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Planted in about 1860, this is a very important tree for Sydney.  I am pleased Metro kept new infrastructure away from this tree.

Looking at the front entrance from the side.

The new entrance to Marrickville Metro from the front.

Last post I said I would post some photos of the landscaping work being done at the Victoria Road entrance of Marrickville Metro.

I love that infrastructure was kept away from the magnificent heritage fig tree planted around 1860.  It is an extremely important tree for Marrickville & for Sydney.

I also love that the bench seats do not include a bar to prevent people from lying down.  I loathe defensive architecture & the negative message it sends.

Facing Mill house, on the right there is now a lovely small school vegetable garden for local St Pius’ Catholic Primary School & also what appears to be an outdoor classroom area.  From memory this area contained a few trees, so to me it looks entirely different.  However, it is a nice & useful green space.

I do like that extensive verge gardens have been created down Victoria Street & more gardens behind the temporary fence.

Metro has obviously tried.  It is just a pity that the main entrance area is so visually harsh & is also a heat sink.  I think they may come to regret this in the years to come.

The fence is temporary. What concerns me is that lack of shade for dogs.

The dog tie-up area in this location is connecting all dogs to the one pole & although water bowls have been kindly provided, I think the dogs will bake if left here for more than the shortest time.  I also think there is a high risk they will get tangled up with each other, which may cause conflict with some dogs who feel anxious or who have a need for personal space.

It is interesting to notice how the community feel a sense of ownership of what is essentially private property.  My guess is Metro want the community to feel connected to this shopping centre, which is why they have the community library.   Something else that is important is that Metro is a place visited weekly by a large chunk of the community, so how it looks has an impact on how we feel & for many, whether we return or not.

There is the well-known research that found that spending increased by a whopping 11% in leafy shopping strips, so it behoves shop keepers & shopping malls to retain trees & lobby for more trees & greenery outside their shops & in public spaces within the shopping strip.   People like trees & tend to linger in green spaces.  If they linger, they tend to spend more.

The area outside the main entrance has been the focus of much conversation on Facebook & many people have initiated conversation with me wanting to talk about what has been done here.  No-one mentioned the school garden, the chess area, the verge gardens or the tree removal, so I was surprised to see all the other work.  Unfortunately, I do not know how many mature trees were removed.  What people talked to me about concerned the entrance area & their emotions were strongly on the negative side.

Having looked at the work I think Metro did not succeed with the front entrance, but have done well in the other sections.    For me I remember when Metro wanted to remove many of the Figs & other street trees surrounding the centre.  I am so glad this has not happened & think it is a major boon for both the community & the wildlife.

Despite that this is a large shopping mall, the streetscape around the centre is quite unique for Marrickville.  I personally enjoy walking here & find the trees beautiful.  Metro could have so easily made the whole periphery look like the front entrance.

I do think Metro realises the community’s love for the leafy outlook of the shopping centre & their love for the trees.  They had a mission to rejuvenate this area & they incorporated aspects that were inclusive to the local school & to anyone in the community who wants to play chess & sit in the shade of the Fig tree.  There are good points & not so good points.  I have included quite a few photos so you can make up your own mind & so that the good work they have done is not overshadowed by the front entrance.

I think the black block is to become a water feature.  The shade is from the veteran Fig tree.

Giant chess.  What I do like is that not everything in this area is concrete.  Paths are permeable or are raised wooden paths.

St Pius’ Catholic Primary School’s vegetable garden.

Outdoor classroom behind the vegetable garden.

New gardens behind the temporary fence.  I may be wrong, but I think there were mature trees here.

New verge gardens are a nice addition to the streetscape.  Maybe they will stop trolley dumping.



The view of housing development on Canal Road Alexandria.

A little further along Canal Road Alexandria – housing.

Sydneysiders need to be aware & highly concerned at the rapid growth & loss of green space that is currently happening, plus the plans to take even more green space away.

Once the green space is gone, it is gone forever.

The loss of green space is a serious public health issue.  Green space not only provides valuable habitat for wildlife, but it also cools the area around it.  We need places with trees, grass & other vegetation.

We need green places for our mental, physical & spiritual health.  Without access to decent green spaces human beings tend to suffer.   People who suffer from mental illness can feel more settled when they are out in nature.

