Blackwattle Submissions

Hands off Glebe Inc
P.O. Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037

Revitalising Blackwattle Bay

Submission from Hands off Glebe Inc

In 2017, following a large community meeting in Glebe, the Glebe Grapevine agreed to develop a survey and this was done with some assistance from the office of the local MP Jamie Parker. 6,000 copies of the Grapevine containing the survey were letterboxed across the suburb.

The views of respondents included the following:

There is a passionate commitment to preserving Wentworth Park. Residents were strongly (60%) against any loss of green space and the loss of any trees. Concern was also expressed about the park becoming shaded on four sides by high rise developments….

With recent large residential developments in and around Glebe already congested roads have become even more crowded.

It is clear that any development of these areas of the Bays Precinct cannot progress without the development of an integrated traffic plan that deals with traffic congestion and plans future traffic flows….

There is majority (54%) opposition to any high rise residential and/or commercial development on the foreshore….

There is strong support for any housing built in the area to include affordable and public housing.

93% of respondents wanted some public and affordable housing while only 7% wanted only private housing….

The report on the survey included 15 priorities expressed by our community for the Bays Precinct development, including:

There must be no privatisation of public land.

The Bays Market District and commercial/residential buildings must be designed and built without compromising Wentworth Park, with no loss of trees and no loss of green space.

An integrated plan covering expanded public transport, traffic flows, cycle ways and provision of increased parking areas must be an essential element of the Bays Precinct developments and must be in place concurrently with other design and planning elements.

The traffic plan must include dedicated public transport — bus, ferry and light rail — to the new Bays Market District.

The development of commercial and/or residential buildings on the shore line must be low rise. High rise is not to be allowed in this part of the Bays Precinct. (Limit to 5 storeys)

Any residential development must include 20% affordable and 20% public housing.

Serious attention must be given to providing full and free access to the foreshore and walkway for the disabled.

This submission from Hands off Glebe Inc regarding the 3 precinct plan scenarios Is based primarily on the views of our community as outlined above.


The brochure states that “5 to 10% percent of the new floor space in Blackwattle Bay will be dedicated to affordable housing.”

As noted above, the Glebe community survey called for 20% affordable and 20% public housing in any residential development. However, before COVID-19 hit, there were about 50,000 people on the NSW public housing waiting list. It is estimated that a rise in unemployment to 10 per cent by the end of the year 2020 could send up to 8,000 more people into homelessness.

In our view this situation calls for a far greater investment by the NSW Government in public housing.

We also note that Principle Eleven (page 9) calls for: A place for everyone that is inviting, unique in character, socially inclusive and affordable. The absence of any reference to public housing means the claim to be socially inclusive and affordable is not convincing.

Apart from its potentially significant role in the post-pandemic economic recovery, public housing has many other advantages. Access to public housing provides stability and lowers the risk that vulnerable families become homeless. It decreases housing stress and by limiting housing costs, public housing leaves families with more resources for expenses like child care and transportation as well as basic needs like food and medicines.

Quality public housing helps create a stable environment for children, contributing to improved levels of school attendance and educational outcomes. Public housing located near public transport can help low-income residents save money, access better jobs, improve health and reach critical community services.

The number of homeless and unstably housed seniors is projected to grow, creating serious health consequences as they often face declining incomes, increased medical costs and housing that may not be designed for their needs. Quality public housing can promote better mental and physical health, improved quality of life and independence for low-income seniors. For frail seniors and people with disabilities, public housing enables them to remain in their home communities and avoid or delay moving into nursing homes or other institutions that are much more costly for state and federal governments.

Hands off 6lebe Inc is therefore of the opinion that the housing developments in Blackwattle Bay must be at least 50% public housing.


The Glebe community survey shows a strong commitment to low rise development in the Bays Precinct with a maximum built height of 5 storeys.

