Randwick Council calls for its Councillors to be kept in place after its merger because of the extent of its prepared transition plans – 17th February 2017

Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed last Tuesday that the merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils will proceed. But she didn’t state whether existing Councillors would remain in place up to the next elections.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson has responded with a successful Council urgency motion calling for the retention of Councillors to oversee the Council’s prepared transition plans for implementing the merger.

Randwick Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey used her Council position to successfully save High Cross Park by spearheading Council’s identification of an alternative site for the light rail interchange. Greens Councillor Murray Matson is still campaigning for the State Government share of the old Kingsford Market sites to be dedicated to Randwick Council as a future new centre for the merged Council.

Council will contact the Premier reiterating that Randwick’s preference was to stand-alone and that Councillors should continue to serve post-merger in any new Council. Councillor Matson said;

“None of the Councillors have liked the idea of Randwick being merged as we have been financially sustainable since 2004. But we accepted that it would happen and we and our magnificent staff have prepared extensive merger transition plans to make it as seamless an experience as we can for the residents of all three eastern suburbs Councils. We would be the most prepared NSW Council for a merger. And we have done it because we regarded it as due diligence to ensure that services such as child care centres, rubbish pickups, and library availability all work perfectly from day zero of the new Council.”

Councillor Matson points to a list of contentious issues that he says “could start to drift against residents interests if only administrators are left in charge by the Premier.”

He said,

“Constituents frequently contact Councillors about the impact of construction works for the CSELR light rail project which won’t be finished for a couple years. I want Councillors to maintain control of the funding in the Randwick Council’s Light Rail Support Plan that I put up to help local business and South Juniors cope with loss of parking.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson rallied Randwick Council to protest changes to the alignment of the CSELR light rail line resulting in trees losses in Alison Road next to Centennial Park.

And it was sitting Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey and former Mayor Scott Nash who responded to Ms Rickie-Lee McLaurin-Smith’s campaign to save High Cross Park from the light rail interchange.”

Councillor emphasised the need for elected Councillors to control and curb a development push in Kensington and Kingsford saying:

“Then there is the draft Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy that Councillors want to use to lock out uncontrolled ‘spot’ rezoning proposals to build 25 storey towers. Without sitting Councillors to push for it the draft strategy could either be ignored by the State Government or inappropriately amended to placate the developer lobbyists from the Urban Task Force.”

Randwick Council is larger than both Woollahra and Waverley. Most of the Randwick Councillors all seem to agree that they don’t want to see the new centre of administration and governance moving north into what is presently Waverley Council territory. Councillor Matson said:

“Allied to that is the rivalry between Waverley and Randwick Councillors over whether the new Council’s administration centre should be up in Bondi Junction or sited locally on the old Kingsford market site, which we regard as more conveniently located for future constituents. It will after all be on the CSELR light rail line.

There are also a host of more localized issues that residents routinely expect Councillors to
speak up on such as:

  • Arguing for residents against proposals to use the contaminated surplus land on the surplus Defence land at Bundock Street for a construction depot;
  • Maintaining opposition to the liquor prohibition at the East Ward Senior Citizens Center;
  • Building heights at Maroubra and Coogee Beaches;
  • The scale of redevelopment of the Bondi Pavilion;
  • Maintaining the Laperouse Chinese Markets as an urban food farm;
  • Funding local projects needed by schools, sport associations, surf clubs, community gardens, artists and child care centres;
  • Adjudicating parking competition in residential areas; and
  • Myriad small groups of neighbours who want intervention from their elected representatives on local development applications occurring in their street.

CONTACT: Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson – @murraymatson

BACKGROUND – Resolution to urgency motion by Greens Councillor Murray Matson and as seconded by Councillor Robert Belleli (Tuesday 14th February 2017).

That Council responds to today’s media release by the new NSW Premier, Ms Gladys Berejiklian, by contacting her to congratulate her and:

      1. a) to remind her that our submission to the Boundaries Commission inquiry on the proposed merger of Randwick with Waverley and Woollahra Councils noted that our community’s preferred position and Council’s resolved position is to stand alone;
      2. b) should we be merged, formally advise her of the full and comprehensive preparation of Council’s Merger Transition Plan; and
      3. c) advise that Council prefers the retention of the existing Councillors to provide oversight of the implementation of these transition plans on behalf of our constituents.


Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson clarifies the type of affordable housing sought by Randwick Council in the Kensington and Kingsford town centres – February 7th 2017

Can Randwick Councillors use a better type of affordable housing to allow essential workers to afford to rent in the eastern suburbs areas that they work in?

Dear NeighboursNotStrangers

Re: your media release of today.

I agree with your petition against the abuse of short term leasing and I have signed it.

But I am worried that you might be mixing up two different forms of affordable housing when you refer to today’s SMH article.

The affordable housing type that will be allowed along the Anzac Parade corridor will be given to Randwick City Council to own and administer.

Can Randwick Councillors use a better type of affordable housing to bring essential workers into local housing?

Can Randwick Councillors use a better type of affordable housing to allow essential workers to afford to rent in the eastern suburbs areas that they work in?

These are controlled by State Environmental Planning Policy No 70—Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes) otherwise known as SEPP 70.

If you look at clause 9 of SEPP 70 you will see that at present it only applies to the Councils of the City of South Sydney, City of Sydney, City of Willoughby and Leichhardt (now abolished). But Randwick will be added to this list.

The challenge for Councillors is to accept this permanent version of affordable housing with out allowing a relaxation of our development controls.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson@murraymatson



Tuesday, 07 February 2017


Residential Housing is for the housing of Residents

Today the Sydney Morning Herald reports 200 new affordable homes for your LGA. Airbnb/Stayz combined have already taken 2,657 homes from Randwick Council Residents.

The Community group Neighbours Not Strangers asks Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Ministers Dominello, Roberts, Perrottet and Kean to ensure that there are no retrospective changes to Zoning and Planning Legislation governing our homes and home lives.  Borrowing from our Californian friends:

In 1926 an Ohio realty company challenged the concept of zoning.  It wanted to lease land in a residential zone to hotels and other businesses.  Zoning laws, it argued, unfairly diminished the value of its property.  The US Supreme Court rejected that challenge, saying that non-residential uses may have an increasingly deleterious impact on a residential district “until, finally, the residential character of the neighborhood and its desirability as a place of residence is utterly destroyed”.

Property Owners and Tenants choose to live in Residential Dwellings and Residential Areas.  A NSW Parliamentary Hearing Committee has recommended that, despite having purchased or rented a home or an apartment, we should all now live in unregulated quasi-Hotels and Transit Zones, sharing endless drunken parties, higher levies, taxes, insurance premiums and levels of criminality.

NO:  We don’t want our home lives, buildings, communities, towns and cities utterly destroyed.

Randwick Council has 2,657 tourist/visitor lets on Airbnb/Stayz; only 501 homes are advertised for rent on Domain

Photo credit:  http://insideairbnb.com/sydney/


Trish Burt Convener

Neighbours Not Strangers

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Please help Randwick Councillors establish an effective working relationship on planning issues with new Premier Gladys Berejiklian and new Planning Minister Anthony Roberts – 6th February 2017

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed below on the NSW planning environment are purely the personal opinion of Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson. They should not be interpreted as an official GreensNSW party statement but as coming from a local Randwick perspective.

I am asking that you consider re-tweeting this tweet on how Randwick Council is trying to represent the interests of our residents while setting supportable new heights and building densities in these two town centres.

Please consider re-tweeting

Please consider re-tweeting

Fact: Both successive NSW Labor and Liberal state governments have followed a policy of reducing the strategic planning autonomy of local Councils. This occurred first under Labor with the introduction of independent Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPP) and has continued under the Liberals with last year’s creation of Sydney district Planning Panels.This often misunderstood reality flows from the fact that Australian Councils have no constitutional recognition as our legitimate third tier of government.