Recent research found without going into green spaces on a regular basis, people tend to get stressed, anxious, depressed, move less & gain weight.  Many of us suffer morbid rumination, where we go over & over what we perceive are our failings or what is wrong with our lives.  Just going for a walk where there are good trees can stop this mental thought process & improve our happiness & life satisfaction levels.

Green spaces provide us with a stress break in our busy lives & gives our mind a break from mental fatigue. Regular experience in the leafy outdoors helps improve work performance.  It also helps improve our cognitive function, memory & ability to learn & retain information.

The intellectual development of children improves when they have contact with nature.   Those who have ADD/ADHD tend to respond well to time spent in nature & have more content retention ability.

Research found that plants in the workplace resulted in decreased sick leave, so imagine the impact if there was nice green space for workers to have their lunch.

Those with Alzheimers or dementia are helped by being in green space & being able to touch plants.

Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.”  See –

It is a fundamental need of human beings to have access to good green spaces.  By good green spaces, I am not talking about a small patch of green on a main street or in a shopping mall, though these do have a significant role to play in offering areas of respite & helping lowering the urban heat island effect.

We all need areas where we can exercise for free without needing to pay for a gym membership.  We need space to let off steam, to run, to shout, to play games alone or with friends.

We also need spaces where were can walk or sit quietly – where the only sound is nature; the wind in the trees & birds singing.  We must keep those we have & not over develop them.

In my opinion, Council has a fundamental responsibility not to turn every green space into an entertainment venue.    Places must be left where the only entertainment is what you can see in the natural environment around you.  If people become depended on things to be provided for them to do in parks, they will lose the ability to relax or amuse themselves with whatever is around.

As our suburbs become more developed, our stress levels are likely to rise just doing everyday things like driving & shopping.  Already traffic is a major negative issue in the locality & parking is often a nightmare.

Our streets are also green spaces – or they can be depending on the species of street tree planted.  Squatty small canopy street trees do not have an impact, but big, full canopy street trees do.  Have a look at the streets that are fortunate enough to have 80-year-old plus Brushbox trees.  In the evening on hot days you will likely see pockets of people who have gathered outside in the shade.  Good street trees are excellent at fostering connectivity between neighbours.

Verge gardens encourage connectivity as well.  People like to talk about plants & gardening.  Verge gardens offer the ability to swap plants & provide cuttings.

Today the news reported that the Total Environment Centre has identified more than 70 green spaces across Sydney at risk of being lost to development.  See –

This is most concerning.  If allowed to go ahead, habitat will be lost, wildlife will suffer & in cases like Cooks Cove where they want to develop the wetlands in Barton Park (see – ) migratory birds, frogs & other creatures will die.

The report from the Total Environment Centre said, “Sydney will build 664,000 homes between 2011 and 2031, with 60-70 per cent coming from “infill” developments within existing city boundaries.” 

We as the community will have to make our voice heard, considering the views of Anthony Roberts, the Minister in charge of Planning and Housing Affordability who said, “Anti-development activists are welcome to suggest ideas to me that will help us grow housing supply in NSW while protecting their favourite trees.”

I’ve got an idea Minister Roberts.  How about leaving all the green spaces alone & not allowing development in these areas.  It’s quite simple really.  Leave the parks, the golf courses & riversides for the community & so people in the future can use them as well.

I get annoyed at the simplistic view of politicians who, whenever the community speaks out against developing areas like Barton Park wetlands, say they are anti-development NIMBYs wanting people to move out of Sydney.  Do these political leaders not see another way in which green spaces & areas of vital habitat cab be retained for the benefit of the whole community now & most certainly for the benefit of future generations?  It can be done.

We had three heatwaves in February 2017 & this is expected to get worse as climate change accelerates.  Green spaces are essential components of a livable city.  That or we take a risk every year that heat wave events will be more frequent.  Loss of human life has happened in cities across the world as a result of heat waves.  Our government warned us that the power supply was likely to be shut off because of increased use of air-conditioning.

The urban heat island effect is another serious health issue that is relatively ignored.  Roads are still being covered in black bitumen as a way of maintaining them despite knowing that these are major heat sinks.

