19 February from 6.30pm, The Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 16-20 Goodhope Street, Paddington 2021 or call Leone on 9517 4704.

City Staff Welcomed in Brisbane

City Staff who travelled to Brisbane to help with the massive flood cleanup received a warm welcome from residents, businesses and Brisbane City Council. All volunteers, the staff come from Council's Cleansing and Waste, Civil Maintenance, Parks Services, Fleet and Health Services.The first team comprising 31 staff and over 20 vehicles, including garbage trucks, excavators, backhoes, tipper trucks and utes, departed Sydney on Monday 24 January. Travelling to Brisbane was arduous, with several vehicles only able to travel at low speeds.The team began work at 7:30am on Australia Day in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia, on the banks of the Brisbane River next to Queensland University. During that day, the team removed approximately 67.5 tonnes of waste, the majority of it comprising internal lining and kitchens from flood effected homes. In some cases the entire contents of homes were removed.A second crew of 26 staff volunteers took over on Monday. They completed a check of six suburbs and two industrial estates, and took 55 tonnes of waste to the tip. Some 176 tonnes of waste were shifted in the first three days.The crews will continue to work over the weekend and return to Sydney next Monday.Two teams of nine Health Inspectors and one engineer are also helping Brisbane City Council with more than 300 health-related inspections. The inspections include reopening flood damaged food premises, assessing environmental safety issues such as parks contaminated by raw sewage early morning inspections of the flood affected Brisbane Markets.On Monday, Council unanimously commended and thanked the volunteers who have travelled to Brisbane and endorsed my recommendation to donate $200,000 to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.All staff will receive their full salary for the time they are away, and the City will also meet reasonable out of pocket expenses.Information Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal: To make a donation phone 1800 219 028 My Lord Mayoral Minute on the Queensland floods: Youtube video about City staff helping out in Brisbane:

Join Me for Mardi Gras

It's Mardi Gras season again, and I invite you to join me in showing support for equal rights and acceptance of all people, regardless of gender and sexuality. The 2011 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade is on Saturday 5 March.This year's parade theme is "Don't Just stand there. Say Something..." My parade entry will "say something" about the need for relationship equality for same-sex couples.I support full relationship equality, including providing for same sex relationships to be recognised in the same way as marriage or civil unions.While my bill to provide for children with same-sex parents to be legally adopted succeeded in late 2010, discrimination loopholes remain and wider community education to prevent homophobia is needed.Please join me in the parade and support equality. Bring your family with you to show that we all have families who should be legally recognised. People able to help organise my walking group are especially welcome.InformationContact Leanne Abbott, phone 9360 3053 or email

Australia Post Agrees to Limited Postal Service

Australia Post has responded to community action by agreeing to continue limited postal services in the Glebe and Woollahra village centres.Late last year Australia Post announced that post offices in Queen Street Woollahra and Glebe Point Road Glebe would close, with no consultation and little notice.I strongly oppose Australia Post's decision to close these Post Offices, and share community concern at the loss of these important local facilities and meeting places. Removal of these services will result in significant loss for local residents, especially those who are elderly or have limited mobility and those without transport.While providing limited services is preferable to withdrawing of all services, residents will not have the complete range of services that have been provided in the past such as local banking, bill payments and parcel services.Australia Post continues to cite falling customer numbers and sustained losses for their decision, putting profitability before community needs and customer service.Unfortunately, the Federal Government's corporatisation of Australia Post and abandonment of historic purpose built post office buildings for shopping centre shop fronts have been going on for years without any action by successive Ministers to rein it in.I will continue to try to get the Federal Government to reverse Australia Post's decision and ensure that full postal services are available in Glebe and Woollahra. Concerned residents should continue to contact the Federal Minister and the CEO of Australia Post seeking that full postal services are provided.Information Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy: Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 or David Mortimer, Chair, Australia Post, GPO Box 9911, Melbourne Victoria 3001 Ahmed Fahour, CEO, Australia Post, GPO Box 9911, Melbourne Victoria 3001 Comment direct to Australia Post:

