News

Rally to save College Street

It was great to see that so many people turned out in Martin Place on Thursday morning to rally against the NSW Government's removal of the College Street cycleway.Bicycle NSW, who coordinated the rally along with other groups including BIKESydney, are doing a great job advocating for better safety on our roads.People who ride - and their loved ones, friends and colleagues - will need to keep making their voices heard to ensure safety is the Government's top priority.Last week, in a shocking breach of trust, the Government announced that they would rip out College Street's cycleway and delay the construction of a replacement on Castlereagh Street for another five years. That's despite the fact that the City and the Government have a contract that says the hugely popular College Street cycleway will not be removed until the replacement is built.As our CBD goes through big changes during the construction of light rail, more people riding will help relieve congestion on our roads. We know that providing safe, separated cycleways is one of the best ways we can encourage more people to ride. So removing College Street without having a replacement makes no sense.I hope Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Roads Minister Duncan Gay realise that their decision will put people's safety at risk. The College Street cycleway must not be removed without a safe alternative for people to use.

Councillor Forster to Ditch Residential Areas

In a self-interested attempt to gerrymander the City's boundaries, Liberal Councillor Christine Forster is advocating for the separation of the CBD and the City's residential areas.The NSW Government has appointed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review proposals on "Fit for the Future", the Government's local council reform scheme. IPART is currently accepting submissions to its draft methodology.Councillor Forster made a submission calling for, "the boundaries of the current Local Government Area to be contracted to cover the core CBD and immediately adjacent business districts."Councillor Forster has developed and submitted a plan for the future of the City without any input from the community she claims to represent. It flies in the face of what the community has overwhelmingly said and effectively tells non-CBD residents she doesn't want to represent them.To inform the City's own submission, we have conducted extensive surveys and found 82% of residents and 72% of businesses want the borders to remain the same.Councillor Forster plan is designed to make the City of Sydney a CBD-based council run by big business, for big business, despite the fact that the CBD is one of the most densely populated residential areas in Australia.The key paragraph in Councillor Forster's submission argues going back to a CBD only council:With these considerations in mind, a superior proposal to ensure that the City of Sydney is Fit for the Future would be to create a Local Government Area that truly reflects the new nature of our global city, dominated by the CBD. Rather than the Independent Local Government Review Panel's recommendation that the City of Sydney amalgamate with Botany Bay, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra councils, the superior proposal would be for the boundaries of the current Local Government Area to be contracted to cover the core CBD and immediately adjacent business districts.And other areas of the city would be split around surrounding Councils:The redistribution of current resident ratepayers living toward the existing boundaries of the City of Sydney Local Government Area would clearly assist in providing scale and capacity to the surrounding Council areas through the addition of significant urban growth and residential areas. Under such a scenario, Botany Bay would gain Green Square; Leichhardt would gain the Harold Park development; Marrickville would gain Newtown and Erskineville; and an enlarged Woollahra/Waverley/Randwick would gain parts of Paddington and Centennial Park.The City's other Liberal Councillor, Edward Mandla, doesn't even live in the electorate. These two Councillors are out of touch with our community.For the last 10 years the City has met the needs of over a million people a day who, live, work or visit this local government area and whose combined effort contribute over 23 per cent of the state's economy.Leading independent financial auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers have said the City is a "benchmark against which other councils could be compared", while NSW Treasury Corporation rates the City's finances as "strong" with a "positive outlook" - the only NSW council to receive this rating.The City's programs and investments - including $220 million to transform the CBD with light rail and $440 million in creating community facilities at Green Square - are essential to our state's future and would be at risk with disruptive change.

E-Waste Collection this Weekend

It's great that people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of keeping e-waste out of landfill. Computer screens and TVs contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, which can leach out from landfills and into waterways. Items we can collect. So instead of simply throwing e-waste out with your regular trash, drop off old and broken power tools and any items with a power cord at the City of Sydney's free e-waste event this weekend at Bunnings Warehouse, Alexandria.-When: Saturday 6 June and Sunday 7 June, 9am-3pmWhere: Bunnings Warehouse Alexandria, 8-40 Euston Road, Alexandria-The City of Sydney's e-waste program began in 2008 and has diverted 350 tonnes electronic waste from landfill through community collection days.At the City's e-waste collection day in February there were 541 drop-offs, with TVs, computers and monitors among the most popular items brought in for recycling. Around 15 tonnes of computers, computer products and other types of e-waste were collected.As well as operating quarterly e-waste events, the City's range of new programs are making it even easier for residents to dispose of unwanted e-waste - including the introduction of battery, bulb and mobile phone recycling stations to community centres and libraries.For information about items that can be dropped off go to: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/e-waste-and-chemicals/e-waste