On 10th February 2017 the temperature at Blaxland Riverside Park in Sydney Olympic Park was 41.6 degrees in the shade.  However, some of the soft play surfaces in the children’s playground were around 84 degrees.  The road surface in the car park was almost 73 degrees.  This gives you an idea of our future if our gardens & streets are not significantly greened & if we lose green spaces.  See –

“As Sydney’s population is growing there’s more houses, less trees, less green, more roads … it’s adding to the heat.  ….. The way we’re going – and adding another million people plus an airport, more roads, more pollution, more industry, we can expect 10 more extreme hot days a year over 35 [degrees] ….. It will become the norm. Without the proper designs [and planning] the problem will only get worse.” ~ Stephen Bali, president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils.

I remind you that the former Marrickville municipality has the least green space in Australia.  We cannot afford to lose any of it, not even a morsel despite whatever the so-called gain to the community is slated to be.  We cannot comment on public consultation in either the Leichhardt or Ashfield LGAs, despite being amalgamated into one large council.  Therefore, Marrickville’s abysmal amount of green space should not be watered down by including green space from the other two municipalities we have amalgamated with.

Council should be taking every opportunity they can to add to the green space by transforming suitable areas of public space.  I think they failed with Alex Trevallion Plaza in Marrickville Road Marrickville, the Marrickville Town Hall Forecourt & the latest being the unusually large street space area on the corner of Canterbury Road & Herbert Street Dulwich Hill, though this is my own opinion.

The public space outside the Victoria Road entrance of Marrickville Metro is also an area eliciting much conversation within the community.  All that I have read or heard has been negative.  Whether you like what Metro has done is personal, but there is no doubt a heat sink has been created with all that concrete & tiling.  It is also a big loss to see that a number of mature trees have been removed.

Corner of Canterbury Road and Herbert Street Dulwich Hill – an unusual opportunity by Council to make a truly green and inviting space for the community in this location. Missed opportunity and I bet this work cost a lot.

The space behind the above photo in Herbert Street Dulwich Hill. I am glad it is grass and not concrete, but what would be wrong with planting a couple of shade trees here and adding some benches. It could be a useful space for the community.

Marrickville Town Hall Forecourt today – ugly and hot.  Not an attractive meeting place for the community.  This cost $575,000

Alex Trevallion Plaza in Marrickville Road – speaks for itself.

Alex Trevallion Plaza. Two of the skinny gum trees died, so instead of replacing them, Council filled the holes with bitumen. Message: we cannot expect this place to look better for a long time.

New entrance to Marrickville Metro. I will post photos of their other landscaping work next post.  Numerous mature trees, a grassy knoll and plumbago hedge on three sides of seating was also removed.  It has been suggested that C stands for Concrete.

I have spent some time over the last week reading the various reports regarding the trees of Marrickville Metro.  In summary, the most used words are: basal decay, mature epicormic growth, fair health, possible decay, poor structure, wounds, low landscape significance, fair structure, mechanical damage likely the result of lawn mower equipment.  Poor structure refers to past decades of pruning & is entirely subjective unless the tree is lob-sided & in danger of falling.  The bulk of street trees in Marrickville LGA would be considered poor structure due to pruning for power lines, but we wouldn’t remove them because of this.

Council-managed trees in Smidmore Road were assessed as being in good to fair health & will be pruned for building pruposes

87 trees were assessed as generally being in fair health & structure.   Most have been assessed as a remaining life expectancy range of 5-15 years. A few have a remaining life expectancy range of 15-40 years & some trees have a remaining life expectancy range of less than 5 years.  I look & see a verdant green canopy of trees thriving in appalling conditions, while the report claims trees are on their last legs.

Many of the Figs along the exterior wall of the Metro complex have been assessed as fair because of a reduced canopy cover of approximately 60- 70% “comparative to the same species growing in ideal site & environmental conditions.” I’d ask how many trees in Marrickville LGA are actually growing in the ideal site & environmental conditions.  How can one assess these trees based on these criteria?  They would never be able to compete because of the type of trees they are & the conditions in which they were planted.

Tree #31 that was assessed as in good health, but with poor structure has already been chopped down.  It was 10 metres tall with a 10 metre-wide canopy.  The last line of this report says, “NOTE: Reference should be made to any relevant legislation including Tree Preservation Orders i.e. permission to undertake tree pruning/removal should be sought from Council.” Well, did that happen regarding three #31?

