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Acrobatic dinner

This was the Land Use Assets Meeting & the Services Committee Meeting. The following was my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine. To cut down the length of this post I will mostly remove “he said/she said” with the comments coming after the person’s name.

Pedestrian crossing on Ewart Street Dulwich Hill – The Traffic Committee approved the crossing, but staff recommended it be considered as part of future budgets because the RTA think it is not warranted & have indicated they will appeal if Council goes ahead & builds it.

A resident spoke for the pedestrian crossing saying the following: residents were upset that the crossing was not going ahead, she had addressed Council about this last July. The pedestrian crossing was on the route to Dulwich Hill Primary School & that it was hard to get the kids safely across to the pedestrian refuge or see cars coming. It was not enough for Council to just use speed cushions. The residents want speed cushions on all 3 entry points as well as signs & warning bumps.  They also want to meet with staff to find a safe, suitable outcome.  I last wrote about this issue here – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/report-from-the-gallery-–-13th-july-2010/

This verge in Marrickville is cool & very pretty

One resident spoke against the pedestrian crossing. Over the past 17-years he had never seen anyone wait for more than 2-minutes to cross the road. The community was angry about losing more parking spaces & thought the crossing was a waste of money. Parking was at a premium already.  30 signatures against the crossing were collected over the weekend.

Both Clrs Tsardoulias & Olive said it was reasonable for Council to persist with building the crossing despite the RTA. Clr Olive: the RTA needs to know people want better pedestrian access & quieter streets.  Clr Tsardoulias: wanted angle parking investigated.  Mayor Byrne: Council could do their own usage counts during the periods before & after school.  Staff: the counts were 22 pedestrians & 580 cars between 2.30pm & 3.30pm.

Clr Thanos: it should be deferred until Council did a count as this would help with any appeal from the RTA. Any change to angle parking should be done with community consultation. Angled parking narrows the street & reduces speeding.  Clr Peters asked whether fences could be erected to prevent kids crossing closer to the roundabout. Staff: this is part of the project & that a large tree was obstructing drivers view.  Passed unanimously.

Raising the Western Sahara flag – The Secretary of the Australian Western Sahara Association asked Council to raise the Sahara flag on Western Sahara National Day saying in the past it has been raised in 3 places in Melbourne, in Perth, Hobart & in other Australian cities. 35-years-ago most of Western Sahara was invaded by Morocco. Since then the people were denied freedom of assembly & expression & their mineral resources were exploited.  Raising the Western Sahara flag would extend strong support & solidarity & encourages our & other governments to put pressure on Morocco to do a free & fair referendum.

Magpie

Clr Phillips said he was once involved in the Western Papua cause & knows that raising the flag means so much to those fighting an uphill battle for recognition, as the neither the public or the media know much about these issues.  He supported raising the flag & said it was a small gesture.   Clr Kontellis: peoples’ opposition movements are often turning to Council &  supported raising the flag.

Clr Hanna: against anything like this because it has nothing to do with the people of Marrickville. Clr Thanos: a member of the community have asked Council to do it & because it is in the Charter it is therefore within Council’s business.  He reminded that Council raises the Greek flag every year & dared the Councillors to say they will stop doing this.  Council has a long history of raising many flags.

Clr Olive: the Telegraph said that Council wants to do things for countries that don’t even exist, yet we did it for Aung San Suu Kyi & the Dalai Lama who doesn’t even live in his own country. It’s wholly consistent to support oppressed minorities within their own countries.  The Telegraph should look at the Cooks River, Mackey Park, Kendrick Park & Enmore Pool, as Council are doing the nuts & bolts work & also try to represent oppressed people when our residents let us know about them.

