You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘community campaigns’ tag.

The Save Marrickville group put this model together to give the community an idea of what the landscape will look like with all the high-rise buildings in Marrickville. The tall black and brown buildings at the top represent the 35 storeys for Carrington Road, the red and orange is around Marrickville Railway Station and the white represents single story houses. This model does not include the Victoria Road Precinct, which also has high-rise. It is pretty shocking to look at a proposed future Marrickville if the government and the developers get what they want.  Photo by Save Marrickville and used with thanks.

Community group ‘Save Marrickville’ [ www.savemarrickville.com.au ] has organised a march to peacefully protest the NSW State Government’s rezoning of Marrickville to a Priority Precinct.

Save Marrickville say on their Facebook page that –

  • “The rezoning of Marrickville will mean the mass destruction of heritage streets replaced with high density.
  • The destruction of Marrickville’s character.
  • High rise towers up to 35 storeys.
  • Eight storey apartment blocks next to your home.
  • More than 10,000 extra residents.
  • Almost no affordable housing.
  • No new schools or parks.
  • Roads & railways grid-locked.
  • Abolishing industrial land & 1,800 local jobs that exist now.

There is still time to change this!   Marrickville has not yet been rezoned.”

All you need to do is look at nearby Wolli Creek or Alexandria to see what is planned for Marrickville.  This level of development will change Marrickville for ever.  Dulwich Hill will also be hard hit by development.

This is an opportunity to tell the NSW state government that their plans are nothing less than over-development & will destroy this community.  Silence to the government means we approve.

The march will be –

WHEN:          Saturday 24th February 2018.

TIME:             12 noon.

WHERE:        Meet at Marrickville Town Hall & march a short distance down Marrickville Road to the Alex Trevallion Plaza located next to the Post Office Cafe.

SPEAKERS: Linda Burney MP – Federal Labor Member for Barton.

Mayor Byrne – Inner West Council.

Councillor Hesse – Greens Councillor for Marrickville Ward.

Kelsie Dadd – spokesperson for Save Marrickville.

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Sign hung up in Ewen Park with plastic bottles from the Cooks River underneath.

Sign hung up in Ewen Park with plastic bottles from the Cooks River underneath.

The sign says, "Our final toss."

The sign says, “Our final toss.”

The marvellous ‘Cooks River Tossers’ have been busy this afternoon making a statement on both sides of the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Cooks River at Lang Road to Ewen Park at Hurlstone Park.

We were out cycling when we came across a pile of plastic bottles underneath a painted sheet sign strung up on a fence in Ewen Park that said, “These bottles NOW 10c.  Thank you Boomerang Alliance.”

This is a very strong message to the community that they can help stop the Cooks River, other waterways, our beaches & our oceans from being polluted with plastic drink bottles tossed in the river or from stormwater drains.

Six days ago the NSW state government announced that it will go ahead with implementing a Container Deposit Scheme for a 10 cent refund on each empty drink container.  See – http://ab.co/1Xqvxto

The NSW state Environment Minister Mark Speakman said, “We know that 160 million containers end up in litter in NSW. We are determined to drive that down.”   That amount of drink containers polluting the environment makes me shudder.

The Container Deposit Scheme will commence in July 2017.  It can’t come too soon for the environment, which is suffering dreadfully by this kind of pollution.

Riding back towards Marrickville later in the day, we saw that the ‘Cooks River Tossers’ had done more work on the Lang Road side of the bridge.  A large number of plastic bottles taken from the river were piled up with a small sign beside many of them saying, “I’m worth 10c.”  A very clever & a very powerful statement.  I love these people.

Plastic bottles retrieved from the Cooks River today strewn along the path on the Lang Road side of the river.  Small signs say, "I 'm worth 10c."

Plastic bottles retrieved from the Cooks River today strewn along the path on the Lang Road side of the river. Small signs say, “I ‘m worth 10c.”

 

 

The Inner West is at serious risk of losing precious bushland of the Wolli Valley for the WestConnex Motorway.  If you have never been, this is a perfect opportunity to see why the community organization, the Wolli Creek Preservation Society, is lobbying hard to save it.

