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A view of The Greenway filled with Hills Fig trees and an almost continuous canopy. Very special.

Community consultation on site about the Inner West Council’s Masterplan for the 5.8km Greenway corridor.  There are two events locally, both for this coming Saturday.

WHERE:        Jack Shanahan Reserve at Hercules Street Dulwich Hill.
DATE:            Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             10am to 12pm

WHERE:        Hoskins Park at Pigott Street Dulwich Hill
WHEN:          Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             2pm to 4pm

Currently the Greenway starts at Grosvenor Crescent Lewisham & the shared pedestrian/bicycle path takes you all the way to the Parramatta River at the border of Haberfield & Leichhardt with the Hawthorn Canal dividing them.  It’s a lovely place in my opinion & a much needed haven for wildlife. I am very glad it is being completed.   I’ve written about the Greenway here – http://bit.ly/1l9FvAf

From Have Your Say website – “The NSW Government and the new Inner West Council have announced a joint commitment of $14.5 million towards the cost of completing the GreenWay missing links. This will unlock approximately 3ha of open space not currently accessible to the community.”

The missing links will open the Greenway to the public from Lewisham all the way to the Cooks River beside Wardell Road Earlwood.  This will result in an off-road path from Earlwood to Leichhardt – safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Three hectares of linear open space is not to be scoffed at considering how poor the levels of green space is in the former Marrickville municipality area.  The Greenway is one of the few places locally where the tree canopy is consistent & reaches over my head.  It is the only one off road.   Hopefully, Inner West Council will plant big canopy trees & tall trees along the new section to create the same effect where trees create a buffer from the urban surroundings.  Let the Greenway truly be green.

You can also participate in community consultation online at – http://www.yoursayinnerwest.com.au/greenway

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City Farm – obvious care has been taken to choose features & repurpose containers for planting. Many of the sandstone blocks come with attached history.

I first came across information about City Farm on National Tree Day 2014 at Sydney Park.  Since then I have waited with much enthusiasm for the opening.  Well, the official launch of the community hub & cropping area is happening this weekend!

The City of Sydney will hold agroforestry lessons for adults & potting vegetable seedlings to take home & cow milking demonstrations for the kids.

Volunteers have been working on the site & will be available to chat to anyone who is interested in getting involved.  There are lots of opportunities for volunteers of all capacity & experience.  It’s an opportunity for us to learn how to grow food in a sustainable way.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the site as it was being developed & I think it looks gorgeous.  Once it is up & running I expect it will bloom like a huge flower.

DATE:            Sunday 29th October 2017

TIME:             10am to 2pm

WHERE:        Sydney Park, at the top of the hill where previous National Tree Day events have been held & near the dog pool.  Enter via Barwon Road near the corner of Campbell Street.

This is a very attractive fence in my opinion. The City of Sydney have taken care to design a space that is beautiful & inviting for people to enter.

One of the planted areas. The plants & several new trees have labels explaining their uses & benefits.  Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Ibis work for free aerating the park lawns & playing fields. I think they are a lovely sight down along the Cooks River.

Once again we have an opportunity to help the Office of Environment & Heritage know how many Australian White Ibis we have in Australia & where they are located.

Many people dislike Ibis & call them Bin Chickens because they are often seen picking through garbage.   The truth is that they do have a particular like of your leftovers, particularly takeaway food items.  However, if the Ibis could buy fresh items of takeaway they would.  Instead they are forced to try to reduce landfill or deal with your eatable litter.

They are environmental refugees & because of this, I believe they deserve more tolerance from the community. 

Prior to 1970 they lived in the inland lakes & rivers of NSW.  But tragedy happened with a long persistent drought drying up these places of fresh water.  Then bushfires claimed the large trees they nested in.

So, what does anyone do when their home becomes inhabitable?  They move.  The Ibis flew to the coast & what they found was a life of luxury & easy pickings because humans eat a lot, & throw tons of tasty food away – be it in landfill or in the park.  An Ibis is not concerned with poking about in a bin.  If there is a bit of hamburger down there, he/she wants it.

I often read comments in media & social media about how Ibis terrorize people for food.  Truly, they are not violent birds.  All you need to do is wave your hands or stand up or clap & the Ibis will run away from you as fast as their long skinny pink legs can carry them.  Their long black beak may look intimidating, but it is not a natural behaviour for them to try & poke out the eyes of a human being.  Even when they are being rescued they are desperate to  get away from the person who is trying to remove string or fishing line from their legs or toes.  They are terrified of being too close.