Clr Macri:  he wouldn’t support, as this is just one corner around the world. The public expects us to represent them.  It costs $600 to tie a banner on the balcony so why was there no cost? Council cannot take up every issue even at home; the plight of the Aborigines & disaster victims. A lot of people are disturbed by all the out-of-town issues Council is involved with. The Sister City program was about community, not alliances.  Staff time is being taken up with the out-of-town issues.   For: Clrs Olive, Kontellis, Peters, Byrne, Phillips & Thanos. Against: Clrs Macri, Hanna, Tsardoulias, Iskandar, O’Sullivan & Wright. Clr Tsardoulias used his casting vote to deny the request. Not passed.

Sister Cities program – A resident spoke about the decision to boycott Israeli services & products at a recent Council Meeting.  She asked Council to develop a practical peace-based project regarding Bethlehem & Palestine & said this was already happening with Leichhardt Council. There are hundreds of Jewish people in Marrickville LGA & it was insulting that Council had not involved them. People were shocked & distressed.  Council are not here to do this. Council didn’t involve the Palestinian constituents either. The boycott of Israel is not on Council’s Sister City Report & Judaism is linked to Israel.  The boycott of Israel is not dialogue & co-operation. She asked, why did Council not talk to the Jewish community?  Where is the process that allows the Jewish community to speak with Council & to start a peaceful process? They were offering themselves to work with Council together for peace.  Council’s approach was ‘last century’ & outdated taking out the bad guy to go with the good.  (Around 35 members/supporters of the Jewish community attended tonight’s Council Meeting)

Clr Iskandar: It was a good report. The Sister Cities Program is very different to the decision the previous speaker was talking about.  Sister Cities means peace, inclusion, 2 sides working together in peace & harmony.  There was no intention to exclude any resident inside or outside Marrickville.  We visited Bethlehem & the people were suffering, but have hope that both sides will sit together & have peace. Council is not against the Israeli people; we are just supporting the Palestinians, that one day they will have their own state Israel recognizes. He invited people to participate in any Sister Cities program, but under the new code.

Great when in flower & not pruned too hard

Clr Thanos: He didn’t agree with the Sister Cities policy & would not vote for it. Staff are trying to get a balanced approach because we have too many sister cities. He didn’t agree with having 2 categories of sister cities; those we actively relate to & those we don’t.  He hadn’t seen anything come out of the Sister Cities program for the last 2 years. The Sister Cities Program was outdated & last century, but Council should keep agreement with Bethlehem, always acknowledging Israel’s right to exist & Passchendaele because the children who are buried there had links to Marrickville.  Council hasn’t heard from Kos for 10 years & we could keep Larnaca because of the Cyprus Club is active in our community, but the other cities served no purpose.

Mayor Byrne supported the motion. Clr Peters: The residents have misrepresented Council’s stance on the BDS.  The Palestinians were facing an acute lack of water on the West Bank & only existing on 20% of water. Let’s see if we can work here about the problems of Bethlehem so that the people can grow food & survive.

Clr Phillips: The Sister Cities Program was last century, restrictive & outdated & asked whether Council would be better off promoting exchanges & also do this is Africa & other parts of the world.  Clr Marci:  It was hard to maintain a Sister Cities relationship in such a diverse place & that the locals here are concerned about losing local harmony. He was concerned that the Sister Cities has been hijacked & tarnished by the boycott & wanted programs where Palestinians & Israelis could work together instead of Council being the laughing stock of the world. He has been inundated with emails asking what Israel has to do with Council when they can’t fix the grass. He would support the resolution, Council needs to look at the program & not alienate any of our community.

Clr Hanna:  He supported the resolution.  A Councillor went on radio & said a lot of churches & people asked Council to do the boycott, yet he has not heard anyone say this. We are not the Foreign Affairs Minister & we all work part time.  He was only interested in helping locals & had no intention of running for parliament.  He gave the program 12-months more support. Clr Kontellis:  The criteria for assessing the Sister Cities relationships was ‘poor,’ ‘fair’ & ‘good’ & that the majority of indicators were poor. This says a lot about the Sister Cities Program. She said she was uncomfortable with the outcome & wanted to know how long Council would be supporting an outdated, meaningless program.  Carried with Clrs Phillips, Kontellis & Thanos against.

