NEWSLETTER: Deadlines are approaching to have your say ...

February 9, 2015

Dear Friend,

I feel very lucky to be living in our community, and I'm working hard to protect what is so special about it. One of the biggest challenges we face is unsustainable planning and over-development, with all the threats they pose to our community, environment and heritage. The WestConnex tollroad and the Parramatta Road redevelopment, if allowed to continue as planned, are projects that will dramatically reduce liveability in our communities.

I can feel the momentum growing daily against these developments. I'm committed to protecting the public interest and I hope you'll have your say on these proposals.


Member for Balmain


Any plan to improve Parramatta Road needs to be about better public transport, greening the footpaths, reducing traffic and providing community services. The Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy is, unfortunately, all about the developer dollar. Not new schools or new buses or light rail, but medium and high-rise apartments. 

The draft strategy proposes an arbitrary starting point of 10,000 new apartments for Parramatta Road, which includes up to 5,500 new dwellings for the Taverners Hill Precinct, up to 2,400 for the Leichhardt Precinct, and up to 2,100 for Camperdown.parramatta_road_light_rail_artist_impression_thumbnail.jpg

Setting random development numbers is no way to kick-start a strategy for improving Parramatta Road. The most important step forward would be to introduce light rail on the road to massively reduce congestion and allow for the greening of the corridor (At left: artist's impression of light rail along Parramatta Road).

There are only a few days left for the public to give their feedback on the draft Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Strategy, with the deadline for comments onFebruary 12, 2015. I urge you to make a submission or give your feedback about the draft strategy, which proposes rampant and unsustainable development in our community.

You can see the draft strategy here.


While the Liberal government is still fumbling around with the exact route of the Inner West motorway tunnel to be built from Haberfield to St Peters, it announced last month that the tunnel would duplicate the City West Link road. The tunnel is stage 3 of the massive Westconnex tollway.

Spending billions of dollars of public money on private toll roads denies the public transport system much-needed funds for new services. We know that these new tollways simply attract more people to drive and will, over time, become congested and dump more traffic onto the entry to the ANZAC bridge in Rozelle. Imposing tolls back on the M4 will also force drivers onto Parramatta Road, making that corridor more congested. It places a financial burden on western Sydney residents, who will need to pay exorbitant tolls instead of having improved public transport options.Can_you_see_your_street_map_thumbnail.jpg

This tunnel will impact severely on communities in Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Haberfield, Rozelle, Annandale and Glebe. Tens of thousands of vehicles are proposed to use this route daily, and the toxic fumes venting out from the tunnel through exhaust stacks will impact on the health, amenity and wellbeing of nearby residents (At right: Map showing proposed route of the Inner West motorway. Courtesy of No WestConnex Annandale).

Exhaust stacks, which are large building-sized structures, can be located in a radius as much as 800 meters away from the tunnel, exposing even more communities to car pollution. The government is refusing to say where in our community these exhaust stacks will be located.

The former Labor Federal government committed $1.8 billion to the project, and Tony Abbott has increased that pledge. We are calling on the ALP to support dumping the entire project and invest in public transport, rather than just expressing concern about transparency and the proposed WestConnex exits.

I will be at this important community meeting to campaign for a new approach to urban transport, and I encourage you to attend if you can:

February 15, 2015 – Whites Creek Picnic Rally, 12pm at Whites Creek, Annandale

Click here for more information on this event.


Jamie_Sarah_Kieron_LR.jpgChildren are back in school, and when they front up to their canteens, the food they choose from should be as healthy as possible - but in NSW there is a long way to go.

In 2013, Australia revised its national dietary guidelines, advising that foods high in sugar should be consumed in limited amounts. NSW has yet to follow suit: While the NSW Healthy Schools Canteen Strategy advises limiting foods high in fat and salt, there is no such advice on sugar. This means flavoured milks, for example, which are low in fat but very high in sugar content, are given a green light symbol for daily consumption.

It's clear that the NSW canteen guidelines need to be updated to take account of added sugar content, but there is resistance to this sensible change from sections of the food and beverage industry.

Working with Sarah Wilson, author of ‘I Quit Sugar’ and Dr Kieron Rooney, local resident and an expert in metabolic chemistry (see photo at left), I have launched a petition calling for a parliamentary review of the NSW Healthy Schools Canteen Strategy. I urge you to sign and share the petition to protect our kids’ health.

Click here for the petition.


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