Wolli-Creek-walk-Saving-Our-Trees

 

This is in the section of Wolli Creek that is under threat  Hopefully it will be untouched by the WestConnex Motorway and safe for future generations.

This is in the section of Wolli Creek that is under threat  As you can see it is a beautiful place.   It needs to be kept safe for both the wildlife & for future generations.

Petersham Oval where Sir Donal Bradman played

Petersham Oval where Sir Donal Bradman played

If trying to remove a chunk of historic Ashfield Park was not enough, now the WestConnex Authority is after a chunk of historic Petersham Park.

This park is famous because Sir Donald Bradman had his first appearance in grade level cricket in Petersham Oval that is in the park in 1926 when he was just 18-years-old. This local sporting history is one that many people refer to with pride. The Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre located in Petersham Park has recently been upgraded.

Petersham Park also has many significant & veteran trees, plus stands, gate & pagoda that many would consider heritage & worthy of protection.

Even though a short distance from Parramatta Road, this area of Petersham/Lewisham is a lovely green oasis of mostly Federation houses & leafy tree-lined streets.

From the ‘Save Petersham Park’ Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/savepetershampark/timeline

“We are concerned residents of Petersham.  On 23 November 2014, the NSW State Government, Urbangrowth, released a proposed plan for Parramatta Rd, to build a tunnel underneath it, called westconnex. They propose an entry/exit from the tunnel at Petersham Park.  (A similar entry/exit proposed at St Peters will cover all of Tempe tip and also take 80 houses around that area.  It is not just a couple of ramps).  Urbangrowth also proposes 10 storey highrises on all of Station St, and 24 storey highrises behind the old Lewisham Hospital.   See page 31 of the draft strategy document under “new parramatta rd” on the website “www.urbangrowthnsw.com.au.  There is also word unofficially of an unfiltered emissions stack at Fort St High School. Where there is a tunnel exit there has to be an emission stack.”

A view of historiv Petersham Oval

A view of historiv Petersham Oval

It is not surprising news, but frankly, it is appalling.   Same for the 10 & 24 storey high-rise apartments & the unfiltered stack planned for this area.

I tried to open the UrbanGrowth website, but was greeted with the following –This site is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be back online shortly. Please check back soon.”  Hopefully it will be back online quickly as I imagine there will be many local residents who are very interested to read this document.

Thankfully Marrickville Council & Mayor Gardiner have been forthright in their opposition to WestConnex Motorway, so hopefully they will have more to say against the stripping of public green space in the municipality that is famous for having the least green space of any municipality in Australia.  We should not be losing precious green space to roads, tunnels or smoke stacks.

As for the 24-storey high-rise apartment blocks….. this will be a boon for developers. High-rise development has not been allocated for this area as per the recently completed Local Environment Plan (LEP) that cost ratepayers $2 million.  Development is not bad & I am not against it, as long as it sticks to the heavily consulted Marrickville Local Environment Plan.  Anything outside the LEP will destroy the area as far as I am concerned.

You may also want to become friends with Save Petersham Park on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/savepetershampark/timeline & also The WestConnex Action Group Inner West – another resident group in Marrickville LGA, also on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/westconnexactiongroup

There is also the ‘No WestConnex Rockdale Group’ on Facebook, who are opposing the Motorway going through the Landing Lights Wetland, a very important habitat & home to many species of migratory birds.  This group of residents are also campaigning against the ‘Tempe to President Avenue feeder road,’ which will funnel tens of thousands extra vehicles every day on to the already busy local roads in Rockdale & Kogarah.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-WestConnex-Rockdale-Group/721691264579871

The community will be far more powerful & influential if we all gather together & support each other’s peaceful campaigns rather than separate into little areas only looking after our territory. WestConnex will have a phenomenal impact on Marrickville LGA.   I find it very interesting that the government would prefer to remove a chunk of an historic park than purchase private property along Parramatta Road.

Petersham Park has an elegance that should be preserved.

Petersham Park has an elegance that should be preserved.

 

The Beynon & Hayward building is a highly visible building on Livingstone Road.

