Monthly Archives: September 2013

Greens maintain Randwick Council stability in the mayoralty choice but take a “measured step back” from Council consensus in the deputy mayor contest

The planned for Randwick mayoralty change over went smoothly on Tuesday night in accordance with the Labor and Liberal agreement of last year with Liberal Scott Nash being automatically chosen without a vote because he was the only nominee.

But the choice of Deputy Mayor went to a vote with a majority of Councillors opting for the Liberal endorsed independent Anthony Andrews ahead of the Greens Murray Matson.

Councillor Matson only won the support of fellow Green Lindsay Shurey and Labor Councillor Geoff Stevenson.

The decision by the Greens to stand for the Deputy Mayoralty reflects the local group concerns that its environmental and urban planning positions may be losing profile amongst the majority of Councillors.

Councillor Matson explained his candidacy as “a signal of a measured step back” from the Council consensus by the Greens. He said after the election,

The Greens wanted to maintain stability in the mayoral hand over but chose to stand in the Deputy Mayoralty to flag that we have concerns in a number of Council areas. We are not confident that all Councillors fully support maintaining the Greens initiated Sustaining Our City program.  We also want to emphasize that we will not support any undermining of the long term financial plan that we initiated and which has now put the Council in a position to argue against the need to be amalgamated.”

The Greens also find the emerging urban planning scenario in the local area worrying.  Councilor Matson said,

The government’s urban activation program was not flagged by the Liberals during the state election. The Greens note that it could make redundant the exhaustive consultation process that the Council has already gone through in setting heights and residential densities under its relatively new Local Environmental Plan. We believe that the Government should postpone the UAP to get a mandate from the next state election.

The Greens are enthusiastic supporters of the return of light rail but want to strongly emphasis that the Council must remain independent to act to maintain the community’s amenity as the Government builds it.  We think that the Government should clearly disengage the necessity for light rail from its emerging intent to increase residential density via the UAP.  A rail line to UNSW is already justified based on our current residential densities and student numbers.”

He concluded by pointing to the looming amalgamation threat to the Council.

The Greens believe that Randwick has won the argument that it is financially sustainable through the reforms that the Greens and Liberals put into place in 2004 and thus does not need to be amalgamated. We are appalled at the possibility that the Government may force us into a super Council with six other Councils. We want to emphasize to all Councillors that any forced amalgamation that occurs must come with a system for electing Councillors that allows minor party and independent to gain seats. Otherwise the full spectrum of the community voice will be lost.”

Randwick City Council debates “Demand management” verse “supply management” solutions to competition for car parking in Kensington

The following motion was put by a Liberal Councillor to the 17th September meeting of Randwick City Council.

temp

Greens Councillor Murray Matson expressed reservations and argued that a “demand management” solution should be sought instead of the suggested “supply management” strategy of offering more car spaces.

He then moved the following amendment.

That Council refers this motion to the yearly Councillors’ Workshop to allow Councillors to consider it in relation to The Randwick City Plan, Council’s Transport Plan,  the CBD to Kingsford Light Rail Project, the government’s Urban Activation Precincts, the WestConnex motorway proposal and an overview of supply and demand management solutions and parking and congestion problems.”

The above Greens amendment was never voted on because the Liberal Councillor agreed to adopt it as his motion. The Labor Councillors subsequently moved an amendment of their own which. This was voted on and subsequently became the motion, which then became the final resolution as shown below.

NM82/13  Notice of Motion from Cr Stavrinos –  Carparks in West Ward (F2004/06326)

RESOLUTION: (Moore/Garcia) that Council: 

a)     refers this motion to the yearly Councillors’ Workshop to allow Councillors to consider it in relation to The Randwick City Plan, Council’s Transport Plan,  the CBD to Kingsford Light Rail Project, the government’s Urban Activation Precincts, the WestConnex motorway proposal and an overview of supply and demand management solutions and parking and congestion problems.

 

b)     acknowledges resident, the community and local business concerns regarding the potential loss of parking along Anzac Parade with the loss of commercial, social and community access to the Kensington and Kingsford Town Centres.

 

c)     writes to the NSW State Government expressing the concerns put forward by both the business and community representatives as a result of the loss of parking access along Anzac Parade.

 

d)     seeks, from the NSW State Government, solutions to the loss of parking proposed as part of the light rail project.

 

MOTION: (Stavrinos/Andrews) that Council refers this motion to the yearly Councillors’ Workshop to allow Councillors to consider it in relation to The Randwick City Plan, Council’s Transport Plan,  the CBD to Kingsford Light Rail Project, the government’s Urban Activation Precincts, the WestConnex motorway proposal and an overview of supply and demand management solutions and parking and congestion problems.

