Local Randwick-Botany Greens Councillor says the community has won the fight to name the Alison Road light rail stop after Centennial Park – 12th April 2018

“The Randwick Green Councillors supported the community, Transport for NSW and Centennial Parklands who also originally wanted a park related name” say local Greens.

Randwick Greens Councillors Murray Matson and Lindsay Shurey participated alongside Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi in protests against the removal of Centennial Park trees after an unpopular change in the alignment of the CSELR light rail line to the north side of Alison Road Randwickk.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson is arguing that the name change as reported today in mainstream media actually reflects community support for a park related name.

A previous plans to name the stop after the Randwick Race Course was never much supported following the loss of many Centennial Park trees.

“Identifying the Alison Road light rail stop with a Centennial Park related name is a win for residents who voted 471 in favour of such a name against 233 who favoured the race course when the Council conducted a survey in 2017. It should be noted Centennial Parklands and Transport for NSW also favoured a park related name. ”

“Some 10 million people visit Centennial Park annually which makes it quite sensible to associate the light rail stop with it for the benefit of tourists and Sydney siders who want to locate it easily”.


CSELR Light Rail: What’s in a name for a stop? A Lot! Centennial Park trees before punters! – 18th July 2017

“Centennial Park” is the community’s preferred name for contentious Alison Road light rail stop say Randwick Green Councillors Lindsay Shurey and Murray Matson – 24th April 2017

MacDonalds UK bans plastic straws – will MacDonalds Australia follow? – 9th April 2018

Media Statement by Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson on the plastic straw issue.

Inspiring news! MacDonalds UK is ditching plastic straws! Local environmentalists have told Randwick-Botany Greens Councillors that plastic straws are one of the main pollutants found on the local Coogee Beach.

Can we successfully lobby to have MacDonald’s Australia to follow up and ban plastic straws here? Here is an opinion piece from the SMH by Sue Baily

First of the new State Government IHAP panels meets in the Randwick City Council area – 29th March 2018

Personal comment by East Ward Greens Councillor Murray Matson on the new Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) system forced on NSW Council’s by the New South Wales Liberal Government.

Under the NSW Coaltion Government’s new enforced use of independent IHAP panels residents will no longer be able to go up to the Randwick City Council chamber to witness their local Councillors vote on development applications in the streets of their areas.

Well, the local independent IHAP panel met for the first time last week. I am still trying to adjust to the removal of democratically elected Councillors from the approval process for development applications. I say that while stating that I have complete confidence in the quality of the people chosen to be on the panel. The Council did have a lot of input into who would be chosen to serve on the panel.

I am sure the independent panel members will perform their roles diligently but it still remains that the State Government has broken the time honoured link between residents and their choice of who will be part of the body of people to decide on how a property will be developed in their local community.

There are some specific complications with the new system in how residents play a role in the assessment of proposals.

For example as I understand the “call up” process for the new IHAP is much more complicated than the previous system that I worked within for 23 years as a Councillor. Previously any three Councillors could simply co-author a request via email to the Council’s Director of Planning that a particular DA not be decided by the planning staff under delegated authority, but that it go to a meeting of the elected Councillors for determination. It was quite simple.

But as I now understand it the new IHAP panel requires 10 “unique” submissions from the actual public before it is called up to be decided by the new panel members at a meeting of the local IHAP. And a signed petition will not count. The submissions have to each be unique.

Hopefully the IHAPs will evolve overtime to allow for a more direct input from the public.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2018 festival season noted by Randwick Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey – 23rd February 2018

Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey has locally observed the start of the Sydney Mardi Gras festival by raising the rainbow flag outside the Randwick City Council administrative building.

Last year there was division amongst Randwick Councillors when the new Mayor had to battle hard to get official Councillor support for the YES vote in the marriage equality survey. But yesterday all political differences were put aside when she was was joined by local Greens, independent, Liberal and Labour politicians for the local flag raising.

Randwick Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey presided over the raising of the rainbow flag at Randwick Junction for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. Left ot right:  independent Councillor Carlos Da Rocha, Labour Councillor Kathy Neilson, two representatives of the Mardi Gras organising committee, Mayor Lindsay Shurey, Bruce Notley-Smith MP for Coogee, Liberal Councillor Christie Hamilton. Photo by Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

Related articles
Randwick Council’s plans to support yes campaign hit another snag

Decades old non-politically aligned Friends of Malabar Headland (FOMH) still keep on putting in the volunteer hours protecting Sydney’s Malabar Headland for the future – 18th February 2018

Yesterday my Greens colleague Mayor Lindsay Shurey had the honor of being the incumbent Council leader when it came time for Randwick Council to share the opening of the Malabar Headland Western Escarpment Walking track with Claire Bettington of the veteran local environment group the Friends of Malabar Headland.

This was a bipartisan success day for all Randwick Councillors who have worked with FOMH be they independent, Liberal, Labor or Green.

Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey has opened the new Western Escarpment section (in red) that  now connects up two existing sections of the evolving Coastal Walkway across the Malabar Headland in the Randwick Council area of eastern Sydney. The brown section is yet to be built.

