Repower Coogee supporters hold the blue line where a 7 metre sea level rise will be at Coogee Beach by the end of the centruary – 19th May 2018

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson joined today’s event at Coogee Beach staged by Repower Coogee’s public push to make rising sea levels a NSW state election issue.

Repower Coogee supporters are campaigning to draw attention to where new sea levels will be eating up Australian beaches. Coogee beach 19th May 2018

“Bleached coral, heatwaves, bushfires, and floods. Our climate is changing and causing a raft of environmental disasters. It’s time to draw a line in the sand. Join us on the 19th of May as we do exactly that, drawing a line along Coogee beach, demonstrating where the shoreline will reach if we do nothing to stop climate change.”

Can Repower Coogee build a campaign ahead of the NSW State election that will be strong enough to focus voters on how climate change is forcing up sea levels at Australia’s popular beaches? Coogee Beach 2018

Dan Murphy: Coogee Residents petition against additional liquor shop – 13th May 2018

Local Coogee residents (i.e. “Not Happy Dan”) have asked for the promotion of this petition objecting to Dan Murphy’s licence to trade from the former Rugby Club building on Brook Street, Coogee.

In April 2018 the Land and Environment Court gave the green light for trading to commence. They have supplied us with the following background information.

  • bulk liquor store green lighted for Coogee.
  • 4 existing bottle shops within 500m.
  • Massive scale incompatible with aresidential area in a heritage precinct.
  • Out of area shoppers + daily deliveries = extra traffic snarls on Brook Street.
  • Coogee beaches and parks are alcohol free.
  • Evidence of alcohol related violence in Coogee.
  • Coogee is beautiful and vibrant – it’s not the site for a bulk liquor store.

 More information about this issue can be found at Not Happy Dan. This article posted by Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

Randwick Council’s Environment Committee is re-established by its Greens Councillors – 2nd May 2018

The Greens have managed to get Randwick Council’s specialist Environment Committee re-established after it was disbanded in February this year along with a number of other committees

This 2016 biodiversity meeting held in Randwick Council’s Bowen Library demonstrates the pride it has in its environmental profile which Green Councillors have maintained by re-establishing the Council’s Environment Committee. Pictured here is current Greens NSW senate candidate Mehreen Faruqi talking to neighbouring Woollahra Greens Councillor Matthew Robertson. Photo by Murray Matson

Greens Councillor Murray Matson who moved the successful motion wrote in the background section to it that:

“It is desirable to maintain public confidence in our hard won credentials as a leading environmental Council in NSW by reconstituting the Environment Committee that was dissolved at the last Council meeting.”

The reincarnated committee will have as members two Green Councillors, two Liberals, two Labor and two independents with the Mayor as an ex officio participant.

After the meeting (24th April 2018) Councillor Matson summed up by saying:

“Randwick prides itself on being seen as a pro environment Council. It was thus strange for us not to retain a dedicated committee consisting of those Councillors prepared to do the heavy lifting in terms of generating our environmental policies.”

Randwick City Council resolution to motion from Greens Councillor Matson

That Randwick City Council continues to signal to the community that it values its current high profile on environmental issues by reconstituting the Environment Committee to meet on an as required basis prior to the commencement of scheduled Councillor briefing sessions with no delegated authority on decisions.

The committee shall;

  1. report to full Council meetings recommendations arising from its deliberations;
  2. be chaired by Councillor Neilson with Councillor Veitch as the Deputy Chair;
  3. have a membership of 9 comprising the Mayor (ex officio) and two Councillors each from the Labor, Liberal, Greens and Independents to be advised to the General Manager;
  4.  have the following functions;
  1. have a quorum of 4 with the chair to exercise a casting vote;
  2. to draft responses to local government implications arising from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s 2016 signing of the Paris Agreement negotiated via the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
  3. to review Council’s draft State of the Environment Report;
  4. to draft responses to local government implications arising from former Prime Minister Tony Abbotts’ 2016 signing of the Paris Agreement negotiated via the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
  5. to review Council’s draft State of the Environment Report;
  6. to monitor and advise on key environmental priorities and performance indicators set in the Randwick Council City Plan (a 20 Year Plan) and the yearly Management Plan;
  7. to monitor the performance and drafting of projects under Council’s Sustaining Our City Program;
  8. to be advised of issues arising from environmental arrangements with other councils, SSROC, the State and Federal Governments; Local Government NSW, the Australian Local Government Association; UNSW, environment groups, precinct committee’s and local resident groups;
  9. to receive reports from the Sydney Coastal Council network, the Greening Randwick Committee and other special committees and working groups as they arise; and
  10. to contribute to drafting conference motions on environmental issues for Local Government NSW and the Australian Local Government Association.

Greens Mayor Lindsay Shurey calls for a new high school in Sydney’s east – 1st May 2018

Randwick Council now supports the pro-education group CLOSEast in advocating for a new Eastern Suburbs high school after a successful recommendation was put to the last Council meeting (24th April 2018) by Mayor Shurey.

Randwick Greens Mayor Lindsay Shorey has moved Randwick City Council to support calls for a new eastern Sydney high school.

CLOSEast (Community for Local Options for Secondary Education) had recently contacted the Office of the Mayor requesting support for their campaign. Mayor Shurey subsequently advised Councillors that:

Due to the planned increase in housing density in the eastern suburbs of Sydney to 2036 as identified in the Greater Sydney District Plan for our region, the group is concerned that there will be a shortfall in funding and places available in public schooling for future residents.

CLOSEast has been in contact with Randwick’s neighbouring Councils of Waverley and Woollahra Councils who have shown their support for the group by adopting motions at their council meetings in late 2017.

