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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.


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


  • 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 – & at

The deadline for submissions is 8th November 2017.


Wattles are flowering now.

The Department of Planning & Environment are holding community information sessions regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor.  All sessions are free to attend.

“Come along to our information session where the project team will be available to discuss the plans with you and answer questions. You can drop in anytime during the three hour time slot.”

  • Dulwich Hill –30pm – 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th August 2017 at Salvation Army, 54 Dulwich Street Dulwich Hill.
  • Marrickville – 10am- 1pm Saturday on 19th August 2017 at Marrickville Town Hall, Marrickville Road.
  • Hurlstone Park –30pm – 7.30pm on Tuesday 22nd August 2017 at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club, 20-26 Canterbury Road Hurlstone Park.

There are also sessions at Campsie, Lakemba & Bankstown.  To book see –

16-storeys was proposed at Marrickville Railway Station in 2014 and the community thought this was way too high. Now developers are going for 19 storeys on both sides of the road.

Last Sunday we attended a public meeting arranged by the Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance ( ) to learn about & discuss proposed developments along the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor, comprising 11 precincts along the 13.5 km corridor & the Metro line.

Herb Greedy Hall in Marrickville was packed with no standing room to spare.  Some ex- Marrickville Councillors were there.  NSW Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi was the only politician who attended despite invitations being sent to “a tonne of politicians.”

The official speakers were from the Rail Tram & Bus Union, EcoTransit, Friends of Erskinville & the Hurlstone Park Association.  Other representatives from Save Dully, Better Planning & Canterbury also spoke.

It’s been so long since I attended Council Meetings I have lost my ability to take notes fast.  The following is what I managed to write down.  My additions are shown as [  ].  All mistakes are mine.

  • Marrickville Council did a Local Environment Plan review (LEP) to set the development levels.
  • For the LEP the Council & State government decided to increase dwellings across the whole Marrickville municipality by 5,000 to the year 2031.
  • Then the state government added a further 6,000 dwellings in Marrickville & a further 2,000 in Dulwich Hill – more than what was planned for the whole LGA.  
  • The State government Gateway project just gave approval for a further 800 new dwellings at the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville. [Do your sums.  This is horrendous.]
  • We already have a train line. There are lots of places across Sydney with no train service.  The Metro is privatised & will cost more.

New speaker –

  • The Metro is not about public transport. It is about over-development. If it were about public transport it would not go along a current rail line.
  • An article in the Sydney Morning Herald 29 June 2017 said there was a push for Australia to become more like Asia.
  • The government calls it an upgrade, but it is a downgrade.
  • It is described as urban renewal, but it is a destruction of a community.
  • The Metro trains are less safe than a current double decker trains. The crash-worthiness of the new Metro trains is not good.
  • There will be shorter trains initially with 10% less seats than currently.
  • The proposed travel time between Bankstown & Sydney will be 26 minutes, 1 minute slower than the old Red Rattlers.
  • The Labor Party has not come out with a position regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor & Metro Line.

New speaker –

  • The Canterbury development now is a fulfilment of the LEP gazetted in 2012. In 2012 the Council factored in the public transport needs into the LEP.  What we are talking about now is more development on top of the LEP.  It is all about development.
  • The government has not provided a detailed business case, which was noted by the Grattan Institute.

New speaker –

  • There is a lack of transparency in costings.
  • An unprecedented number of community action groups show the opposition to the Metro line & the over-development.
  • Canterbury Road is like a car park already.
  • The high-rise is a poor design uality that will destroy streetscapes & the quality of life & amenity.
  • The public has had no input to plans & the government threatens to take over all planning.
  • The local councils are critical & the locals are suffering.
  • The Hong Kong Model is not appropriate for Sydney.
  • There are no plans for new schools or public buses.
  • The only plan is to rezone the land for developers.   This will lead to the slums of tomorrow with a high price tag.
  • No social housing is included.
  • 20-30% profit is expected.
  • The Metro will lead to a lowering of the tree canopy, heritage, green space, character & quality of life.
  • This project is divisive.

New speaker –

  • Currently there is a move to privatise all Inner West buses.
  • There is nothing wrong with the Bankstown train line. It is not as overcrowded as the Western line.
  • The real issue is there will be no drivers, no guards, no station staff & a lot less seats. It is not about improving services.
  • It is a major Hong Kong property developer developing the Metro line & the housing corridor. All profits will go back to Hong Kong shareholders & the Hong Kong government.  Sydney will be subsiding a foreign government.
  • We have already lost the Sydney Ferries to privatisation. They are pushing to get rid of some of the ferries for smaller ones.
  • The buses are privatised in Newcastle.
  • Region 6 buses are up for sale.
  • It’s increasingly difficult to run a car in this city. It’s even harder to run a bus.
  • The big issue is that people will lose their homes. If development potential was met, 5,000 existing homes, many of them heritage, will be lost.