We are therefore appalled to see that scenario 1 envisages heights of 18 to 44 storeys, scenario 2 heights of 13 to 45 storeys and scenario 3 building heights of 19 to 45 storeys. All the suggested design concepts will inevitably create an alienating concrete wasteland that will undermine the government’s vision of building an inclusive and iconic waterfront destination that celebrates innovation, diversity and community.

With such high rise developments there is no hope that the rejuvenation of the Bays Precinct will create spaces that sit well with our Glebe Village lifestyle but also expand our horizons as more visitors arrive and more opportunities for employment and leisure are created.

We hope that the Bays Precinct will indeed become a place that contributes to healthy, prosperous and resilient lifestyles.

We do not want our bay and its foreshores surrounded by high rise buildings created for profit rather than to meet the needs of the people of Sydney. We want low rise homes that are a mix of public housing, affordable housing and private housing, reflecting the current rich diversity in the inner west.

We note with concern that Principle Two (page 9) refers to minimising additional shadowing to Wentworth Park. It is hard to see how shadowing can be avoided with residential blocks of up to 45 storeys. Wentworth Park is being gradually surrounded on all sides by high rise towers and the Blackwattle Bay scenarios add to this increasingly unacceptable pressure on this invaluable environmental and social resource.


Principle four (page 9) suggests that the precinct plan should prioritise movement by walking, cycling and public transport. While Hands off Glebe Inc supports this, it is not clear if public transport is seen as a method of delivering people to the precinct — whether to travel home or for work or leisure – and/or for movement within the precinct.

This lack of clarity could be solved by acceptance of the call in the Glebe community survey for an integrated plan covering expanded public transport, traffic flows, cycle ways and provision of increased parking areas.

We note that scenario 1 includes private cars. It is our view that the need for additional parking within the precinct and pressure on roads and lanes make this proposal unacceptable.

We believe the community will be best served if priority is given to dedicated public transport — bus, ferry and light rail.

Hands off Glebe Inc is in sympathy with the transport option outlined in scenario 2 — a pedestrian and bicycle focused, car free sequence of urban spaces with buses, private and service vehicles, taxis interfacing at the edges of Blackwattle Bay – provided that due attention is given to access for wheel chairs and motorised chairs.


The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 9 square metres of urban green space for each person and also suggests that an ideal amount of urban green space could be as 50 square meters per person.

Given that scenario 3 proposes building 1045 homes which we can assume will house at least 2 people, the WHO minimum would be 18,810 square metres and its ideal 104,500 square metres. The green space figures would be higher for scenarios 1 and 2 which propose 1700 and 1160 new homes respectively.

The Renewal of Blackwattle Bay brochure claims that its plan includes more than 30,000 square metres of new quality public open space.

The brochure states: Renewal of Blackwattle Bay will deliver new green space to promote active and healthy lifestyles and provide gathering places to socialise. The foreshore promenade will be an accessible and open path for a range of uses including walking, jogging, cycling and skating …  We envisage that the Dragon boats will continue to maintain a presence at Bank Street and it could also include multi-purpose outdoor courts and a playground. (page 23)

While all this is welcome, Hands off Glebe Inc has major concerns: The 30,000 square metres include small parks, roads and pathways. While this may be appropriate for the uses mentioned in the quotation above, where is the open space for football, cricket and similar exercise?

Perhaps it is assumed that Wentworth Park is able to provide large open space for such exercise. However, the park is already overused and its space should not be included in any Blackwattle Bay precinct plan, explicitly or by implication.

Corporate Marina

The map on page 22 of the brochure shows a corporate marina, but without details and no explanation of what it is for. Is it to provide more “super yacht” berths and increased government revenue? Could it evolve like the ‘temporary’ marina in Rozelle Bay that was to disappear after the 2000 Olympics but is still there? Other mapped areas portray marinas for the fish markets and day-charters. Some alienation of public access to the waterfront could result from any of these, contrasting with the strongly expressed view of the Glebe community survey that there must be no privatisation of public land.

Hands off Glebe Inc believes that all marinas and all other services in Blackwattle Bay must be freely accessible to the public.


