Dec 15

Adani: Randwick Council opposes Charmichael coal mine and calls on local MP’s Matt Thistlethwaite and Malcom Turnbull to withdraw funding and support for new mines – 15th December 2017

Last Tuesday night Randwick Council voted to lobby the federal MP’s for Kingsford Smith and Wentworth on the need to withdraw all support and funding for new coal mines including the contentious Adani (Charmichael) project in Queensland.

Waverley Council has already voted not to support Adani and other Councils are expected to as well.

Randwick Greens Councillor Matson who successfully moved the motion said today:

 “Councils should consider the long term and cumulative effects of actions on future generations as well as the principles of ecologically sustainable development. Coal fired power has had its day and should be consigned to history.”


That Council

  1. Supports and recognises an urgent need for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as soon as possible, and that government support and funding for new coal mines such as the Carmichael Mine and others render farcical any sensible discussion about a transition to renewable energy;

  2. Objects in the strongest terms possible to government support and funding for any new coal mines as well as the extensions of existing coal mines;

  3. Will support other Councils communicating objections to government support and funding for new coal mines; and

  4. Resolves to prepare and send a letter to the federal MP’s for Kingsford Smith and Wentworth detailing this resolution.

Dec 15

A2MP Alexandria to Moore Park connectivity upgrade: Clarification needed of opposition leader Luke Foley position on the WestConnex’s St Peters interchange -15th Dec 2017

UPDATE: The No WestConnex group have contacted us and advised that as of today (15th December 2017) they have not received a definitive clarification of whether Labor opposition leader Luke Foley does or does not support the St Peters intersection component of the WestConnex motor way.

Comments welcomed. Green Councillor Murray Matson is puzzled by the wording of a recent Randwick Council motion from Labor Councillors and is hoping some reader of this site can provide clarification.

Last Tuesday night the Randwick Green Councillors voted in support of a Labor motion protesting the just announced expansions of Dacey Avenue, Anzac Parade and Alison Roads in Eastern Sydney known as the A2MP plan.

Road expansions are flagged for Alison Rd, Anzac Pde and Dacey Ave. Image from News Local.

Greens Councillor Murray Matson asks: “But now I am thinking that we Greens should have perhaps moved an amendment because the motion by Labor Councillor Tony Bowen made no mention of the WestConnex motorway as a casual  factor”.

That Council: …. 2. Agrees to collaborate with neighboring councils as well as State and Federal
representatives to work together in order to effect an immediate moratorium (of) …
…2.b.The Alexandria to Moore Park road widening – The Roads and Maritime Services’ (RMS) ‘preliminary concept design’ for the Alexandria to Moore Park Connectivity Upgrade includes the redesign of the Anzac Pde, Dacey Ave and Alison Road intersection.
(extract of clause 2 from Labor Councillor motion to Randwick City Council 12 Dec 2017)

This is curious because in a News Local article (of this week) Clover Moore does makes a connection between the proposed road expansions and cars from the Westconnex motorway. But the Labor motion (which was flagged in the same article) does not mention the word WestConnex. Why is this?

Read the motion here on page 95 of the Council business paper.

The absence of any reference by Labor Councillor Tony Bowen (motion mover) to the WestConnex seems odd. NoWestConnex reported a few months ago that they were aware that the recent Labor conference had made some sort of amendment to the policy but did not know what it actually was.

No WestConnex sought clarification from Luke Foley: “Do you still oppose the location of the St Peters interchange which is a major part of the New M5 Project?

The No WestConnex web site does not indicate that they have as yet got a reply. But maybe they just haven’t updated it? Can anyone else update us?

Dec 14

K2K – Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey: “people of Kensington and Kingsford deserve better” as NSW Department of Planning forces extra density into draft planning strategy and denies Randwick Council power to levy developers for needed infrastructure upgrades – 14th December 2017

Related article. K2K: NSW Government and local MPs must back Randwick Councils Draft Planning Strategy Against 25 Storey High Rise threats in Kensington and Kingsford-2nd May 2017

Randwick City Council Media Release – 14/12/2017

NSW Government chooses rampant over development over award-winning local planning strategy

Thursday 14 December 2017

After 12 months in limbo, a $300M transformation of the Kingsford and Kensington town centres is looking uncertain, after the NSW Department of Planning this week made substantial changes to Randwick Council’s award-winning K2K Planning Strategy.

Artists impression. Randwick Council’s draft plan to confine new rize high to around the three light rail stops in Kensington and Kingsford has been undermined by the NSW Department of Planning’s December 2017 decision to force in 40% more density.

The K2K plan was developed in 2016 by the Council to take back control of the town centres after five unsolicited planning proposals were received from developers to build tower buildings up to 25 storeys (85m high) along Anzac Parade.

Randwick Council conducted an international design competition and developed its own planning proposal known as K2K for modest increases in heights and densities to create about 1,500 new homes, more than 1,000 new jobs and 54,000sqm of new commercial space.

In addition, the Council proposed that developers would pay higher levies to fund a $300M public benefits package including new public plazas, open space, public art, car parks, a community centre and support for startup businesses.

