Malcom Turnball continues Tony Abbott’s offensive against climate change action with successful Labor deal to strip $500 billion from Australian Renewable Energy Agency – 14th September 2016

UPDATE: Bad news! Yesterday local MP for Wentworth and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball has significantly reduced ARENA‘s ability to fund alternative energy schemes.

UPDATED: Labor Caucus maybe shifting towards gutting Australian Renewable Energy Agency budget by $1.5 billion – 12th Sept 2016

“As the Greens and everyone else point out, Labor could have saved ARENA’s entire budget. But it chose not to.” (Source RENEWECONOMY.COM.AU)

Labor Caucus maybe shifting towards gutting Australian Renewable Energy Agency budget by $1.5 billion – 12th Sept 2016

The Greens are holding their own public hearings in Canberra today as Leader Richard Di Natale warns that tomorrow may see the federal Labor caucus decide to support Scott Morrison’s bold move to slash one and half billion from ARENA.

Local Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson is tweeting to highlight Senator Di Natale’s warning about the wobbling ALP caucus.

Scott Morrison may got the Federal Labor caucus wobbling towards reducing ARENA's budget.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson is tweeting to draw attention to the possibility that Liberal Environment Minister Scott Morrison may have got the Federal Labor caucus wobbling towards reducing ARENA’s budget.

LGBTI: Are the schools in the Randwick Council area going to remain safe schools? – 28th August 2016

The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby call for a counter petition against the one seeking to abolish the safe schools program

Most of us went to a school somewhere in the world. Cast you mind back and ask yourself if the Gay and Lesbian kids had a good time or not. Then think about supporting this petition because there is a concerted political effort going on at the moment to wind back protection for LGBTI.

Posted by: Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson.


UPDATE: Council votes to support National Art School NASEXIT campaign against amalgamation – 24th August 2016

UPDATED: National Art School (NAS) amalgamation proposal update on Randwick Council response -28th July 2016

NASEXIT badges

Support the NASEXIT campaign against the amalgamation of the National Art School

Last night Randwick City Councillors voted to pass a Mayoral Minute by Mayor Noel D’souza that it support the campaign against the proposed amalgamation of the National Art School.

The growing campaign will now be displayed on the Council’s web site.

Randwick Greens Councillor Matson said today,

“Melbourne with a population of 4 million has four signifcant art schools while Berlin with a population of 3.5 million has six giving both cities an excellent diversity in art education. If our National Art School was amalgamated, Sydney with a population of 5 million, would have just one major art school.”

UPDATE: Council vote to seek input into NSW Plan to transfer public housing management to community service providers – 24th August 2016

 UPDATED: “Dreadful” U.K. record of Serco detention company sparks Greens Randwick Council motion seeking input into NSW Government plan to transfer public housing management to community service providers – 15th August 2016.

At work inside our detention centres: a guard's story.

How the international service provider Serco mismanages one of Australia’s detention centres. Serco is now seeking to manage public housing in NSW.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson’s motion was passed at last night’s Randwick City Council meeting.

He said afterwards,

“Councillors are clearly united in concern that the offshore detention company Serco might be put in control of the living standards of our public housing tenants. Their record managing public housing in the UK is dreadful.”

“Dreadful” U.K. record of Serco detention company sparks Greens Randwick Council motion seeking input into NSW Government plan to transfer public housing management to community service providers – 15th August 2016.

At the next Tuesday’s Randwick Council meeting Greens Councillor Murray Matson will move that Randwick seek input with the NSW Government into the media flagged transference of NSW public housing management to community service providers.

Councillor Matson is highly concerned that one potential bidder, the detention company Serco, has been found by a UK government inquiry to have provided substandard services to tenants.

But a British parliamentary inquiry found Serco and another company, G4S, had provided substandard public housing with pest infestations, and “intimidated” tenants by entering homes without knocking, under the Home Office contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.” (Sun Herald journalist Kristy NeedHam).

Councillor Matson said today,

“It is of concern that in the UK Serco’s has been found to provide a dreadful quality of service that I wouldn’t be happy with our own Council’s significant number of public housing residents receiving.”


