Randwick Green Councillor Lindsay Shurey has successfully moved that Randwick Council will now put forward more than just one choice of name for the contentious Alison road light rail stop.
Should the CSELR light rail stop for Alison Road Randwick have a name reflecting the commercial racing industry or that of the public open space of Centennial Park?
Instead of just “Randwick Racecourse” there will now also be equal Council support for the popular community alternative choice of “Centennial Parklands”.
The Green Councillors had wanted just a single name choice for the park at an earlier Council meeting this year but had been outvoted in favor of a racecourse related name.
She says that the success of her latest motion has now brought the “community choice” back into contention. She said;
“Randwick Council’s survey of this year shows that the local community does not want an advertised stop name that forever promotes a commercial entity over the public open space of Centennial Park. In fact TfNSW itself originally recommended that Council support a park related name. The previous vote was out of step with the popular view but my amending motion has at least partially corrected Council’s official position.”
The Greens say that a racecourse name will not be locally well received because of the bitter legacy of the removal of iconic Centennial Park trees along Alison Road for the light rail. Councillor Shurey said;
“The Liberal State Government copped a massive community backlash when it switched the light rail alignment along Alison Road against the objections of Randwick Council and its’ Green Councillors. Everyone knows that those Centennial Park trees would not have had to be cut down if the rail line had stayed on the racecourse side of the road as per the original Government planning consent.”
“Job done” said Greens Councillor Murray Matson after Randwick City Council agreed to buy the State Government owned section of the old Kingsford Market site.
Matson and fellow Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey have been consistently pushing for the transfer of the site to Randwick Council under the campaign slogan “Fair Go For Kingsford”.
Randwick Green Councillors Murray Matson and Lindsay Shurey have been campaigning to retain the old Kingsford Market site for Council use rather than being sold off to a private developer
Some of the site will now be used to offset parking lost in Kingsford from the CBD to South East Light Rail line. But there is also the potential to build additional structures above the car park for community uses. Councillor Matson had previously proposed that a new governance centre should be built above a car park if the now dead-in-the water Council merger proposal went ahead.
The Greens want to make the best use of the site and will be calling for public consultation to decide what community facilities could be built on the site in addition to the car park.
Cr Matson said that he will be calling for local consultation wit Kingsford residents and local businesses along with The Juniors Club (formerly South Juniors) to formalise a concept for the Council to work with.
“The Greens always wanted the site to be used to get back lost parking for Kingsford businesses. But the site can also be used for the community in one form or another such as a cultural centre. We need input from the community which can be sampled at the same time as the election.”
The Greens are proposing the incorporation of a high level of ecologically sound principles such as roof top solar power and the recovery of rainwater to irrigate substantial ‘green walls’ of vertical vegetation plantings facing the streets of Kingsford. Cr Shurey said:
“We have purchased this valuable site in order to stop it being auctioned off by the Government to private developers. We now have the chance to build something really wonderful there. It should certainly include the option of Randwick’s first really big green wall construction on the southern gateway to Kingsford.”
The City of Sydney is proactively promoting green walls and roofs with a guide to how to how to set them up. It has a map of current green wall and roof sites. One of these might provide the inspiration for a Kingsford Market version.
Erecting signs against procrastination on Kensington and Kingsford height limits won’t be the first time Randwick Council has publicly confronted the NSW State Government on a planning issue. Randwick Green Councillors initiated a 2015 campaign against the loss of Centennial Park trees as part of CSELR light rail works.
Councillor Matson is urging the Council to respond with street signs highlighting the planning schism similar to those it erected against Centennial Park tree losses along the Alison Road branch of the CSELR light rail line. The Council resolved earlier this year that it would do so in response to a motion from Cr Matson.
Councillor Matson says that the Government’s procrastination amounts to a “de facto” government policy to undermine Council strategic planning authority in the two town centres. He said;
“The professional calibre of the K2K competition entrants gave Council high level credibility for our draft planning strategy that developers now can’t easily dismiss. But we need Government approval to put it up for public consultation prior to adoption. The Government’s procrastination against exhibition suggests a de facto policy of support for the ripping apart of the Kensington and Kingsford skylines with random 25 storey towers.”
Councillor Matson accuses the Government of trying to bury the Council’s draft strategy rather than allow it to go on public exhibition in the run up to the now likely September Council.
“The State Government says that it wants strategic planning but the Planning Minister is effectively killing off Randwick Council’s contribution by not allowing it to be exhibited to the public. I suspect that the Liberal State Government wants to bury Council’s draft strategy in an attempt to stop spot rezoning’s becoming an election issue in September.”
Councillor Matson reiterated his call for support for the Council’s draft strategy from local MP’s. He said,
“It’s time for Labor MP’s Michael Daley and Ron Hoenig along with Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith to come out of hiding and publically back Randwick Council’s draft Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy against spot rezonings as the only way of blocking 25 storey towers in Kensington and Kingsford.”