 

AMENDMENT: (Moore/Garcia) CARRIED AND BECAME THE MOTION.

MOTION: (Moore/Garcia) CARRIED – SEE RESOLUTION.

To the Precinct Committees of Randwick City Council concerning light rail, urban activation precincts (UAP), Westconnex congestion and demand management solutions to parking competition in Kensington and Kingsford.

light_rail_vehicleGreens Councillor Murray Matson recently made the following observations on urban planning issues in the Randwick City Council area to the Kensington Precinct Committee. They have some relevance to all the precinct committees of the Council area.

The Committee approached Councillor Matson following a media release he issued about the debate around a Councillor motion that might see the Council buying up land in Kensington for a public car park.

The debate quickly turned to related issues and a criticism of light rail.

—————————————————————————————————————-NSW

NSW GOVERNMENT’S URBAN ACTIVATION PRECINCT HEIGHT AND DENSITY INCREASES. My local Greens group, The Randwick-Botany Greens, do not support the as yet un-finalized density or height increases suggested under the Liberal State Government’s UAP proposal.

Our group’s adopted position on local urban density is still that which was expressed in our formal submission made during the Council’s recent redrafting of its Local Environmental Plan well before the UAP was floated. I believe that this present LEP, which went through an exhaustive community consultation process, should not be amended by the Government to allow further dramatic up zonings.

LIGHT RAIL AS NEEDED PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE EASTERN SUBURBS. Randwick Council’s pre-feasibility study on light rail assessed bringing in public transport infrastructure for a population size reflecting  the previous Labor State Governments targets for new dwellings of 8,400 for Randwick City Council. My recollection is that the state election promise made by the Liberals’ to return light rail to Randwick did not come with any announced string that it would be linked to the dramatic further density increases above 8,400 now being flagged under the UAP after the election. This was not transparent by the Liberals. I now urge the Government to disengage light rail from the UAP process which should itself be shelved until the Liberals can win a mandate for further density increases at the next state election.

CARRYING CAPACITY OF LIGHT RAIL VERSE BUSES ALONG ANZAC PARADE. The present passenger numbers along Anzac Parade are around 10,000 per hour at peak (source Randwick pre-feasibility Light Rail study 2011). As I presently understand it, the State Government is proposing a hybrid public transport system for Anzac Parade based on 9,000 being carried by Light Rail and 6,000 being carried by buses.

This net increase in capacity to 15,000 should work from what I have read in the Council’s pre-feasibility study that predated it. I think that it is a misunderstanding to focus on the published target figure of 9,000 for light rail and declare that this is somehow evidence that light rail can not match the present carrying capacity of buses.

My technical understanding of light rail is that it can be pushed above 9,000 relatively easily by the addition of multiple carriages if required. I think that it is a sensible idea to maintain flexibility by retaining the 6,000 capacity of the buses.

RECENT RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL CAR PARKING MOTION. For the further interest of the committee I attach a draft extract from the Council meeting of this week at which Ms Whitehead spoke from the public gallery to Councillor Starvrinos’s motion on public parking.

Please note that during the subsequent debate I offered an amendment to his original motion. Councillors Stavrinos and Andrews (the seconder of the motion) then both accepted my proposed amendment and it thus became their motion without being forced to a vote.

Labor Councillors Moore and Garcia then moved an amendment of their own to add points b, c and d to my original text (which is point a). They won this on a vote and the motion thus became theirs and, when voted on, the final resolution. I was aware that they were going to move this amendment and was intending to support it.

The gist of it all is that the Councillors will now workshop their position on this issue to arrive at an agreed on common understanding which may or may not become a formal Council policy.

INCREASED CAR CONGESTION – WESTCONNEX. Please note my real concerns about the traffic impacts that the WestConnex motorway may cause in Randwick via improvements to the M5 East. Improved freight movements in the Botany area should have been sought from improvements to freight rail and not the addition of another major motorway system.

DEMAND MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TO URBAN PLANNING PROBLEMS. You will note from my amendment to the Council motion that I favour a demand management approach to solving urban issues such as parking competition and road congestion. This is why I support rail improvements to reduce car congestion rather than simply seeking to add further supplies of car space on roads via new motor ways such as the WestConnex.

Likewise I favour reducing competition for car parking via strategies such as resident preferred parking schemes and phone apps rather than buying up valuable land to use for further supplies of car parks. I accept the “induced traffic” theory that improvements to motorways just encourages  a movement by commuters to cars.