As a 21 year veteran Councillor I have come to the conclusion that there is no point in not recognising that Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 grants ultimate legislative authority for State Governments over a Council in the setting of a Local Environmental Plan (LEP).  This means that we Councillors will always be under the ultimate direction of various Government Ministers of the day under the NSW Local Government Act.

I might not personally like this unavoidable constraint on me as a Councillor, but a reality it remains.

This is why I am as supporter of Randwick Council’s attempts to form a working relationship with the new Planning Minister over development pressures along the section of Anzac Parade bracketed by the Kingsford and Kensington town centres. I stand ready to do the same if the Labor party wins state power at the next election.

It is the Liberal Government choice to continue the previous Labor government’s wariness of allowing direct local government strategic planning autonomy. But new Premier Gladys Berejiklian and new Planning Minister Anthony Roberts can still be open to recognising when a Council attempts a genuine non-adversarial planning strategy that recognises changing urban needs against the alternative of allowing piece-meal spot rezonings.

CONTACT: Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson – @murraymatson

Randwick Council and Toga locked in rezoning duel over key Kingsford development site – 5th February 2017

Randwick Council’s race to exhibit a draft strategy against uncontrolled high development in Kingsford and Kensington got a boost last Thursday.

Randwick Council has a hard decision to make if it is to prevent 25 storey high rizes in the Kensington and Kingsford town centres.

Randwick Council has to get Ministerial support for its  planning proposal to go on exhibition if it is to prevent 25 storey high rizes in the Kensington and Kingsford town centres.

The independent Sydney Central Planning Panel has sided with the Council and recommended against a private proposal to allow heavy density development at 391 Anzac Road Kingsford.

The site’s owner Toga Group wants a greater height and ‘floor space ratio’ than what the Council proposes. The Panel’s recommendation for refusal will now go to new NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson is urging the Minister to scrap Toga’s proposal and instead exhibit the Council’s own draft plan for the area. He says,

“A majority of Randwick Councillors are calling on the NSW Planning Minister not to allow the Toga proposal to go on public exhibition in competition with our own carefully researched plan for Anzac parade between Kingsford to Kensington.”

Councillor Matson says that Randwick Council’s draft “Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy” is an attempt to restrain “out of control” high rise development along the Anzac Parade corridor from Kensington to Kingsford.

Randwick Council has been fighting off a string of private high rise development proposals for the Kensington and Kingsford town centres.

CONTACT: Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson – @murraymatson

Randwick Green Councillor calls for Premier Berejiklian to rethink Randwick Merger – February 1 2017

Rethink merger tweet 1-2-2017

Greens Councillor Murray Matson has submitted a motion to Randwick Council several weeks ago reminding new Premier Gladys Berejiklian that Randwick’s preferred option had always been to stand alone.

The motion will go to the next Council meeting. Councillor Matson stated:

“If the Premier is to negotiate with the Nationals then it is only fair that the Randwick mergers are also re-examined . The preferred position of all Randwick Councillors is that Randwick is financially sustainable enough to stand alone.”

Randwick Council stated in its submission to the Boundaries Commission on the proposed merger with Waverley and Woollahra Council’s that it’s community’s preferred position was not to merge.

“Randwick City Council is fit and sustainable for the future and our community and Council would prefer to remain as a stand-alone entity. Despite Randwick City Council’s strong performance, the NSW Government has consistently indicated that ‘no change is not an option’.” (Randwick City Council Submission – NSW Government Merger Proposal: Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils, February 2016, page 11)


That Council responds to media reports that suggest the new NSW Premier is “open to discussions with the nationals who are pushing to halt further amalgamations” by contacting her to:

  1. Remind her that our submission to the Boundaries Commission inquiry on the proposed of Randwick with Waverley, Woollahara Councils noted that our community’s preferred position was not to merge; and
  1. Formerly ask whether the Government’s reported willingness to negotiate with the Nationals over opposition to mergers now means that its previous position in its Fit For the Future program that ‘no change is not an option’ now no longer applies to urban based Councils.