The Beynon & Hayward building is a highly visible building on Livingstone Road.  The council car park is visible just behind on the right.

 

The National Trust & the Australian Institute of Architects have criticized Marrickville Council for ignoring “its own report recommending it heritage list a Beynon & Hayward warehouse in Petersham because it might interfere with plans to upgrade a public car park.”

Far too many of our heritage buildings & facades are being lost to modern glass & concrete structures & there seems to be a blitz of destruction happening in recent months.

The Beynon & Hayward building at 6 Livingstone Road Petersham is iconic to the area & much loved by the community.

In a Marrickville Council Meeting in July, the Councillors voted 6 – 6 to refuse heritage protection to the building.  The Greens & Liberal Clr Gardiner voted for heritage protection, which would still allow development to go ahead, but retaining & repurposing the building.

Labor Clr Tsardoulias used his casting vote to deny heritage protection.

A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald said –

“London or New York might salivate at the prospect of reviving an inner-city heritage landmark, but in Sydney it seems we’d still just as readily swap character for a car park.

Marrickville Council is under heavy fire from heritage experts, who fear “ill-informed” decision makers are repeating Sydney’s errors of last century in the race to redevelop increasingly valuable inner-city space.”   Sydney Morning Herald article here – http://bit.ly/1k8JINc

This issue is coming back to Council in August. Please sign this petition started by Greens Clr Phillips & let the Marrickville Councillors know that you want the Beynon & Hayward building heritage protected to retain this iconic building of Petersham. This issue is beyond political parties & has to be if we are to save heritage buildings.

You can sign the petition here – http://chn.ge/1s1hDiV

The view of the Beynon & Hayward building traveling south.

The view of the Beynon & Hayward building traveling south.  It would be a huge loss to lose this just to park a line of cars.

Lovely work presumably by a Tosser.  Seeing these piles raises consciousness about the plight of the river & the need for a Cash for Containers scheme.

Lovely work presumably by a volunteer Tosser. Seeing these piles raises consciousness about the plight of the river & the need for a Cash for Containers scheme.

The Cooks River Tossers are holding an event this Sunday & invite anyone interested to come along.

As part of their Cash for Containers campaign, they will be gathering at Tennant Parade Bridge next to the old tennis courts to take plastic bottles from the river & toss them onto the riverbank.

They ask –

  • That Tossers wear gloves & boots.
  • That the bottles are placed in mounds away from the footpath, so as not to cause obstruction or safety issues for others.
  • The bottles tossed are not to be bagged or removed from the site.

‘The Cooks River Fun Run’ is also on this Sunday. The Fun Run will start from Strathfield at 8am & will head along the Cooks River towards Botany Bay. “A perfect time to highlight the number of bottles on the river & raise awareness re the need for a 10 cent refund.”

WHEN:   This Sunday 22nd June 2014

WHERE:    The central tossing site will be held the Tennant Parade Bridge that crosses the river. At 9.30am there will be a Tossing Competition on old Tennis courts with prizes to be won.

Tossing can happen anywhere along the river.

For more information contact –mexicantreasures@hotmail.com

 

The Jacarandas in bloom 2011. Photo provided by local resident with thanks.

The Jacarandas in bloom 2011. Photo provided by local resident with thanks.

The same trees in 2014.

The same trees in 2014 after pruning.  The gravel is supposed to cause less impact to the tree roots by the trucks & other machinery.

 

I have dithered writing this post for weeks because there are so many issues that have concerned residents. Because I have not been involved, tend to feel scrambled when I try to write about them.

A view from the other end taken by a local resident in 2011.  Many thanks for allowing me to use this photo.

A view of the Jacarandas from the other end taken by a local resident in 2011. Many thanks for allowing me to use this photo.

The main issue is the old & very beautiful Jacaranda trees at Arlington Oval that line the border between the oval & Laxton Reserve.  Local residents are extremely concerned about these much-loved trees.  Almost everyone I speak to who lives near Arlington Oval mentions two things: the Jacaranda trees & the synthetic turf that is being installed at a cost of $1.7 million, up from a previous estimate of $950,000 & it is not finished yet.