Yes, they stink sometimes, but if they have access to deep enough water they will line up for a chance to have a good long wash.  We also stink if we don’t wash.

They are intelligent, loyal & friendly birds.  If you have been kind to them, they will remember you.  They move around a lot & have been seen all the way down in Victoria & as far as Papua New Guinea.

Probably the biggest misunderstanding I hear often is that they are an exotic species & should go back to Egypt.  They are in fact an Australian native bird.  Egypt has their own Ibis species.

Environment NSW are asking the community to report sightings of Ibis, especially those birds that are wing tagged or have a leg band.  They want to know the numbers of the tags or bands, how many Ibis there are & their behavior.

You can download a free Apple app here – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wingtags/id1179274045?mt=8

Or for Android here – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.au.gov.nsw.rbgsyd.wingtags&hl=en

Or you can go directly to the website here – http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/surveys/WhiteIbisSurvey.htm

The survey happens during Bird Week from Saturday 21st to Sunday 29th October 2017.

Seen in Gough Whitlam Park 2-3 months ago. WIRES were contacted. Unfortunately Ibis often get their legs & toes entangled in string (even the string from discarded tea bags), fishing line, balloon cords & any kind of cord left in the parks or waterways. Imagine tying something really tight around your toe. You can’t get it off. It causes you horrendous pain for months until either you die from infection or your toe drops off — and you might still die from infection. This is a routine experience for Ibis & other birds, so please do not take or leave these kind of things in the park. TY

Screenshot of Marrickville Station taken from Sydney Metro website..  

With 4-weeks to go before submissions close for The Sydney Metro Sydenham to Bankstown rail line, the Environmental Impact Statement has been released.

Sydney Metro are holding community information sessions to help the community understand this mammoth document.  Members of the project team will be available to answer  questions.

MARRICKVILLE

  • Thursday 19th October: 3- 7pm at Marrickville Town Hall.

HURLSTONE PARK

  • Wednesday 11th October: 3 – 7pm at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL, 20-26 Canterbury Road Hurlstone Park.
  • Saturday 28th October: 10am – 2pm at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL.

You can view & download the Environmental Impact Statement at – www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au & at  www.sydneymetro.info

The deadline for submissions is 8th November 2017.

A drowsy Pelican

It’s Spring & the Aussie backyard Bird Count is almost here.  Birdlife Australia are asking people to count all the birds they see during a 20-minute period & then log this information onto their website or via their free app.  Your information helps them assess the health of birdlife throughout Australia.

Your backyard can be the park, your real backyard, the grounds at school – anywhere & at any time of day.   You can do one count or many counts, but each area needs to be logged on a separate count.

If you fail to see any birds, they want you to log this information too, as it helps the researchers know where birds are sparse.

The Aussie backyard Bird Count asks that you count birds within one area rather than walk for 20-minutes, because this can result in a large area.  Best to target an area with a maximum 80-metre radius or an area 100-metres by 200-metres maximum.

400 birds are listed in a field guide to help you identify them.

The app & a list of FAQS can be found here – https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/faq/

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs from the 23 to 29 October 2017.

An extra way you can help is report any Cockatoos you see nesting, tagged & untagged to Hollows as Homes.  See – http://www.hollowsashomes.com 

 

A very happy pair of nesting Cockatoos.

Lucky pair of Cockatoos with their own natural tree hollow. I love that both have their crests up.

The final results of the Inner West Council election were delayed by the need to count votes & preferences down to the last vote between Independents Victoria Pye & Victor Macri, both of Marrickville Ward.  Victor Macri was eventually victorious.

The elected Councillors are (in alphabetical order) –

Ashfield:

Tom KIAT (Greens)

Mark DRURY (Labor)

Julie PASSAS (Liberal)

Balmain:

Rochelle PORTEOUS (Greens)

John STAMOLIS (Independent)

Darcy BYRNE (Labor)

Leichhardt:

Marghanita DA CRUZ (Greens)

Lucille MCKENNA (Labor)

Vittoria RACITI (Liberal)

Marrickville:

Colin HESSE (Greens)

Victor MACRI (Independent)

Sam ISKANDER (Labor)

Stanmore:

Louise STEER (Greens)

Pauline LOCKIE (Independent)

Anna YORK (Labor)

Congratulations to all the elected Councillors.  The September 19th edition of the Inner West Courier said a “Labor-Liberal alliance is on the cards,” as it was for the previous four-year term.  Interesting bedfellows make for interesting council meetings.