Trees will need to be removed to accommodate the proposed building footprint extension & canopy pruning will be required to provide building clearance & for access during construction.  In other words, the canopy of the Figs has to be lowered & pruned back so that bricks & mortar & other building materials can be taken to the current car park level.

7 Council-managed Lemon-scented Gums & a Eucalypt along Smidmore Street have been assessed as being in good to fair health & good structure. They intend to prune these spectacular trees as well.

This is a veteran tree & should be treated & looked after with care. The 'overhanging' branches are well out of the way of people's heads

The Moreton Bay Fig that was probably planted around the same time as the historic Mill House that was built in 1860 has been assessed as being in fair health, in poor structure & suffering root damage probably because they were repeatedly mown over. It has been given a remaining life expectancy range of 5-15 years & despite having high landscape significance, has been allocated a ‘consider for retention’ label.

Consider for retention!  If it was planted around 1860 it is one of our oldest trees & should be preserved & protected, not chopped down to lay paving.  Last week it had a number of branches chopped off. A local resident who witnessed this said they were ‘overhanging.’  Figs are supposed to have a spreading canopy.  I’d be very interested to see what City of Sydney Council would be doing to preserve & assist this tree & I doubt that they would allow it to be pruned by anyone other than a veteran tree specialist, though to be fair, perhaps AMP Capital arranged this.  The report says it is a heritage-listed tree, but I couldn’t find it in the Draft LEP listing of heritage trees.

Even the lovely Peppercorn tree at the front plaza entrance has been assessed as fair structure & only expected to have a remaining life expectancy range of 5-15 years.  It will likely be removed for paving & a raised garden bed where art can be displayed.

The only tree that was assessed as being in good health and structure is a Fan Palm.

The Hills Figs along Smidmore Road near the lights are assessed as having a remaining life expectancy range of 5-15 years & have been allocated a ‘consider for retention’ label. 4 others outside the building have been assessed as only having a remaining life expectancy range of less than 5 years.

The trees of Marrickville Metro have been butchered from the roots to the branches for many decades by poor pruning & damage from lawn mowing.  Vehicles have wounded their trunks.  Trolleys have been smashed against them as well as an array of other events where they have come off second best.  Most have very little growing space, receive very little water & nutrients.  Despite appalling conditions, they are growing strong.  Residents I have spoken with who live opposite have not noticed any deterioration in their health.  That many of these trees are not expected to live longer than the next 5 years surprises me.

Showing the canopy of the Hills Figs from the car park of. It's obvious that these trees surrounding Marrickville Metro will create difficulty getting building material over their canopy to the car park if they were to remain

The canopy of the Fig trees poses a significant problem getting building materials to the upper storey, but not if they are removed.  Metro have a new vision of how the complex will look and this doesn’t include a line of trees around the perimeter walls.  The trees prevent visible signage & make cladding the walls in white panels with artistic rods pointless if you cannot see this.  Remove the trees & you get a ‘nice,’ new streamlined modern look.

AMP Capital fully intends to go through with the Metro expansion despite the opposition from a significant number in the community & Marrickville Council.  They are open in saying they want Metro to be the new Town Centre.  The wording on their plans makes out that we will all be extremely better off if the Metro expansion goes ahead & there will be negligible negative impacts.  AMP Capital have been planning this since at least 2005 so have had plenty of time & a number of expert consultancy firms working on all aspects of the process.  4 months all up of community consultation is a blip on the radar.  They would not understand that many in the community would like to keep the trees of Metro & keep the building the same size as it is currently.  Keeping the building the same size does not in any way impede improving the centre both in outlook, in variety of shops or the shopping experience.  Frankly, the community will need to shout loud & in large numbers if there is any chance of keeping these trees.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 18th March 2011.  Your submission need not be a detailed lengthy document.  MetroWatch has a draft submission on their website – The NSW Department of Planning prefers electronic submissions. Both the plans & the box for submissions is at this link  –

I have put up a YouTube of the Trees of Marrickville Metro.  I am convinced that removing these trees is the equivalent to removing a park.  The trees do an immensely important job of removing CO2 & particulate matter & improving air quality in this heavy traffic area.  They add significant beauty & are an important habitat & food source for a variety of birds & flying-foxes.  This has got to count for something.


