Feedback from the Kingsford Smith meet the candidate forums shows Labor candidate does not understand passenger capacity of CBD to South East Light Rail – 10th June 2016

10th June 2016

The Editor
The Southern Courier

I heard Labor’s Matt Thistlethwaite indicate at this week’s meet the candidate forum in the Sands Hotel that he too has swallowed the luddite argument that a combined light rail and bus system will somehow carry less passengers than our current bus only system.

Sydney Morning Herald correction - some time after 18th June 2016

In June the Sydney Morning Herald was forced to retract assertions that the CBD to South East Light would reduce public transport capacity.

Recently the SMH had to publish a grovelling retraction after impetuously printing that the CSELR light rail project will have less capacity than the buses it replaces. Maybe someone asked their editors why they thought that Sydney was going to have the world first experience of rail based transport underperforming rubber wheel based transport.

As a Green I salute Mr Thisthlethwaite’s anger at the loss of the trees but that’s no justification for turning accepted public transport theory on its head.

I urge Mr Thistlethwaite to instead focus on finding federal based ways of stopping the WestConnex motorway that will choke Kensington and Kingsford with cars and the Coalitions so-called “biodiversity” bill that will allow the ripping up of remnant bushland across Sydney and rural NSW.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson

WestConnex impact on Kingsford Smith electorate: Will increased traffic from the St Peters Interchange be the new “ramps” threat to Kensington and Kingsford? – 8th June 2016

The federal election issue for Kingsford and Kensington voters should be the extra cars that will exit into the eastern suburbs via Gardeners Road and Lenthall Street (via Epsom Road) when the St Peters interchange is built as part of the WestConnex motorway.

Greens candidate James Macdonald

James Macdonald 2016 Greens candidate for Kingsford Smith

Greens candidate for Kingsford Smith James Macdonald warns that:

The Labor and Liberal supported WestConnex motorway will double the capacity of the existing M5 East but no one really knows what the impact will be from the extra vehicles that will be dumped into Kingsford and Kensington.

The Greens candidate wants a Federal Government rejection of the State Government idea. He says,

“I call on all Federal candidates for Kingsford Smith to save Kingsford and Kensington from rat running drivers exiting the WestConnex and to resist federal funding and approval for it.”

The St Peters Interchange

The St Peters Interchange to be built as part of the WestConnex may channel excessive cars into the eastern Sydney suburbs of Randwick, Kensington and Kingsford via Gardeners and Epsom Roads. Image South Sydney Herald.

Local Green Councillors have already successfully moved that Randwick Council call on local Federal MPs to press for holding off final funding and approval for the NSW State government-initiated project until there has been traffic modelling. Under Federal law, if proposals are likely to have a significant impact on matters of National Environmental Significance, approval needs to be also sought under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act (source Wendy Bacon).

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson points to past community resistance to the idea of extra traffic in the Randwick local council area.

In 2005 The Kensington and Kingsford communities successfully united to oppose the previous state Labor Government’s proposal to build ramps on and off South Dowling street because it was clear that there would be more rat running through their local streets. Without accurate traffic modelling who can say that the WestConnex will not have even worse impacts?

The Greens have gone further and pushed the Council to explore a legally challenge on the grounds that there will be a breach of the Project’s consent condition that traffic must not “adversely” impact on the road networks of Kensington, Kingsford and Randwick

 

Local Liberals must accept their party’s lack of action on climate change is exacerbating the damage done to Coogee Beach’s infrastructure by freak storm events – 6th June 2016

Media Statement

Local Randwick Council Liberals must repudiate their Federal colleague’s lack of climate change action

I reply to the media release by Randwick Liberal Councillor Brendan Roberts concerning the damage done by the weekend’s storm at Coogee Beach.

The Liberal Party has to accept that since 1993 global sea levels have risen by about 3.4 mm per year and that it is a result of human climate change actions. This must be exacerbating the damage by storms such as the impact of the one that damaged the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club over the weekend.

I call upon Cr Roberts and the local Liberal MP’s and candidates to repudiate the current attitude of denial clung to by the leaders of their party.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

Greens NSW upper house MLC launches James Macdonald’s campaign in Randwick High Cross Park Park that local Green Councillors helped local residents protect from the CBD to South East Light Rail – 21st May 2016

Greens NSW Transport MP Mehreen Faruqi launched James Macdonald’s second campaign for the federal seat of Kingsford Smith in the local park that Green Councillor Lindsay Shurey’s Randwick Council motion helped save from a planned light rail interchange.