There were some other items on the agenda. For brevity, I have not reported on them. They attracted little debate.  Here ends the Report for this week.

Grevillea - another great food source for wildlife

The Wolli Creek bushland is enormously beautiful

First the RTA tried to build their highway over the Cooks River & the Tempe Wetlands.  Not content with that defeat, now they are going after Wolli Creek, the only remaining piece of inner suburban bushland that is largely as it was when white people came to settle in Sydney.  It is more than precious. It is astoundingly beautiful in parts & a haven for urban wildlife, including flying foxes.  We should be doing all we can to protect it for future generations, not having to fight the RTA & the state government to save it.

The state government promised to hand over the remaining section of Wolli Creek to National Parks & Wildlife Service 12 years ago.  What happened? Why have they not lived up to their promise?

Putting a highway through a section of Wolli Creek will harm this area immeasurably.  It is only a small pocket of bushland & is surrounded on all sides by roads & housing.  A rail line runs beside it & planes fly overhead.  To further stress the area with a highway will have major consequences on flora, fauna & water quality. Wolli Creek is home to rare frogs, orchids, many species of birds & the grey-headed flying fox that is listed as ‘vulnerable.’ More than 260 native plants have been identified within the Wolli Creek Valley.

The Thursday 11th November 2010 edition of the Cooks River Valley Times said in their front page article, that Greens MP Cate Faehrmann, Marrickville Mayor Fiona Byrne & Canterbury Greens Councillor Linda Eisler will “lay down in front of the bulldozers to prevent the RTA from mowing down sensitive remnant bushland at Wolli Creek to make way for expansion of the M5.”

I hope that people from the community, including those who don’t live near or use Wolli Creek will help with the fight to stop the RTA bulldozing Wolli Creek.  This beautiful piece of bushland must be saved for future generations.  Hundreds of volunteers have worked on the Wolli Creek bushland for years.  They have been doing this to preserve this space for wildlife & for the heritage value & amenity of people.

As I hear of any action relating to save Wolli Creek from the M5 I will post about it.  There will be people who say a highway is more important than a  piece of bushland.  I disagree.  Wolli Creek is not an ordinary piece of bushland & I think many others feel likewise.

The Wolli Creek Preservation Society (contact details in the blogroll) have an online petition calling on the state government to honour its 1998 commitment to establish the Wolli Creek Regional Park. It doesn’t take long to sign – http://www.wollicreek.org.au/petition/petition.htm

You can read recent articles here – http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/Valley_Times_11_November_2010/index.php Pages 1 & 4

http://express.whereilive.com.au/news/story/rta-plans-m5-east-extension-at-wolli-creek-valley/ &

http://www.smh.com.au/drive/roads-and-traffic/motorway-mows-down-proposal-to-preserve-lungs-of-south-sydney-20101102-17cdm.html

 

1.        Environmental groups plan to protest to stop National Parks in NSW being developed for tourism by private development consortiums TOMORROW 2nd June 2010 outside Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney at 12 noon . The web-site of the Colong Foundation goes into the issue of development of National Parks in detail. http://www.colongwilderness.org.au/tourism/Stop_exploitation_of_national_parks.htm

2.        East Sydney residents are protesting against the RTAs plans to drop the creation of a garden at the corner of Bourke & Stanley streets around the Eastern Distributor chimneystack & instead, rezone the land for residential units. http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/east-sydney-locals-fuming-with-rta/

3.        The Sydney Botanical Gardens Trust have been given the go-ahead from the Federal Environment Department to use noise dispersal & water spraying to remove the grey-headed flying foxes, a threatened species, from the Gardens.  Respected conservation groups were against the proposal to remove the bats from the gardens.  For background see  https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/sydney’s-royal-botanic-gardens-trust-wants-‘threatened-species’-bats-banished/

http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sydney-botanic-gardens-bats-will-be-harmed-by-removal-conservationists/

http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/bats-to-get-ear-bashing-at-sydney-botanic-gardens/

