Monthly Archives: May 2016

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

Founder member of the Randwick-Botany Greens Dr John Kaye passes away – 3rd May 2015

The late Dr John Kaye, Greens MLC for NSW.

Dr John Kaye

The Randwick-Botany Greens note with great sadness the passing last night of Greens MLC Dr John Kaye.

As a Greens MLC for NSW John was a compelling and articulate ambassador for the vision of making NSW 100% free of fossil fuel in the generation of power.  It is tragic that he has gone just as global traction may finally be starting to build in this campaign area.

On a local level he had very strong links to the Randwick-Botany Greens prior to entering Parliament . Although living in the Waverley area, John was a founder member of our group back in 1994-95 when he saw the need after the 1993 Federal election to extend a Green profile across the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

He uncomplainingly donated many hours of his time to coming down to Coogee to attend meetings and the fledgling political entity could well have folded without his generous and enthusiastic presence. He latter went on to bring the same self sacrificing energy to his role as a Greens parliamentarian but always found time to return and help our group when we asked him. If you go to the Randwick-Botany Greens facebook page you will see him featured in the main heading image campaigning for a price on carbon.

The Randwick-Botany Greens have a lost a deeply admired representative in the State upper house and NSW has lost a genuinely visionary politician.