Monthly Archives: July 2014

CBD to South East Light Rail: Randwick Green Councillor Wants to Save High Cross Park Not Fight The Minister – 28th July 2014

Tuesday night’s Council meeting maybe the last chance to save High Cross Park by getting the Government to agree to the Greens rescue plan of purchasing property for an alternative light rail interchange site.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson at end of  Randwick Tree Walk For Tree Day  27-7-2014 - IMG_3994REDUCED

Ironically, Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson may find that the only way to save High Cross Park from the Minister’s light rail interchange is to sign a development agreement with the Minister.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson made the statement after taking part in yesterday’s Randwick Tree Walk for Tree Day event to the Park.

He said that the March state election was inhibiting Councillors in uniting behind the rescue plan put up by Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey last week. He said,

“All Councillors want to save High Cross Park but I suspect some are more excited about having a state election battle with the Transport Minister. This won’t help resolve the issue.”

During the walk Councillors Bowen, Belleli and Neilson chose to march behind a banner saying “Not Happy Gladys” in a reference to the Coalition Transport Minister. Councillor Matson commented,

“It was a good banner, but what’s the point of them proclaiming that they are not happy if all three of them deliberately voted against taking Councillor Shurey’s rescue plan to the Minister? They can’t blame the Minister for not talking to them if they won’t talk to her either. I have to suspect that they just want a fight rather than working towards a resolution. It won’t matter who wins the local seat if the Park gets degraded.”

Councillor Matson stated he is not interested in fighting the Minister for the sake of it and on Tuesday night he will support the “best way to save High Cross Park”. He elaborated,

“The reality is that the Minister can take ownership of the Park any time she wants by simply sending the Council a letter saying she is doing it. And she doesn’t need a development agreement to do it.

Personally I am over posturing for electoral advantage. I just want to do the best thing to save High Cross Park. On Tuesday night I will listen carefully to what the Mayor reports back from his discussions with TfNSW.

If on the night it turns out that the best way to save High Cross Park is by offering the Minister a re-drafted development agreement incorporating Councillor Shurey’s rescue plan, then I will support that.”

CSELR issues: Divided Randwick Councillors presented with Government concessions ahead of debate on proposed development agreement over light rail to Randwick, Kensington and Kingsford – 25th July 2014

The Greens have issued a challenge to the Labor Councillors to “get convincing” about both saving High Cross Park by helping to relocate a contentious light rail interchange and by helping to secure the Kingsford Market site for local parking.

The frustrated call follows heated debates at the last Randwick City Council meeting which saw Labor opposing two Greens motion that sought to protect the park and advance the Council’s claim on the market.

The Greens are now questioning whether Labor will help Randwick Council on either issue under its adopted “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” campaign if the opposition wins next March’s state election.

The divided Councillors will also have to continue debate on other as yet unresolved light rail issues put forward under a proposed development agreement with TfNSW. This will occur at an extraordinary Council meeting next Tuesday night.

Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey has criticized the Labor Councillors for not supporting the Greens last Tuesday. She said this week,

“Labor is publicly calling for a campaign to save High Cross Park from the planned light rail interchange but last Tuesday night they unsuccessfully voted against Council setting up the ‘Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick’ campaign. If they had been successful they would have stopped my proposal to work with the Government to buy property for an alternative interchange site to that of the Park.”

“I now call on the Labor Councillors to give a commitment that opposition Transport Spokesperson Penny Sharpe will help Council buy an alternative site to allow the light rail interchange to be moved from High Cross Park if she becomes Transport Minister in March.”

Fellow Greens Councillor Murray Matson was equally critical of Labor’s performance after it sank his motion to secure the Kingsford Market site on “fair and reasonable terms” as parking for South Juniors and the Kingsford Chamber of Commerce.

Councillor Matson will be resubmitting his motion next Tuesday night to have it re-debated and is calling for Labor’s support. He said,

“I am re-submitting my motion to next Tuesday night’s meeting because the Government owned share of the Kingsford Market site can’t be allowed to fall into private hands through Councillor inaction. I call on all Councillors to rally to the cause of securing the site for the Council, Souths and local Kingsford businesses as a parking facility.”

