#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.

Australia Day: Lidia Thorpe recounts what January 26th means for her family – 25th January 2018

For Lidia Thorpe, like many Aboriginal people, January 26 represents a day of invasion and mourning. One that she, her family and the community has been protesting for many years.

Lidia is a Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman, from Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne’s north. She is the State MP for Northcote in Victoria, and last year she became the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Victorian Parliament.

A story you must hear before January 26

Strong, resilient, determined… Lidia Thorpe's story is a must-watch before January 26 #changethedate

Posted by The Australian Greens on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Australia Day: the 26th of January 1838 marked an act of genocide against NSW Aborigines by mounted police – 25th January 2018

On the eve of Australia Day 2018 a disturbing article has been posted recording an historical massacre of indigenous people initiated by orders issued by the then Acting Governor of NSW.

Major James Nunn is associated with a massacre of Aborigines at Waterloo Creek on the 26th of January 2018

According to a Guardian article  of today January 26 1838 was the very first public holiday ever marked in Australia.

But the article claims that on the same day there was a brutal killing of indigenous people in NSW by mounted Police in retaliation for the killing of 5 stockmen.

According to the Guardian it involved a surprise attack by the Police on a camp at Waterloo Creek and was followed by more killings in the days afterwards.

Wikipedia gives a different account and to some degree reverses the incident by attributing the surprise attack part as being made on the Police by a group of Aborigines. The Wikipedia article lists four Australian historians with differing accounts of what happened. Three of them seem to be in agreement a significant number of Aborigines were killed.


Randwick Council draft Financial Strategy: Green Councillors want YOUR input – 15th December 2017


Randwick Council has put an important financial strategy up for public exhibition and comment until the 1st of February 2018. This will commit the Council to a specific building agenda for 7 years funded by a $27 million loan.

Your Randwick Green Councillors want to get it right and value your input. Please CC in all three of your Councillors if you want to know more or have feedback to give.

Please feel free to make a direct comment on this page.

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.

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?

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.


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