The community campaign against the installation of synthetic turf at Arlington Oval has been a long one starting in 2009 & ending with a vote by Marrickville Councillors to install artificial turf in 2013.

Excerpt from the community blog ‘Save Arlington Reserve’ on 6th June 2013 –

1503 people, mostly Marrickville LGA residents, signed a petition in December 2012 saying No to artificial turf on Arlington.”

According to figures published today in Marrickville Council’s business papers for the next Council meeting …… a total of 750 submissions rejecting artificial turf on Arlington Reserve have been received by the 27/5 closing date.

Of the approximately 70 unique ‘non form-letter’ submissions made regarding Council’s 2013/14 budget, all but 5 were regarding Arlington, and all but 5 of those were against artificial turf.

This is in stark contrast to the pro-artificial turf lobby who submitted 123 petitions and only 12% of them residing in the Marrickville LGA, and 5 ‘unique’ submissions.”

This blog is very interesting to read. You can see why residents feel angry & let down by Marrickville Council. For a comprehensive history of the campaign see – http://savearlingtonreserve.com

Showing the almost filled in trench near the Jacaranda trees

Showing the almost filled in trench near the Jacaranda trees

I met with some residents who wanted to talk to me about the trees. They were stressed, angry & worried. We met in Laxton Park & the noise was deafening, but what would one expect with development happening. It was a surprise to me that I could still hear the machinery from a friend’s place in New Canterbury Road.   This cannot be helped, but I mention it to provide a thorough outline of what this community is going through.

One of the first things that happened was that the beautiful old Jacarandas were pruned. The branches used to form a very attractive umbrella-like canopy over the edge of the grass playing field.  The canopy a major feature of Arlington Oval.  It’s hard to tell how much the canopy was cut back, but it appears to be significant.

The pruning of these trees was not expected & according to Marrickvile Council, was done to allow the trucks unimpeded movement in & out of the oval.

I am told that pruning Jacarandas is not a good thing to do as all new growth grows upwards, even if a branch is spreading to the side. Not only does this look odd & detract from the beauty of the tree, these epicormic branches are fragile & once branches start falling, we all know what happens to the tree – it gets removed.

An example of the 'lake' post washing the wheels of the trucks to remove soil that contains lead.

An example of the ‘lake’ post washing the wheels of the trucks to remove soil that contains lead.  Photo by local resident, used with thanks.

Once the real grass was removed, an approximately 2.5 metre deep trench was dug approximately 4-metres from the Jacaranda trees.  This trench was below the canopy, so will have been in the root zone.   Again, this has greatly concerned the community.

I spoke to the Site Manager who told me that the ditch was to put in a stormwater drain, as well as to protect the soil & the garden bed.  Underneath this ditch is subsoil drainage.

When the work started, flexible orange plastic fencing was installed in front of the trees.

Removal of the topsoil also caused great concern. Throughout January 2014 dust was billowing over the local houses. I was told that 4,000 tonnes of soil was lifted & made into four piles. From there grass and other items were sifted from the topsoil. All this was done during a period of “howling wind.” Naturally, with toxic soil a norm in Marrickville LGA & with Arlington Oval being originally a quarry that was filled in, residents were very worried about the health effects of being exposed to so much dust.

The trucks are also washing their wheels of dust directly in front of the Jacarandas, with this water creating a lake. Much of this water entered the stormwater drain until the drains were sandbagged to prevent this from happening.

The poor Jacarandas have had to deal with pruning, trucks driving over their root systems, installation of a root barrier & stormwater trench & roots sitting in a flooded area.   You can understand why the community is worried.

I spoke to the Site Manager about the trees & synthetic grass.  He told me they will come in & groom the grass twice a year as a standard or more if needed.  He said this synthetic grass does not rot when leaves or flowers land on it, so the Jacarandas & the other trees will not be a problem.  They will not use chemicals or a vacuum to clean it, just a leaf blower.

Everyone I have spoken to believes that these trees will be removed because of the installation of synthetic turf.   We will see if they are affected by what has happened or are deemed a nuisance or threat to the synthetic turf because of leaf & flower ‘litter.’  I am personally pleased that so many care about these trees & are watching.  More later.