“Can Labor give us an assurance that Penny Sharpe will sell Randwick Council the Kingsford Market site on fair and reasonable terms if she becomes Transport Minister after March?”

Opinion is fiercely divided amongst the Councillors as to whether the proposed development agreement with TfNSW should be agreed to be signed at next Tuesday’s meeting to lock in recently gained concessions from the Government. Councillor Matson said today,

“The Mayor has advised Councillors that the Government has agreed to let Randwick Council insert clauses into the draft development agreement that will see us sold the Kingsford Market site at a reasonable price. There is also a win for us on clawing back lost parking spaces in Kensington, retaining our right to a previously promised community center on the Anson site and a stronger agreement on tree protection issues.”

Councillor Matson said he was not certain that that a majority of Councillors will agree to sign the development agreement next Tuesday night and that he expected a lot of tense phone conversations over the weekend.

But most crucial to these discussions will be whether the Government will also agree to lock into the agreement the Council’s resolution to the Greens motion of last Tuesday that seeks an alternative interchange site to save High Cross Park. Such a concession by the Government would make it agonizingly difficult for Councillors to now oppose signing the agreement. All Councillors have been advised that the Government could easily resume High Cross Park from the Council without a signed development agreement if needs to by the simple sending of a letter.

BACKGROUND

Several key proposed changes to the draft agreement light rail agreement with TfNSW that will be before the Randwick Councillors on Tuesday night are listed below.

Response to previous Greens amendment on Tree issues. Insert into the Development Agreement:

“TfNSW will ensure that a tree management process be developed and implemented that if Council and TfNSW’s tree experts do not agree on the extent of removal or limbing of trees, an independent arborist will review and make a determination.”

Response to Greens successful motion on High Cross Park. Insert into the Development Agreement:

“Randwick City Council will be scoping out a proposal known as “Feasible Interchange Alternatives” relating to the Randwick interchange/terminus, including acquisition and development of property on the north side of High Street, between Avoca and Clara Streets and on the east side of Belmore Road opposite High Cross Park between Avoca Street and Coogee Bay Road.  TfNSW will consider this proposal once developed by Randwick City Council.”

Response to Greens as yet-unsuccessful motion on Kingsford Market site. Insert into the Development Agreement:

“TfNSW will transfer ownership of the site to Randwick City Council at market value assessed at the date of the Development Agreement.  (It is noted that the ownership was transferred in January 2014 for $9.5 million)”

Big “Fair Go For Randwick” win: Randwick Council agrees to look for alternative light rail interchange site to Save High Cross Park – 23rd July 2014

Randwick Council intends to save High Cross Park by running a “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” campaign centred on acquiring property that the planned light rail interchange can be relocated to.

Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey thanked her fellow Councillors this morning for supporting her motion of last night.

She said,

“Randwick Council has now moved into a position to save High Cross Park by designing a viable alternative site for the problematic interchange facility on adjacent land.

This is positive win by a Council that has shown that it is prepared to look for solutions! We will be seeking to sign memorandums of understanding with key stake holders such as POW, UNSW and local property owners for the purchasing of property to allow for a light rail interchange on the ground floor with rentable properties above.

The closer we can get the facility to POW and away from High Cross Park the better it will be for the community. We intend to develop a reasonable and viable alternative proposal to High Cross Park that the Government will be unable to argue against.”


TEXT OF RESOLUTION FROM 22nd of July 2014 (Editors Note: these are draft notes taken on the night and not official extracts from the Council minutes)

That Council establishes the High Cross Park Working Group comprising the Mayor, the General Manager and ward Councillors to pursue the objectives of;

1)      Working with the State Government to acknowledge the benefits of the CBD to South East Light Rail project and to better publicise the responsible and reasonable light rail mitigation initiatives Council is already pursuing under the Light Rail Support Plan;

2)      Presenting the State Government with alternative sites to that of High Cross Park for the bus/light rail interchange by producing a package of options known as the “Feasible Interchange Alternatives” that shall include but not be limited to:

a)      Acquisition and development of property on the north side of High Street between Avoca and Clara Streets and on the east side of Belmore Road opposite High Cross Park between Avoca Street and Coogee Bay Road; and

b)      Facilities based wholly within the High Street or Coogee Bay Road alignments.