However a letter received from the Department of Planning & Environment this week – 12 months after the original proposal was lodged – has substantially changed the plan.

The Department wants a 40% increase in density and have denied Council the ability to apply a Community Infrastructure Contributions plan to levy additional funds from developers./

Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey said she was disappointed with the decision.

“In 2016, under the instruction of the Department, we conducted an extensive community consultation and design process to develop a bold vision for the future of Kensington and Kingsford town centres.

“This was our way of getting back control of this area from developers who were eyeing it off for substantial density increases.

“Now we’ve waited 12 months only to be told that the NSW Government wants taller buildings and more homes. And they’re also denying us the chance to deliver substantial public improvements.

“The people of Kensington and Kingsford deserve better. It’s only fair that developers profiting from increased height provide contributions to public benefits,” Mayor Shurey said.

“This decision from the Department questions the whole viability of the plan.”

The modified plan from the Department of Planning will be considered by Randwick Council at a Council meeting in early 2018 to consider whether to proceed to community consultation.

The K2K Urban Design Competition run by Randwick City Council received a Planning Institute Australia Award for Excellence in 2017, a Greater Sydney Planning Award in 2016 and an Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Award in 2017.


Dec 08

Greens MP’s Dawn Walker and Jeremy Buckingham have been arrested protesting the Adani Coal mine – 12th December 2017

Adani Arrest

Jeremy Buckingham and I were proud to have been arrested with climate activists from across Australia who won't tolerate the massive new Adani coal mine destroying our climate and country! #stopAdani

Posted by Dawn Walker, MP on Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dec 04

Does eastern Sydney have a contaminated Defence Force site in the Randwick Council area? – Dec. 4th 2017

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson is afraid that eastern Sydney might have a contaminated Defence Force site on the same scale as other sites in Australia

This list clearly shows that different contaminates were both kept on and probably disposed of on Defence property along Bundock Street in Randwick Sydney from WWII onward.

Residents and Councillors have become alarmed over documentation revealing an extensive list of various types of contamination that were kept over the years at the Defence Force owned land between Bundock and Holmes streets Randwick in Eastern Sydney. Defence has build residential homes on the northern end of the site along Bundock. The department is now proposing to build further homes along the recently declared and as yet undeveloped Joongah Street on the southern side parallel to Holmes Street.

Councillor Matson has put a successful motion to last Tuesday night’s Council meeting seeking clarification of the full extent of contamination on Defence owned land between Holmes and Bundock Streets in Randwick. Council has been shown images of past earth moving works on the site which show striations in the exposed soil that are claimed to indicate layers of contaminates.

Various areas of the large Bundock Street site are understood to have been a disposal site for hazardous military origin waste. One example is the assertion that dangerous transformer chemicals were buried in pits after being transported there from the Navy facility at Garden Island.

Councillor Matson said that the Council had a duty of care to responsibly research claims by the public. He said,

“Residents have supplied to me enough documentation supporting their claims of contamination that I have to take the issue seriously. It should be remembered that once standard procedures for disposing of contamination in the 1970’s would not be legally allowed now.”


Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson –

Dec 04

Councillor Philipa Veitch (Greens) pushes for Council response to Minister’s offer of light rail (CSELR) respite for residents suffering construction noise – Dec. 4th 2017

West Ward Councillor Veitch has called for an uptake by Randwick Council of an offered Government light rail respite package for residents.

Randwick Green Councillosr say out of hours noise is impacting  unnecessarily heavy on residents living along the Anzac Parade section of the CBD to South East Light Rail works.

Councillor Philipa Veitch has successfully called on Randwick Council to proactively help residents in Kensington and Kingsford impacted on by out-of-hours light rail construction work on the CBD to South East Light Rail project.

The Council will now be chasing up details of a State Government letter promising to offer respite accommodation and the rescheduling of noisy high intensity construction to daytime or early evening. The letter was in response to lobbying efforts by Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey.

Recent election policies of Greens Councillors Philipa Veitch (far right) and Lindsay Shurey (far left)  included “Planning for Communities”. Both are now pushing for relief for their communities from construction noise generated by SELR light rail project.

Councillor Veitch says that the offer from the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure  should now be proactively pursued by the Council on behalf of residents. She said,

“I thank Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey for lobbying the Minister to consider offering respite accommodation to my noise affected constituents. Council needs to be continually pushing for relief for residents subjected to out of hours construction work. Now is the time for the Council to ensure that the Government offer is expansive enough to actually offer effective relief.”


Randwick Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch –
Randwick Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey –

Nov 15

Randwick Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch attempts to protect local school form disruption from Newmark (Inglis) development site – 15th Nov. 2017

West Ward Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch is attempting to aleviate expected noise and traffic impacts on three local schools should the independent Sydney Central Planning Panel approve large scale development on the Newmarket stables site.

Randwick Council will now recommend to the panel that it oblige the applicant to work with Council and the schools to produce a construction program that will minimise impacts on the schools.

The successful motion by Councillor Veitch continues many years of opposition by the local greens to over development on the Newmarket site. But the Council can now only recommend the condition because the Liberal State Government has removed its decision making powers.