Randwick Council says current NSW tenancy law does not adequately protect renters against unfair eviction – 30th April 2018

Randwick City Council has resolved to support the “Make Renting Fair NSW” campaign following a successful motion put by Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch last Tuesday.

The Council’s support is timely considering today’s ABC report “Supply increase makes no impact on Sydney’s rental market as tenants struggle to pay” by Kathleen Calderwood.

Holidaying visitors love short term renting at eastern Sydney beach suburbs but are serious long-term tenants at the mercy of no-grounds evictions under current NSW tenancy law?

Randwick Council resolution (24th April 2018) moved  Councillor Philipa Veitch, seconded  Councillor Murray Matson.

That Randwick City Council:

  1. notes that a growing number of households in the Randwick Local Government area are renting their homes – currently 41.2% of people in Randwick are renters. Many of these are families, as well as an increasing number of older people, and people sharing homes;
  2. acknowledges the importance of housing security and stability for those renting their homes in the Randwick Local Government Area;
  3. recognises that current tenancy law in NSW does not provide adequate protections for renters against unfair evictions;
  4. assists residential renters in the Randwick LGA by supporting the Make Renting Fair NSW campaign; and
  5. brings back a report to Council on conducting an information session at the Bowen Library or another suitable location to provide information to residential renters on their tenancy rights, and the support and advocacy services available to them.

Extension to Heritage Conservation Area impeded! Have the Liberal Councillors of Randwick declared war on the heritage conservation movement in Coogee? 27-4-2018

UPDATE 19th May 2018

Independent Councillor Anthony Andrews, Liberal Councillor Harry Stavrinos and Liberal Councillor Ted Seng have declined to withdraw their signatures from the rescission motion that they lodged against the Council decision on the extension to the Dudley Street Heritage Area.

This means that the rescission motion will be debated at this Tuesday night’s Randwick Council meeting starting at 6pm.

One development has been that independent Councillor NoelD’Souza has now informed the Greens  that he will be switching to voting with fellow independent Cr Andrews and the Liberals against heritage protection. I  find this lack of appreciation of heritage issues to be a disappointing attitude for a former Mayor of Randwick City Council to hold.  Particularly as I personally voted for him to be Mayor twice. Non-the-less I am confident that a majority of Randwick’s Labor and Green Councillors are committed to protecting the architectural heritage of Coogee and will vote down the rescission motion.

The next step will be to lobby Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith ( to approach the Planning Minister to urge that Randwick Council is given approval to put the proposal on public exhibition so that everyone can have their say.

The text of the independent/Liberal  rescission motion can be read at:

UPDATED 10th May 2018

Liberal Councillors after unsuccessfully voting against Randwick Council extending a Heritage Conservation Area along Dudley Street in Coogee have now submitted a rescission motion which will force a re-vote.

Local residents once hoped that 48 Dudley Street Coogee could be preserved. But it is now just a hole in the ground leaving the 1970’s flats to the east visually prominent. Green Councillors are fighting to protect other historically valuable homes in the street.

The Council has been planning to preserve the area since February last year when Greens Councillor Murray Matson learnt that the old home at 48 Dudley Street was going to be demolished.

The proposed new heritage conservation area is too late to save 48 Dudley, which has now been demolished. But Councillor Matson says that other homes at 38, 42 and 44 Dudley Street and 122 Mount Street“can and should be protected”.

Councillor Matson says that the Liberal’s rescission motion will only put more heritage value buildings at risk of demolition. He said

The Greens want to preserve more heritage valuable homes in Coogee. Source Randwick City Council Ordinary Business Paper 24th April 2018

“The Liberals are not displaying a serious commitment to actually preserving older Coogee buildings for future generations.”

“I was taken back when East Ward Liberal Councillor Brendan Roberts spoke against voting to ask the Planning Minister for permission to put the proposed extension to the Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Area on public exhibition.”

“The Dudley Street Conservation Area is defined by notable and contributory examples of residential development from the initial Federation subdivisions through to the later Inter-War years. The area of this assessment, extending from the southwestern corner of Dudley and Mount Streets through to Thomas Street Coogee, has considered the evolution of residences
on the south side of this length of street frontage. Whilst of varied scale, the residences have been found to demonstrate close association in style, form, history and detail with those defining the Dudley Street Conservation Area to the North.”  (Page 29, Dudley Street Conservation Area extension  Assessment June 2017)

Randwick City Council – Director City Planning Report No. CP7/18 Subject: Dudley Street Heritage Conservation Boundary Extension and inclusion of Local Heritage Items

Is Joongah Street Randwick in Sydney to contaminated to allow Defence force housing to be built on? – 21st April 2018

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

This image  is of what appears to be an inspection undertaken on Australian Department of Defence owned land at Joongah Street Randwick. This site  is part of a broader area of surplus Defence land between Joongah and Bundock Streets Randwick and which is referred to locally as the “Bundock Street site”.

Defence is seeking to develop Joongah Street for military personal housing as “exempt” development. This classification allows little  input by Randwick City Council in the assessing of the merits of the  proposal.

This is worrying to long term local observers who have knowledge of the various contaminates either known to be  or suspected of being on the property. The Council is currently seeking clarification on the extent of contamination.

Defence itself acknowledges that parts of the larger Bundock site have been contaminated by past military waste dumping practices. The question now being asked by locals and Greens Councillor Murray Matson is whether Joongah Street specifically is safe for people to live on.

A resident’s photo supplied to Greens Councillor Matson showing contamination related activity being conducted in April 2018 at Joongah Street Randwick which is intended for new Defence housing.





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.