3)      Using a Council approved budget to commission independent technical experts to research, develop and assess the Feasible Interchange Alternatives package;

4)      To coordinate with a Council media and advertising campaign to be run under the slogan “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” to support the attainment of these objectives; and

5)      Pursue the opportunity for memorandums of understanding with property owners and key stake holders.

 

 

CBD to South East Light Rail UPDATE: “Fair Go For Randwick” campaign up and running but “Fair Go For Kingsford” stalled by Labor – 23rd July 2014

Last night Randwick Council voted to support the motion of Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey that it seek to buy up property in High Street or Belmore Road for an alternative site for the light rail interchange that is planned for High Cross Park. In a surprise move the Labor Councillors voted unsuccessfully to oppose the motion after they failed to get an amendment of their own supported.

Later in the evening the Labor block were successful in blocking a second Greens motion that would have seen the Council wage an active media campaign to buy the Government owned share of the Kingsford Market site on fair and reasonable terms. The Juniors (i.e South Juniors) and the Kingsford Chamber of Commerce would have been invited into an agreement to develop the site to make up for parking that will be lost to them when the CSELR is built. Greens Councillor Murray Matson who moved the unsuccessful motion has vowed to resubmit it.

Councillor Matson said after the meeting,

“The Juniors and the Chamber of Commerce would have been looking to the Council to get a ‘Fair Go for Kingsford’ campaign up and running but last night that campaign was given a no go by Labor.”

 

Fair Go For Randwick: Greens say joint venture offer the next card to play in strategy to save a park from a CSELR light rail interchange – 21st July 2014

Greens Councillor Murray Matson states that the best way Randwick Council can now save High Cross Park which is under threat from the CBD to South East Light Rail (CSELR) is to meet the Government halfway by scoping out a joint agreement to buy adjacent land for an alternative interchange site.

Poster - Fair Go High Cross Park

A joint venture offer to the NSW Government might save High Cross Park from a CSELR light rail interchange

This morning he appealed to all Randwick Councillors to support Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey’s motion at tomorrow night’s meeting that seeks to advance the idea of a joint agreement with the Government.

He said further,

“We have had a successful rally on Saturday that the Greens attended and supported. Now the next card to play is Councillor Shurey’s motion tomorrow night. The Council can offer a financial contribution to the Government towards an alternative site consisting of office space above an interchange.”

The Greens believe that a carefully scoped project could make enough profit to recover the expense of property purchases. He elaborated,

“This joint venture would be the best way to save High Cross Park but should be conditional on the agreement that sufficient profits will be made to reimburse the ratepayers. Fair go for Kingsford, fair go for Randwick!”

CSELR: Greens Councillors Shurey and Matson attend Save High Cross Park rally – 19th July 2014

Matson Fair Go For Randwick rally 19-7-2104 - 3 - REDUCED

Greens Councillors Lindsay Shurey and Murray Matson hold Fair Go For Randwick poster – High Cross Park Rally 19-7-2014

Next Tuesday night Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey will move the following Council motion intended to save the park by seeking Government support for the purchasing of an an alternative site for the planned light rail interchange.