James Macdonald Kingsford Smith Campaign launch in High Cross Park May 2106

Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi (left) and Randwick Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey (right) stand next to James Macdonald’s at the launch of his election campaign for Kingsford Smith today 21st May 2016.

Greens candidate James Macdonald

James Macdonald 2016 Greens candidate for Kingsford Smith

Councillor Shurey’s motion initiated a successful search by Council and the State Government for an alternative site for the interchange.

The facilities new agreed on site will be in nearby High Street thus providing an immediate light rail stop outside the adjacent Prince of Wales Hospital.

Randwick Council urged to call on Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith to arrange a ‘fine-tuning’ meeting with light rail Minister to save The Tree of Knowledge and The Kingsford Gate Tree – 17th May 2016

Randwick’s Green Councillors are proposing some “localized fine tuning” in the design of the CBD to South East Light Rail line in order to retain two iconic trees in the Kingsford and Randwick areas.

Can the NSW Government and Randwick Council fine tune a light rail line enough to retain the Tree of Knowledge?

Can the NSW Government and Randwick Council fine tune a light rail line enough to retain the Tree of Knowledge?

The Greens are hoping to enlist the crucial support of Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith to arrange a meeting between the Council’s General Manager and the Minister for Transport. Greens Councillor Murray Matson, a long time light rail supporter, said this week,

“Both the State Government and Randwick Council have been strong advocates for the return of light rail. The Light Rail Agreement between TfNSW and Council was signed in the spirit of trying to reduce tree removals where ever possible. Indeed, the agreement allowed the Council and Government to cooperate in a successful search for an alternative interchange site to save the trees of High Cross Park. And we could potentially repeat that with these two iconic trees individually known as The Tree of Knowledge and The Kingsford Gate Tree. Local MP Bruce Notley-Smith could help immensely by arranging a meeting between Council’s General Manager and the Minister. It’s not big changes that are required, just some localised fine tuning.”

Councillor Matson has put two motions to next Tuesday night’s Randwick Council meeting on the 24th May at 6pm.

The Tree of Knowledge is actually four or five fig threes that have grown together into one.

The Tree of Knowledge is actually four or five fig threes that have grown together into one.

One motion suggests a slight realignment of the curve of the line as it turns from Wansey Road into High Street Randwick. This would allow the bypassing of a group of large fig trees that have uniquely grown together into one conjoined specimen christened the “The Tree of Knowledge” for its proximity to UNSW. Councillor Matson said,

“The proposal is not for a drastic change of route but for a localized fine tuning of the rail line to flatten out the curve as it swings into High Street. The Tree of Knowledge as it is called, is suspected to actually consist of approximately four or five separate fig trees growing into a single fig over the last 150 years or more.”

The second motion deals with a single large fig with an extensive canopy in the median strip just south of the Kingsford roundabout. Councillor Matson supports Kingsford becoming the centre for the soon-to-be merged eastern suburb councils and wants the tree retained for the aesthetic impact it will lend to the new administrative complex. He thinks this tree should be called “The Kingsford Gate Tree” or “The Gate Tree” because it sits at the southern gate to Kingsford.

The Kingsford Gate Tree dominates the Southern entry to Kingsford from its position in the median strip of Anzac Parade.

The Kingsford Gate Tree dominates the Southern entry to Kingsford from its position in the median strip of Anzac Parade.

His motion proposes rezoning the tree’s location to ‘Zone E2 Environmental Conservation’ based on its aesthetic value. He said,

“It is the Government’s intent that Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils merge into an eastern suburbs Council. If that is to be what happens then we Randwick Councillors think that the new administrative centre should be built on the old Kingsford market site where the light rail will pass. We are offing a $300,000 prize for the best new planning concept for the Kingsford and Kensington town centres and I am sure that many contestants will be thinking that The Gate Tree could star at the southern perimeter of their concepts.”

NSW Premier’s 10 cent levy on beverage containers will be welcomed by local NSW Councils struggling with land fill shortages – 9th May 2016

9th May 2016

Letter to the Editor
The Southern Courier

Dear Editor

The Premier’s positive ecological step-forward in bringing in a 10 cent levy on beverage containers will be welcomed by local NSW Councils struggling with land fill shortages. This bold move should be inspiring to the Prime Minister who could respond by bringing in a price on carbon to combat climate change.

Randwick Greens Councillor
Murray Matson