Not-with-standing this, my specific view on parking in Kingsford and Kensington is that Council should investigate every available option other than new car parks to maintain parking levels currently available to local shops, businesses and residents. This should include the introduction of angle parking where possible.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Councillor Murray Matson

Light Rail and parking: Randwick Councillors need to adopt a demand management approach to parking, congestion and transport issues

At Randwick Council last night chamber of commerce identity Maria Alexandrou and precinct representative Marjorie Whitehead were both critical of light rail but from different motivations that have different chances of being satisfied by Councillors.

Ms Whitehead believes light rail is a casual factor for increased residential densities while Ms Alexandrou’s primary concern is that it could reduce parking outside shops and businesses.CBD and South East Light Rail extension route map

The problem for Ms Whitehead is that increased densities will occur regardless of whether or not the government delivers on its election promise to provide an improved transport system. There is not much Council can do to help her as it is also the Government that is driving the urban activation process.

Densities increases have been wired in by the 8,400 new dwelling targets set for Randwick by the previous state Labor Government. The present Liberal government is augmenting these targets via urban activation and by promotion of the Inglis rezoning proposal.

But some residents believe that the Government can still be thwarted by vigorously undermining confidence in the engineering reality that light rail can move more passengers than standard buses. But so far these residents have not put forward any actual evidence to justify this attack other than a misinterpretation of what the Government is proposing.

The Government’s plan to boost the carrying capacity of public transport along Anzac parade from 10,000 passengers per hour to 15,000 through a hybrid system of light rail and buses seems achievable. Indeed it reflects the Council’s own 2011 pre-feasibility study into light rail.

Things are brighter for Ms Alexandrou whose simpler objective of maintaining commercial parking around the new light rail line is much more deliverable by the Council.

This is because Council can actually implement solutions to satisfy local parking needs. But first the presently philosophically divided Councillors must decide between competing management approaches.

Should they adopt a “supply management” approach whereby they spend lots of rate payer money to buy up valuable land to dedicate to public parking until the competition over spaces is satisfied? Or should Council put its money behind “demand management” solutions in which the actual demand or competition for parking itself is reduced?

You want demand management examples? A direct demand approach reduces competition for parking through resident preferred parking schemes or by phone app strategies.  An indirect demand strategy is a better public transport system such as light rail which will reduce the need for car transport in and out of Kensington thus freeing up existing parking.

But what should Randwick Councillors do as a broader planning response?

Councillors need to face the uncomfortable reality that urban densities will continue to increase in the Council area and will do so until a State Government instructs them to down zone, which is unlikely to happen.

Furthermore they need to recognize that most likely the WestConnex motorway project will also induce more traffic into the Council area via improvements to the M5 East connection to the airport. Large motorway projects always induce more road traffic and are a bad choice for governments to follow.

Fundamentally, Councillors must accept the argument that light rail has the potential to move more passengers than buses or cars along Anzac Parade regardless of what some residents are claiming on very little evidence.

On the issue of light rail Council must strive to be the objective intermediary between the Government’s urban planning objectives and the amenity concerns of residents.

Councillors must thus seek to retain our parking space, passenger capacity and open space while still upholding the findings of Council’s own 2011 pre-feasibility study that light rail is the best solution to road congestion.

This is the key time in Randwick Council’s history for all its Councillors to become very savvy about urban planning.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

BACKGROUND

Greens Senator Scott Ludlum has explored the integration of light rail with existing bus services in his report Light Rail for Perth

 

 

Federal Election 2013: Thank you from The Randwick-Botany Greens

The local Randwick-Botany Greens would like to thank all members and supporters in the seat of Kingsford Smith who have rallied behind our candidate over the last 33 days.

The results may be studied at the AEC site.

The task is now to tidy up any Greens election material. If you have booth kits and aframes that you retrieved after the close of polls yesterday, could you please email us.

We will be pulling down election posters over the next few days. If at the end of the week you still see some up could you again email us.

Also feel free to send through any scrutineer’s results you may have for a particular booth.

If you have observations that you wish to make or images that you wish to share about the Greens election campaign in Kingsford Smith please feel free to post a comment here or on our facebook page .

Sydney Morning Herald wrong on Green preferences to Bruce Notley-Smith in Coogee

Anna Patty
State Political Reporter
SMH

RE: “Labor battles swing to retain south Sydney heartland” SMH Sept 5th 2013

(Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/labor-battles-swing-to-retain-south-sydney-heartland-20130905-2t6x3.html#ixzz2e3PDOF6q)

Hi Anna

I read your article on the battle for Kingsford Smith.

You are wrong in an area of fact. Bruce Notley-Smith did not win the State seat of Coogee with preferences from the Greens.

Our preferences went to then sitting Labor MP Paul Pearce. Nor was it the 2007 election. It was 2011.

I know this because I am a member of the Randwick-Botany Greens who along with the Waverley Greens have the joint local authority to set the preferences for the seat of Coogee.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Murray Matson