Appalling attitude displayed by would-be spear fishers at Randwick Council’s Malabar rock pool 23rd January 2017

Green Councillor Murray Matson alerts Randwick Council General Manager after local residents intervene to stop spear fishing in Council rook pool

Ray Brownlee
General Manager
Randwick City Council

Maroubra spear fishing in pool complaint 23-1-2017

Residents intervene to deter would-be spear fishers from Randwick Council’s Malabar rock pool.

Dear Ray

Please note below reports of an appalling attitude displayed by would be spear fishers at Council’s Malabar rock pool.

Local residents had to intervene to dissuade a group of spear fishers who were bent on killing fish present in the pool.

Can you please bring forward a Council report on the matter with options such as signage to make it clear that this is just not on.

A suitable media statement and a warning on the Council web site would be appropriate. I also attach Council’s rangers timely response.

The original facebook posting can be found here.

Thank you.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson @murraymatson
CC Mayor Noel D’Souza

Mike Baird NSW Premier: Greens Councillor Murray Matson says farewell to the NSW wonder boy – 19th January 2017

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed below on the NSW Premiership of Mike Baird are purely the personal opinion of Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson and should not be interpreted as an official Greens NSW party statement. They should be seen as coming from a local Randwick perspective.

IMG_4521 Tell The Govenment - web site

In 2016 Greens Councillor Murray Matson successfully moved Randwick Council to call on the NSW Government to amend the CSELR light Rail route to save trees but the local race course proved to be a bigger stake holder to listen to for Premier Mike Baird.

I believe that Mike Baird re-set a personal standard in administrative integrity as Premier coming in as he did after the Eddi Obied horror of the previous Labor Government and Barry O’farrel’s grange affair. He should get a tick for that.

From an ecological perspective his biggest contribution was the NSW container deposit legislation and I am surprised that he did not get more credit for it. I hope his political colleagues don’t now proceed to diminish his legacy by messing up the implantation of it with a pro-packaging industry model. And we need the next NSW Premier to support a national agreement.

Baird’s biggest mistake was arousing the ire of ecological liberal voters over  the tree losses from the CSELR light rail, Westconnex and his awful  replacement biodiversity legislation. Returning light rail to the eastern suburbs was a great piece of needed infrastructure and he will be remembered for it. But he unnecessarily alienated both the community and we Randwick Councillors over the tree losses.

Greens Coogee candidate Lindsay Shurey has lead Randwick Council's efforts to save High Cross Park from a planned light rail interchange.

Randwick Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey successfully led Randwick Council’s efforts to save High Cross Park trees from a planned  CSELR light rail interchange.

Randwick Council should have always been the Government’s key stake holder to listen to and not the racecourse over the CSELR’s impact on the eastern suburb’s ecology.

Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey did successfully persuade Baird to save the trees of High Cross Park with the support of Liberal Mayor Scott Nash, but I was unsuccessful in saving the Alison Road trees.

The Westconnex motorway is as much a Labor party fiasco as it is a Liberal one but surely Baird could have stepped in and stopped it?

Along with chain sawed trees in other Council areas the Westconnex’  St Peter’s interchange will channel congestion into our suburbs of Kensington and Kingsford.

From a social justice view my party the Greens totally opposed his cut backs to women’s shelters and TAFE as articulated by Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong and former Greens Maroubra candidate James Cruz. Baird could also have done more to emulate Coogee MP’s Bruce-Notley Smith’s supportive position on the Safe School’s Program. Bruce should now be called upon to re-open the debate with the next Premier.

From a purely local perspective I wonder what his going will have on Randwick Council’s Kingsford and Town Centres strategic review strategy to stop 25 story spot rezonings puncturing the Anzac Parade skyline? Both Labor and Liberal state government’s have stripped planning authority from local Council’s leaving Councillors dependent on establishing a positive working relationship with whoever is the Planning Minister. Randwick spent $300,000 on the K2K competition (my idea) to come up with the best rezoning strategy to combat spot rezonings. I hope that the new Premier recognises Council’s genuine efforts to establish a dialogue.