The first Inner West Council meeting, where the Mayor for the next twelve months will be chosen by a vote between the Councillors, will be held at –

  • Ashfield Service Centre – 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
  • Thursday 21st Speptember 2017
  • At 6.30pm

There will be no public speakers at this meeting.  This & other council meetings will also be live streamed on the internet here – https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/council-meetings

Wards of the Inner West Council

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow – Saturday 9th September 2017.    Voting at polling venues are open from 8am & close at  6pm.  Hopefully we will get a good outcome.

Lovely canopy of a Eucalyptus tree

I recently posted about the Marrickville Ward candidates for the Saturday 9th September 2017 council elections. See –  http://bit.ly/2vv5oik

There will be 15 Councillors overall for the Inner West Council, 3 for each –

  • Marrickville Ward,
  • Stanmore Ward,
  • Leichhardt Ward,
  • Ashfield Ward &
  • Balmain Ward.

Stanmore Ward – covers the suburbs of Stanmore, Lewisham, Petersham, Newtown, Enmore & Camperdown. 

Facebook group No WestConnex posted a video of the Meet the Candidates of Stanmore Ward.  The meeting was organised by the ‘Newtown Residents Against WestConnex.’

The candidates are –

  • James (no last name given, though I think it is Gilronan) (Independent),
  • Anna York (Labor)
  • Pauline Lockie (Independent)
  • Lou Steer (Greens),
  • Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance)
  • There is a Liberal candidate, Ken Henderson. He sent a written statement in lieu of attending.

Preferences – 

  • Anna Lord (Labor) said Labor will preference a progressive candidate, not the Liberals.
  • James (Independent) undecided. Said he will give people ideas on how to use their preferences.
  • Pauline Lockie (Independent) is allowing people to decide their own preferences.
  • Lou Steer (Greens) will favour progressive candidates & not the Liberals.
  • Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance) – Greens first, then Pauline Lockie.

Issues addressed –  Candidates position on WestConnex, tree removal & other associated issues concerning WestConnex that are affecting the local community & on the M4 & M5 link.   Council assisting community groups, remediation measures, public transport plan, the Metro train line, light rail on & the development of Parramatta Road, cycle ways, privatization of buses locally, livability, air pollution, the Labor candidate’s ability to contact Luke Foley re the Labor party’s position on WestConnex, corruption, “the stench at St Peters” from digging for WestConnex, the issue of serious community concerns being unsupported by Council, the clearways on King Street & other major roads, tearing up contracts for WestConnex, de-amalgamating the Council, & transparency of the Council merger into the public domain.

Significant time was spent trying to ascertain Labor’s position on WestConnex.  The Labor candidate Anna York said local Labor opposes all three stages of WestConnex.  However, a community member said that the Leader of NSW Labor Party Luke Foley states differently on his website – supporting Stage 1 and 2 & also supporting to lengthen Stage 1 by putting a freeway to the CBD.

“If I cast a vote for local Labour, wouldn’t I be indicating tacit support for the Labor party’s position?” Anna York repeated that local Labor has their own views.    “You are running against the position of your state party?”   The key word is “local Labor.”  One commenter said along the lines of – so local labor is against what state Labor’s position is.

——-

As I wrote in my previous post, the elected Councillors will be deciding on issues affecting the whole of this massive municipality.  Issues affecting Birchgrove will be decided by all 15 Councillors & all 15 Councillors will be deciding issues affecting the former Marrickville LGA.  Therefore, the three representatives we elect will be incredibly important for fighting for our rights, our community & our area because they will be the only ones who know our area.  It will be the same for the other wards in the new LGA.  Who we vote for is extremely important.

In my opinion our community can no longer afford to be unaware of what is happening at Council or the views of the Councillors for much of what they pass in council meetings has to do with their own personal beliefs & perhaps not in line with the community.   For example, we cannot complain about over-development if we gave our vote to a candidate who is pro development.

