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The artist’s impression of the development of Carrington Road Marrickville South with 35-storey towers & 8-storeys next to single storey homes.  A bird’s eye view making it hard to assess the impact from street level.

Discovery Point development across the river at Wolli Creek. The buildings here are half the height of the Carrington Road proposal. Can you imagine?

The Councillors & Wards are as follows – (in alphabetical order) –

Ashfield: Tom Kiat (Greens), Mark Drury (Labor), Julie Passas (Liberal).

Balmain: Rochelle Porteous (Greens), John Stamolis (Independent), Darcy Byrne (Labor).

Leichhardt: Marghanita Da Cruz (Greens), Lucille McKenna (Labor), Vittoria Raciti (Liberal).

Marrickville: Colin Hesse (Greens), Victor Macri (Independent), Sam Iskandar (Labor).

Stanmore: Louise Steer (Greens), Pauline Lockie (Independent), Anna York (Labor).

This was a Council Meeting of the Inner West Council held at Ashfield Chambers. Clr McKenna was absent.  Clr Macri was absent during the time we were at the meeting.  He arrived close to 8.30pm when we were leaving.

Mayor Byrne put up 7 Mayoral Motions.  There was some debate about these being debated prior to the Agenda items.  We only stayed for 4 of the Mayoral Minutes & left at 8.30pm.  I heard today that the meeting concluded at 00.30am.  This is way beyond my interest.

At both council meetings so far the Mayor spoke directly to the Gallery about participatory democracy & factors that undermine it.  Having council meetings that go into the wee hours is a factor that undermines the participation of the community.  The way things appear to be, true democracy will be advanced by the institution of more regular & shorter meetings, so that the community can truly participate by attending at reasonable hours starting at 6.30pm.

As usual, all mistakes are mine.  Anything in [ ] are my words.

Mayoral Motion – Consistent metropolitan approach to bike share schemes.

That Council:

  1. States it’s in principle support for commercial bike share schemes;
  2. Notes that the success & viability of bike share schemes depends upon a proper regulatory framework which protects the accessibility & safety of pedestrians as well as the amenity of local streets & footpaths;
  3. Convene a meeting between Inner West, Waverly, Randwick & Woollahra Councils & the City of Sydney to formalise a regional response to bike share operators that includes:
  4. A consistent regulatory framework for all bike share operators;
  5. A consistent approach to designated bike storage areas; &
  6. Investigation of a permit tender process that imposes regulations upon successful bike share operators.
  7. Request legal advice from Council’s Group Manager Legal regarding:
  8. What constitutes an abandoned bike; &
  9. Council’s powers to remove &/or impound bikes.
  10. Receive a report on a proposed internal management plan from Council officers at the November Ordinary Meeting.

Clr Stamolis – This Mayoral Minute (MM) is almost a replica of mine on the Agenda.

Staff – Mayoral Minutes always come first in the Agenda.

Mayor Byrne – I have met with oBike.  They are intending to increase the number of bikes in our streets.  There have been complaints from residents.    I welcome a successful commercial bike hire schemes.  The challenge is there is no regulation at all.  Footpaths are old & become inaccessible or a safety risk. I would to take the lead with this list of councils.  oBike would like to see regulations.  In principle I support bike storage areas, a tender process with bike share operators.  What constitutes an abandoned bike?  What are Council’s powers to remove or impound bikes?

Clr Passas – I totally oppose the MM.  The bikes are ugly, dangerous, cars can’t open doors, on grass verges staff have to move bikes. There is no tourism in Ashfield.  They are in direct competition with local bike businesses.  The streets are ugly with obsolete signage. We don’t need them.  The company should have come to Council to ask if we are interested.  People can buy, hire or borrow bikes.  Hundreds of bikes were taken out of the harbour.

Clr Drury – This is a sensible way to go.  We live in an age of disruptive technologies & I kind of like that, but I am also getting complaints from residents.   I would like to see a regulatory framework.  I would also like to see them pay for the O-Rings.  I think it’s good for our area, but we do need some regulation.

Clr Porteous – I have been approached by residents.  Good concept, but a mismatch between a good idea & its implementation. We may not have powers to require the company to comply.  Add to motion – Refer matter to our state MPs.  Evident that we don’t have enough bike racks. Add to motion – do an audit of bike racks.