New speaker –

  • Garden suburbs are being destroyed. Lots of heritage is being lost & will be lost.
  • The developer wants 15 new priority precincts to be announced every year.
  • We have gone from mining to development to sustain this country.
  • A recent Financial Review article warned – proceed with caution on rail privatisation.
  • Read the new plan. We must write submissions & get friends & neighbours to do so as well.
  • They want to build 19 storeys on either side of Marrickville Railway Station. 

New speaker –

  • The area between Canterbury & Bankstown has the largest amount of low income housing in Sydney. The developments will not be for low income people.  This will destroy our community.
  • The Mayor of Blacktown wants to install rail lines across the greater west so people can work there instead of the CBD.

My impression was that this crowd was unhappy with the plans & extremely worried about the destruction & over-development of the area, with the loss of heritage & the look of the streetscapes.

Seems Inner West Council & the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council are not happy either, judging by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled, ‘Push for elected councils to have say on plans for 35,000 new homes along Bankstown train line.’  See –

Some points from the article –

  • “Administrators for the Inner West Council and the City of Canterbury Bankstown have criticised the decision to close consultation on the plan to build 35,000 new homes along the existing Bankstown train line on September 3, six days before elections are held to replace administrators with councillors.’ This means local councils cannot put in submissions. Now I would think that, if the government believed what their planning was good, they would not lock out local councils from being part of the consultation process & having their say.
  • “The plans indicate more than 30,000 dwellings are proposed to be built along the rail line, but the only new open space suggested is a linear cycle way,” said City of Canterbury Bankstown administrator Richard Colley. Active and passive open space areas for a good deal of the corridor are undersupplied – even for our existing communities.” I would like to remind you that the former Marrickville municipality has the least green space in Australia.   A bit of green along the Metro line will not cut it when there will be many thousands of new dwellings & a significant increase in the population.
  • Both Mr Colley & Mr Pearson mentioned the need for 40 more schools, upgrades to two hospitals, storm water management [Marrickville municipality was at capacity a few years ago], additional roads & transport. What fun.  It is not hard to envision the loss of amenity.

In a Press Release from Inner West Council dated Thursday 29th June 2017 the following is especially of interest –

  • “One of the aspects of the initial draft that was supported by Council was the promise of new jobs.  But the revised draft has 1,200 fewer jobs, with no explanation. This is disappointing, especially as it is inconsistent with the State Government’s own principle of jobs closer to home.”  See –

In another article from The Conversation titled, Market-driven compaction is no way to build an ecocity,’

  • “Market-driven intensification has in many places permitted a fracturing and ransacking of urban value and amenity, and of human wellbeing, by development capital that has worn the thin robe of legitimacy provided by the compact city ideal. We might summarise this as “urban fracking”: a new means of blasting through accumulated layers of material and symbolic value to extract profit.”  See – 

Yet another article titled,Proceed with caution’ on rail privatisation, UK infrastructure investors warn.’ See –

  • Britain’s rail networks was “not seen as a great success”. The British government was forced to reassume control of overland rail networks following fatal accidents due to poor maintenance after the networks were privatised in the mid-1990s, while government agency Transport for London took over the running of the London Underground after the public-private partnership running it collapsed in 2010.”

You can download plans for the the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor here –

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 3rd September 2017, which incidentally is Father’s Day, so get your Dad to put in a submission too.  If we sit back & do nothing, then we essentially consent to radical & perhaps ugly changes to our neighbourhoods.  Nothing is set in stone.  The government will only make changes if enough of the community demands it.

This is the motion put up at the end of the meeting and carried unanimously. Click to enlarge.   Thank you to the Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance for allowing me to share it here.

This is Alexandria from the oasis that is Sydney Park. Alexandria is only part way through being redeveloped and is a good indication of what the development will look like along the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor.

Development along very busy Canal Road in Alexandria is a good example of what is being built for housing these days.    The building comes right to the footpath.  Having no buffer zone between the cars and the housing is is not healthy living for residents in my opinion and that of a whole bunch of researchers into pollution and health. 


The Coral tree for removal is centre of this photo.

Inner West Council has given notice that they intend to remove a Coral tree (Erythrina × sykesii ) inside Weekley Park, adjacent to 89 Albany Road Stanmore.

Council gives the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has poor vitality and significant canopy dieback.
  • Major open wound to trunk with decay and loss of structural wood.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public and property.”

