You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads Marrickville’ tag.

Absent: Clr Iskandar.  The following Is my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine. To reduce the length of this post I will mostly remove “he said/she said” with the comments coming after the speaker’s name.

Question on Notice: Council costs associated with the boycott of Israel – 3 residents, who identified as Jewish, spoke against the BDS & asked Council to reconsider the boycott.  In summary, they said the BDS is a one-sided policy with no

Cockatoo eating a Sunflower

instances of inclusion, co-operation or serious desire for peace. It divides our community with the Aboriginal & Jewish community feeling excluded & like second-class citizens. Council should instead do peace projects & volunteer dental programs as examples & share our religious festivals.  One speaker said, I do get offended when people say that unless you believe in the BDS you don’t believe in social justice. With the BDS, you are against social justice. A local school has decided to boycott Marrickville Council activities.  One speaker asked, are we really debating middle-eastern politics in Marrickville Council? Another, Do you want to be the generation of Councillors to cause division in the community?

2 residents, 1 who identified as Jewish, spoke in support of the BDS saying it’s causing discussion in our community & is a peaceful boycott.  It doesn’t target Israeli people, rather Israeli state policies. Israel is consistent in defying international law & there are Australians who think that Palestinians deserve a fair go. It’s sad that so many Jews can’t support Palestinian human rights. The Jews are not under threat. It’s not about anti-Semitism or excluding Jews, it’s about human rights.  Because it was a Question on Notice, Councillors did not debate.

Leasing the Coptic Church Tempe – There were 2 applicants: The Anglican Catholic Church Original Province & The Coptic Orthodox Church Heritage Trust.  The Bishop for the Australian & NZ Anglican Church spoke: 3-years ago we asked Council if we could hire the Coptic Church. He spoke about the use of the church for the community with 45% of the church’s communicants being under 18-years of age. This centre is important because it’s at the gateway to Australia.  The second speaker from The Coptic Orthodox Church Heritage Trust arrived late so did not speak. The old Coptic Church now gets a new lease of life with Council deciding which of the 2 applicants will use the site.

Rescission Motion against a new park for Marrickville: Clrs Tsardoulias, Iskandar & Macri put in a Rescission Motion (RM) to stop staff looking into the feasibility of a park in front of the planned new library at the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads Marrickville. The space is currently a car park & a green area with many large trees.   See – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/3-marrickville-councillors-are-trying-to-prevent-a-new-park/ I spoke against the RM.

Clr Tsardoulias: Supporting the RM. The Greens delayed the building for 6-years. Council have spent thousands on the Masterplan & to do the park we will give away affordable housing.

Clr Thanos: Opposing the RM. The delay wasn’t caused by the Greens. The assessment of the space showed that it would need a 10-storey building to have both the library & the Civic Centre there. I proposed an 11-storey building that wasn’t supported.  Now Council has to decide whether the library or the Civic centre goes there. We should not stack the site with buildings. We should maintain some green space. People are always telling me it’s needed.  We would be the only Council in the last 50-years that can deliver a park & it will be very difficult to do this in the future. The motion was to check the feasibility for this.

Families of protected Ibis live in the Canary Island Palm trees on the Marrickville site being nominated for a new park

Clr Phillips: Opposing the RM. Astounded that Clr Tsardoulias thought he was shut down in the debate as the Mayor put up an extraordinary Council Meeting that no-one, but the Greens attended. Here we are talking about a 9-storey building on a unique piece of land some way from the Cooks River. We have the lowest green space in Australia. It will be a great gateway to the new library & it’s a good thing for the community.

Clr Wright: Supporting the RM. Great concern about process. We have spent time & money & the Masterplan has been devised. If you remove 1 aspect, all aspects are up for option. It’s an opportunistic & ad hoc approach to delivering a park. A corner is not a good location for a park & it’s on the library’s back side.

Clr Olive: Opposing the RM. Clr Tsardoulias alleges that the Greens have delayed this for 6 years, the Greens have only had decision making powers for 1 year over the past 6 years. Clr Tsardoulias delayed this by his RM & asked that a report be put in by February, but your RM stopped staff from working on this.  A park on a corner is a good outcome. It’s not an ad hoc process. The Greens were consistent in the LEP discussion. We thought large buildings were unacceptable to the community. Including a park is viable.