As Council has covered all the ground with geo-textile & the oval with synthetic turf, plus installed nylon netting under the grass next door in Laxton Reserve, one wonders where the wildlife will find food now.  Presumably Johnson Park also has nylon netting under the grass as well.

As Council has covered all the garden areas with thick geo-textile & the oval with synthetic turf, plus installed nylon netting under the grass next door in Laxton Reserve, one wonders where the ground forgaing wildlife will find food now. Presumably Johnson Park also has nylon netting under the grass as well.  I felt sad for the future of these poor Magpies.  They are one of many bird species, including Kookaburras that just cannot move on.  To do so requires a fight for territory, often to the death.  

Residents have complained on numerous occasions about toxic soil being blown into their homes.

Residents have complained on numerous occasions about toxic soil being blown into their homes.

What appears to be either Star Jasmine or Snake Vine is growing slowly.  The trees are also still alive.

What appears to be either Star Jasmine or Snake Vine is growing slowly. The trees are also still alive. The natuve grasses are doing well. 

Two Masked Lapwings sit in the area marked for the WestConnex Motorway with the crowd gathered behind.

Two Masked Lapwings sit in the area marked for the WestConnex Motorway with the crowd gathered behind.

Yesterday afternoon we joined around 300 other people at the Save Ashfield Park rally organized by the Save Ashfield Park residents group.

There were speakers from the community & local members Charles Casuscelli (Liberal) & Jamie Parker (Greens), Mathew Hounsell President of NoW (NoWestconnex) Public Transport, Robert Borsak Member of the Upper House & Shooters Party, Lucille McKenna Mayor of Ashfield Council & Jo Alley of Save Ashfield Park group.

Mature trees in this heritage-registered park that will be chopped down had yellow ribbons tied around their trunks & the area of the park that will be claimed by the motorway was marked out.  Four percent of the park will be lost.  I counted 38 trees that will need to be removed.  There is also serious concern & a lot of conflicting messages that the park will be used as a depot for anywhere from six to seven years.

Other issues that trouble residents are traffic volumes, loss of people’s homes, pollution, multiple 12-storey towers for housing & unfiltered smoke stacks through the suburbs along the route.

The deadline for submissions regarding this section of WestConnex is 17th February 2014.  http://www.westconnex.com.au

You can watch an edited version of the speeches here –  http://bit.ly/1iDRcsm

Looking towards the speaker's tent

Looking towards the speaker’s tent

View of the rally from the footpath on Paramatta Road.  The box hedge sign that has been here for as long as I can remember says 'Ashfield Park.'

View of the rally from the footpath on Paramatta Road. The box hedge sign that has been here for as long as I can remember says ‘Ashfield Park.’

 

Ashfield Park - a heritage park full of mature trees

Ashfield Park – a heritage park full of mature trees

I was shocked when I read that up to 20-metres will be removed from Ashfield Park for a two-lane westbound entry ramp to the WestConnex motorway.  This amounts to 4% of the park.  This may not seem much, but with green space at a premium in the inner west, any loss is important.  Also Ashfield Park is registered with the National Trust, so it is an important historical park for Sydney.

A residents group called ‘Save Ashfield Park’ has been formed.  The residents say that Ashfield Council has been told WestConnex want to use the park as a depot and construction could be for at least seven years.”  A WestConnex spokesperson said, “there were no plans to use it as a depot or to store construction material.”  Yet later in the article the same spokesperson says, “Some land will be required during construction only and may be returned to community use in the future …”

The community is concerned for the heritage trees, the Ashfield Park icon insignia, planted by returned World War II soldiers & the War Memorial.  There is also concern that the heavily treed grounds of Yasmar will also be used for WestConnex.

Although WestConnex say they will be providing new green space, there is great concern that green space along the route will be utilized to the detriment of the community in these areas.  More locally, we know that Tempe Wetlands, Tempe Reserve & Wolli Creek are on the route of WestConnex.  The impact on just these three places has the potential to be devastating.  Wolli Creek especially has the potential to lose 400 mature trees in bushland.