The Coral tree is thought to be a “hybrid of horticultural origin, that was probably developed in Australia or New Zealand.”

It is regarded as a weed tree in NSW because they can regrow from a fallen branch, a twig or stem or even suckers.  Despite this, they can easily be managed in suburban areas as shown by Bayside Council who have classified a number of their old Coral trees as significant & protected.

The condition of this Coral tree in Weekley Park is as described by Council.   They say they will replace this tree with an Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) by September 2017.

While it is a shame to lose this big old Coral tree, I am pleased that it will be replaced with a native tree that puts on a great colour show & can grow to a significant size.  We need big trees.

Illawarra flame trees are native to coastal rainforests from central New South Wales to far north Queensland.  They are deciduous in winter & produce clusters of vivid red bell-shaped flowers over spring-summer, which provide food for nectar-eating birds, bees & butterflies.  Anytime an Illawarra Flame tree is added to the Inner West landscape is a win as far as I am concerned.

The deadline for submissions is this Friday 23rd June 2017.

It appears that the bark was removed to inspect the tree. You can see that it is not in great shape.



Brittle gum in Stafford Street Stanmore.

Sydney blue gum in Stafford Street Stanmore.  It looks like a sick tree with a poor canopy.  Unfortunately the canopy does not show well in this photo.  A tree behind makes it look fuller than it is.  

You can see the damage in the trunk of the Brittle Gum.

You can see the damage in the trunk of the Sydney blue gum.

Inner West Council has given notice that they intend to remove two public trees in Stanmore.

Tree number 1:  a Sydney Blue Gum (Eucalyptus saligna) outside 13 Stafford Street Stanmore.

Council gives the follow reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has previously had several major branch failures which have resulted in weakened structural integrity.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace with a Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) in the 2017 Street Tree Planting Program between May & September.

I agree this tree needs to go.   While I like Jacarandas, I think it is a shame to replace a big native tree species with an exotic.

The deadline for any submissions is Friday 3rd March 2017.

Tree number 2: a Brittle Gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) outside 62 Percival Road Stanmore.

Council gives the follow reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has poor vitality and significant canopy dieback
  • Major open wound to trunk with decay and loss of structural wood.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace with a Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) during the 2017 Street Tree Planting Program between May & September.

I agree this tree needs to go & think it is good that Council is replacing a native with a native.

The deadline for any submissions is Friday 10th March 2017.

Brittle gum in Percival Road.

Brittle gum in Percival Road.  Not much canopy left.

The trunk of the Brittle gum in Percival Road.

The trunk of the Brittle gum in Percival Road.

Sydney Park 2016

Sydney Park 2016.   NOTE:  This photo does not show the location of the proposed development.  

Can you imagine a 6-storey, 400+ apartment building in Sydney Park?

No?  Well, the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group blog says that a “proposed new development will replace what is currently a low rise warehouse/office building that is tucked behind a row of trees next to the lakes.”

Sydney Park is easily the best park in this area.  Even though it is located within the City of Sydney boundary, for many residents of the former Marrickville municipality, this is regarded as one of our favourite parks.

It’s bad enough that the WestConnex Authority have plans that will impact on Sydney Park.

The Alexandria Residents’ Action Group  are asking the community to lodge an objection against this DA by the end of this week.  The blog has a link to a template to help make this easy for you.

For more information see –

A Marrickville streetscape. Photo June 2016.

A Marrickville streetscape. Photo June 2016.

In 2015 Melbourne City Council allocated each of their 77,000 public trees an email address.  It was intended that people could report vandalism or trees that were in a severe state of decline. Instead the trees were inundated with love letters.

By July 2015 over 3,000 emails concerning the city’s trees were received.  These were sent not only by citizens of Melbourne, but also tourists from all around the world who wanted to express their love for Melbourne’s trees.  Melbourne City Council were surprised at the positive response toward the urban forest, though I think the response is understandable because many streetscapes in Melbourne are phenomenally beautiful. Perhaps it is that you become used to what you see every day.

The City of Melbourne also has an online interactive map of their urban forest.  This map provides all kinds of information about the urban forest from individual trees to whole precincts & plans for the future.  See –

To me this shows that Melbourne City Council is very sure of their plans for the future & confident of public scrutiny.

The online interactive map also has a great educational aspect, allowing anyone, including schools, to find out more about their urban forest.  They even have an opportunity for people to become citizen urban foresters to “become an advocate for planning issues affecting trees in your area.”  Wow!  That is commitment to working with the community!  I am impressed.