Same Sex Marriage

Latest polls say that 62 per cent of Australians support same-sex marriage. I support the community campaign for full equality, including in marriage.Following a meeting with Australian Marriage Equality representatives, I have committed to investigating NSW legislation to provide for same-sex marriage. This will require expert legal advice on constitutional provisions and the legal basis for State legislation.The Prime Minister did not agree to my request for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, and says that the Government will vote as a bloc on this matter. The Federal Opposition Leader claimed to support the removal of discrimination, but continues with discriminatory marriage provisions. Federal Parliament agreed on a motion calling on MPs to gauge their constituents' views on allowing same-sex couples to marry.In NSW Parliament, I asked the NSW Attorney General about legal advice on options to recognise overseas same-sex marriages in NSW, and possible NSW legislation to provide for same sex marriage, given the lack of progress at Federal level.According to the Attorney General, Tasmanian legislation only recognises overseas same sex marriages as a "registered relationship". He says that marriage in Australia can only be recognised under the Commonwealth Marriage Act. Both the previous federal Government and then Opposition supported amendments to define marriage as only being between a man and a woman.I understand that bills to provide state marriage equality are listed for both Tasmania and South Australia, and I will monitor these developments.Same-sex marriage is allowed in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and some states in the United States of America.I encourage you to contact your federal MP to express your views.Information My Questions Australian Marriage Equality:

Art & About Wins Art and Culture Award

This weekend is the last chance to see the 2010 Art & About Laneways art projects that contributed to the City being recognised in the Sydney Music, Art and Culture Awards.Organised by the independent, community-based radio station, FBi 94.5FM. FBi's listeners vote for the awards through the radio station's website. The City won the Award in the "Remix the City" category for three key features of Art & About 2010—the Laneways temporary public art project, Reflections of Alfred, and Sydney Statues."Remix the City" awards an event, person or team who have used, created or recreated a physical space, location or landmark in Sydney, making it a creative destination. Other nominees were Breakfast on the Bridge, Sydney Open and Safari, an unofficial Biennale of Sydney fringe project.Reflections of Alfred was a public art project that converted the construction fence around the Prince Alfred Park Pool into a community gallery and art space. For the extremely popular Sydney Statues, established and emerging textile artists and designers transformed eight Sydney statues by dressing them in colourful costumes.While Reflections of Alfred and Sydney Statues have ended, the Laneways project, Are you looking at me? remains in place until Monday 31 January. The artworks are in eight laneways off George Street between Martin Place and Circular Quay.The City's commitment to public art continues during the 2011 Chinese New Year Festival, with outdoor gallery display boxes in Albion Place used as part of the walking tour, China Heart. Curated by d/Lux MediaArts, one of Australia's leading screen and media arts organisations, the walking tour uses mobile phone and GPS technology, art and performance to explore Chinatown.The Albion Place gallery boxes, initially installed for Art & About 2007, will exhibit The Dragon Balls @ The Trocadero. The exhibition of photographs, posters, artworks, memorabilia and other items recalls the role of the Trocadero Dance Palace in Chinese Australian cultural life.Previously located next to Albion Place on the site now occupied by Event Cinemas, the Trocadero hosted the Dragon Balls, the Sydney Chinese community's annual fundraiser.Information Sydney Music, Art and Culture Awards:* Art & About: Laneways Art project: Laneways off George Street between Martin Place and Circular Quay until Monday 31 January. Laneways Art project website and walking guide: China Heart:

Subscribe to Live Green

The current issue of Live Green, the City's sustainability e-newsletter, provides valuable information on ethical shopping, recycling old mobile phones and workshops, seminars and events promoting sustainable living.There is also an update on City initiatives to implement Sustainable Sydney 2030, including a new sustainability program in Green Square, our plans for Australia's first city-wide water recycling network and the development of our Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan.You can also use Live Green to access the full program of presentations at the Live Green House at the Chinese New Year Festival Markets in Belmore Park this weekend.The Live Green House is a transportable, interactive, urban home that provides practical information on sustainable living. It features a range of sustainable fittings and products, and demonstrates practical ways to reduce energy and water use and minimise waste. The house will be open between 11am and 8pm this Saturday and Sunday.Information Live Green January newsletter:* To subscribe to Live Green go to: Live Green house: Other Live Green information

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