Clr O’Sullivan: Supporting the RM. It’s not the best place for a park. It’s a busy road. Seems there is an obsession with height & some of the Greens councilors would have had a protest about St Bridget’s tower. This is the 5th or 6th consultancy of this & the key things the Greens always leave out are integrated planning & issues of design. Stick with what we have got & build low-income homes in the centre of the city.

View of the site for the proposed new park in Marrickville

Clr Macri: Supporting the RM. Residents are upset at the amount of time this site has remained idle. We were looking at the hospital building as the library so open space would have been on the Lilydale Street side. It’s not aesthetically pleasing on a busy corner. We take trees down as it suits us – 48 were removed for the Enmore Pool. We have an LEP, no-one has said anything about increasing space for a park. I don’t want things unused & people & children so close to traffic.

Clr Hanna: Supporting the RM. This is the most expensive land in Marrickville & you want to destroy it. This land can make Marrickville Council one of the richest Councils in Australia. We have to do a Masterplan for this site.

Clr Kontellis: Opposing the RM. Councillors were in support of the motion last December. We only added Point 4 asking, can we add another level, can we have a little more information so we can make an informed decision? I don’t believe this RM is in the best interest of the people of Marrickville.

Clr Peters: Opposing the RM. It’s glaringly obvious that Clr Hanna sees this land as a goldmine. I see it for the future of our community that doesn’t have much open land. The land isn’t here to build & sell housing on. Regarding parks on corners; look at Hyde Park, Enmore Park or Central Park in NYC. Most parks in built-up areas are near traffic. It’s not away in an industrial area, it’s opposite bus stops, a church & a very popular restaurant.  We have to think of the future, this is community profit that people can use.

Mayor Byrne: Opposing the RM. I believe previous Councils meant to work on this land for the community. We were gifted with Tempe Tip & we have done a great job on Tempe Reserve.  The hospital site is a main project on its own. It has opportunity & capacity. This RM will not allow us to see what this property can deliver. What was moved & adopted by Council is to ask, is it feasible on the whole site to have a park & let’s see what information we get back.  If the report says it will create problems with the viability for other projects on the site, then we won’t pursue it.

Clr Tsardoulias then read out the names of Greens Councillors who voted against aspects of this site from what he said was the Minutes of the last 6-years & said, I moved this RM because you shut me out.

Clr Thanos: When Clr Tsardoulias was not allowed to speak the debate had been closed.

Clr Tsardoulias: Putting a park here goes against affordable housing. We have got a crisis in the community. Kiss goodbye to the library & affordable housing. You are not thinking of the ratepayers. It’s financially unviable to do this as we only have $2 million in reserve.

Clrs Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Hanna & Macri voted for the RM. Clrs Thanos, Olive, Peters, Kontellis, Phillips & Byrnes voted against it. The RM was lost.

To keep the size of this report manageable, I will write about the other items of interest in a separate post. Here ends Report from the Gallery Part 1.

Proposed site for the new park in Marrickville

The area on the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads Marrickville has been suggested for a small park in front of the new Library when it is developed. Note the matching Palms across the road, part of St Bridget's Church

During the Council Meeting on 14th December 2010, Mayor Byrne put up an amendment to a motion in the agenda item ‘The Future Accommodation Requirement For Council.’  The amendment was to include a new park on the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads at the old Marrickville Hospital site.

It said – A report be provided to Council regarding future short term & long term options for Precinct B for use of the precinct as a park, these could include as a forecourt to the Library. Required budget of $20,000 – timeframe May/June 2011.’

I had left the Council Meeting so was unable to report on the debate. However, the Motion was tied. The Councillors that voted for the Motion were Cls Phillips, Olive, Peters, Thanos, Byrne & Kontellis. Against the Motion – Clrs Macri, O’Sullivan, Tsardoulias, Wright, Hanna & Iskandar. The Chair Mayor Byrne used her casting vote & the motion was passed.

An Extraordinary Council Meeting was called for the 21st December 2010. Clrs Iskandar, Macri & Tsardoulias had put up a Rescission Motion which would result in removing Mayor Byrne’s motion.  I registered to speak in favour of a staff report on the viability of establishing a new park on this site. However, not enough Councillors volunteered to attend & the meeting was cancelled.

This is enormously fortunate for the community as we have time to lobby the Councillors before the Rescission Motion goes back before Council in the new year.

