A vision for a sustainable Sydney
Barry O’Farrell and the Liberals were elected on the promise of returning planning powers to local communities. But in office the Liberals are pushing a planning system that will deliver even more for developers than Part 3A ever did.
The Liberal government’s planning ‘Green paper’ removes the rights of residents to object to many developments, takes powers away from elected councillors and councils and completely ignores the concept of heritage or environmental sustainability.
The Greens believe that the needs of communities, now and into the future, should be at the centre of any planning system.
The Liberals’ transport plan is to spend $30 billion on Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) to dig tunnels and build more motorways. The Greens believe in a publically-owned fully integrated transport system for Sydney, with:
- A light rail network linking George St, Barangaroo and the City’s inner-east.
- A second heavy rail harbour crossing.
- One type of ticket that works across all forms of public transport.
- Expanded cycleways and pedestrian friendly intitiatives.
Even the chairman of Transurban, Lindsay Maxsted, says that we cannot ‘’build our way out of congestion forever.”
Protect our Heritage
Barry O’Farrell is about to introduce planning laws that will reduce heritage protection to pre-1970s standards. Even Sydney’s uniquely historic Rocks precinct will have no guarantee of protection against the developer’s wrecking ball.
Paddington’s Victorian character, Surry Hills’ grand terraces, Elizabeth Bay’s Art Deco feel and Kings Cross’ rich cultural history need to be protected from the Liberal’s development driven agenda.
People before Profits
Apartment owners are not a resource to be exploited by developers and managing agents, they are a community that deserves to be represented. Chris will stand up in Parliament for the rights of home-owners and tenants and oppose the Liberal’s developer-driven programme.
Sydney needs to look after public housing tenants, homeless people and young people who rent and who want to be able to afford to live and study safely. That means providing housing that is well constructed, safe, affordable and that offers the security of longer leases.
Chris will campaign for the introduction of a strata ombudsman to stand up to greedy developers, resolve disputes about building defects and mediate in intra-building disputes.
Chris Harris was instrumental in convincing the City of Sydney Council to trial local resident Michael Mobbs’ “Cool Streets” plan in Chippendale. This will provide food and encourage local business, improve health and also save residents, businesses and the council millions in energy bills.
The plan relies not on cutting edge technology but on simple measures like planting on road verges, capturing rainwater and replacing road surfaces with lighter materials.
Chris is committed to work with the government as he did on Council, to ensure that such innovative and common sense ideas are supported and rolled out throughout Sydney.
Sydney for People
No Hunting in National Parks!
In a dirty deal with the Shooters Party, the NSW Liberal government has opened up National Parks for recreational hunting. Greens MPs in the NSW Parliament are at the centre of the campaigns to stop recreational hunting on public land and ensure that feral animal control is done professionally and humanely.
The number of people starting families in Sydney is growing, particularly in suburbs like Pyrmont. However there is a chronic shortage of childcare facilities and available positions in existing centres.
For example, for the almost 300 children under two in Pyrmont, there are just 24 long day care places available. Such failures put undue pressure on parents who want to return to work. We need better forward planning to ensure that the childcare needs of Sydney residents are met into the future.
The Liberals have already defunded TAFE and slashed funding to schools by $1.7 billion. Small school closures and cuts to teacher numbers and special education funding is next. For the Liberals, public education is not a priority: we can’t’ trust them with our children’s future.
Chris believes that well funded public education is the foundation of a strong and successful community. In parliament, Chris will work to have Cleveland Street reopened as a comprehensive high school, so that our inner city kids can attend school in their own neighbourhood.