The Glebe community survey gave emphasis to the need to provide full and free access to the foreshore and walkway for the disabled. However, the brochure makes no mention of this essential service.

In conclusion, in our view none of the 3 scenarios present a vision of a revitalized Blackwattle Bay that would satisfy the needs and wishes of our community. The precinct plan should therefore be fundamentally rethought to include:

  1. A commitment to low rise and no high rise residential buildings
  2. At least 50% public housing in all residential developments in the precinct
  3. Additional new open space suitable for group exercise activities
  4. Greater priority to public transport within and outside the precinct within an integrated plan covering expanded public transport (bus, ferry and light rail), traffic flows and cycle ways

May Day in Glebe


May Day 2020




P.O. Box 145 Glebe NSW 2037



On 1 May 2020:

  • Hang out something red.
  • Open the windows and doors.
  • Position the speakers to face the street
  • At 1:00 p.m. start playing the following
  • Continue to the end.


May Day is celebrated all around the world as a day of protest.


In the last few weeks, thousands of workers have lost their jobs. Thousands of other essential workers are exposed to the risk of disease.


Business interests have already approached the Fair Work Commission seeking to lay off workers, abolish penalty rates, and force workers to take annual leave or unpaid leave. Meanwhile, the Morrison government is spending billions bailing out big business at the taxpayer’s expense, even those, like Qantas, who have sacked most of their workforce.


The current public health orders make it impossible to participate in the traditional march and rally. Instead, we encourage you to play these songs of socialism and struggle in your street.


  1. Internationale



(Seeger – French)

  1. 2. Bandeira Rossa

  1. 3. Red Flag


  1. 4. Solidarity Forever

  1. 5. Bread & Roses


  1. 6. Red Flag

  1. 7. Solidarity Forever

  1. 8. Bread & Roses Bronwen Lewis


  1. Which side are you on

  1. 10. This land is your land – Bruce Springsteen


  1. . Across the Western Suburbs – Bill Berry


  1. 12. Union Maid


  1. Joe Hill – Paul Robeson



Grapevine April May 2020 in a time of Pandemic

masthead of our publication 

No evictions in NSW

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that states and territories have agreed to a six month moratorium on evictions for renters in financial distress unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of COVID19.

The PM’s announcement ‌covers ‌evictions‌ ‌for‌ ‌non payment of rent as a result of financial difficulties arising from the COVID19 crisis.‌

However, ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌rent‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌evicted‌ ‌for‌ ‌many‌ ‌other‌ ‌reasons‌ ‌-‌ ‌including‌ for‌ no‌ reason‌ at‌ all.‌ Regardless‌ of‌ the‌ reason,‌ an‌ eviction‌ ‌means‌ a‌ risk‌ of‌ catching‌ or‌ transmitting‌ COVID19.‌

The PM’s announcement may not cover landlords evicting for other reasons or people not in formal tenancies. It would be a real shame if landlords were able to evade the ban by simply serving a ‘no grounds’ notice. We cannot leave anyone in the community behind, we cannot risk people’s health by allowing evictions for no grounds.

‌With the current physical distancing and movement restrictions in place it may not be possible for people to pack up and move their entire homes at all. That’s‌ ‌why‌ ‌we‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌stop‌ ‌all‌ ‌evictions‌ ‌at‌ ‌this‌ ‌time.‌ ‌

In‌ ‌Tasmania,‌ ‌no‌ ‌“notice‌ ‌to‌ ‌vacate”‌ ‌will‌ ‌have‌ ‌an‌ ‌effect‌ ‌until‌ ‌30‌ ‌June‌ ‌2020.‌ ‌This‌ ‌gives‌ ‌at‌ ‌least‌ ‌3‌ ‌months‌ ‌where‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌rent‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌worry‌ ‌about‌ ‌losing‌ ‌their‌ ‌home.‌ ‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌what‌ ‌is‌ ‌needed‌ ‌to‌ ‌keep‌ ‌renters‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌community‌ ‌safe‌ ‌-‌ ‌and‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌needed‌ ‌for‌ ‌all‌ ‌renters.‌ ‌

We also need our governments to make sure measures are put in place to ensure renters don’t get burdened with massive debts for arrears. They could go some way towards this by putting in place measures, as has already been announced for commercial tenants, that ensure renters can:

  • seek rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease
  • apply for a reduction or waiver of rent if they are facing financial difficulties
  • terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress

What you can do

The next stage is for the NSW government to implement the moratoriumTasmania was able to protect all tenants – they proved that it is possible.