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/syndeys-bats-to-get-the-boot.htm

4.         Vandals destroyed more than 40 mature trees in Patterson Lakes & Moorabbin in May 2010.  The trees were planted to replace other trees vandalized 18 months previously. http://moorabbin-kingston-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-butchered-in-outrageous-attack-at-patterson-lakes-moorabbin/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

5.        I’ve previously posted about the battle by the community who are against a DA for a new Woolworths supermarket at Newport. To date Pittwater Council has received 1,353 submissions from the community, most against the DA.  The community fears that local shopping strips will be lost when the Woolworths giant moves in. There is a similar concern with the proposed Marrickville Metro development. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/room-for-improvement-woolies/

6.        More than 100 people attended a protest at the ADI site mid May 2010 including State Opposition Environment Spokeswoman Catherine Cusack, Liberal candidate for Londonderry Bart Bassett, Penrith Mayor Kevin Crameri, Councillor Ross Fowler & a representative of Lindsay Federal Labor MP David Bradbury. The community is trying to save 100 hectares of critically endangered Cumberland Plains woodland.  Interestingly, the news headline is – ‘There is still time to put things right.’ http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/there-s-still-time-to-put-things-right-at-adi-site/

Pansies & Marigolds in an island bed on Botany Road - far better than cement

The 1535 hectare site is to be developed by Delfin Lend Lease to create a new suburb – Jordan Springs.  It is one of the few green belts left in Western Sydney & is home to 110 bird species, 10 reptiles, 9 mammals, 8 frog species, 3 of them endangered & many plant species, including 4 rare ones.

I found an article from the Green Left written in 1996 where they say residents have been fighting to protect this land for the past 6 years.  This means the community has been fighting for 20 years to save this green corridor.  This is an interesting article as it provides a background history. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/12798

The ADI Residents Action Group website also provides a great synopsis of what is going to happen & why the ADI site is important to preserve. http://www.adisite.org/

7.        Environmental protestors & Aboriginal traditional owners of the land continue to fight to prevent logging of the Mumbulla State Forest in South East NSW. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/anti-logging-activists-lock-on-to-timber-harvesting-machinery/story-e6freuyi-1225867563540?from=public_rss

It is the last remaining habitat for around 50 Koalas. This may not seem many Koalas to require the stopping of logging a forest, but at The Australian Koala Foundation website, https://www.savethekoala.com/ they say, “there are less than 80,000 koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000.”  This certainly makes 50 Koalas extremely significant.  Personally, I think every Koala is significant, but we are talking about big money to be made here versus the habitat & survival of an animal. This is always a problem because the animals generally lose. That the Koala is listed as vulnerable in NSW is supremely important.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is calling for urgent action to stop logging & save the Mumbulla State Forest & have outlined ways in which the community can become involved. http://nccnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3002&Itemid=1

Last Friday 28th May 2010 a coalition of conservationists, including Chipstop & the Nature Conservation Council of NSW have called for the Federal Government to step in & order that the logging be stopped.  Intensive wood-chipping of Mumbulla State Forest has taken place this week.  Interestingly, due to countries buying less of our woodchip at the moment, there is some concern that they won’t even be able to sell the woodchips they have made from the torn down forest. The Tasmanian timber company Gunns recently posted a 98% drop in its ½ yearly profit, partly due to a drop in woodchip sales. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Environment/2010/05/28/Fed_govt_needs_to_protect_NSW_koalas_467192.html

8.         Landcare is collecting old mobile phones to help their aim of planting 30,000 trees along the Murray River, at the Mallee in WA & in the Daintree Forest in Far North QLD.  90% of each mobile phone is recyclable so giving your old mobile to collection points stops them landing up in landfill where they don’t degrade.  Collection points are Australia-wide & to find a collection point near you – www.mobilemuster.com.au