In 2013 former Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian wanted to reduce CBD congestion by both diverting bus services away from having to go in and out of the city centre and by directly replacing them with CSELR light rail cars.
“Redesigned bus services in the Sydney CBD will work together with light rail to reduce congestion and revolutionise the way residents, workers and visitors get around our city.” (Then Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian December 2013)
Have the State Government’s promised better bus services of 2013 that were supposed to support the CSELR light rail line been abandoned for a quick privatisation buck?
Randwick Green Councillor Murray Matson asks why is the current Transport Minister suddenly talking about privatising bus services?
“The contract for Bus Region 6 – which runs 233 routes from Olympic Park in the city’s west to Kensington in the city’s southeast – will be put out to private tender to ensure a more reliable service, Transport Minister Andrew Constance says.” (News.com.au May 15 2017)
“Will Berejiklian’s 2013 objective of reducing CBD congestion still be achievable if the bus services that she saw as working in with light rail are to be now be privatised under the new Transport Minister? Are we seeing a case of objective creep in which integrated public transport objectives have morphed over 4 years into the blind implementation of right wing privatisation ideology?”
Councillor Murray Matson will raise the subject for local debate by a motion to next Tuesday’s Randwick Council meeting.
BACKGROUND – TEXT OF COUNCILLOR MATSON’S MOTION TO RANDWICK COUNCIL (23rd May 2015)
“That Council commissions further studies into the future carrying capacity of the CBD to South East Light Rail using a range of alternative operating scenarios including:
Announced State Government intentions to privatise bus services between the CBD and Kensington;
improved light rail service frequencies on the branch line of 6,5,4 and 2 minutes for 2020;
different achievable occupancy rates including the corridor’s average bus capacity of 70%;
a total dedication of the entirety of the CSELR line to rail only;
Local Council elections will probably go ahead this year as news breaks that Woollahra Council will now be able to appeal a Boundaries Commission recommendation that would see it merged with neighbouring Randwick and Waverley Councils.
The Randwick-Botany Greens have pre-selected sitting Greens Councillor Murray Matson to contest East Ward and sitting Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey to contest North ward of Randwick City Council.
The elections will be on the 9th of September 2017.
Sitting Randwick Green Councillors Lindsay Shurey and Murray Matson will be contesting the September 9th elections.
“The NSW Government has just released the final details of the new tree clearing legislation. These details are called ‘Regulations and Codes’. There is now a 6-week consultation period during which time the Government is seeking your views. This is the very first important environment decision our new Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton will have to make.
Please join us in calling on our new Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to make sure that koala habitat and all threatened ecosystems are off limits to tree clearing. You can call Minister Upton’s office on (02) 8574 6107 and leave a message for her staff to pass on to her.”
Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson set up the K2K urban design competition to block developers from forcing through 25 storey towers along Anzac Parade from Kensington to Kingsford.
Randwick Council is fighting to hold off open slather spot rezonings by restricting high rize development to just three clusters around each of the three new CSELR light rail stops in Kensington and Kingsford.
Such changes to an area’s height and density controls are known as “spot rezonings” because they are usually made to suit just one developer on one site thus undermining wider planning objectives held by a local Council.
K2K feed into Randwick Council’s draft Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy that is intended to control and restrict development in the two town centres. It was to be the Council’s main blocking mechanism. But the Planning Minister hasn’t yet given the Council permission for the draft to be exhibited.
Councillor Matson says that this tardiness suggests that the state government is not serious about protecting Kensington and Kingsford from spot rezoning. He says that the Minister should have given “gateway” approval for exhibition back in February:
“If the NSW Planning Minister won’t exhibit our draft area-wide planning strategy then we have to ask if the door is being kept open for 25 storey towers on single sites from Kingsford to Kensington.”
The Kingsford and Kensington town centres will be connected along Anzac Parade by the completed CBD to South East Light Rail line.
Councillor Matson says that the issue is about area wide strategic planning by Randwick Council verse an uncoordinated “site grab” by developers:
“Such uncontrolled development devoid of area wide shading, air flow, parking, transport, public infrastructure and open space considerations will be an appalling urban planning outcome. A site grab like must surely be the direct opposite of what the Government’s Greater Sydney Commission district plan is supposed to be about.”
Randwick City Council is proposing that increased height and density be restricted to sites to be serviced by new light rail stops.
“If we are allowed to get our planning strategy into place high density development will be locked down to just three clusters of sites for 18 storeys next to light rail stops. But if the Minister doesn’t give us exhibition permission then there is nothing to stop 25 storey sites being allowed all over the Kensington and Kingsford town centres.”
The Green Councillor reiterated his call for the three local MP’s for Maroubra, Heffron and Coogee to publicly oppose spot rezoning:
“Labor’s Michael Daley and Ron Hoenig along with Liberal Bruce Notley-Smith must publicly come out in support of Randwick Council’s draft strategy to make it clear that they oppose random one-site spot rezonings in Kensington and Kingsford.”