Call the Housing Minister Kevin Anderson MP on (02) 8574 5550 or call the Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on (02) 8574 690.

Let them know the NSW Government  should be looking to Tasmania’s example and making sure the Eviction Moratorium stops all evictions, for all renters.  

There‌ ‌should‌ ‌be‌ ‌no‌ ‌evictions‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌health‌ ‌crisis.‌

‌If‌ ‌we‌ ‌want‌ ‌people‌ ‌to‌ ‌stay‌ ‌at‌ ‌home‌ ‌and‌ ‌keep‌ ‌themselves‌ ‌and‌ ‌their‌ ‌communities‌ ‌safe,‌ ‌we‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌their‌ ‌home‌ ‌is‌ ‌secure.‌ ‌This‌ ‌means‌ ‌stopping‌ ‌all ‌evictions‌ ‌for‌ ‌all ‌renters,‌ ‌including‌ ‌boarders‌ ‌and‌ ‌lodgers.‌ ‌

Information from the Tenants Union

Public Housing, Covid-19 and Climate Change

Every Australian has a right to a fair standard of housing and during this pandemic we see how crucial social housing is.  People without secure housing are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. They have nowhere safe to isolate themselves, often suffer a range of pre-existing medical problems and have limited access to good food and hygiene. Homeless advocates are calling for temporary housing to be made available as they face the spread of Covid-19.

Homelessness in NSW is increasing while the Government is demolishing or privatising social housing.  We call on the NSW Government to devote adequate resources to fund emergency housing for the homeless at this time.

Climate change is here and our homeless population are already feeling the effects. The public housing system is not keeping up. First, there’s the quality on the housing. On 18 December last year, Australia experienced its hottest day on record with the national average temperature reaching a high of 40.9 degrees Celsius.

As the bushfires raged and air quality worsened, we were constantly told to stay indoors, keep cool and be alert for emergency orders on our phones. With each public service announcement, we continued to leave some of our most vulnerable behind.

There is currently no national policy requiring public housing to provide cooling systems. Rather, it is a state issue but they are only required to provide tenants with housing that is “fit for habitation”.

Public housing is often substandard and unsafe and poorly adapted to high temperatures. These added stresses increase incidents of family violence, substance abuse and have a deep impact on the mental health of occupants.

There is a housing shortage in Australia. Nationwide there were 140,600 applicants on the waiting list for public housing in June 2018.

And if the uncertainty of waiting for housing isn’t enough, once you are granted housing the only guarantee of having air conditioning is if you have a proven medical condition.

With our climate becoming more unpredictable, it makes sense to combat both the housing and climate crises at the same time. Providing existing and newly built housing with renewable energy would make public housing both more affordable and better suited for the changing climate.

[This is an edited version of “Climate justice includes secure public housing”
Andrew Jackson in Eureka, 21 February 2020]

Scandal of substandard public housing

In 2018-2019, almost one in five homes in the public housing system failed to meet minimum health and safety standards – lacking essential amenities that most households take for granted.

Minimum standards require homes to offer facilities for people to wash themselves and their clothes, to store and prepare food, and to remove sewage.

But across the country 19.7 per cent of public housing tenants are renting homes from the government that lack at least one of these basic essentials, or have two or more major structural defects.

The amount of annual tax subsidies paid to property investors ($11.8 billion) is more than double the amount governments spend on housing and homelessness ($5 billion).

The shocking revelations come from the Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services.