Clr Kiat – We need to look at an inforcible regulatory scheme.  I think it is fantastic that there are bike share schemes.  I’d be more comfortable if you would invite cyclist & pedestrian advocacy groups to the meeting.  I don’t think we should support commercial bike share schemes, but we should support bike share schemes.

Clr Stamolis – I still think my motion in Item 13 is better than the Mayoral Minute because it provides us with knowledge.  Before we go forward we need to be fully informed.  He requested that his points be included in the MM.  The Mayor refused.

Resident – I remind you that you have a Transport Committee.    You should not have the operator with you [in the meeting.].  I’d like to agree with Clr Passas.  I’ve not seen anyone ride one.  Bikes are lying everywhere like junk. There are many issues for safety, the environment & our aesthetics.  We are not the same as overseas.  In Balmain, we have narrow roads.  There is no requirement for them to be returned.  It will cost rate-payers money.  I could put chairs all around the streets & charge people to sit on them!

Mayor Byrne – Incorporated Clr Poreous’s amendment. I am not willing to remove ‘commercial’ from the Minute.  I believe we can impose requirements for the operator to pick up bikes many times a day.

Vote:  Carried with Liberal Clrs Passas & Raciti against.

Mayoral Minute – WestConnex

That Council:

  1. Produce a report, for consideration by Councillors, exploring all legal avenues available to Council to challenge the compulsory acquisition & approval processes for the Westconnex project. This should include a summary of all previously procured legal advice; &
  2. Seek a meeting with WSROC to discuss possible collaborative responses & actions relating to the WestConnex project.

Mayor Byrne – Point 1 – give a commitment to pursue legal advice.  Point 2 – Meeting with WESROC.  Our arguments will be stronger if by a group of councils.

Clr Da Cruz –  Has Council been approached by WestConnex regarding laneways in Annandale?

Staff – There have been properties acquired for WestConnex.  Clr Da Cruz will get a formal report.

Vote:  Carried unanimously.

Mayoral Minute – Carrington Road Planning Proposal [Marrickville South]

THAT Council:

  1. Opposes, in its current form, the Carrington Road rezoning proposal, based on the vast range of impacts detailed in Council’s letter to the proponent of 29 September 2017;
  2. Hold a public meeting on Thursday October 19 at 7:30 at Marrickville Town Hall to inform the community about the details of the Carrington Road rezoning proposal; &
  3. Reiterate its opposition to the Sydenham to Bankstown Strategy which is the catalyst for the Carrington Road proposal.

From the business paper – “Council’s objections to the Carrington Road Planning Proposal include:

  1. Loss of important industrial land which supports 223 businesses & 1,800 jobs.
  2. Threat to the many creative industries which have made their home in the precinct.
  3. Traffic & transport impacts.
  4. Risk of flood prone land.
  5. Heritage & local character area impacts.
  6. Sydney Airport height limits.
  7. Lack of open space, recreational facilities & local community infrastructure.
  8. Lack of affordable housing;
  9. Environmental & sustainability impacts.”

[ Of interest, is the comment from RMS in page 13 of the business paper on this item that RMS has, “serious concerns” with the proposal to provide 3,500 car parking spaces on site.  RMS seems concerned that having car parking spaces is a cause of traffic generation & strongly encourages “a concerted effort to reduce the provision of car parking spaces.”  I think this is ridiculous & frankly, damaging to the area.   People who spend big money on new units will still have cars.  Without adequate parking, we will end up in a third world situation with cut-throat competition for the limited competitive street parking we have in the area. ]

Mayor Byrne – This is an extra-large proposal from Mirvac.  I’ve seen bad DAs before, but this is BAD.  Council Officers advise that there will be up to 35-storeys & 2,600 dwellings wiping out 1,400 jobs, many servicing locally or the CBD.  This is a practical example of the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor.  Mirvac’s intention is to get properties in the system dealt directly with the Department of Planning.  There will be a public meeting next Thursday.  We need to be transparent to the community & that we reiterate our opposition to the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor.

Resident – My biggest concern with this DA is ‘works in kind’ …. that Council will be pushed into putting in a day care centre, then it will go to 15 floors & Council will think they have done a good job.  The Marrickville Hospital development has not been a good development for the community with a park in the shade all day.  This is a State Significant Area.  We should be speaking to City of Sydney & relevant art’s bodies & what areas like this have for Sydney as a whole.  When you wipe out all the places for band practice, there won’t be any in Marrickville.  You will lose them.  We have gone through planning agreements with developments like this.  It gives them extra height…basically a way for them to bribe Council.