9.        Great news in that the Federal Government contributed to the purchase of a 14,000 hectare property called Bowra Station located in western QLD.  The property, purchased by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy is home to 200 species of birds. Birdwatchers will be able to go there.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/21/2906362.htm

10.        More great news as the NSW Labor government has decided to pay logging industry $97 million  & in turn, they are to stop logging the River Red Gums by the end of June 2010.  A National Park in the Millewa group of forests will be established in July 2010 & will be jointly managed with the Yorta Yorta people. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/19/2903840.htm

11.        I found the Environmental Volunteers Newsletter on Marrickville Council’s web-site.  It’s a great newsletter with information about current activities & contact details of all the environmental groups working in the LGA. http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/environment/volunteering.htm

As of last weekend the historic Fig tree at the IKEA development Tempe was still standing. Its shape has changed so I think it has been pruned.

In the May 2010 edition of Marrickville Matters magazine, Mayor Iskandar said, “I urge Marrickville residents to find that piece of land that is not being used & come to us for help to establish their own community garden.” Marrickville Councils Community Sustainability Co-ordinator can be contacted on 9335-2222. May’s magazine has a environmental feel with many articles focusing on the environment across the LGA. Council also says Mackey Park in Marrickville South will be carbon-neutral with all power needs being offset by the use of photovoltaic cells which generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.  This is really good.

12.        Go easy on the mince & bacon rashers if you feed Kookaburras because a Kookaburra was found in a Mosman Park being chased by dogs because he was too fat to fly.  He is currently in rehab at Taronga Zoo Sydney & on a diet, poor birdie. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/OddSpot/2010/06/01/Hefty_Kookaburra_has_grams_to_go_468341.html

The Land Use, Assets & Corporate Committee Meeting & the Service Committee Meeting was held on 13th April.  I stayed only for the first meeting.  Councillor Thanos was absent.  The following is my take on the meeting & all mistake are mine.

1.       Local traffic planning – 2 issues were discussed in detail.  3 residents addressed Council regarding a development affecting Wilford Lane Newtown.   Link Construction Group Pty Ltd are constructing a building at 63 – 71 Enmore Road Newtown. The speakers complained about a heap of problems such as noise, dust, multiple incidents of damage to private property, potholes, rubbish, blocking of access & abuse from builders.

walk way in Tempe Reserve

A privacy wall that the DA said was to remain was knocked down & not replaced. Also contrary to the DA a green space was removed.  3 metres of land that was reclaimed by Marrickville Council was paved over, making it appear to be private rather than Council property.

The developer has been fined 10 times at a total of $30,000 & the residents say that Council could be booking the builders for violations on a daily basis.

Chair Clr Mary O’Sullivan said this was an acute & serious issue & all Councillors mirrored this sentiment.  They will meet asap with residents & bring back the results to the next Council meeting.

In the second issue a resident spoke passionately against allowing a request from the Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) to Marrickville Council to give them a substantial parcel of Sydenham Green for The RTA to create another lane on Railway Road Sydenham heading towards the intersection of the Princes Hwy.  The RTA say the extra lane will make it easier for trucks & other vehicles to leave Railway Road & enter the Hwy.  Of course it will, but it will also encourage more trucks to use this route through Marrickville LGA.  The resident who spoke said as far as he was concerned, there was too much traffic & far too many trucks in this area.

The area of land the RTA have their eye on is from the Princes Hwy to the Coptic Church built in 1884.  13 healthy trees on park land would need to be chopped down.  Councillors voted to deny the request from the RTA.

2.         The Metropolitan Strategy Review 2036 Discussion Paper was briefly discussed.  This is a large document, which I have yet to read.

3.         Metropolitan Transport Plan – Most discussion concentrated on the Greenway.  Marrickville Council is concerned that 55% of the Plan’s budget is for road infrastructure.