The figures were even more alarming for residents living in state-owned and managed indigenous housing, where 26.8 per cent of housing failed to meet agreed minimum standards in 2018-2019.

Countless reports over the years have called for greater investment in public and social housing. Not just to bring down homelessness, but also to keep a lid on private rents by providing competition at the lower end of the market.

The Productivity Commission’s report shows the government spends $247 billion a year, roughly 13 per cent of GDP, on the delivery of public services.

Health receives the most funding ($109.2 billion a year), followed by childcare, education and training ($77.3 billion), and community services ($37.1 billion). The justice system is next in line, receiving $18.4 billion every year.

Housing and homelessness ($5 billion) come last.

[This is an edited version of an article by Euan Black in The New Daily on 23 January 2020]

NSW Government must change its priorities

NSW has been hit by the bushfire/drought crisis and now the pandemic yet the Government is still going ahead with a $800 million new fish market, the Westconnex mess and the destruction of public housing in Glebe’s Cowper Street.

Write to the premier


We ask Glebe residents to go to our website and download our letter to the Premier which suggests that the massive spending on infrastructure be halted while we face the crises of bushfires, floods and Covid-19. Go to :



Put you name and address on it and remind the Premier that our resources must be spent on people who are victims of the bushfires and those in danger from Covid-19 because of vulnerable housing. Adequate  resourcing of hospitals and the health system is imperative too!

Congratulations to Max Solling

Warm congratulations to our much loved and respected local historian and community activist Max Solling for the award of the 2019 Annual History Citation in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the study and practice of urban social history. Each year the History Council of NSW gives the award to an eminent historian to honour a lifetime of service to history, outstanding research and scholarship and to acknowledge their broader contribution through teaching, leadership, mentoring and community involvement.

Where are our new parks?

We are aware of the over development of Glebe and Ultimo especially around Wentworth Park and Harold Park. We need a plan for Glebe. We are still waiting for the Blackwattle Bay overview.

New flats/apartments all claim existing parks, footpaths and roads as “green space” to justify the vast number of new dwellings permitted. In the community we are wondering when counting the 5 square meters of real open space per new dwelling will be enforced. When will Council force these developers to compensate the community properly for the over crowding they create?

The site of the present Fish Market will have 2,500 flats on it. The community will be “compensated’ with a boardwalk but no new park or leafy area. All these new residents will use Wentworth Park for their dogs and children.

Another example is the proposed Princes Trust development in Cowper Street, Glebe. The site has about 15 mature trees including some beautiful gum trees. They will all be killed and mulched. But the development will not bring one new blade of grass to the site. None of the new flats will have gardens. The present tenants, who will be evicted, all have some outdoor space.

We think it is essential that the City of Sydney enforce that for every new development 5 square meters of new open space is provided for each dwelling. Glebe needs more parks and more open space for all the new residents who will be coming in, and their children and dogs.


The Glebe Grapevine is a publication of Hands Off Glebe Inc.

Contact: P.O. Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037

Ring Denis on 0418 290 663 or Emily on 0424 234 448


Facebook: @

An open letter to the NSW Premier at the time of the Covid-19 Crisis

Dear all,

please download this letter and send off to the premier or make a version of your own to suit what you want to say.

from the Hands off Glebe Team

To: The Premier

The Hon Ms Gladys Berejiklian

GPO Box 5341



Dear Premier,

Must we burn off all our resources on exorbitant projects?

In view of the multiple crises which have befallen NSW since around September 2019, namely drought, bushfire, flooding and coronavirus (Covid-19), it is time to stop the reckless spending on infrastructure that does not help the ordinary people of NSW but assists the wealthy.  We speak of the massive roads and tunnels in different parts of Sydney, various sporting arenas and other “developments”.  As a basic premise anything that hasn’t started now must be halted and any attempt by private companies to exact penalties to be met with exclusion from further contracts by the NSW Government.  Projects that are nearing completion may proceed if they do not rob the people of NSW much needed resources for sustaining us in the crisis.