TEXT OF MOTION:

That Council establishes the High Cross Park Working Group comprising the Mayor, the General Manager and ward Councillors to pursue the objectives of;

  1. Working with the State Government to acknowledge the benefits of the CBD to South East Light Rail project and to better publicise the responsible and reasonable light rail mitigation initiatives Council is already pursuing under the Light Rail Support Plan;
  2. Presenting the State Government with alternative sites to that of High Cross Park for the bus/light rail interchange by producing a package of options known as the “Feasible Interchange Alternatives” that shall include but not be limited to:
  • Joint venture partnerships to acquire and develop property on the north side of High Street between Avoca and Clara Streets and on the east side of Belmore Road opposite High Cross Park between Avoca Street and Coogee Bay Road; and
  • Facilities based wholly within the High Street or Coogee Bay Road alignments.
  1. Using a Council approved budget to commission independent technical experts to research, develop and assess the Feasible Interchange Alternatives package; and
  2. To coordinate with a Council media and advertising campaign to be run under the slogan “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” to support the attainment of these objectives.

High Cross Park: Randwick Green Councillors call on Labor Councillors to support Greens motion to save park – 18th July 2014

Councillor Lindsay Shurey has called for Randwick Councillors to support her High Cross Park motion to buy property for an alternative light rail interchange as a “way forward”.

Poster - Fair Go High Cross Park

Greens say High Cross Park issue is solvable if property can be purchased for an alternative light rail interchange site.

The pro-light rail Greens are actually putting two motions to the next Tuesday night’s Randwick City Council meeting with ideas for a “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” campaign to solve two contentious problems with the CBD to South East Light Rail project.

The local Randwick-Botany Greens support the CSELR project but believe that the Government is being unreasonable by not working with the Council to save High Cross Park from a planned rail interchange and by refusing to sell the Kingsford Market site to the Council for parking at a fair and reasonable price.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson has pointed out that the Government has recently shown flexibility in the Ashfield area over a threatened local park and towards Randwick racecourse on parking issues. He said this morning,

“It is unfair that the Government changes the Westconnex motorway to save Ashfield Park on demands from the Shooters and Fishers Party but won’t even consider a joint venture with Randwick Council to save High Cross Park from the CSELR.”

“It is also unfair that the Government can build a free car park to help the Randwick racecourse out but won’t sell the Kingsford Markets to Randwick Council for our car park at a fair and reasonable price. Fair go for Kingsford, fair go for Randwick.”

The two Greens motions will go to the Randwick City Council meeting of the 22nd of July 2014.

One to be moved by Councillor Matson proposes that South Juniors (i.e. The Juniors) and the Kingsford Chamber of Commerce be invited to sign a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Council to make up for parking spaces to be lost to the CSELR.

The MOU will have the objective of “acquiring the Government owned land at the old Kingsford Market site on fair and reasonable terms for the benefit of the businesses and residents of Kingsford”.

The other motion moved Councillor Lindsay Shurey will focus on saving High Cross Park by working with the Government to buy up land for an alternative light rail interchange site away from the park.

It will propose “joint venture partnerships to acquire and develop property on the north side of High Street between Avoca and Clara Streets and on the east side of Belmore Road opposite High Cross Park between Avoca Street and Coogee Bay Road’.

Councillor Shurey has called on Randwick’s Labor Councillors to support her motion as “a way forward”. She said,

“The Randwick Green Councillors support Saturday’s rally protesting the threat to High Cross Park but believe that it is essential that the Council promote the buying up of an alternative site to provide a solution. I call on the Labor Councillors to support my motion. If we as Councillors are serious about saving High Cross Park for the community then we must augment our protests with a serious proposal for a joint Council and Government project to acquire and develop an alternative rail interchange site.”

Land Mark Australian Carbon Tax Scrapped by The Coalition – Greens Christine Milne Calls For a Campaign to Restore a Price on Carbon – 17th July 2014

The comments below were made by Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson in response to today’s lamentable scrapping of the historic Australian Carbon Tax.

March in March 16-3-14 Big Solar 035

Australians must find away around the Coalition’s axing of the Carbon Tax to help produce an alternative energy stabilized climate for our children

Tony Abbott has made himself an historically significant Australian Prime Minister by attempting to lead a global assault on the stability of our children’s climatic future.

That he has stuck to his benighted views against all scientific and economic advice is both a mark of the man’s resilience and of Australia’s diminished reputation on the world stage.

It is a political irony that this so called conservative has doggedly worked to destroy the free market pricing of carbon in favour of his state regulated Direct Action scheme.