New Sydney Festival Director, Wesley Enoch

Congratulations to Wesley Enoch, who was today announced as the incoming Sydney Festival Director for a three-year tenure from 2017-2019.Wesley is one of Australia's finest creative talents and it's terrific to see him at the helm of Sydney's major cultural festival.Judging by his past contributions to Sydney Festival, with the productions like I am Eora and Black Diggers, he will not shy away from important issues. Wesley Enoch's 2014 Sydney Festival Production, Black Diggers. Under Wesley Enoch's watch I'm looking forward to seeing more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and audiences, who make such a valuable contribution to our country's creativity and culture, taking part in the festival.Wesley is currently the Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company (2010-15). He has been the Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra in Brisbane (1994-97) and Ilibijerri in Melbourne (2003-04), Resident Director for Sydney Theatre Company (2000-01), Associate Artistic Director of Belvoir (2006-08), a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House (2003-2011) and a director of the Indigenous Section of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.He has directed 6 projects for Sydney Festival over the last 15 years: The Sunshine Club (2000), Eora Crossing (2004), The Sapphires (2005), Nargun and the Stars (2009), I am Eora (2012) and Black Diggers (2014). He has worked for almost every major theatre company and festival in the country and toured internationally with a number of shows.The City is a proud supporter of the Festival. In 2015, more than 554,000 people enjoyed the Festival, which boasted 400 performances of 167 events, including 19 world premieres, 21 Australian exclusives and 15 Australian premieres.Read more about Wesley Enoch and the Festival here: http://blog.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/06/02/wesley-enoch-next-sydney-festival-director/

Bays Precinct Community Workshop

The Bays Community Coalition is hosting a community workshop on 7 June to discuss the current plan for the future development of the Bays Precinct. This is your opportunity to learn more about the project and respond to UrbanGrowth NSW's call for great ideas to shape the future redevelopment of the Bays Precinct.The NSW Government's redevelopment of the 80-hectare Bays Precinct, stretching from Blackwattle Bay to the White Bay Power Station, will be one of the most significant urban renewal projects in Sydney. Click to download the flyer. On the 16 and 17 May, UrbanGrowth NSW held the Sydneysiders Summit and publicly released their discussion paper 'Transforming City Living: The Bays Precinct'. This discussion paper outlines the vision and objectives for the redevelopment of the Bays Precinct as well as identifying seven 'destinations'. The immediate priority desitinations are: the Bays Waterfront Promenade; Bays Market District; White Bay Power Station and White Bay (including the White Bay Cruise Terminal).The Bays Community Coalition are bringing together a range of speakers to provide information and discuss the community's issues and great ideas to make the Bays Precinct a great place for current and future residents, workers and visitors.Workshop detailsSunday 7 June2.30pm-4.30pmLeichhardt Town Hall107 Norton Street, LeichhardtI encourage you to provide UrbanGrowth NSW with your comments and innovative ideas to ensure that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity delivers sustainable housing development, access to our harbour, public open space, active transport and the facilities a growing community needs including schools and affordable housing.For more information on the Bays Precinct project or to send your submission, visit: http://bayscommunitycoalition.com/events/

Saturday, 2.45: Save the Powerhouse Rally

The City is strongly opposed to the closure of the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo and we have passed a resolution to that effect, while saying we also strongly support the expansion of much-needed cultural facilities in western and south-western Sydney.I'll be speaking tomorrow at the Save the Powerhouse rally, alongside Alex Greenwich, Eva Cox, Jamie Parker and Business Chamber President Lawrence Gibbons.We will send the message to Premier Baird that the Powerhouse should stay in its purpose-built home, and that the site must not be sold to high rise developers.Rally Details:Saturday, 30 May2:45pmMeet corner of Harris and MacArthur Streets, UltimoThe Powerhouse Museum is a vital part of Sydney's heritage, history and culture. To sell it off is nothing more than a cash-grab and a gift to developers.The City sees the Powerhouse as an integral part of the Cultural Ribbon we identified in Sustainable Sydney 2030, linking the Australian Museum, the Art Gallery, the Opera House, around the foreshore to the Walsh Bay theatres, a promised cultural facility at Barangaroo and up here to Ultimo.It also plays an important role in the emerging Ultimo-Pyrmont-Chippendale precinct of innovation and creativity, and with the revitalisation of Darling Harbour and the Goods Line project, it will become even more significant.The Powerhouse where it stands opened to the public in March 1988 and the growth of its collection is such that there are about 50,000 items in storage at Castle Hill. Those items could well form the core of a "Powerhouse West" at Parramatta if the reason for selling the site truly was to do something for western Sydney.I have written to Premier Baird and Arts Minister Troy Grant asking that the government support the Museum's own 2020 strategic plan which consider its Ultimo location, close to the CBD, as "vital" to their success.I look forward to a positive response and I urge you all to come along tomorrow keep up the momentum against this cultural vandalism.Read more about the rally here: www.facebook.com/savethepowerhouse