Resident – The plans have raised such a concern in the local community. 330 people put in a submission.  Everyone is concerned about the density. Can the roads manage? What about parking & schools?  Where will the children play?

Resident – What can Council actually do?

Staff – The Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor…once the government endorses the strategy, they will issue a 117 Direction – that Council receives a plan like Carrington Road or their own LEP that can set out more detail for development.  We assess the plans.  If we reject a planning proposal, the proponent can go to the Department of Planning.  They can reject or give merit to go to Gateway.  Council has 90-days to assess the proposal.  After 90-days, if no determination by Council they can go to the Department of Planning.

Resident – Even though Council is hamstrung, Council needs to give a strong lead & take the issue to the state government.   There is an election coming soon.  Point 3 – the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor is linked with The Metro, which will be constructed at the same time.  Over 2,000 new residences will be added when the rail line is shut down.

Owner of Carrington Road site – I’ve worked down there. The creative people are only about 3% – 5%.  We’ve been putting together this site for 25-years.  We originally approached Council in 2009.  Mirvac is our project partner.  My background is clothing industry, so I understand about the creative industry.  1,400 workers is nowhere near this.  I’ve been talking to Council for over 20-years to fix the flooding.  I have a photo where people have to get dinghies to get people around.  I tried to get flooding fixed in 1994.  We have been working for a couple of years to fix the flooding problem.   Council expects me to fix the flooding problem.  It is a $100-million cost in itself.  It’s been treated as an actual DA.  I’ve had every major developer in Australia approach us to buy that site.  If it was a grab for cash, we would be out of there.  We want to get something world-class & good for the Marrickville Community.

Mayor Byrne – Invited the owner of Carrington Road site to come to the next council meeting on 19th October to present his proposal.  He accepted.

Clr Drury – I blame the state government for this.  Without the Sydenham to Bankstown strategy I doubt we would be seeing this.  The strategy wishes to completely override the wishes of the community.  This is an outrageous proposal in its current form.  This does not fly.

Clr Passas – It is a proposal.  I don’t think we need a public meeting.  Is it to get some notoriety?   We know they come in to 35-storeys & settle on 15.  No-one had a public meeting on the flood issue.

Clr Hesse – This was the Gumbramorra Swamp, so the flooding will probably never get better.  Sea level rise maps show this area will be under water.    The jobs are in manufacturing.  It is not a sector that is dying….it is changing.  This precinct is exactly what we want.  We should fight to keep this precinct on its own merits.  The system of planning works for the big guys.  We need to stand with our community.  This is a very, very bad proposal.

Clr York – The scale & size of the development is completely out of scale with this area.

Clr Steer – I would like to point out the letter of page 30.  That covers everything.  It doesn’t matter what the businesses do.  We need to support our small businesses.  If totally used for residential, there will be nowhere for our small businesses to go & no one will be employed locally.  People need to work where they live.

Clr Stamolis – It’s changed from rezoning proposal to planning proposal.

Clr Kiat – Asked to insert Sydney Metro after Sydenham to Bankstown strategy on Point 3.  The Mayor refused.

Staff – In Marrickville South Precinct there will be an overall reduction of 734 jobs.

Clr Da Cruz – What is Council’s view of this loss?

Staff – Loss of employment land is of concern.  We have lost to WestConnex & to rezoning.

Vote:  Carried with Liberal Clrs Passas & Raciti against.

A Reddy Go bike by the Cooks River.  It appears to have lost its back light & helmet.


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.

Lovely canopy of a Eucalyptus tree

I recently posted about the Marrickville Ward candidates for the Saturday 9th September 2017 council elections. See –

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

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

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

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

The candidates are –

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

Preferences – 

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

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

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

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


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

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

You can watch the candidates speak & address questions put to them by the community here –

The palm trunk above the Marrickville Golf Course Club House is the new home of a pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.  The white dot is a cockatoo.


On 19th August 2017, I posted about a palm tree trunk behind the Club House at Marrickville Golf Course that was being used as a nesting hollow by a pair of Cockatoos.   See –

I rode past today & it was gone.