Just about to burst into flower-Sydenham Green

Council thought it would be better if only 20% of the budget was directed towards roads with the remaining 80% directed to walking, cycling & public transport.

The Greens wanted an amendment that called on the state government to ‘guarantee’ a bike-path in the Greenway corridor.  The plans do not guarantee the bike path, as a lot depends on whether the light rail is 1 or 2 tracks.  Clr Wright did not want to impose conditions that may impact on how light rail works.  After debate that centred on using creative engineering around ‘pinch points’ the motion was amened to ‘consider inclusion’ & this was carried unanimously.

4.       Greenway Steering Committee.  The Mayor & Deputy Mayor will attend as representatives for a period of 2 years.

5.        LGA wide Parking Management Study – The issue was to employ a consultant for $300,000 to do a study on parking across the LGA.  The Greens were against both the study, saying that Council cannot afford $300,000.  They said there are already areas which the council knows needs work done & it would be better to start fixing the problems than paying that money for another study.  Clr Phillips suggested using Section 94 money to fix known problems.  A staff member advised that Council has already collected funds for parking including on-road parking.  As I understood it, the other Councillors although concerned at the amount of money, were interested in learning what the study came up with.

wetlands in Tempe Reserve

The outcome was the Councillors would be briefed on parking matters.  They would look at using Section 94 money as an alternative to a consultancy report & look at previous parking proposals that have been considered. The decision to employ a consultant has been deferred.

My fear is that Council will go they way of Leichhardt Council & bring in metered parking because it is a phenomenal revenue maker & could be attractive to a council which has severe financial problems.

6.         Re-establishing alcohol-free zones – Clr Tsardoulias put forward an amendment to remove Alex Trevallian Plaza (next to Post Office Café on Marrickville Road Marrickville) from the proposed list of alcohol free places because a Thai restaurant which fronts the plaza will have outdoor eating & wants to be BYO.  The General Manager said they would allow the restaurant to serve alcohol, so Councillor Tsardoulias withdrew his motion. The Greens concerned about the associated increase in police powers that result from such measures. Public consultation will be done regarding a number of locations along Marrickville Road shopping strip, side streets, Calvert Street car park, Sydenham Green & other locations in Sydenham.

There ends Report from the Gallery for another week.

the community does not want this road through Tempe

Today, around 300 people attended a protest walk across Tempe Reserve to the RTA’s community consultation about the planned 4 lane arterial road.  The walkers could be heard chanting as they approached.  Then with a roar, they came around the trees & stood facing the tent where about 20 people were listening to a talk by the RTA on the ‘road to nowhere.’

The ‘No WAY RTA’ banner carried by local residents led the walk closely followed by the Marrickville Council banner carried by Councillors O’Sullivan, Olive, Peters, Phillips, Byrne & Mayor Iskandar. State Greens MP Lee Rhiannon also attended.  Many people expressed disappointment that other State & local MPs were not in attendance.

After a few minutes the crowd progressed to the tent & listened to the speaker.  The protesters respected that the RTA staff had a job to do & did not interrupt.  Besides, the information about this road has been vague, so everyone wanted to know the details of what was being proposed.

I asked about the location & height of the 4 lane arterial road & how many trees will be chopped down to achieve this.  The staff member said he had no idea, acknowledging, “Some trees will have to go.”  He did however, show me the route of the road & said, “It will be at least 10 metres above the ground, higher in some places.”  He said the road could not travel along the Alexandria Canal because it will cross the flight path.  Another person pointed out that the intended route put the road on top of a hill travelling in the same direction & this would also affect the flight path so the rationale didn’t make sense.  I think there is a plan cooking somewhere to build units along the Alexandria Canal.