As residents of Glebe and the Inner West we point out that the Fish Market can be easily put on hold.  The Prince’s Trust project at the end of Cowper St which was always a ‘dog’s breakfast’ can be stopped completely as it harms social housing tenants, who are most in need of good housing for surviving the pandemic.  The huge flyover at the corner of Minogue Terrace can be dispensed with in relation to the Westconnex.  The Northern Suburbs tunnel opening at White Bay has barely started or hasn’t started and can be stopped.  The savings should be diverted to dealing with the pandemic.

First, our hospitals need extension with demountables as the Chinese have done in Hubei Province to make more beds available.  Health workers in all institutions will need some relief and support.  Every effort must be made to find more health workers and those with some knowledge of first aid to do the basic tests and to triage potential patients.  The list is great of what is needed in our health care system, but the State Government should not be distracted with huge projects that rob our people of needed resources for health and well-being.

The homeless, are less able to practice social distance, need emergency homes as organisations like Homelessness NSW has been calling for again, demountables and a thorough check of what public housing lies vacant could provide answers.

Our workers in State Departments must be sustained/maintained on a living wage to get them through the crisis and to pay bills for rent, food and other necessities.  The state must also devise ways to support those on casual and gig economy jobs to get through this crisis.

Given the task ahead it is important that the State resources are concentrated on providing assistance to NSW to get over the crisis brought on by Covid-19.

Yours sincerely




Name …………………………………………………………..

Address …………………………………………………………………..postcode …………………………..

Princes Trust Development Glebe – Media Release

Media release
21 November 2019

Prince’s Trust Plan for Glebe Rejected

With homelessness up 13% and the waiting list for public housing blown out to 60,000, Hands off Glebe Inc is appalled by an agreement between NSW Land and Housing Corporation and Prince’s Trust Australia to build 75 affordable, social and private homes over two blocks next to Wentworth Park in Glebe.

The present buildings are on public land and are neither old nor in complete disrepair.  They already house people and housed even more before the NSW Government gradually cleared them out.

NSW Property Minister Melinda Pavey said the agreement will deliver new housing for the most vulnerable. Apparently, the Prince’s Trust is going to evict vulnerable people from the buildings in order to help other vulnerable people.  The result will be less public housing units than at present.

Cutting public housing and alienating public land in the midst of a housing crisis is a serious breach of the NSW Government’s responsibilities.

The Berejiklian Government claims that the Australian arm of a charity founded by the Prince of Wales aims to create a mixed-income community. However, the area is already mixed as the proposed development is close to Westend, a new development where penthouses are selling for $2 million.

It is clear that mixed-income development is really a code word for gentrification of our suburb or social cleansing.

Hands off Glebe Inc demands that the whole site remains dedicated entirely to the public housing which is so urgently needed.



Glebe Ferry Service – Yes we can! p4 Glebe Grapevine

By Jamie Parker MP

Excellent public transport is at the heart of a liveable city that is so-cially just and efficient. Instead of pushing an agenda of destructive and expensive tollways we have been pressing for more ferry ser-vices to reduce road congestion and pollution.

Along with thousands of residents, we are campaigning for new ferry stops for Glebe, Annandale and White Bay and the return of services to the West Balmain ferry wharf.

Over 5000 locals have already signed a petition in support of our plan and a feasibility study completed by my office shows the proposals will work.

Our city needs more publically owned public transport. I’ve already met with the Minister for Transport to present the case for new local ferry services and I’m confident these efforts are making an impact.

We’re pushing for a service that is compatible with the current Opal system to provide more direct routes into the city.

Even if we can win a trial service, I am sure it will be a success and can then be integrated into the wider fer-ry network. Watch this space.




The Bays Precinct – Planning Disaster pp 2-3 Glebe Grapevine July 2019

postcard against State Significant sites

By Cllr Jess Scully

I’ve only lived in Glebe for six years, and even in that short time, I’ve witnessed the confusion that surrounds the big plans for the Bays.