Scrapping cycleway puts people's safety at risk

The NSW Government's plans to remove the College Street cycleway without providing a replacement will put people's safety at risk.Safe, separated cycleways are essential for fixing congestion in the CBD and protecting people who choose to ride.The City of Sydney has a contract with the Government which says they will build a safe, separated cycleway on Castlereagh Street between Hay and King Street.This contract clearly says that the College Street cycleway cannot be removed until work on Castlereagh Street is completed. The decision by Andrew Constance and Duncan Gay not to complete the Castlereagh Street cycleway is irresponsible.The City of Sydney's contract with the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) states:RMS acknowledges and agrees that it must not commence the College Street Cycleway Removal until after the New Castlereagh Street Cycleway has been completed and is operational.The Government's City Centre Access Strategy is the blueprint to unclog our congested streets. We won't get the results everyone agrees Sydney needs without a network of safe, separated cycleways.It has been 18 months since the Government identified the need to complete a safe, separated cycleway on Castlereagh Street. Now the Government has decided finishing the job will be too hard.Bike trips have more than doubled over the last four years in our local area, and where there are cycleways, they've doubled again.2,200 people use the College Street cycleway each weekday. It has been an essential part of encouraging more people to ride and it should not be removed.Transport for NSW's own figures show that during peak hour, cycleways like the one on College Street and Kent Street actually carry more people than the lane of traffic next to them.The Government has a target of doubling the number of bike trips in Sydney by 2016. Ripping up cycleways will send Sydney in the wrong direction.The City's recent Sydney Rides Business Challenge showed huge levels of support for people who are riding. Nearly 5,000 people from 300 businesses took part. Businesses are investing heavily in end-of-trip facilities because staff who ride are healthier and happier.

War Memorial Recrowned

The Cross being created at the foundry. This week the City completed the restoration and installation of a Victoria Cross long missing from the Foley Park World War I Memorial in Glebe.When the tribute to local soldiers killed during the Great War was completed in 1922, a bronze Victoria Cross sat on top, clasped to a marble orb.But the cross, which symbolises the highest military decoration for valour "in the face of the enemy" for Australian servicemen and women, mysteriously disappeared decades ago. Historian Max Solling thinks the cross weathered through until it dropped off in the 1980s.The City engaged heritage conservators to oversee the reproduction of the missing piece for the Anzac centenary year.Specialist metal-artists reproduced the missing Glebe memorial Victoria Cross by taking a mould from one that sits atop the Mascot War Memorial, which was designed by the same architect, William Martin. Mr Martin was also a local Alderman and anti-conscription campaigner back in the 1920s.Craftsmen from Crawford's Casting, which made both bronze Diggers on the Anzac bridge, used a cherry picker to reach the orb seven metres above Mascot Memorial Park, where they prepared a silicon rubber mould last month. Completing the installation. They then cast the new cross and clasp over four weeks in their Sydney foundry in a process that saw a compound of copper, silicon and manganese heated to a temperature of 1,240 degrees Celsius for pouring.It's fitting that we reinstalled the Victoria Cross in the year we remember the Gallipoli landings, when so many young men displayed such remarkable courage.We must ensure the memorials honouring those who served always look their best, for now and future generations.See more: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/places-to-go/events/anzac-centenary/war-memorials/_nocache

Object Gallery opens on William Street

Our William Street Creative Hub now has a new tenant, with the Australian Design Centre and Object Gallery opening this week.The Design Centre and gallery provide a new reason for people to explore William Street and Barnett Lane and the three shopfronts will enlarge its space but also expand its profile and public engagement. It will be a gallery, a creative workspace and a live workshop which will really make a mark on this street.2015 is the 50th anniversary of Object Gallery, and thanks to the City's Accommodation Grants Program they will be able to keep promoting contemporary Australian craft and design.In promoting and celebrating the work of Australian designers, this institution has played a seminal role in developing an authentic and flourishing design culture in this country - a design culture we can all be proud of.You can see that culture in the current exhibition featuring the first 50 honorees of Object's Australian design Honours program - and I feel very honoured to be included among them in this inaugural program.Since 2004, the City has made a strong commitment to architecture and design because they make such an important contribution to creating the sort of city people want to work in, live in and visit.We have established a Design Advisory Panel made up of some of Sydney's best architects, landscape architects, designers and arts professionals, and it has played an important part in helping us achieve our goal.The Panel has assessed and offered advice on more than 50 City of Sydney projects, and over 80 private sector developments.We're seeing the results of our work in a slew of awards - and more importantly, we're seeing them on the streets of the city, in our parks and facilities in the way people can enjoy moving around the city, exploring and take pleasure in simply being in it.We are also supporting artists with affordable work and exhibition spaces, we offer grants for cultural projects, we produce our own public art program and the annual Art + About festival, now expanded into a year-long program.We also have a Public Art Advisory Panel and our Creative City Cultural Policy and Action Plan, our Public Art strategy and other programs are stimulating and supporting cultural life in Sydney - not just in galleries, stages and museums, but out on the streets, in the laneways and other unexpected places.