Launch of K2K international design competition – 7th August 2016

Randwick City Council is moving ahead to implement the public submission phase of Greens Councillor Murray Matson’s competition to find a “bold new vision” for the Kensington and Kingsford town centres

Councillor Matson is delighted to see the enthusiasm being shown by the planning design companies who had entered expressions of interest from which four  contestants have now been chosen. He says:

“I urge the four K2K Urban Design Competition contestants to excel themselves in re-defining our two town centres of Kingsford and Kensington that sit on either side of the University of NSW towards forming an axis of ESD and pedestrian friendly commercial activity”.

The Greens Councillor is now calling on members of the public to be ready to make public submissions that will put a “green stamp” on the raw data that will be provided by Randwick Council to the contestants. He writes:

“I want our residents, businesses and ratepayers to rise to the challenge of defining what they want to see in the future for the Kensington and Kingsford town centres. There has already been a suggestion that Council’s recently acquired old Kingsford Market site should be build to the LEED (i.e. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification standard for design attributes such at carbon footprin! That is the sort of submission I want to personally see coming in.”

LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building:
“LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments for the places we live, work, learn, play and worship. LEED’s global sustainability agenda is designed to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, acting on the triple bottom line – putting people, planet and profit first.” (source About LEED)

Randwick Council Media ReleaseRandwick Council’s “K2K Urban Design Competition. 4th August 2016

Four of Australia’s leading planning and architectural teams have been chosen to put forward their vision for the future of Kensington and Kingsford Town Centres as part of Randwick City Council’s K2K Urban Design Competition.

The four shortlisted teams competing for $300,000 in prize money are:

• Aspect Studio
Team comprising: Aspect Studios Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, SJB Architects and Urban Design, Terroir Architecture and Urban Planning, SGS Economics and Planning

• CODA Architecture + Urban Design
Team comprising: CODA Architecture and Urban Design, Realm Studios Landscape Architecture, and GTA Transport consultants

Team comprising: JBA Urban Design and Planning, Stewart Hollenstein Architecture and Urban Design, Arcadia Landscape and Natural Systems, The Transport Planning People and  Jess Scully

• JMD design
Team comprising: James Mather Delaney Design Landscape Architects, Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects, Bennett and Trimble Architecture and Urban Projects

The four teams were chosen by an independent expert jury consisting ofMalcolm Snow, Ben Hewett, Jennifer Neales, Kerry Clare and Tim Greer.

Each team will now need to respond to a brief developed by Council and the community and provide their ideas for a vibrant, sustainable and liveable future for Kensington and Kingsford.

The Mayor of Randwick Noel D’Souza said he is excited to see what the finalists will produce as they rethink the future of Kensington and Kingsford.

“This won’t be an easy task as the four teams will need to respond to a brief that the community has helped to develop over the past four weeks.  Our jury will be looking for innovation, creativity and sustainability.

“The construction of the light rail through this area provides us with an opportunity to innovate these suburbs along Anzac Parade to create a new streetscape that is inviting to residents, students, visitors and businesses.  We want to see ideas that will revitalise this neighbourhood and leverage the benefit that light rail will bring.

K2K Competition Strategic Advisor and UNSW Professor of Planning Practice Sue Holliday said the quality of entries was very high.

“The Jury was impressed by the overall quality and diversity and of the submissions received. In responding to the complexity of the brief, many of the assembled teams represented a broad mix of design skills,” Prof. Holliday said.

“This was in keeping with a Brief that emphasised the need for multi-disciplinary design teams that could demonstrate broad experience in innovative thinking and social, economic and ecological design.”

The K2K Competition commences on 8 August 2016, and closes on 16 September 2016.

The entries will be on public exhibition for public comment from 21 September to 5 October 2016 and the winner will be announced on 17 October 2016.

Further details about the community consultation and K2K Urban Design Competition can be found on the dedicated competition website


As light rail construction moves along Anzac Parade Randwick’s Greens push on with relief money for Kingsford and Kensington – 30th July 2016

Randwick Councillors have once again clashed over a Greens initiated plan to alleviate the impact of the CBD to South East Light Rail project on local residents, businesses and institutions.

