Green Councillor calls for confrontation between Randwick Council and State Government in run up to Council elections over Kingsford and Kensington spot rezonings – 19th May 2017

Randwick Council is in for another street signage battle despite the success of Greens Councillor Murray Matson’s “K2K” urban design competition for Anzac Parade between Kensington and Kingsford.

The winning entry formed the basis for the Council’s draft Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy against developers who are trying to circumvent its’ local density and height limits along the Anzac Parade corridor.

But the NSW Planning Minister looks unlikely to allow the Council to exhibit the draft strategy for community consultation after strong opposition from developer lobby group the Urban Taskforce.

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.

He said,

“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.”

CONTACT: Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson 0409-984-587 @murraymatson

Which Kensington bus services are going to be privatised and how will this impact on planned CSELR services? – 16th May 2017

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.” ( 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.


“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;
  • the adoption of Moving Block Signalling;
  • the extension of the Kingsford branch stations to allow for three or more linked carriages; and
  • other frequency enhancing strategies that Council officers think useful.”


Randwick Council Greens candidates Lindsay Shurey and Murray Matson now certain to face local elections after Woollahra Council wins leave to appeal local eastern suburb Council mergers – 12th May 2017

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.


Public consultation now open for six weeks on NSW Government’s just released new tree clearing legislation – 11th May 2017

You are being called to lobby NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her new Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton as they prepare to mark out their first significant environmental direction.

Uncontrolled land clearing is a contentious issue in NSW as it poses a threat to native animals such as Koalas.





The following request is taken from a broader document on the web site Stand Up For Nature.

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.”

K2K: NSW Government and local MP’s must back Randwick Council’s draft planning strategy against 25 storey high rise threats in Kensington and Kingsford. – 2nd May 2017

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.”

CONTACT: Randwick Greens councillor Murray Matson – @murraymatson

“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

Randwick Councillors have voted to name the CSELR’s Alison Road light rail stop “Randwick Racecourse” despite a Council survey result showing two-to-one resident support for variations on “Centennial Park”.

The Racecourse was widely perceived as having used its influence to move the alignment of the CBD to South East Light Rail (CSELR) from the south to the north side of Darly road forcing the removal of Centennial Park trees.

Now dissenting Green Councillors Lindsay Shurey and Muray Matson say a racecourse name will not sit well with those residents who last year fought to save the Centennial Park trees from the light rail construction works.

Protesting Randwick Greens Councillors Lindsay Shurey and Murray Matson were devastated on the night of the removal of Centennial Park trees for CBD to South East Light Rail (CSELR) construction works.

A Council report voted on last Tuesday shows that 471 respondents favoured a Park related name against 233 who preferred a race course variation. Transport for NSW (TfNSW) also favours a park name as does Centennial Park’s official blog site.

After the decision to relocate the Alison Road stop to sit inside Centennial Park, this proposal from Transport for NSW makes a lot of sense. The Park is open 365 days a year and attracts more than 10 million people annually – local, domestic and international, making it one of the most visited green spaces in Sydney.” (Centennial Park official blog)

Councillor Shurey will be submitting a Greens motion seeking to align the Council better with the community’s preferred name of “Centennial Park”.

A Greens initiated street sign campaign by Randwick Council against the removal of the Centennial Park trees for the CBD to South East Light Rail (CSELR) was ultimately unsuccessful.

In 2015 Greens Councillors Murray Matson and Lindsay Shurey rallied Randwick Council to protest the alignment change with a highly visible but eventually unsuccessful street sign campaign.

Councillor Matson said after last week’s Council meeting.

The State Government inexplicably went against Randwick Council’s by approving a late minute switching of the rail lines to the north side of Alison Road forcing the removal of many Centennial Park trees. Council took a proud stand in favour of the communities fight to save the trees last year and we should not now be going against our own survey findings to name the stop after the racecourse. Why should we be supporting the promoting in Government timetables of a commercial entity over that of that of the public asset we have in Centennial Park?”