It is not just our climate that is at stake it is also the financial credibility of Tony Abbott’s government.

We must now rely on Direct Action to fulfil our global obligations to cut carbon emissions by between 5 and 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2020.

Ian Verrender (ABC’s business editor) states that the Federal Government would need to spend $8.5 billion under Direct Action in 2020 alone just to get to the minimum 5% target.

But sadly it gets worse. The scrapped Carbon Tax would have raised this stubborn Government $6.6 billion in annual revenue which Australia will now no longer have the benefit of. No wonder Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey is starting to sound so desperate in his threats to the Senate.

But let us not be subdued by Tony Abbott’s vendetta mind set. For now is the time to pick up the pieces and move forward with a positive objective to protect our children’s future.

My party leader, Greens Senator Christine Milne, has today called for a campaign to restore a price on carbon and I now pledge to support her and call on all responsible Australians to do the same.

If the NSW Government can change the Westconnex Motorway to save Ashfield Park it can change the CSELR light rail project to save High Cross Park and sell Randwick Council the Kingsford Market Site for parking – 14th July 2014 .

The Greens are putting two motions to the next Randwick Council meeting with ideas for a “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” campaign to solve two contentious problems with the CBD to South East Light Rail project.

Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick

The Government should talk to Randwick Council over two contentious CSELR problems that are solvable.

The local Randwick-Botany Greens support the CSELR project but believe that the Government is being unreasonable by not working with the Council to save High Cross Park from a planned rail interchange and by refusing to sell the Kingsford Market site to the Council for parking at a fair and reasonable price.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson has pointed out that the Government has recently shown flexibility in the Ashfield area over a threatened local park and towards Randwick racecourse on parking issues. He said this morning,

“It is unfair that the Government changes the Westconnex motorway to save Ashfield Park on demands from the Shooters and Fishers Party but won’t even consider a joint venture with Randwick Council to save High Cross Park from the CSELR.”

“It is also unfair that the Government can build a free car park to help the Randwick racecourse out but won’t sell the Kingsford Markets to Randwick Council for our car park at a fair and reasonable price. Fair go for Kingsford, fair go for Randwick.”

The two Greens motions will go to the Randwick City Council meeting of the 22nd of July 2014.

Greens support CBD to South East Light Rail (CSELR) but want the saving of High Cross Park to be a major part of the emerging ‘Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick’ campaign – 12th July 2014

A High Cross Park solution is to be a major part of the proposed “Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick” campaign that is intended fix identified CSELR light rail design problems.

Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey has put up a Randwick City Council motion seeking the State Government’s assistance to buy properties in either High Street or Avoca Street as alternative sites for the contentious High Cross Park bus/light rail interchange.

Councillor Shurey says that the Greens want to work with the Government to achieve a “first class public transport improvement via CSELR light rail” but that using High Cross Park land was “not necessary and should be avoided”.

“We want light rail but with that we want a Fair Go For Randwick” she declared.

Councillor Shurey’s motion will propose a Councillor working group that will employ independent technical experts to investigate a range of alternative sites around the park – the key to which might be joint venture agreements with the government.

She stated that a joint venture for a ground floor interchange with medical offices above servicing the nearby hospital could offset the cost of land acquisition to the Council and Government. She said,

“All Randwick Councillors want to keep High Cross Park available to the public as open space and as heritage use.  A joint venture for combined medical facilities and a light rail interchange will work because it will effectively be office space attractively sited on top of a light rail station.”

Councillor Shurey’s High Cross Park solution is intended to be complementary to fellow Greens Councillor Murray Matson’s proposed campaign to get a “fair and reasonable” parking facility on the Kingsford Market site. Councillor Shurey said,

“Council needs to run a ‘Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick’ campaign to both save High Cross Park and to get fair and reasonable parking for South Juniors and our businesses in Kingsford.”

The ‘Fair Go For Kingsford, Fair Go For Randwick’ motions will be debated at the Council meeting of Tuesday, the 22nd July 2014.