And then we have the question of what will happen with the eastern suburbs Council mergers now that Baird is gone? Will they proceed? And if they do, will the present Randwick Councillors be supported in setting the new administrative centre up in Kingsford against Sally Betts’ ambition to move it to Bondi Junction? Ms Betts appears to have incredible clout over local Liberal MP’s Bruce Notley-Smith and Malcom Turnball. Our Randwick residents need a Premier who won’t play favourites.

CONTACT: Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson matson@ihug.com.au @murraymatson

Kingsford to Kensington (K2K) town centre review: Councillor implores Loracn Byrne to meet with him and General Manager – 17th January 2017

17th January 2017

Letter to Editor
Southern Courier

Loracn Byrne’s  (Courier 17th Jan 2017) mistaken belief that Council is proposing 9 storey buildings on “most of Doncaster Avenue and all around Kensington Park” reflects the honest conviction of many Kensington and Kingsford residents.

Loracn Byrne mistakenly believes high rise development for Doncaster Avenue and Kensington Park surronds.

Loracn Byrne mistakenly believes high rise development proposed for Doncaster Avenue and Kensington Park surrounds. (Southern Courier page 26 17-1-2017)

But why? The fact sheet (http://www.goo.gl/LJ3lvd) actually suggests no height changes in these areas. I read it as proposing changes confined to a narrow strip “along the 2.5km Anzac Parade corridor”.  But clearly the wording somehow allows for a misunderstanding that needs clarification!

Loracn seems to believe that the winning K2K design has been uncritically incorporated by Council into the formal rezoning proposal. In fact  K2K’s suggested height changes outside the Anzac Parade strip have not been taken up by Council.

I implore Loracn to contact me (0409-984-587 @murraymatson) so that I can call on the Council’s General Manager to meet with us both and thrash out what Council actually proposes.

I am happy for the Southern Courier and a single representative from the Kensington West Kingsford West precinct committee to also accompany us.

I look forward to Loracn Byrne taking up my invitation.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson

Congestion will come to Kingsford and Kensington from Westconnex’s St Peters interchange say Randwick Botany Greens -14th January 2017

Greens member for Newtown Jenny Leong said the WestConnex motorway would destroy neighbourhoods, creating more congestion and pollution.” (quoted SMH 11th January 2016)

Jenny Leong St Peters interchange 14-1-2017

Greens MP Jenny Leong protests Westconnex motorway works at Sydney Park site for planned St Peters Interchange. January 2017

Randwick Councillor Murray Matson reiterated Randwick-Botany Greens concerns that the St Peters interchange will funnel more car congestion from the Westconnex into his Council’s suburbs of Kingsford and Kensington.

Councillor Matson said he applauded Jenny Leongs’ protest at the interchange site. He commented:

“It is of great concern to me that the construction of the Westconnex motorway has proceeded with very little debate on how many extra cars will be trying to exit from it into Kingsford and Kensington from the interchange . Cars just don’t vanish from congestion calculations when they leave a motorway.”

Related articles:

Key Randwick Labor Councillors block Greens urgency motion for a joint Council legal action against WestConnex – 12th July 2016

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

Randwick Council motion by Greens Councillor Murray Matson 24th May 2016: “Increased Impacts on Kensington and Kingsford Residents from the Planned StPeters M5 Motorway Interchange.”

Councillor Calls for a Bondi Beach type 24 hour alcohol ban to be placed over Coogee Beach – 29th December 2016


Greens Councillor Murray Matson will submit a motion that Randwick Council will implement a 24 hour alcohol ban on drinking in reserves at Coogee Beach to “bring it into line with nearby Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches”.

The motion is a response to last weekend’s widely condemned Christmas day drinking session. He said today,

“I was alarmed to read media accounts of the concern for possible fatalities held by Coogee Beach life savers on Christmas day. I don’t intend to wait till there is a loss of life. I think that the best approach is to bring Coogee Beach into alignment with the all-day alcohol bans prevailing at the adjacent Waverley Council beaches.”

Councillor Matson says that the current Coogee Beach alcohol prohibitions don’t take into account modern social media dynamics. He said that residents have been emailing him examples of how Facebook was used to promote the Christmas day rave.