You can watch the candidates speak & address questions put to them by the community here –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/marrickvilleresidentsSOS/

Fig birds in a Poplar tree in Marrickville

We have a local council election happening Saturday 9th September 2017 where we get to vote in the first Councillors of the new Inner West Council & say goodbye to Administrator Richard Pearson.

There will be 15 Councillors overall, 3 for each –

  • Marrickville Ward,
  • Stanmore Ward,
  • Leichhardt Ward,
  • Ashfield Ward &
  • Balmain Ward.

Marrickville Ward – covers the suburbs of Marrickville, St Peters, Sydenham & Tempe. 

Facebook group No WestConnex posted a video of the Meet the Candidates of Marrickville Ward held Last Thursday night.

The candidates are –

  • Victoria Pye (Independent),
  • Col Hesse (Greens),
  • Sam Iskandar (Labor) &
  • Victor Macri (Independent).
  • There is a Liberal candidate, but the moderator said they declined to attend.

Preferences –

  • Vic Macri (Independent) will not be giving away preferences because the people who voted for him only want him.
  • Col Hesse (Greens) are giving their preferences to Victoria Pye first with Labor next.
  • Victoria Pye (Independent) is giving her preferences to the Greens.
  • Sam Iskandar (Labor) has not decided their preferences yet.

Issues addressed –

  • The Victoria Road Precinct, tree loss intended for Wicks Park as part of the Victoria Road Precinct, the Gateway Process, setting up a community plan, the size of the new council, opposing the WestConnex Motorway, sustainable development, green space protection, infrastructure, demerge from such a large Council, a more representative council, the proposed cycle-way along Addison Road, prioritizing the use of public spaces for the use of schools, massive increase in population coming to our area, proposed stadium at the former Jets Sports Club, community services & programs, location of Council Meetings, construction noise, trucks & roads, smoke stacks, over-development, rise in land valuations, the Local Environment Plan, the Development Control Plan & more.

The elected Councillors will be deciding on issues affecting the whole of this massive municipality.  Issues affecting Birchgrove will be decided by all 15 Councillors & all 15 Councillors will be deciding issues affecting the former Marrickville LGA.  Therefore, the six representatives we elect for Stanmore & Marrickville Wards will be incredibly important for fighting for our rights, our community & our area because they will be the only ones who know our area.  It will be the same for the other wards in the new LGA.

Listening to the video it appeared to me that some candidates want to oppose WestConnex tooth & nail, while another wants to mitigate issues with WestConnex.   Our area is undergoing massive & ongoing change.  As such, who we vote for is extremely important.

In my opinion, our community can no longer afford to be unaware of what is happening at Council or the views of the Councillors for much of what they pass in council meetings has to do with their own personal beliefs & perhaps not in line with the community.   For example, we cannot complain about over-development if we gave our vote to a candidate who is pro development.

You can watch the candidates speak & address questions put to them by the community here – http://bit.ly/2vv5oik    I am told this is a better link – https://www.facebook.com/NoWestconnex/videos/1189372467871826/

I came across this blog in a google search & found the post, “Inner West Council Election, 2017” to be an interesting read.  It also lists all the candidates & whether they are conservative aka right-leaning or left leaning, which can help especially with candidates not affiliated with a political party.   See –   https://www.tallyroom.com.au/nswcouncil2017/innerwest2017

I shall post about Stanmore Ward tomorrow.

The “urban renewal” of Leichhardt. Photo taken July 2017.

Inner West Council is holding a public meeting on the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Draft Strategy.  If this development goes ahead as planned it will be the end of Dulwich Hill, Marrickville & Sydenham as we know it.  Council has expressed serious concern about the lack of infrastructure to cope with the massive increase in population.  If Council is against it, you know it is bad.

“The revised draft Strategy has increased the number of new dwellings in the inner west by 2,500 to 8,500. Total dwellings have increased by 50% (Marrickville Station Precinct) and 500% (Sydenham Station Precinct).” – Inner West Council press release.  See http://bit.ly/2v87szX

As far as I understand, this does not include the 750 new dwellings I was told has just been approved for the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville & the 2,400 new dwellings planned for Carrington Road in Marrickville South.

WHEN:          Thursday 10th August 2017

TIME:              6:30pm

WHERE:        Marrickville Town Hall

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 3rd September 2017.

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