The question is why would we want or need a new park in Marrickville?  The following are reasons I can think of. There may be others.

Marrickville LGA has very little parkland or green space in comparison to other Councils in Sydney & is one of the lowest with parks & green space per population in Australia.

We also have high density living with another 4,150 extra residences to be built across Marrickville LGA. A good chunk of these new residences will be the planned high-rise development of Marrickville & Petersham Roads, which is basically 1 small block from the proposed park.

The DA that was recently passed by the JRPP at the old Marrickville RSL site (The Revolution) is for 9,7 & 6 storey buildings making 180 apartments. This gives an idea of how much high-rise will need to be built to accommodate 4,150 extra residences.  I don’t know how many actual people will be living along Marrickville & Petersham Roads, but it’s safe to assume that most units will house at least 2 people & many will be families.  There is going to be a huge influx of people & they are going to need green space close-by to take their kids.

Another view of the land. A park is perfect here

Neither Marrickville nor Petersham Roads have any green space nearby. The closest that I am aware of is Steele Park & the Cooks River at the bottom of Illawarra Road. This is quite a hike away.  I have never seen kids alone in these places, even teenagers.

The lack of street trees, green spaces & parks has a huge impact on the physical & mental health of people. This is accepted current research.  Without sufficient green space & greenness, there is increased incidence of mental health issues, especially depression. People get sick & take longer to recover, boys act out, girls don’t learn as well.

Lack of green space also encourages graffiti & dumping. People start to not care about their environment when there is too much grey infrastructure & Marrickville Council are about to give the consent to at least 10 times more grey infrastructure in this area.

The kids need somewhere to go. A park outside the Library is the right thing to do. Council have the perfect opportunity to do just that. It will encourage more usage of the Library services. The park can also be used as a meeting space for other groups.

There are significant trees in this section of the old hospital site & they should not be removed. Council already has the basis of a park in this space with these beautiful trees & much wildlife lives in this area. Council prides itself on its climate change initiatives, but it doesn’t do enough to keep large trees, which sequester carbon. It doesn’t make sense.

The long-term health & happiness of the residents should be worth something. Marrickville Council will get a quick financial gain from over-building this space, but a new park will pay back both Council & the community year after year.

Mayor Byrne’s motion asks only for an assessment of the feasibility of a park in this location. This is what the Councillors voted for during the first Council Meeting.

With respect to the Councillors calling for the Rescission Motion, I cannot believe that they are trying to squash a new park before it has even been looked at. Marrickville Council cannot go on allowing construction of huge residential buildings with only token green space & expect people to have a good quality of life.

Political parties & beliefs aside, I think it is robbing the people of Marrickville if the opportunity to examine if whether a park on this site is feasible is stopped.

I know it is the Christmas holiday break, but if you would send an email to the Councillors saying that you want & support a park in this location, they can assess the community’s interest.  If the Councillors receive many emails from the community they are less likely to support the Rescission Motion to stop a new park even before it gets started.  If we sit back & do nothing, chances are the Rescission Motion will get through.

Your message can be as simple as –

“I want a new park outside the new Library, corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads at the old Marrickville Hospital site. Please vote against the upcoming Rescission Motion that takes the new park off the agenda & prevents Marrickville Council staff from assessing the viability of a new park in this location.”

This is a campaign you can participate in from your chair.  The current & the expected massive influx of new residents to Marrickville will be pleased that the community cared enough to fight for their right to have a little patch of green space near their home for them & their kids. The wildlife that live in this location will thank you also.

You can cut & paste the Councillors email addresses into your email to make it easier. You may need to remove the ‘mailto:’ depending on your email –

mailto:fbyrne@marrickville.nsw.gov.aumailto:siskandar@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mailto:vmacri@marrickville.nsw.gov.aumailto:mphillips@marrickville.nsw.gov.aumailto:cpeters@marrickville.nsw.gov.au,mailto:lwright@marrickville.nsw.gov.au mailto:mhanna@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mailto:polive@marrickville.nsw.gov.aumailto:mosullivan@marrickville.nsw.gov.aumailto:mkontellis@marrickville.nsw.gov.au, mailto:dthanos@bigpond.net.au, mailto:etsardoulias@marrickville.nsw.gov.au,

I thank you. J

Another view of the area proposed for a new park

Big news yesterday was that birds have a blind spot.  This fact was discovered by scientists from the Centre for Ornithology at the University of Birmingham in the UK & published in the Biological Conservation Journal.