Twelve months on & the City of Knoxville in the USA have picked up this initiative.  The canopy in Knoxville is around 40%. All the trees are covered by the Tree Inventory & available to see on an online interactive map.  Each tree has information about the species, its history & features.

Each tree has an email address that allows citizens to write an email to the tree addressing any concerns they may have.  The email goes directly to a Knoxville urban forester who will read the email & reply back on behalf of the tree.

The idea is that the community help the Department of Urban Forestry to manage the urban forest by reporting things happening with trees that the council may not know about until it develops into a problem.

“It shows the commitment the city’s got to the urban forest,” said Arborist Daniel Laine & I would agree with him. What will be interesting is whether the Knoxville trees receive love letters, as happened in Melbourne.

Well done to both these councils.  I think this initiative is excellent & one that includes the community in their urban forest beyond a once-off consultation about the Urban Forest Policy is always preferable in the long-run.

Times change. The demographics change & so do attitudes concerning trees.  Having interactive engagement programs like this allows the community to have more of a voice as to how their streetscapes look.  Importantly, the benefits for learning about our local environment are huge & the potential for schools is also vast.

The article about Knoxville comes with a short news video.  What I find of interest is the leafy outlook of their public spaces.  It is worth a look. See –

This area is to be planted with a 1.5-2 metre salt marsh next to the river.

This area directly next to the river is to be planted with a 1.5-2 metre wide salt marsh.

A couple enjoys the shade next to the river.

A couple enjoys the shade next to the river.

Continuing on from my posts for Mahoney Reserve –, Steel Park – & Richardson’s Lookout, Warren Park & Cooks River Foreshore –

Inner West Council plans the following upgrades for Mackey Park –

  • Install 15 new seats.
  • Install 4 picnic tables along the river frontage
  • Install 2 new barbeques at river frontage.
  • Install bike racks
  • Install exercise equipment.
  • Install a new shade structure adjacent to the playground.
  • Install barbecue facilities in the playground.
  • Provide additional seating in the playground.
  • Install new playground equipment.
  • Repaint the River Canoe Club with a mural.
  • Plant a 1.5-2 metre salt marsh riparian along the edge of the river. While I think it is great to re-vegetate the river, I wonder why Council wants to stop people from accessing the river’s edge. Will the concrete stormwater top be the only place where we can sit directly at the river’s edge?
  • Remove the fencing from around the wetland and expand the area of vegetation
  • Remove exotic vegetation at the Concordia Club & plant low growing local, native plants.
  • The car park in the Concordia Club will include planting, rain gardens & regulated parking.

I went to Mackey Park the day after I posted about the intended removal of the poplar trees & saw that all the Poplars along the shared pathway at Mackey Park had a small silver number tag attached to the trunk.  These tags were not attached to the trees the previous week.

Obviously these trees are being allowed to stay.  Although I am very happy about this, I would think that they too would be “damaging water quality and adjacent plant communities,” which is the reason for removing 27 poplars in Council’s report.  Again, I say that I find it amazing that Council would spend so much money to remove trees for such odd reasons in this time of climate change. I have written about the decision to remove 27 trees here –

Community consultation is open until tomorrow Wednesday 8th June 2016.  You can access the link at ‘Your Say Marrickville’ & download the Plan here –

Showing the new tags attached to all the poplar trees along the shared pathway in Mackey Park

Showing the new tags attached to all the poplar trees along the shared pathway in Mackey Park

The shrubs around the Concordia Club seen on the left will be removed.

The shrubs around the Concordia Club seen on the left will be removed.

Warren Park Marrickville

Warren Park Marrickville

Plan for Cooks River parklands  – Richardson’s Lookout, Warren Park & Cooks River Foreshore

This is a series of posts about Inner West Council’s plan (nee Marrickville Council) for all the parks along the Cooks River, except Tempe Reserve.

For Mahoney Reserve. See – For Steel Park –

I have not covered all of what Council intends, just those areas that are environmental initiatives or those that interest me.  The link to download the Plan is below.

Richardson’s Lookout

Inner West Council plans the following upgrades for Richardson’s Lookout –

  • Mulch & plant natives under the heritage fig trees.
  • Create an equal access path from Thornley Street to Richardson’s Lookout.
  • Revegetate the unusable area surrounding the Cooks pine.
  • Install 3 new seats.

Warren Park

The following is planned for Warren Park –

  • Build a native vegetated swale to the existing low point at the eastern end of Warren Park.
  • Do bank stabilisation works & “ant-scour” on steeper slopes. I do not know what ant-scour means.
  • Build a vegetated detention basin prior to the Cooks River.
  • The fencing between Warren Park & Thornley Street will be removed & native grasses & other local native plantings planted to act as a barrier between the park & the road.
  • Install 2 new seats.