Marrickville Metro chopped down a Celtis sinensis (Nettle tree) last Thurday March 3rd 2011. See –

A resident telephoned Marrickville Council yesterday Friday March 4th 2011 to discuss the tree removal at Metro & was told –

  • The Celtis tree is not an exempt species under the current Marrickville Council Tree Preservation Order 2007. (This is in direct contradiction to what she was told the previous day)
  • Because the plans to expand Marrickville Metro are with the NSW Dept of Planning & on public exhibition until 18 March 2011 it would appear that Metro have removed the tree without consent.  A Compliance Officer would have to investigate.
  • The next steps would be to prove that the Metro Management had ordered the removal of the tree. However, it is often difficult to prove these things, difficult to prosecute & often these matters do not end up going to prosecution.  (Try saying that to Waverley Local Council who took a resident to Court last February 2011 where the resident was fined $19,000 for cutting through what he described as a ‘fat root’ of an old Brush Box growing outside his home. & the Adelaide tree lopper fined $22,500 last February 2011 for cutting down a River Red Gum. )
  • The resident was asked to send an email to Council with all the information about the incident & Council would follow up on Monday.


A resident contacted me this morning to tell me that the Moreton Bay Fig (that I think should be classified heritage) outside the plaza entrance of Marrickville Metro had a number of branches cut back to the trunk & that another tall tree next to the Mill House was in the process of being axed.  The tree is gone now, except for the stump.

The resident rang Marrickville Council who had no record of this & were unaware it was happening.  The resident called Council back 1 hour later & was told that the Ranger had been sent to inspect.  Council said the tree that has been chopped down was not subject to preservation & is on the list of 10 trees on Council’s website that are exempt.

As far as I can tell, this was a Nettle tree. There are 36 other Nettle trees on site that Marrickville Metro has earmarked for removal. Marrickville Metro plans to remove a considerable number of other trees, including Figs.

The expansion of Marrickville Metro is currently out for Round 2 of public consultation until Friday 18th March 2011.  I thought this would have meant that Metro would not be able to proceed with their plans until given final permission by the NSW Department of Planning.

The tree that was chopped down this morning is labeled ‘low landscape’ & ‘priority removal’ on Metro’s expansion plans. So, does that mean they have started before the decision-making process is complete?

Community group MetroWatch is opposing the expansion of Marrickville Metro with the support of the Marrickville Councillors. They believe the current plans will create many serious problems for the greater community, not just those residences around Metro –

You can see the trees of Marrickville Metro in this YouTube video –

The plans are out for community consultation until 18th March 2011


Today the NSW Department of Planning put the Marrickville Metro expansion plans for exhibition on their website. Thanks to MetroWatch for letting me know. As I understand the process, The NSW Department of Planning has accepted AMP Capital’s plans for Marrickville Metro for review & assessment.

MetroWatch writes, “…it does appear clear that AMPCI have still not addressed traffic issues, on street parking in residential areas, loss of business to shopping strips, loss of amenity to residents immediately surrounding the Metro, & they also refute the assertion that their community consultation was not adequate. In other words, most if not all of our issues remain a concern!”

The community has 1-month to send a submission to the Department of Planning about the exhibited plans for an expanded Marrickville Metro.  The deadline for submission is Friday 18th March 2011.  You can download the plans here –

Just some of the trees surrounding Marrickville Metro

The protest March & the speeches at Alex Trevallion Plaza

The south side of Marrickille Road was blocked for around 20 minutes. A police car escorted around 150-170 shop keepers & residents, along with Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt MP, Clr Morris Hanna, Clr Victor Macri, Clr Mary O’Sullivan & members of Metro Watch as they marched against the proposed Marrickville Metro expansion until they reached Alex Trevallion Plaza.  Almost every marcher was holding a ‘No Marrickville Metro Expansion’ banner so any bi-standers were left with no doubt what the protest march was about.