The blind spot in their vision means that birds cannot see obstacles straight ahead when they tilt their heads downwards in flight.  Looking downwards is something birds do naturally when looking at other birds, trees, places to land & food sources. Millions of recorded bird deaths occur each year due to birds hitting powerlines due to this blind spot. Therefore, changing the appearance of power lines by adding reflectors or colour will not help.

Behind this beautiful Camphor laurel is the carpark on the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads. The barbed wire fence separates these two areas. The Palms where the Ibis live are a few metres away

On the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads is a flat space of bitumen used as a carpark. On the far side there is a wire fence topped with barbed wire. Presumably the function of the fence is to stop people going into the old hospital site.

Last Wednesday, a woman brought an injured Ibis to the Livingstone Road Animal Health Centre.  She had done something quite brave & in her words very difficult by untangling a living & injured Ibis from the barbed wire on top of the fence next to the carpark.  She said she rang Marrickville Council who told her they are not responsible for things like this & suggested she ring WIRES. She did, but they were unable to send anyone for 2 hours.

Unwilling to allow the bird to continue causing itself more pain, suffering & injury, she worked with another woman to release the Ibis from the barbed wire.  By the time she arrived at the Vet she was looking a little shocked, which is understandable as I imagine it was quite an ordeal.

The Livingstone Road Animal Health Centre had no hesitation in taking the bird as they have a strong ethos regarding urban wildlife & animals in general.  There was some hope from the Vet that the bird could be saved with some surgery, but unfortunately the injuries were too severe & the Ibis had to be put down.

This particular location where the Ibis was injured has numerous Palm trees & a very large & beautiful Camphor laurel.   The Ibis have taken up residence in the Palms since the drought forced them all to move to the city in search of food & water.

As there are families of birds living just above & in the near vicinity of the barbed wire fence I wonder whether the barbed wire should be there at all. I would suggest that birds have a blind spot when it comes to barbed wire strung across fences as well.

In the grounds behind the carpark is this food stall offering free food for homeless people. Behind this stall is also barbed wire on top of a wire fence. The birds live in front of the tree on the left

In my opinion barbed wire fences look ugly & presents a danger to the community. I know barbed wire fences signal ‘keep out,’ but in reality, who listens to that. We all know that it is very easy to get over a barbed wire fence. All you need is a jacket that you don’t care too much about. The odd hole can give it a grunge look, which is very popular anyway.  A pair of wire cutters will get you through a wire fence in under a minute.

I think that Marrickville Council should remove the barbed wire component of this fence as it presents a danger to both people & birds. A fence without barbed wire makes entry difficult enough & this fence in particular only has worth as a visual deterrent.

I would very much like it if Marrickville Council thought the death of Ibis warranted the removal of the barbed wire. I know that the two women who rescued this bird were very angry that barbed wire was there.

The Department of Environment & Climate Change say this about Ibis (bold is my emphasis)  –

  • Ibis are protected under the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974.
  • Aerial surveys conducted over eastern Australia since 1983 indicate that numbers of Australian White Ibis have decreased dramatically in the inland river systems.
  • Management of breeding populations should proceed with caution to be cared for on a whole population basis, across the landscape, to avoid the plight of the Sacred Ibis. (extinct)
  • Caution is required in managing large breeding colonies in urban areas as there is potential to cause considerable impact on the national status of the species.
  • Community awareness, understanding & assistance are required to help protect ibis from threats & to care for waterbird populations as part of a broader landscape view.
  • Ibis can also enhance our local environment. They do a great job aerating the soil while they probe for insects on our playing fields & public parks. (& the Cooks River bed at low tide)

To read the article about the blind spot in birds – http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9140000/9140040.stm

The Ibis live in these Palms & in some of the trees opposite in the grounds of St Bridget's Church

This is the most magnificent Camphor laurel tree I have seen in Marrickville LGA. In fact it is one of the better trees we have. The picture does not do it justice. I just hope that Marrickville Council will not advocate for its removal as they consider these trees environmental weeds. This may be true for rural areas, but not so in urban areas. We have proof that they are not because the area has not been overrun with Camphor laurels. This tree does far more good than harm.

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