The community group Save Ashfield Park are putting on a  ‘family day event’ to show their opposition to the loss of any of this heritage park.  The event is on this Sunday, 9th February at 3pm-5pm at Ashfield Park.  Obviously everyone is welcome.   It is in these events that we can all support each other.

See – http://bit.ly/1evSncs

Fatima Island at high tide - August 2013.

Fatima Island at high tide – August 2013.  Three Cormorants & one Egret are visible.

Fatima Island in 1984.  You can see that the island has been neglected as there is only a fraction remaining.  Photo by Chrys Meader, supplied by Marrickville Heritage Society& Cooks River Vallay Association with thanks.

Fatima Island in 1984. You can see that the island has been neglected as there is only a fraction remaining & the heritage retaining wall almost gone.  Photo by Chrys Meader, supplied by Marrickville Heritage Society & Cooks River Vallay Association with thanks.

Fatima Island is an extremely urgent issue currently facing Marrickville Council.

Fatima Island is the last remaining island in the Cooks River of a few that existed prior to white settlement.  It is located opposite Kendrick Park at Tempe & the local Aboriginal community are thought to have used this & the other islands as a means to cross the river to what is now Wolli Creek.

Not only important to the traditional owners, Fatima Island is important to the Muslim community as Fatima was the wife of the Prophet Mohammed.  It was named ‘Fatima Island’ after Catholic rosary pilgrimage to the island in 1951 & a Portuguese statue called ‘Our Lady of Fatima.’

Unfortunately, Fatima Island has been eroding.  The convict-hewn rock retaining walls installed in 1901 have fallen in recent years allowing the tidal water to erode the island & has resulted in the loss of some trees.  Each tree lost has resulted in more erosion of the island.  People too have impacted the island by the wash from speedboats, tying up motorboats or exploring the delicate island.

It’s obvious that Fatima Island has important cultural & heritage significance to not only Marrickville municipality, but also the Greater Sydney.  These factors alone are enough to warrant saving it from disappearing, but also important is that it is the only real sanctuary for waterbirds on the river.  If work is not done to repair the retaining walls, we will lose the island forever.  That would be a dreadfully sad outcome for many in the community.

The issue of Fatima Island last went to the Marrickville Council Meeting on 15th October 2013.  Council staff recommended an Erosion Assessment & Remediation Feasibility Study be done.   This coming Tuesday 3rd December, Fatima Island will again be debated in the Marrickville Council Meeting.  It is here that Councillors can decide to approve an allocation of $25,000 required to do the study.  If they decide to apply for funding from other sources, it is quite feasible that the time this will take will make it too late for Fatima Island.

Marrickville Heritage Society, The Cooks River Valley Association & Saving Our Trees are asking the community to write to the Marrickville Councillors by Tuesday 3rd December requesting that they support the $25,000 allocation as a first step to saving Fatima Island.  It does not matter whether you live in Marrickville municipality, as this is an issue of interest to more than just local residents.  A strong response from the community will certainly help let the Councillors know that the community cares about Fatima Island.

A draft email & Councillor contact details is available here –  Draft-Fatima-Island

You can watch a short video of Fatima Island here – http://bit.ly/18Gw3uh

Thank you in advance.  Jacqueline

Another photo taken in 1984.  Photo by Chrys Meader, supplied by Marrickville Heritage Society& Cooks River Vallay Association with thanks.

Another photo taken in 1984. Photo by Chrys Meader, supplied by Marrickville Heritage Society & Cooks River Vallay Association with thanks.

Close up of convict marking on steps at Fatima Island in 1984.  Photo by Chrys Meader, supplied by Marrickville Heritage Society& Cooks River Vallay Association with thanks.

Close up of convict marking on steps at Fatima Island in 1984. Photo by Chrys Meader, supplied by Marrickville Heritage Society & Cooks River Vallay Association with thanks.

Five Ibis, one Royal Spoonbill & one Grey-faced Heron taking a midday break on what is left of Fatima Island, opposite Kendrick Park in Tempe.  October 2013.

Five Ibis, one Royal Spoonbill & one Grey-faced Heron taking a midday break on what is left of Fatima Island.  October 2013.

 

 

 

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