CSELR light rail carrying capacity: Open letter to eastern suburb’s local MP’s Ron Hoenig, Bruce-Notley Smith and Michael Daley – 2nd March 2017

Dear Members of Parliament

If Randwick’s Councillors do not survive the opening merger this is what you should be arguing for on behalf of our residents.

You need to convince the State Government to drop its defacto policy of allowing multiple random spot rezonings for 25 storey towers in Kensington and Kingsford.

All we need is sufficient combined bus and light rail capacity to service the population planned for under Randwick Council’s draft Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy.

If you can do this then supporting a heavy rail line to Kingsford and Maroubra Junction becomes unnecessary and we can actually restrain the capacity of the light rail.

Minor changes in population density can be adjusted for by simply running the light rail at greater frequencies than the proposed one-every-eight minutes. And the same mathematical logic applies to increasing or decreasing bus services. The Government already knows this.

Twice the frequency means a doubling of carrying capacity. But do we actually need so much on opening day of the CSELR line in 2020? I think not.

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson – @murraymatson


Randwick to consider adopting City of Sydney Green Wall policy – 28th February 2017

UPDATE: The policy was adopted at last night’s Randwick Council meeting.

Tonight Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson will urge Randwick Council to adopt the City of Sydney’s Green wall policy.

Councillor Matson says:

Small green wall added to an existing toilet block. Source City of Sydney case study.

“Randwick Council could seek to adopt the City of Sydney green wall policy. Then it would be an architectural possibility for designers to consider when commissioned to plan town centre buildings or as an option for Councillors to consider for any Council facility building.  It could also be a retrofitting option suggested by Council when proposals come along to freshen up or re-render some of our more unfortunate 1970’s style blocks of existing flats.”

SMH writer Leesha McKenny recently covered the green wall concept. Councillor Matson say’s that green walls are already suggested in Randwick’s draft Kensington and Kingsford Planning Strategy. But he says that it could also have Council wide relevance by further adding it into the Council’s general Development Control Plan (DCP).


The City of Sydney states that it is committed to increasing the number of high quality green roofs and walls in Sydney. In April 2014, the City adopted the green roofs and walls policy – the first of its kind in Australia.

The City of Sydney considers Green roofs and walls as providing many environmental and community benefits and as “an integral part of any sustainable city”.

Sydney Council lists some benefits as:

  • improved air quality
  • beautifying buildings and the cityscape
  • supporting local biodiversity
  • supporting our physical and mental health
  • insulating buildings from heat and noise
  • creating new open space for recreation and food growing
  • extending roof life by protecting the waterproofing layer from weather and temperature changes
  • improving solar panel efficiency
  • cooling city temperatures and reducing the urban heat island effect
  • slowing and cleaning storm water runoff from buildings


“That Council brings back a report to Councillors on the City of Sydney’s Green Roofs and Walls Policy assessing adoption of our own version of the Policy along with possible amendments to our Development Control Plan.”

UPDATE: Latest version of CSELR Light Rail amendment for Randwick Council debate – 27th February 2017

Here is the latest version of Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson’s  CSELR light rail amendment for Tuesday night’s Randwick Council meeting.

TEXT OF AMENDMENT to item NM10/17 motion pursuant to notice: “Light Rail Capacity study – Call for Commission of Inquiry”

“That Council notes that on the 15th of September 2016 Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi unsuccessfully moved to set up a NSW parliamentary Select Committee on the CBD and South East Light Rail Project and will:

  1. Now call for the NSW Parliament to reconsider Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi’s motion of the 15th September for the setting up of NSW Parliamentary Select Committee on the CBD and South East Light Rail Project;
  2. Commission a follow up study on the EMM findings reassessing their combined bus and light rail predictions using:
  • 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;
  • the adoption of Moving Block Signalling;
  • the extension of the Kingsford branch stations to allow for three or more linked carriages; and
  • other frequency enhancing strategies that Council officers think useful; and
  1. Consider a General Manager’s report on the follow up study’s findings with a view to making an appropriate submission to NSW parliamentarians or to a NSW parliamentary committee.”