Turning Old Toner into Roadways

We have begun trialling a new environmentally-friendly asphalt blend on city roads - using recycled printer toner.The new asphalt mix uses old toner from discarded printer cartridges and is warmed at temperatures significantly lower than regular asphalt, meaning it takes less energy to produce. Installing the new asphalt. The City's road contractor, Downer EDI developed the "TonerPave" technology in partnership with cartridge recycling company, Close the Loop. Close the Loop collects and recycles huge quantities of toner cartridges for large printer and copier companies. The cartridges are then shredded for recycling and the toner powder goes to Downer to be made into TonerPave at its Rosehill plant.The recycled cartridges are saved from landfill. And the use of printer toner in the asphalt mix reduces the amount of bitumen, which is derived from crude oil.We resurface around 50,000 square metres of asphalt road in the City every year. Using these new technologies and methods we can significantly reduce the amount of energy used in production. The finished product is just as strong as regular asphalt pavement and you won't notice a difference - but you will now be driving on roads made with recycled printer toner.The City is trialling the product combined with other sustainable techniques to resurface sections of road across the city centre, Burton Street in Darlinghurst and Watkin and Church streets in the inner west.If we're serious about tackling climate change we need to take action in our cities as this gives us the greatest opportunity for slashing carbon emissions. It's really great to see innovative ideas being used across our city to recycle waste into valuable resources.

Addressing Sydney's Housing Crisis

At Monday night's Council meeting, we endorsed the City's Housing Issues Paper. The paper calls on state and federal policymakers to bring together financiers, developers and community housing providers to offer essential workers in Sydney a bigger mix of accommodation and tenures.Sydney is in the grips of a housing affordability crisis and all levels of government need to work together on solutions. A diverse housing supply is fundamental to the cultural and social vitality, economic growth and liveability of Sydney. Read the Issues Paper here. The growing appeal of inner-Sydney real estate to high-income earners and domestic and foreign investors is pushing up property prices beyond the reach of many.Essential workers, such as nurses, teachers, police officers, cleaners and bus drivers, are being forced out to outlying suburbs while many young adults struggle to realise their independence.Together we need to look at new models of large-scale affordable rental housing that is delivered through partnerships among private developers, institutional investors, the not-for-profit sector and governments.Other global cities, such as New York and London, are tackling housing affordability through proactive policies and strategies backed by significant funding commitments.Today just over 750 dwellings in the City of Sydney are tenanted as affordable rentals, where residents pay no more than 30 per cent of their household salary. At less than one per cent of all homes, current affordable housing supply offers little support to the 50,000 key workers who keep the city running and make up 15 per cent of the workforce.Innovative ways to achieve this include shared equity schemes that have offered a leg-up to home ownership in other states and subsidies to community housing providers at urban renewal sites across the city.The City's housing issues paper follows the recent Housing Diversity Summit at Town Hall House, which drew 140 experts from private, community and government sectors.Click here to read the Housing Issues Paper.

Council Amalgamation Process Unfair

The NSW Government has now appointed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review Council proposals on "Fit for the Future".The Government is seeking to overhaul local councils, but it is changing the rules less than two months before the deadline for us to submit a proposal.Councils must now demonstrate to IPART that their proposal is "superior" to the amalgamation recommended in the 2013 Independent Local Government Review Panel (ILGRP) report - a different task to that which councils have spent months preparing.The new process is not transparent, accountable or equitable because communities will not know how their local councils have been assessed and will have no right of reply.IPART is the body that determines the maximum prices of water, electricity and transport services, as well as council rates. It does not have the expertise to judge the performance of local governments.IPART intends to assess submissions from 152 councils within three months, a short and unrealistic timeframe given the issues involved. IPART may also choose to include a minimum geographic or population size which will lead to an arbitrary 'one size fits all' approach.The current City of Sydney was created through a forced amalgamation in 2004 and our experience confirms that amalgamations are highly disruptive. Any forced amalgamation presents a serious risk to our capacity to deliver major projects and development currently in the pipeline.By any reasonable measure the City of Sydney is "Fit for the Future", and our submission to IPART and the NSW Government will confirm this.Read the City's submission to IPART in full by clicking here.

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