A White-Faced Heron grazing in Tempe Reserve with 2 Magpie Larks for company

This was the Council Meeting. Absent: Clr Peters.  The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.  Note: MC = Marrickville Council.  The Councillors & Wards are as follows – LABOR:  Iskandar/Central, Wright/North, Tsardoulias/West, O’Sullivan/South. GREENS:  Phillips/Central, Peters/North, Byrnes/North, Kontellis/West, Olive/South.  INDEPENDENT:  Macri/Central, Thanos/West, Hanna/South.

Review of Marrickville Local Environmental Plan & Development Control Plan (LEP & DCP) –A resident spoke against a plan to put a 14-metre high building on West Street Petersham; said would be too high, did not fit into the area & would look over historic Petersham Park. Clr Wright supported the resident agreeing that a building of this height was inappropriate to this historic area across from an historic park. Clr Macri disagreed saying that the building would only be 11-metres, the extra 3-metres was infrastructure on top of the building.  The matter was deferred.  The balance of the Traffic Report & Victoria Street item was also deferred.

Clr Olive: Opposed the motion. Point 4 of the recommendation – ‘to maintain urban targets,’ we went through an extensive process for the LEP. Recommended 4,100 new residences. There is no imperative to create more dwellings. MC asked the Department to look at industrial areas like Carrington Road for 1,000 residences. We were told to look elsewhere & we did. No we are being asked to put 900-1,500 residences in Carrington Road (Marrickville South). It’s in strong contradiction of the Marrickville Urban Strategy.  I would have supported Carrington Road then, but to remove it & then want it back.  If we go down this path we will be blowing the whole process we have just undertaken.  If we are going to do this then we need to get them to downzone the areas we organized before.  Up-zoning at Marrickville Station is for 7-storey building when there are now two.

Clr Thanos: The LEP gave very good protection for our residential areas. We increased residences around shopping centres & railways stations.  Carrington Road is very close to Tempe Station & can cope with large-scale housing. It was ludicrous the government did not allow us to go down his path. It sends a negative message to investors.

Clr Macri: Clr Thanos is right. Jobs aren’t the prime driver anymore. People want to live in Marrickville. I’ve no concern increasing Marrickville’s population. Go on Marrickville Road & there is no-one there.  Marrickville used to look like New York in the 80s. Important when looking at Carrington & Victoria Roads site because they provide opportunity to the community for open space.  Victoria Road has a 6-star energy precinct. That excites me.  Our shopping centres are dying. We need more people in Marrickville.  Our libraries & pool is not being used enough.

Mayor Hanna:  Marrickville used to be fantastic when it was middle-class & working people. If anyone said you would need $800,000 to buy a house I would have been called crazy.  With the LEP I thought the developers would come, but they didn’t because it’s not worth it. Victoria Road consultant came to sit with me & Clr Macri. It’s a fantastic design. You are not increasing the units like you say. I’ve been here 30-years.  I’d love it to return, [to what it was before] but it won’t if [because of] Greenie motions.

Clr Kontellis: You & Clr Macri have given us a historical perspective of Marrickville in the 70s. I was a shop owners kid. There was no Metro. You are portraying this image of Marrickville being held back, decaying where there is no more working class. Your innuendo is that this is because of the Greenies. Have a look. The Greens have no majority. Votes are usually Labor with the 2 Independents (Hanna & Macri). If you have a problem you need to look at your own votes & yourself.  Have a look in the mirror – you have been here 17-years.  The Greens didn’t vote for the LEP; in fact it was yourselves that did.

Clr O’Sullivan: I find it moving & entertaining that some Clrs are nostalgic for the former government & want to revert to the former government’s regime. I’m not supporting it.  Each property has legitimacy. Carrington Road is close to Tempe & Marrickville Stations. The former government had a very good view of keeping industrial lands close to the airport. It would be in our peril if we reversed our ideas to make Marrickville solely residential. It would make Marrickville a dead place. Industry needs to be accessible. I fully support Clr Macri’s recommendations.  We should go ahead with it & not be concerned if we have a few thousand more than what we envisage for 2025.  Vote: For – Clrs Macri, Hanna, Thanos, Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Phillips, Byrnes & Kontellis. Against: Clr Olive. Carried.

Refurbishment of Fanny Durak Aquatic Centre –3 residents spoke about the need to finish work as quickly as possible to not close the pool during the swimming season, that residents all want a 33-metre pool instead of MC’s decision for a 25-metre pool & that 1.2-metres at the shallow end is too deep for kids to learn to swim safely.  They were also concerned that there has been no community consultation since 2009, with no signs at the pool & nothing on MC’s website about the works. Clr Wright: Amendment; add to point 4 to strongly restate MC’s commitment to building the new pool, extend the hours from September school holidays to the end of the Easter School holidays & the depth of the shallow end to be taken into consideration in the planning.  Staff: The depth mirrors the Annette Kellerman pool. You need 900mm for lap-turning, but 1-metre depth may provide a better outcome.  Carried unanimously.

End of Part 1.

Great windcheater seen in Sydenham - proving that people like trees.