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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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A section of Landing Lights Wetland.

Today is an excellent day!  I came home to a letter from Bayside Council in response to my submission opposing the 100-hectare development application for Barton Park & Landing Lights Wetland.

Developer John Boyd Properties wanted to build 5,000 new high-rise dwellings in what is currently the Kogarah Golf Course.  They would rebuild the golf course in the wetlands & add a sweetener of a new St George Stadium sports stadium.  Part of the heritage listed & fully functioning Arncliffe Market Gardens was to be claimed for the development as well.

The letter said – “Please be advised that the applicant has decided not to proceed with the development & accordingly the application has now been withdrawn.”

How wonderful is that!  The migratory birds that fly all the way from Siberia say thanks.  The Green & Gold frog say thanks.  All the numerous other birds, animals & insects that call this remnant wetland home say thanks as well.   If the community sat back & did nothing, I expect this development would have gone through, but they did not.

Thank you to all who opposed this development application.  Now there is a chance that this vitally important part of Botany Bay can be left for the wildlife & for the many in the community who enjoy spending time in such undeveloped areas bursting with nature.  To keep this precious area is so wonderful.

Bayside Council wrote the following on their website –

  • “Although highly urbanised, the City has retained several small bushland and wetland areas which play an important role in terms of providing food, habitat and shelter for native animals. These areas are deemed to have ‘conservation value’ (meaning they are worth preserving for future generations) because they represent ecosystems that would otherwise be lost.”
  • “These remaining natural areas are home to particularly diverse, endangered and/or vulnerable species of flora and fauna.  A total of 180 native plant species and over 90 vertebrate species of terrestrial animals (not including marine fish) have been identified in the City’s bushland and wetlands.”
  • “Landing Lights Wetland (also known as Riverine Park Wetlands), located at Spring Street, Banksia is one of Council’s most environmentally significant natural areas. The site contains some of the last remaining saline wetlands on the Cooks River and includes vegetation identified as threatened under NSW legislation (salt-marsh).”
  • “The wetlands have aesthetic, heritage and environmental value. They form part of a system of tidal and freshwater swamps, and provide important habitats for a variety of animal and plant species, including common wetland birds and a number of protected migratory birds.”

I last wrote about this development application here – http://bit.ly/2jey4Xi

Letter regarding the Cook Cove Precinct DA

 

The tree for removal has a blue sign on the trunk.  It is unaffected by power lines.

The Inner West Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) outside 7 Hilltop Avenue Marrickville dated 7 October 2017.

They give the following reasons –

  • “The tree is structurally compromised & has multiple trunk defects. These defects will increase size as the tree matures & further impact the sustainability of the tree.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public & property.”

The trunk defeats are easy to see.  It is a shame that this tree needs to be removed.

Council says they will replace with 2 x advanced-sized Coastal Banksias (banksia integrifolia), but not when they will do this.

Replacing two for one tree is great & I thank Council for this.  Small changes like this will build on our urban forest.

Coastal Banksia is native to the east coast of Australia.  It will reach heights between 4-15 metres & produces flowers from late summer to winter.  It is a food source for nectar-eating birds, seed-eating birds, insects & possums.

No deadline for submissions was given, but up to now it has always been 3-weeks from notification.  If you have something to say contact the Tree Manager.

Showing the “trunk defects.”

 

 

Darley Street Playground. The 3 trees for removal have blue signs on them and are on the right of this photo.

A new Inner West Council & now a new way of putting up tree removal notifications or is this just a one off?

Council’s Notice of Removal now starts with a date – presumably the date they put the notice on their website.  The Notice of Removal includes no information about the deadline for submissions.  It does give reasons why the tree/s are up for removal & what they will replace with, but no information as to when the replacement trees will be planted.  Neither is there any invitation to contact the Tree Manager to discuss, as was the norm previously.  These are significant changes & not much about consultation.

Council have given notice of their intention to remove 3 x Grey gums (Eucalyptus punctata) in the Darley Street Playground, Darley Street Newtown dated 26th September 2017.

They give the following reasons –

  • “3 trees are proposed for removal.
  • One tree is dead & the other two have significantly declined in health, & their structural integrity has been compromised.
  • The trees present an unacceptable risk to the public & property.”

There are 4 Grey gums in this small playground.  All trees have been severely pruned when young & all have grown into what I consider a long trunk with a lollipop canopy.  Two of the trees lean towards a neighbouring house.

Council says they will replace with  –

  • An advanced-sized Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) &
  • An advanced-sized Sydney Red Gum (angophora costata).

The Illawarra flame tree is a deciduous tree native to coastal rainforests from central NSW to far north Queensland.  It develops clusters of red bell shaped flowers spring-summer.  They may not flower every year, but when they do they can look spectacular.  The flame tree is regarded as a small to medium-sized tree, though in perfect growing conditions can reach 35-metres in height.  Nectar-eating wildlife love this tree when in flower & so do most Sydney-siders.

The Sydney red gum is native to the Sydney Basin & along the NSW coast.  They can reach approximately 25-meters in height.  The bark is a lovely salmon/pink that gradually turns grey.  It produced large bunches of white flowers over the summer months, which is good food for nectar-eating wildlife.  It grows well on rocky outcrops & can develop a gnarled & twisted appearance, which is much loved by many.

I think these are great choices for this playground & will add much in the way of beauty to this space.

Another of Council’s changes is the Notification of Removal signs on the trees.  These are a great improvement on what was used previously.  They are easy to read & provide good information to the community.  I thank Council for this.  I also thank Council for continuing to use sticky tape to attach the signs to the trees.

No deadline for submissions was given, but up to now it has always been 3-weeks, so if you have something to say, contact the Tree Manager at Council.

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.

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 –  http://bit.ly/2tPbJaN

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 ( www.sydbankalliance.com ) 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 – http://bit.ly/2sOVnw7

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 – http://bit.ly/2uPOdc6

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 – http://bit.ly/2uQfXgU 

Yet another article titled,Proceed with caution’ on rail privatisation, UK infrastructure investors warn.’ See – http://bit.ly/2ucL9ZK

  • 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 – http://bit.ly/2u7qI0A

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.” http://bit.ly/2tsjgKC

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 – https://arag.org.au/2016/09/11/new-threat-to-sydney-park/

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