I don’t know where we would now be in protecting Malabar Headland if FOMH had not been working on the various issues involved as they have for so long.

The new walking track fills in another of the gaps in the slowly evolving coastal walk way through the eastern suburb councils of Sydney.


POW Hospital expansion: “Clearly not fair play by the Government” – Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch moves to help householders facing compulsory acquisitions around Prince of Wales Hospital – 16th February 2014

Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch will attempt to ameliorate the impact of the compulsory acquisition of 89 homes for the Prince of Wales Hospital expansion by getting action from Randwick Council.

She met this week with representatives from the Prince of Wales Hospital and Health Infrastructure. She has now lodged a Randwick City Council motion proposing that it urge the State Government to:

  • Offer residents increased financial compensation based on a review of the various legislated compensations available to them.
  • Appoint, at the expense of Health Infrastructure, a buyer’s agent for each resident to assist them in locating and purchasing their new property.
  • Grant an extension to late September 2018 to those residents who face significant impediments to re-locating due to illness, age or other reasons.

A Prince of Wales Hospital (POW) building looms behind soon-to-be compulsory acquired homes in Eurimbla Ave Randwick. Local Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch is fighting to see that displaced households get fair valuations on their properties.

Councillor Veitch has also been attending separate meetings with affected residents who learnt last June that they will lose their homes.

She reports that Health Infrastructure has reached agreement on the acquisition of 15 of the properties and the acquiring of 18 leasehold interests. But she states that the remaining 56 property owners are yet to reach agreement on the valuation of their homes and Councillor Veitch is critical of the settlement terms being offered.

She stated today,

“Residents facing compulsory acquisition are telling me that they have suffered considerable hardship and distress by what seems to be insufficient notice and consultation by Health Infrastructure. They report that the valuations being offered on their properties range from 10% to 30% below market value. That is clearly not fair play by the Government”

CONTACT Randwick Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch

Recent media.



Text of motion by Randwick Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch

That Randwick City Council:

  1. Notes that on 23 June 2017 the Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard released details of a $720 million expansion of the Randwick Hospital Campus, and further notes that:
    1. Residents of 89 properties in the area immediately west of the hospital, bounded by Magill St to the South, Hospital Road to the East, High St to the North and Botany St to the West were notified on 22 June 2017 that their homes were to be acquired by Health Administration Corporation under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991.
    2. That Health Infrastructure, acting as the agent of Health Administration Corporation, have reached agreement regarding the acquisition of 15 freehold properties, as well as regarding the acquisition of 18 leasehold interests, with the owners of the remaining 56 properties yet to reach agreement on the valuation of their homes.
    3. That Health Infrastructure will take possession of the full site in September 2018.
    4. That residents whose homes have been made subject to the compulsory acquisition process as detailed above have suffered considerable hardship and distress by what they argue is an insufficient period of notice, inadequate consultation by Health Infrastructure, and significant variations in the valuations on their properties that range from 10-30% below market value. Furthermore, the requirement for 89 households to relocate within the 12 month notice period has escalated demand for housing in an area of low availability.
  2. Will bring back a report to council as soon as practicable with details of the sale price of all properties sold in the area referred to above within the period 1 June 2015 – 1 June 2017.
  3. Write to the Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, the Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard, and Health Infrastructure as agent of Health Administration Corporation, and calls on them to:
    1. Offer residents an increased solatium of 10% as per section 44 of the Victorian Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986, to compensate for the intangible and non-pecuniary disadvantages resulting from the acquisition or compensation on a reinstatement basis, as per Recommendation 17 of the 2014 Review of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 by David Russell SC (The Russell Review), whichever is the greater.
    2. Appoint, at the expense of Health Infrastructure, a buyer’s agent for each resident to assist them in locating and purchasing their new property.
    3. Grant an extension of settlement to late September 2018, to support those residents who due to illness, age or other reasons have experienced significant impediments to re-locating within the current timeframe.
    4. Instigate a new review of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, with public hearings, as per Recommendation 20 of The Russell Review.

Randwick-Botany Greens amend latest version of Randwick Council’s 20 year plan to include goal of achieving net zero emissions – 15th February 2018

Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch has made key changes to the revised 20-Year Randwick City Plan, which now includes an in-principle target of net zero emissions by 2030.

She said today,

“The Greens have been pushing for Randwick Council to become orientated towards achieving net zero emissions in our local area. It is an exciting goal which if achieved will become part of the ecological inheritance our present community passed down to future generations in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney”

The now adopted amendments put forward by Councillor Veitch have now inserted specific statements into the latest version of the Plan.

  • Energy conservation and efficiency programs Council is committed to adopting an in-principle objective of net zero emissions by 2030.”
  • Protecting coastal areas from over-development.  “Limit the scale of development along the coast by minimizing change to the current controls.”
  • Limiting high rise development near schoolsRandwick City Council acknowledges the importance of protecting the amenity of our school environments, and will develop strategies to limit the impact of development near schools.”