Fig birds in a Poplar tree in Marrickville

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

There will be 15 Councillors overall, 3 for each –

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

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

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

The candidates are –

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

Preferences –

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

Issues addressed –

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

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

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

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

You can watch the candidates speak & address questions put to them by the community here –    I am told this is a better link –

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

I shall post about Stanmore Ward tomorrow.

Leichhardt. Photo taken July 2017. This is what will be happening in Sydenham, Marrickville and Dulwich Hill.

The plan for Marrickville. It is a lot of high-rise.

We went to last night’s public meeting held by Inner West Council regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Strategy Revised.  Marrickville Town Hall was full with plenty standing at the back.

The meeting was called to inform the community about the NSW State Government’s revised plans & Council’s great concern about the plans.

The revised draft Strategy increases the number of proposed new dwellings at Sydenham, Marrickville & Dulwich Hill to 8,500.   Broken down this will be –

  • Sydenham Station Precinct – 500 new homes
  • Marrickville Station Precinct – 6,000 new homes
  • Dulwich Hill Station Precinct – 2,000 new homes

[ This does not include the 750 new dwellings at the Victoria Road Precinct that just received approval.  Nor does it include the 2,400 new dwellings planned for the Carrington Road Precinct.  ]

It was at times hard to hear the speakers & my notetaking skills are poor these days, so I will write the points down that I managed to catch.  All mistakes are mine.  Inner West Council did video the proceedings so that the community can learn of what is planned for the area, so I will post a link if I come across it.

The Administrator Richard Pearson opened the meeting. 

  • The original plans came out in 2015. These plans have significant changes.  There are higher density & higher infrastructure issues.
  • 8,500 new dwellings will be approximately 20,000 new people.
  • As a Town Planner myself, there are some serious issues from high-rise around Marrickville & Dulwich Hill Railway Stations where it bleeds into suburban areas.
  • The scale of renewal is major. There needs to be parks, schools, greenspace & drainage, plus other infrastructure needs.
  • I was surprised at the closing date of 3rd September when the council elections are on 9th
  • It is important that the elected Councillors can make submissions. I asked the government that they can put in a supplementary submission & was told verbally that they will be allowed to.  I am waiting for this in writing.

John Warburton – Deputy General Manager Community & Engagement

  • Our LGA has three areas along the corridor.
  • This is not part of a broader planning scheme leading to a lot of issues.
  • Lack of practical efforts to make suburbs livable.
  • No funding plan to pay for infrastructure.
  • There is a loss of too much character & fabric of the Inner West.
  • No building designs yet, only maps.

Sydenham –

  • Increase of 500 dwellings.
  • Gain 700 jobs.
  • High-rise near Frasier Park.
  • Inner West Council is concerned about loss of industrial land.
  • There is a proposed new plaza in front of Sydenham Railway Station.

Marrickville –

  • There is a lot of density for Marrickville.
  • A lot of high-rise.
  • 555 jobs.
  • The difference between the Local Environment Plan & the Corridor is profound.
  • 2,000 extra dwellings for Leofrene & Schwebel Streets.
  • Proposed central plaza opposite the railway station.
  • Council has a lot of concern about the loss of single storey housing.

Dulwich Hill

  • Slight reduction of 59 dwellings from original plan.
  • 5-8 storeys planned for Hercules & Terrace Roads.
  • Nothing addressed on how to pay for infrastructure.
  • No idea how to find open space.

Jo Haylen MP Labor

  • The plans do not reflect our community.
  • They have not been written for us. They have been written for developers.
  • No sustainability.
  • The State Government knows we are a fighting community. We won’t take it lying down.
  • Marrickville & Dulwich Hill are being asked to take far too much density – an extra 6,000 new dwellings up from 4,000.
  • In Marrickville South the plan ignores the heritage value of the area.
  • Marrickville is a heritage suburb. The government’s studies did not include The Warren.
  • No targets for the cost of housing.
  • Many of the houses to be bulldozed were affordable. This will change the face of Marrickville.
  • Dulwich Hill – 561 submissions against the original plans.
  • Only a reduction of 59 dwellings.
  • The Greek Church & the Maternity Hospital are to be demolished. There is a heritage impact.
  • Lack of provision for schools, open space, new services for the 100,000 new residents for the corridor.
  • The government should build the infrastructure we need before building the corridor.
  • If the Metro line goes ahead it will be built 8-years after the corridor.
  • They should be prioritizing Sydney areas that are under-serviced.
  • No money for schools, no money for Canterbury Hospital.
  • No Affordable Housing or Social Housing.
  • Sporting groups have trouble finding places to play.
  • No new open space. Linear parks & plazas to be delivered by developers as ‘in kind.’