Clr Hanna addressed the crowd that had assembled in Alex Trevallion Plaza about the many negative impacts the proposed Metro expansion will have on Marrickville shopping strip.  Clr Hanna also said that Marrickville Council has refused to sell Smidmore Street or the airspace to AMP Capital. He spoke about the difficulty the Marrickville shopping strip has with parking & called for something to be done about this.

Carmel Tebbutt said she thought the Metro expansion was totally wrong for this area & did not support it.  She also said that she had asked the NSW Planning Minister that the community can respond by way of further submissions when AMP Capital puts its next proposal in, but said he hasn’t agreed to do this as yet.  She also said she was negotiating a meeting with residents & the Planning Minister to talk about their concerns regarding the proposed expansion.

New trees planted at Alex Trevallion Plaza showing permeable surfaces

The crowd was big, the shops were closed, the police were out in force. It was great to see so many people participate.  It was also nice to see Alex Trevallion Plaza used by a big crowd & to see 5 Eucalypts planted in what appears to be tree pits & with porous surface & permeable paving. The trees add a nice wall of green.

I came across the google street view when searching the correct name of the Alex Trevallion Plaza. It is amazing how much better the Plaza looks now as compared with the time the google camera car drove past a few years ago.  It’s a vast improvement.



'No Marrickville Metro expansion' signs are all over Marrickville Road shopping strip. Shop owners say Metro destroyed Marrickville & Illawarra Roads shopping strips when it was built. An expansion will cause death to the local strip

Marrickville Chamber of Commerce are holding a march against the proposed Marrickville Metro expansion.  They say if the expansion goes ahead it will destroy Marrickville shopping strip as well as have a negative impact on the local area.

Local Marrickville shops will close their doors from 3.30pm to 4.15pm to participate.

Marrickville Council is strongly against the Metro expansion & the Councillors are unanimous in their opposition saying Metro shouldn’t have been allowed in this site in the first place.

If the Metro expansion goes ahead the negative impact on the community will be huge.  In order to give us the kind of shops like the ones we can access close-by at Roselands, Eastgardens or Broadway shopping malls, the expanded Metro will –

  • destroy local shopping strips in Marrickville & Illawarra Roads, Enmore Road & King Street South
  • create traffic gridlock from 5 million extra vehicle movements a year
  • create local parking problems due to staff cars
  • create more noise & air pollution
  • give us a looming building in a heritage residential area
  • result in the potential loss of 142 beautiful trees (equivalent to a park)

An extra 5 million vehicles a year will be devastating. Our roads are not built to cope with this.  Try driving up Victoria Road towards Enmore on a Friday afternoon. Even at 2.30pm the traffic is gridlocked with many drivers deciding to do a u-turn & try another route. The new Annette Kellerman Pool in Enmore is due to open in December bringing more traffic to the area.

You can access the plan at the NSW Department of Planning website under Major Works – Marrickville Metro Part 3A (MP009_0191).

The March Against Metro Expansion needs as many people from the community to participate to send a loud message to Minister Camel Tebbutt, Minister Anthony Albanese, the Minister for Planning & AMP Capital that shop owners & the community do not want the Metro expansion to be passed. It’s in the community’s interest to keep our shopping strips viable.

WHEN:      Wednesday 17th November 2010

WHERE:    Meet at corner of Victoria & Marrickville Roads Marrickville

TIME:          3.30pm to 4.15pm

You can read more about the Metro expansion here –


An Anarchist poster pasted around on local streets was mentioned by Clr Phillips during last week’s Marrickville Council Meeting as an example of the wide-range of community groups who are vehemently opposed to the Marrickville Metro expansion. See ––-21st-september-2010-–-part-1-–-marrickville-metro/

Today a photo of their poster was sitting in my e-mail box.  Thank you!  So here it is, with another I put together so you can read the words. Well done to the Inner West Anarchists. Very succinctly put.

Poster by the local Anarchists. I like it.

No mincing of words here

This was the Council Meeting.  Absent: Clr Peters.  The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.  So many interesting & important topics were discussed last night & to do them justice, I will post in 2 sections.

Marrickville Metro – Clr Byrne put up a motion for Council to leaflet all homes within 800 metres of Marrickville Metro to inform them of Council’s opposition to the expansion & why.  Clrs Hanna & Macri left due to pecuniary interest as they are both shop owners.