The details of the proposed 4 lane arterial road as I understood are:

  • The road will require the removal of many mature trees in a park on the Rockdale Council side of the Cooks River (do they care?)
  • It will cross the Cooks River & travel between the mature Fig tree situated on the point of Tempe Reserve & the Robyn Webster Sports Centre (the white building with the brown drawings designed & painted by Aboriginal artist Bronwyn Bancroft as part of the Marrickville Council Public Arts Strategy in 2004)
  • 2-3 mature Fig trees look to be in the way of the road, however the staff member said this was only a guideline & may change
  • The road will go through & above the seating in rotundas, the barbeque areas & the extensive & well loved playground
  • It will then follow the curve of the park along Alexandria Canal cutting off access to the water (I doubt people will want to sit under a 4 lane highway)
  • Then it will cut through the urban forest on the city-side of the park before it travels along the crest of the hill just above Tempe Wetlands, & beside a golf driving range.  It will overlook houses in Tempe & most certainly be visible from the Princes Highway
  • The road will stop at Sydney Park & much of the 15,000 vehicles/day will end up on King Street & Euston Road

at today's protest

This road is of great concern because of pollution, noise, impact on the community, respiratory illnesses, damage to Tempe Reserve & the park on Kogarah side & both the Cooks River & the Alexandria Canal & will increase traffic through Newtown, St Peters & surrounds.

Community group Tempe 2020 are there to provide details about how this road will affect their community (see What’s on page).  SoT is concentrating on the impact it will have on trees, wildlife, the river & the Tempe Wetlands.

The well-utilised beautiful park on the Kogarah side of the river will be massively affected.  Here, I have photographed cormorants drying off their wings on the banks of the Cooks River.  It is filled with wildlife that will be severely impacted by the making of this road & the addition of thousands of vehicles speeding past each day.

Tempe Reserve is a beautiful park in its infancy.  Marrickville Council have spent millions repairing it & creating biologically diverse areas such as a salt marsh & ephemeral wetland to provide habitat for flora & fauna.  In about 10 years it will look significantly more beautiful as the current works will have established themselves & the trees will have matured. It is used by many people 7 days a week & not just for sporting activities. I do not think the community can afford to lose either park to a major road.

impact on Tempe Reserve

Most people are attracted to the point of the peninsula & Marrickville Council knows this because that’s where they put the barbeques, the playground & the seating & this is exactly where the RTA intend to put the road.

I feel annoyed that the State government & the RTA have so little respect & appreciation for these areas.  I can only assume that they, as many people in Sydney, don’t realise just what a jewel this area is.  Friends glaze over if I mention the Cooks River.  Years ago they heard it was ugly & dirty & this has remained in their consciousness.  Now it is full of lovely regrowth areas.

The State Government should be doing everything in their power to protect Tempe Wetlands & the Cooks River, which is also highly visible as one of the gateways to Sydney from the airport.  Sydney also needs to keep places like this for future generations & for wildlife.  This is a densely populated area of the inner west with few parks per capita.

The wildlife in my opinion is quite stressed with the rapid urbanisation & the continued loss of where they can live & find food.  Stopping on the perimeter of Tempe Wetlands to take photos today, the air was alive with the sounds of insects humming away.  Walk inside & you could be in a national park.

Not everything of beauty should be destroyed for more roads.  In my opinion, the State government are continuing to build this city for vehicles, not for people. As long as you encourage cars, roads will always be filled.  Spend the money earmarked for this project on public transport, not for a road system that ends nowhere & is going to force drivers into crowded Alexandria and King Street that is barely coping now.  Let the wildlife have a little pocket for themselves.  Future generations will thank you for it.

Marrickville Council spent $17 million to create this beautiful green oasis & the RTA want to destroy it by putting in a 4 lane arterial road over the top of it

Community group Tempe 2010 is holding a peaceful protest walk against the RTA’s ‘road to nowhere’ to help save the Tempe Wetlands, Tempe Reserve & the Cooks River.  SoT is also very concerned about the resulting loss of many trees if this project goes ahead.  The walk starts at the park on South Street Tempe & finishes behind the Newtown Jets in Tempe Reserve where the RTA is holding a community information day until 2pm.