Mary O’Sullivan – Save Dully Spokesperson

  • Only 4 areas in Dulwich Hill subject to heritage analysis in revised plans.
  • The Uniting Church at Constitution Road to be developed.
  • Maternity Hospital in The Parade to be developed. It’s a beautiful building.  No doubt in its heritage.
  • Hercules, Terrace & Constitution planned for 8-storeys. There are early examples of wooden Federation houses here.
  • Riverside Crescent planned for 5-storeys.
  • Open space – a small extension for Jack Shanahan Reserve & a Greenway extension along the Metro, plans to turn the last 4 holes of the Marrickville Golf Course into open space & access to open space at the primary school.
  • ‘The Hill’ is the Dulwich Hill Railway Station parking. So, where will people park?
  • The government says there will be no commuter parking along the Metro.

Peter Olive – Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance

  • We are against the overdevelopment along the corridor & against the Metro train line.
  • The Metro is a waste of tax-payers’ money.
  • This is a privatization of an existing service, a good functioning part of a rail network.
  • It’s an abdication of responsibility to provide public transport in Sydney. Many places do not have a train line.
  • There are a number of decisions targeting the Inner West – WestConnex, the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor, privatising the buses….

Kelsey – Save Marrickville South spokeperson

  • We have 4 points for the government.
  • 1. No higher than 3-storeys next to single storey houses.
  • 2. No higher than 5-storeys in Carrington Road Precinct.
  • 3. Plan infrastructure before approving building heights. Plan schools, open space, roads & parking.
  • 4. Keep Marrickville’s character & streetscapes.
  • Don’t be fooled with the yellow areas on the map. They are labeled low-rise of 2-3 storeys, but they are in the 4-storey area within 500-metres of a railway station.
  • Bright red is 8-storeys. If the developer gives up some land for open space it could be taller.
  • There are 8-storeys next to single storey family homes.
  • Carrington Road development is already in advanced planning stages with Inner West Council & the developer wants higher. It may not be part of the Marrickville Precinct & may increase population density above the plan.
  • Up to 25-storeys will block the light from Mackey Park & Tempe.
  • The parks are linear & along the rail line & the storm water drain.
  • Many of us chose to live in this area because of the character.

At this stage, we left the meeting.

For me it was great to hear professionals from Council & ex-Marrickville Councillors expressing the same concerns I have & more.  I have found on Facebook attempts at discussing development in the Inner West are effectively shut down by name calling & citing the need for Affordable Housing & not spreading Sydney even further.  The fact that $615,000 for a 25-sq-metre studio apartment in Marrickville is nowhere near affordable does not get a look in.  So, to sit & listen to eloquent, sensible & affirming speeches from across the political spectrum was good.

The fact is Inner West Council is seriously concerned at the future livability of our area.  This should speak volumes to those nay-sayers who do not want development discussed.  If the plans are not modified, we will find ourselves living in an over-populated area, with poor amenity & with services unable to cope.  Schools, childcare are at capacity now.  The sewerage system was at capacity a few years ago.

The former Marrickville LGA, where the development is happening already has the lowest percentage of green space of any municipality in Australia.  Add 20,000 plus new residents….it will be wall to wall people in the parks.

We all need to send in a submission.  While 561 submissions from the people of Dulwich Hill is commendable, the government must receive thousands of submissions if this community wants to be heard.

You can find Save Dully on Facebook here –

Save Marrickville South on Facebook here –

The Save Marrickville South submission can be downloaded here —

You can go online & write your own submission here –

The deadline for submissions is Father’s Day Sunday 3rd September 2017.

Full with people standing behind me.

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.

Marrickville Golf Course

Inner West Council has given notice that they intend to remove & work on trees located in Marrickville Golf Course.