Councillor Veitch’s successful motion to last night’s Randwick’s planning committee reads:

“That the SECPP assessment report for DA/370/2017, (lots A & B in DP 330407) 29-39 Young Street, Randwick be received and noted and a submission be made to Sydney Central Planning Panel recommending the implementation of a condition that the applicant be required to set up an ongoing consultative forum with Council and the three adjacent schools to produce a construction plan and daily work schedule that will minimize traffic impediments, noise and other expected disruptions during school hours. The submission will also note Council’s opposition to the application based on its failure to meet Council’s previous support for lower densities on the site.”

The three schools likely to be impacted on are Randwick Girls High, Randwick Boys High and the Rainbow Street Public School.

Nov 15

Marriage Equality postal survey result : Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey in tune with the Eastern Suburbs mood on same sex marriage – 15th Nov. 2017

Its been reported that support for the YES vote in the local seat of Kingsford Smith was 64.1. If so this clearly endorses the position taken by Randwick Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey in her recent Mayoral Minute that supported a YES vote.

Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey led Randwick Council forward in supporting a YES vote.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson said that he and fellow Greens Councillors Philipa Veitch were delighted by the result.

Cr Matson said the strong local YES result vindicated the leadership position taken by Randwick Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey. He said:

“Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey clearly was in tune with the positive position of the Eastern Suburbs community and reflected it accurately. I am proud of our Mayor in how she lead Randwick Council at this emotionally intense time.

He said that the next step of the campaign was to call on federal MP’s to enact “real” legislation. The Federal MP for Kingsford Smith is Labor’s Matt Thistlethwaite.

“Now it’s time for Federal MP’s to move on and do their job by bringing in marriage equality legislation that genuinely does justice to the expressed will of the community.”

There has been a stronger than national average pro YES vote in the Randwick Council area.

Oct 15

UPDATE: Former Randwick Greens Mayor on why Crepe Myrtles were cut down by Council outside Randwick Community Centre – October 15th 2017

This is an update to the article posted by Greens Councillor Murray Matson in response to community concerns over Randwick Council’s removal of two rows of non-native Crepe Myrtles outside the Randwick Community Centre.

Randwick Council staff have now provided me with this artist’s impression of what the new landscaping will look like when completed.

I would like to suggest that the real issue here is whether a Council having first planted one landscaping concept is allowed to revisit the decision a few years later with a new concept.

When Council first planted the two rows of Crepe Myrtles it was largely just bare earth and concrete. The site consisted of large disused asbestos military storage sheds on land owned by the Defence department before being given to the Council.

Council landscaping and environmental staff went in and put in a landscaping concept consisting of two rows of non-native Crepe Myrtle near the entrance of the new Community Centre. And they did a very good job.

The same hard-working Council staff are now implementing a new landscaping concept. And they will be shown to have done an equally good job. I believe that when the new plantings mature in 5 to ten years we will all be able to reassess the decision to remove the Crepe Myrtles.

Randwiick Greens Councillor Murray Matson

Oct 12

Former Randwick Greens Mayor on why Crepe Myrtles were cut down by Council outside Randwick Community Centre – October 12th 2017

Response by Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson to “Majestic Myrtles Down To Stumps” (Southern Courier, Oct 10 2017 page 5)

There is a species of Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia archeriana) that is native to Australia but the ones removed by Randwick City Council were actually of the Indian eastern Asian species Lagerstroemia indica.

The removal of two rows of non-native Crepe Myrtles outside the Randwick Community Centre has provoked concern from some residents. But Greens Councillor Murray Matson says that there were not thriving.

These Crepe Myrtles were not thriving as can be seen in the photo below from a 2016 Council report. The image shows that they formed two regimented rows in the village green outside the Randwick Community Centre.

They were thus there as an unsuccessful design element rather than as a contribution the natural environment of the adjacent Randwick Environment Park. This design value became redundant when the Council decided to change the entrance way to the Environment Centre.

“However, the Crepe Myrtles are not significant in anyway, and as they are seen to visually and physically block access to the Community Centre, the submitted plans & SEE seek their removal so as to accommodate the new entrance sign as well as hard and soft landscape works.” (DA D21/16 Compliance report – 21-29 Munda Street, Randwick, page 90)

I have been advised by Council staff that the Myrtles will be replaced “with more than 200 trees, shrubs, ground covers and grasses that are more suitable for the area” and which will “provide more habitats and an increased food supply for native birds, lizards, butterflies and insects”. I seem my job as a Greens Councillor to ensure that this ecologically valuable intent is indeed achieved.

Randwick Council’s removal of Crepe Myrtles (see red arrow) fits in with its management care of the adjacent Randwick Environment Park and its ephemeral wetlands.

I have a personal invested interest in the ecology of this area as I played a role in achieving the granting to us of the Randwick Environment Park from the Commonwealth when I was Randwick’s Green Mayor in 2010. I can assure readers that this concern for the Park is shared by the environmental staff of Randwick City Council.

The photo below (see red arrow) shows the removed Myrtles outside the community centre and the adjacent Randwick Environment Park containing its ephemeral wet lands.

It is clear that there is great potential to now use the removal of the Myrtles to augment the natural value of the Environment Park.