  • tomorrow Saturday 20th February 2010
  • @ 11 am

Plenty of time to participate in this event before attending ‘Sustainability Street by Street’ which is to be launched in Marrickville. 

The goal of the project is to show how to make a street more people-friendly & pleasant while improving water management & green space. The Project is about working together on a local street level to reduce & slow polluted storm water from rushing down to the Cooks River when it rains. The Project looks at ways of using the storm water to water gardens, how communal & shared gardens could be developed, how pavement space could be turned into native gardens or food gardens.

Come & listen to a presentation by Libby Gallagher, who co-presented the ‘Proposition Marrickville’ at the Re-Inventing out Streets Conversation which caused quite a stir in July Last year.  Richard McManus from Equatica will present a session on WSUD at both a street & property level.   See Wiki Web-site for more information:  http://sustainabilitystbyst.wetpaint.com

  • tomorrow Saturday 20th February 2010 @ 1-4 pm
  • Marrickville West Public School Library
  • RSVP – Catriona 
ph: 9559 3660
 or 0435 021 449
   cpyner@ozemail.com.au

Then there will be the Project Launch with stalls providing advice on worm farming, rainwater tanks etc & gauging interest in sharing gardens, pavement gardens (veggie verges) & more.

  • Saturday 6th March 2010 @ 1 pm
  • Louisa Lawson Reserve, Harnett Ave Marrickville
  • RSVP – Catriona 
ph: 9559 3660
 or 0435 021 449
   cpyner@ozemail.com.au

Three days later the Cooks River Valley Association, Wolli Creek Preservation Society & City of Canterbury City Library present Professor Heather Goodall speaking about her recent book Rivers & Resilience, the story of the Aboriginal people who have used (& continue to use) the Georges River area as home & hideout from the time of European settlement until the present day.  This fascinating account also provides insights & glimpses into the Aboriginal history of the Cooks River valley & Wolli Creek.  There will be a display of archival photographs & maps.

  • Tuesday 9th March  @ 6 pm
  • Campsie Library – Amy Street, Campsie (ground level of Campsie Centre)

residents gathering in the rain today to protest the RTA plans for Tempe Wetlands, Tempe Reserve & Cooks River

We have just come back from a rocking community protest meeting where 100-150 people turned up in the rain & squished around the muddy grass (well it is a wetland) to hear speakers address the crowd about the RTA’s plan to put a 4 lane major arterial road to nowhere over the Cooks River, across Tempe Reserve & over Tempe Wetlands.  For so many people to come during such wet weather shows the RTA what sort of opposition they face from the residents of Marrickville LGA.  I spoke to a number of people who came from across the LGA proving this is an issue for all of us, not just the pocket of locals in Tempe.  Great to see.

I have been given a lot to read about the RTA’s plan so will post about this when I am done.  Saving Our Trees is greatly concerned about the trees (some of them very old) that will be lost or greatly affected if this ‘road to nowhere’ goes ahead & the preservation of these wildlife corridors.  It was great to see many of our councillors from all political groupings in attendance.  We arrived late so missed Mayor Sam Iskandar’s speech.  More about this issue later.

Now to the issue of the trees on NSW State Rail land at the bottom of Edgar Street, Tempe.

Tempe trees at risk by digging work by NSW State Rail - there are many more large trees behind these trees in this stretch of land

A woman at today’s protest told me that she thinks proposed works by State Rail will place all the trees along the railway line there in danger.  Apparently they intend to excavate close to these trees.  I will see if I can gather some information about this.  I went to see the trees.  They are formidable & many look to be quite old.  It would be a real shame to lose them.  I also discovered a small grove of trees in a gully next to the railway line, which appears to be left untouched for years & is a great haven for wildlife.  This is precisely what

small urban forest on NSW State Rail land in Tempe

I would like State Rail to do with all its parcels of land along rail tracks.  See an earlier post – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/29th-december-09-beauty-the-beast/ I will see what information I can find about this issue.

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