Citing the construction work now underway along Anzac Parade Greens Councillor Murray Matson appealed to Councillors not to impede the Council in the allocation of promised amelioration money.

The allocation will be under the Light Rail Support Plan set up by Matson and fellow Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey in May 2015 as a relief measure.

Last Tuesday night Labor Councillors Tony Bowen and Greg Moore along with Liberal Councillor Robert Belleli unsuccessfully voted to abandon revising the Plan in favour of starting another round of public consultation instead.

This has lead Cr Matson to claim that they imperilled the retainment of High Cross Park. He said,

“The Greens under Councillor Shurey saved High Cross Park by finding an alternative site for the interchange.  The attempted blocking of this money by Councillors Bowne, Moore and Belleli would have seen TfNSW revert to using the park. This is because Council is going to spend $2 million on public domain works for the new interchange site the Greens found in High Street. Without that allocation by Council TfNSW would have called the deal off.”

Cr Matson further accused Cr Belleli and the two Labor Councillors of “ignoring the needs of Kingsford and Kensington” by forgetting that the Support Plan was also intended to buy the old Kingsford Market Site and replicate lost on-street parking. He said,

“I can’t believe that these three Councillors want to go back and repeat public consultation already done now that the construction work has actually started along Anzac Parade. We’ve had consultation with invited representatives of Bike East, South Juniors and various businesses along with ordinary residents sitting on a committee for over a year overseeing the allocation of the relief money. We can’t possibly now tell these key stakeholders and residents that all of sudden we Councillors have changed our minds about helping them even though they can see the construction works underway.”

The latest version of the Light Rail Support Plan  endorsed last Tuesday includes:

  • $2 million for further public domain works directly associated with the light rail line such as traffic signals, traffic changes, and a new transit plaza at the hospital.
  • $0.95 million for additional new public domain areas in Kingsford and Randwick near the light rail interchanges;
  • $10 million for new on-street parking to compensate for lost on-street parking along Alison Road, Anzac Parade and High Street;
  • $30.5 million to purchase land and construct a multistorey car park in Kingsford;
  • $8.5 million to future proof stormwater drains that cross the light rail line along Anzac Parade and downstream.
  • $3.5 East to west aligned bike path connections to the light rail for sustainable mode transfers;
  • $0.5 million for bike lockers; and
  • $5 million for traffic calming in surrounding residential areas;

Also in dispute on the night was a recommendation from the General Manager that Councillors accept a Government offer to sell the Council its share of the old Kingsford Market site for $12.55 million. Councillor Matson said,

“It is a bargain that we can’t let slip by or the Government will revert to its earlier plan to sell the site via auction for possibly $60 million instead of the $12.55 they going to let the Council have it for. We have an international competition going to find the best urban redesign for the Kensington and Kingsford town centres and I want the Market Site available for playing a role in it.”

National Art School (NAS) amalgamation proposal update on Randwick Council response -28th July 2016

Randwick City Council has deferred debate on a recommendation from its Mayor that it commit to support a growing campaign to stop the proposed merger of the National Art School with the University on NSW.

  • Update to previous story on this site.
  • Sydney Morning Herald coverage of the backlash from Sydney’s creative elite.

The recommendation will now be debated in a month’s time and includes a clause to promote an online petition by the Friends of the National Art School.

NAS petition 3In the meantime Greens Councillor Murray Matson states that he will be endorsing the recommendation to neighbouring Councils who form part of the School’s student catchment.

He says, “There would generations of artists who attended the National Art School from the eastern suburbs and inner west of Sydney. In fact ,all of NSW would form its student catchment area. Local Councils should rally to maintain the diversity in art education the NAS offers to their own local art plans.”

Randwick Council Recommendation

That Council:

1. Contact both the Friends of the National Art School (NAS) and the National Art School’s Student Representative Council committing our support for the campaign to end:

  • discussions on a proposed merger of the School;
  • establish comparable Federal support for the NAS to that given NIDA; and
  • to maintain the opportunities in educational diversity offered by the NAS at its current site and management model; and

2. resolves to promote the Friends of the National Art Schools online petition on Council’s own web site and in eNews services.