Council says it plans to do the following –

  • “Tree removal– includes the removal of several dead trees or trees present significant defects and/or structural issues.
  • The creation of habitat trees– where trees are reduced down to safe limbs and boxes and hollows are created for use by native fauna.
  • Tree pruning– to remove defective or dead branches to reduce risk.”

Council do not give the location or number of trees to be removed.  We should be told about each individual tree & why they must be removed.

Nor do they give the number & location of trees they intend to prune or those they intend to make into Habitat Trees.    Council goes on to say that –

“All trees to be removed will be replaced (and more) as part of a planting program to be developed in collaboration with Council, Marrickville Golf Course and the community.”

Again, Council does not tell the community how many new trees will be planted or what species.

This is not something I understand.  I think it is in Council’s interest to tell the community how many trees they will plant because this is positive information that makes people who care about the local environment happy.  If Council had informed the community that they planned to plant 15 new native trees for example, everyone would feel happy about it, which is good for Council.

It is called transparency.  It is their duty.  Open & full communication is the only thing that instills trust in the community for what its government does.   You can’t have words about believing in open government & consultation, but fail to inform your community.

On a positive note, I think it is wonderful that more habitat trees are being created, especially in this important biodiversity corridor along the Cooks River.   I also think it is great that more trees will be planted.  The golf course has plenty of room for more trees.

This is the eastern side of Unwins Bridge Road Tempe looking toward the roundabout at the corner of Gannon Street.  I think verge gardens will make a huge difference to the streetscape.

I was pleased to see newly created verge gardens along both sides of  Unwins Bridge Road from Tramway Street to the corner of Gannon Street Tempe.  This is one of the gateways to our area with thousands of vehicles travelling past every day.  The houses are lovely, but the streetscape is not.  Verge gardens will be a boon to the residents who will benefit from a drop in the urban heat island & the addition of beauty.

The verge gardens also put something between pedestrians & the vehicles, which is excellent as so many of the pedestrians are school children.

I am interested to see what Council plants & whether any street trees are included.  Council has planted ornamental pear trees further up the road from Tempe High School all the way to Tillman Park, so there is a chance street trees will be planted here.

Well done Inner West Council.  The creation of verge gardens is transforming streets across the former Marrickville municipality & I think it is great that attention is being given to Tempe.

Southern side of Unwins Bridge Road Tempe, again looking toward Gannon Street.  Even small verge gardens improve the streetscape.  

The chimney December 2016 before any height was removed

Work has almost finished and scaffolding is gradually being removed. The two rings below the top of the chimney can be seen in the middle of the two platforms in the scaffolding in the photo showing the chimney before any bricks were removed. If I am correct, a lot of height was removed.

Back in December 2016 I posted about Sydney Water’s plan to reduce the height of the historic sewer vent at Premier Street Marrickville South.  See –

In that post I wrote, “From memory Sydney Water did not feel confident that the vent would survive a one in 100 year storm.”    I was incorrect.  Sydney Water did not feel the chimney would survive a one in 500-year earthquake.  That is a far more interesting reason to remove part of an important historic landmark.  Problem is, none of us will be around to check whether this was indeed necessary at all.

If I look for it, this landmark is quite visible in my day to day activities.  So, it was with great interest that I watched what appeared to be nothing happening behind the scaffolding & I had a ridiculous hope that Sydney Water had changed their mind.

Over the months I chatted with quite a few locals about the chimney & realized I was just one of many who were observing the lack of progress with the hope that it was to be left intact.  Most days I would look & feel excited that the chimney was still untouched.

It was fun while it lasted as I was again wrong.  They did indeed start removing bricks & now their work appears to be completed.

As per the notice out front of the property, the chimney has been lowered to 17.85-metres.  I’ve read the historic detail page by Sydney Water (, but I cannot find the original height of the chimney to know how exactly much height has been removed.

However, I did notice a couple of interesting points –

  • The sewer vent maintains its original function as part of the SWSOOS ventilation system. So, the lower the chimney gets, the closer the community are to the smell of sewerage.
  • In 2000 the cowl was removed from the top of the chimney. I had to google to find out what a cowl is, so for those like me, “a cowl is a usually hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney and prevent backflow.”

The finished work doesn’t look too bad in that there is still something to see on the hill & this landmark is still visible from Petersham.  We haven’t lost out completely.   It’s a shame it has happened at all, but hopefully, if an earthquake does happen, everyone will be safe.

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