Cr Veitch also included measures designed to help protect vulnerable public housing communities from commercial re-development.

Fellow Greens Councillor Murray Matson welcomed the revised Plan’s commitment to improving transport options by constructing cycleways but has called for “some actual construction work to start in the coming financial year”. The Plan states:

For example we will work with other agencies such as NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to construct cycle ways connecting key destination points and provide facilities to encourage active transport and good health.” (page 18, The Randwick City Plan – a 20 year plan 2018)


#TimeToChoose: Make it a massive rally against coal and gas mining, 12 noon March 24th 2018, Hyde Park North, Sydney CBD

Make it a massive rally against coal and gas mining, 12 noon March 24, Hyde Park North, Sydney CBD

On Saturday, 24 March 2018, people from around the state will converge on Sydney to make an unmistakable call to protect land, water and people from the impacts of coal and gas mining.

The march will be led by First Nations people, followed by riders on horseback. It will feature gasfield free communities and coal-affected communities proudly displaying their banners alongside people from all over Sydney and beyond that want clean and healthy drinking water and farmlands, environmental justice and a clean energy future.

March 24, 2018 at 12pm – 2pm
Hyde Park North, Sydney CBD
Sydney, NSW 2000
Google map and directions

Randwick Council drops unpopular proposal to build a Mahon Pool café after community rejection – 14th February 2018

At last night’s Administration and Finance Committee meeting Greens Councillor Murray Matson successfully moved that Randwick Council drop a tentative proposal to build a café into the ageing Mahon Pool amenities block.

The adopted amendment was seconded by Central Ward Labor Councillor Dylan Parker and read as follows.’

Randwick City Council staff have struggled to refurbish the ageing Mahon Pool amenities block for sometime as sporadic attempts have been made by Councillors to include a cafe in the redesign against opposition from residents. But it now seems certain that the Councillors have settled on a non-cafe upgrade after a successful amendment by Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

“Council resolves not to include a café component in the design for the refurbishment of the Mahon Pool amenities block.”

Councillor Matson stated that it had been a mistake for the Council to float the idea of adding a revenue raising component to existing plans to upgrade the ageing Mahon Pool amenities block. He said,

“By last night it was very clear that the community did not welcome the idea of a café at Mahon Pool and wanted Council to revert back to a 2015 consensus that only the existing amenities block itself was to be upgraded. This upgrade will be one of the projects funded by the Council’s decision to take out a loan for needed works.”

Councillor Matson said that refurbishing the Mahon Pool toilet block had been talked about since he was elected to Council in 1995 and “was an overdue infrastructure project that was becoming embarrassing.”

Is there an infrastructure crisis in Eastern Sydney at a time when local Randwick Council is being pushed by Planning NSW to accept greater residential densities? – 8th February 2018

The comments below are by Randwick Council Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

Another long water cut off by WaterNSW in Oberon Street Randwick that started 11am yesterday has now left residents with out water for over 24 hours.

There is currently a water supply crisis in Cape Town but there is not supposed to be one in Sydney.

I found it distressing today when an elderly resident rang me to report that parts of Oberon Street and Perouse Road in Randwick had been cut off from water since 11am yesterday. I personally know that this is the second time in the last year that water has been cut off for extended periods of time. We are not talking hours. We are talking days. The residents tell mes that there have actually been four occasions. She told that this time she was letting neighbours have access to her water tank. By the time she rang me late this morning locals had been without running water for 24 hours and were receiving no advice from WaterNSW as to when supply would be back on. “People are starting to smell” she said a short time ago.

Surely in a modern urban environment residents who are disabled or trapped at home through caring responsibilities should be guaranteed access to drinking and washing water? I am amazed that there has apparently been no letter boxing by WaterNSW on how residents are expected to deal with the situation. I contacted Council staff but they have been unable to get any action from the service.

Sometime this afternoon WaterNSW had partially restored a trickle flow of water but then cut it off again. At around 5pm someone from the utility knocked on my resident’s door tell her that they were hoping to have it restored by 10pm tonight. When I visited the street a few minutes ago I witnessed one resident being handed bottles of water by the repair crew. I saw another box of bottles sitting on a low boundary fence in front of block of flats. So some attempt is being made by WaternNSW to relieve stress.

I will put a motion to Council that we call on WaterNSW to guarantee that no urban household in need will be deprived of water for more than eight hours without being offered at least free and organised deliveries of container water.

But it’s abundantly clear that the real issue is the ageing of the water supply infrastructure in eastern Sydney at a time when the NSW Government is intending increasing residential densities above what Randwick Council thinks it can reasonably accept.

WaterNSW today told my constituent that they are just repairing rather than replacing the 100 year old plus pipes in Oberon Street and she is expecting further breakdowns in the future. Is our basic infrastructure is in crisis? I have to ask whether Oberon Street is an isolated problem or just the emerging tip of what may become a much greater reality. We may see more mini Cape Town’s in our suburbs.