'No Metro Expansion' signs are all along the Marrickville Road shopping strip

2 residents from Metro Watch spoke for the motion saying they thought Council should letterbox the greater community or at least 1km radius of Marrickville Metro. They said AMP Capital have presented their side to the community & were misrepresenting the reality of the expansion. People need to know the impact of the Metro expansion on heritage, ecological & environmental aspects. They said AMP Capital is playing with words in their advertising – ‘upgrade,’ ‘revitalization’ when in fact it is a massive redevelopment.  AMP Capital use words like ‘could,’ instead of ‘will, ‘upgrade roads,’ instead of ‘remove on-street parking.’ There was also concern that shops keepers within Metro are coerced to display pro Metro development material.

Clr Byrne said her motion should be changed to 1km radius from Metro & that Council’s leaflet should be based on Council’s submission, which included traffic, heritage, trees, size, height & scale. She said she was concerned that people are unaware of Marrickville Council’s position about the Metro expansion.  She also said Council had written to the Planning Minister requesting that the DA approval process be returned to Marrickville Council.

Clr Thanos said he has a big regret that legislation surrounding pecuniary interests prevents councilors from representing the community. He did not leave with Clrs Hanna & Macri.  He said it was a “disgrace” that AMP Capital have been allowed to apply saying that 4 years ago the NSW state government said the land surrounding Marrickville Metro was to remain Category A Industrial to support jobs close to the city, “except Marrickville Metro” owners can apply for rezoning. He said he found this exception disgraceful as this allowed a billion dollar corporation to have a significant financial advantage for the future & penalized every other business owner in the area. He said Carmel Tebbutt must apply pressure to prevent AMP Capital getting such an advantage.  He also said Marrickville Metro shouldn’t have been there in the first place, that the expansion will destroy livability around the area & destroy shopping areas who will have a 30-40% decrease in business. He suggested Council’s opposition to Metro expansion be put in Marrickville Matters. He mentioned AMP Capital’s donations to the Labor Party, which stopped 2 years ago.

Clr Olive said it was important for Council to keep up the fight for our LEP, for residents & for businesses. He said Part 3A was meant to be for ‘state significant development,’ but couldn’t see how Marrickville Metro fitted this criteria. He supported inclusion in Marrickville Matters. Clr Kontellis said she remained cynical because it is a systemic issue that moves power of local decisions to a government who is often tied for a whole range of issues, including financial support.

Just some of the trees that surround Marrickville Metro

Clr Phillips also supported inclusion in Marrickville Matters & spoke in detail about AMP Capital’s selective language with their advertising. He said he was worried residents are being misinformed so it is important they know Council’s opinion.  He said AMP Capital’s advertising shows bikes, no cars, no struggling shop-keepers, no clogged streets, no loss of residential parking & nothing about the 142 trees that will be removed.  He said even the anarchists are against Metro expansion with local graffiti saying, “Vote. Shop. Vote. Die. No Metro Expansion.” Along with the anarchists, the shop-keepers, the residents, the councilors & the Council staff don’t want the Marrickville Metro expansion.  He said Carmel Tebbutt needs to speak louder against the development & said literature shows AMP Capital has donated $256,000 to the Labor Party.

Clr O’Sullivan supported both the motion & the amendment & said the Labor Councillors had already leafleted around the streets surrounding Metro & that the leaflets were paid for with their own money.  She suggested that St Peters be included in the mail-drop. She said Marrickville Council’s submission was a very important tool of information as it succinctly summarizes the case against the Marrickville Metro expansion & asked whether some of the information contained in the Chamber of Commerce & Traffic Reports be available for the community. She said Council needed a non-partisan leaflet & that she was concerned that many people were ambivalent about Marrickville shops believing Marrickville Metro was already stopping them from working. She spoke about the severe impact on boutique shops along Enmore Road & lower King Street citing the destruction of shopping along Glebe Point Road as an example.

Mayor Iskandar said Council & Councillors have always been against the Metro expansion & have always supported both residents & shop owners regarding this.  Clr Byrne finished off saying there was still a threat of compulsory acquisition where the NSW state government can give Smidmore Street to AMP Capital.  Carried unanimously.

I will write about the remainder of the Meeting in my next post.

Still more trees at risk of removal

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