Cooks river foreshore

The following is planned for the Cooks River Foreshore –

  • A failing retaining wall will be replaced with stone or similar. Biodiversity opportunities will be incorporated into wall design.
  • More re-vegetation will be done along the river foreshore.
  • Build a river-viewing pontoon or jetty constructed from steel mesh or similar.
  • Install an exercise station.
  • Install 3 new seats.
  • Install bike racks.
  • Install night lighting along the share pathway.
  • Progressively remove the Poplar Trees between Mackey Park & Warren Park. A total of 27 trees will be removed along the river from Mackey Park to Mahoney Reserve.  I have been waiting for this to happen for years, as a then Tree Manager told me it was planned when I spoke with him at the opening of Mackey Park in December 2010.  If the community doesn’t fight to keep these trees we will lose them. I have written about my horror about the proposed tree removal here. See –

Community consultation is open until tomorrow Wednesday 8th June 2016.  You can access the link at ‘Your Say Marrickville’ & download the Plan here –

All the Poplar trees along this beautiful walk are to be removed along the Cooks River Foreshore.

All the Poplar trees along this beautiful walk along the Cooks River Foreshore are to be removed 

 Richardsons Reserve and the Cooks Pine.

Richardsons Reserve and the Cooks Pine.

Showing the location of the playground and the river

Council plans to plant vegetation in front of  the riverbank to stop the community having access to the river – yet this is where many sit to enjoy a picnic with friends, read a book, chill out & watch the river.  The fence you can see carries on for many metres past following the path & keeps children from running from the playground to the path or the river.  It should be enough.  Why should the community miss out on being able to sit beside the river?  There are so few places where we can do this along both sides of the river without having a fence, mangroves or something in front to prevent this.  I find this part of the plan very sad & hope Council changes their mind.


Continuing on from my posts on Mahoney Reserve. See –

Steel Park is also a ‘designated fauna habitat link.’

Inner West Council (nee Marrickville Council) plan the following for Steel Park –

  • Add more concrete paths to help with existing desire lines & increasing recreation opportunities.”  One will be a 1.8-metre wide path to Thornley Street from the current shared path along the grass next to the cliff up to Thornley Street. Our Council loves laying concrete in parks.
  • What is good is the plan for new trees around the flying fox, the water play park & between the play facilities & the ball net. New trees also for around the exercise equipment & the proposed water treatment wetland. New trees are also planned for the slope near Thornley Street.  It would be nice to know the number of trees planned, but any new trees are a boon for this park.
  • All the Poplar trees except for those in the Children’s Playground will be removed. I think this is entirely unnecessary, especially removing healthy trees for the reasons given & in these days of climate change when trees are more important than ever.  It will be an expensive job to remove 27 big tall trees.  You can read more here –
  • The lower branches of the Casuarina trees along the foreshore pathway will be removed to increase sight lines & ground covers planted.
  • Grasses, groundcovers & small shrubs will be planted alongside residential properties.
  • Grasses & groundcovers to be planted beside the car park.
  • New rain gardens a minimum 2-metres wide will be added to the car park & planted with local native sedges, grasses & tree plantings.
  • 13 new seats will be placed along the edge of Illawarra Road & behind the Debbie and Abbey Borgia Recreation Centre.
  • 5 concrete “block style” seating will be placed in the patch of grass near the house on the slope next to Thornley Street.
  • There will be another barbeque installed next to the playground with a shade structure.
  • The playground will be expanded with new equipment that has a nature based theme.  That’s nice.
  • The fence around the northern playing field will be removed.
  • New bike racks installed near the exercise equipment.
  • Upgrade the playing field with new turf & drainage.
  • And sadly, Council plans to plant vegetation infront of the river  “to limit water access by users.” 
 I would have thought the extensive fence between the shared path & the children’s playground & barbecue areas would have been sufficient.  Frankly, the plan to cut off access to the river makes me feel sad.  To stop people being able to sit at or near the river’s edge is a BIG LOSS to many in the community.   Plenty of people like to sit here on picnic blankets & watch the river.  

Community consultation is open until this Wednesday 8th June 2016.  You can access the link at ‘Your Say Marrickville’ & download the Plan here –

A 1.8-metre wide path will be installed on the left of the photo to the trees in the distance & up the slope to Thornley Street.

A 1.8-metre wide path will be installed on the left of the photo to the trees in the distance & up the slope to Thornley Street.

The fence will be removed & seats installed.

The fence will be removed & seats installed.  The playing field will be upgraded with new turf and drainage.  

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