Many of you with longer memories than mine have masterplan fa-tigue: for 20+ years NSW Governments have stopped and started with plans for the Bays Precinct.

A 2014 report commissioned by the City of Sydney documents a long and checkered history, noting that “over the past 17 years there have been a myriad of strategic plans, policies and Master Plans developed for the Bays Precinct area which have set out various principles, ob-jectives and actions for the future redevelopment of the predominantly publicly-owned land.”

Five years later, there’s no sign of progress or greater clarity. Plans for the Sydney Fish Market – surely a crucial part of the Bays – are scheduled to be released before any masterplan. Community groups have been assured they’ll be released any day now.

Before the Fish Market is moved, or any other Bays projects devel-oped, we must call on the NSW Government to not start from scratch, but to go back through the masses of consultation for the Bays and to commit to the principles that have been repeatedly championed by the community: accessible open public space including sports fields, affordable housing, public transport options and pedestrian and cycle access, to be delivered using a holistic and strategic approach.

State Significant Precinct

As a “State Significant Precinct”, the Bays Precinct is subject to state planning controls, rather than Council oversight. This is part of a disturb-ing trend – more than 274 hectares of land in the City of Sydney alone have been carved out as State Significant Development (SSD).

The new NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, has spoken out against spot rezoning, saying “It’s no surprise that people get angry when things happen that they didn’t expect.” Swarms of SSD in our neighbourhoods are having the same impact: we must call on the Minis-ter to bring certainty back to the planning system and end the over-reliance on SSD.

Glebe, Ultimo and Pyrmont will soon come under siege by a number of major projects. In 2019, despite years of planning and masterplan-ning, there is no overarching vision, and these proposals fail to con-sider the cumulative impact of other state-led developments on our local area.

For over 15 years, the City has demonstrated our ability to plan, coor-dinate and assess large-scale development to balance growth and the amenity of residents. And what we see now is the gradual, but unmis-

takable, erosion of our role and planning responsibilities as a local government authority. It is deeply disappointing that residents can’t have the City of Sydney and our expert Central Sydney Planning Committee reviewing these large-scale developments on their behalf.

To echo the sentiments of Lord Mayor Clover Moore “We must work with our community to demand that the NSW planning system is over-hauled and reformed, that transparency and consistency are reintro-duced as guiding principles, that the same rules apply to all and for an end to the rampant overdevelopment that has been allowed un-checked.”


Please write to the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, and the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling for an end to State Significant Precincts and State Significant Devel-opments so that planning controls may be returned to local over-sight.

They can be contacted at the NSW Government Minister website: or

The Hon. G. Berejiklian, MP GPO Box 5341 Sydney NSW 2001

The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP GPO Box 5341 Sydney NSW 2001


Should you have any other con-cerns or ideas for improving our community, please reach out to me at

Glebe Grapevine July 2019 – Page 1 on homelessness

Lord Mayors plan action on homelessness

We need the Federal and State/Territory Governments to take real action by increasing funding for social and affordable housing, particu-larly in inner cities,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said at the meeting of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors in Brisbane on 10 July.

“We need to work together to reduce the number of people experienc-ing homelessness and housing stress in cities across Australia. As Mayors we want to work together with State and Federal Govern-ments to create a national homelessness strategy. The summit will help fast-track our efforts and bring national attention to the homeless-ness we’re seeing far too often on the streets of our major cities,” said Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

Lord Mayors resolved to organise and host a na-tional homelessness summit in the next few months to bring together decision makers from all levels of government to address this growing is-sue.

The summit would seek agreement to create a national homelessness and housing strategy to take urgent action to address the homelessness and affordable housing crisis in Australia’s cities.

April 2019 Grapevine – Waterloo model

A better way for Waterloo

The Grapevine enthusiastically supports the Sydney City Council (SCC) alternative proposal for redevelopment of the Waterloo public housing estate. The Council model is a great improvement on the Cowper Street development.

The Government wants to triple the number of apartments on the site at a scale we have not seen before – from 2,012 to 6,800 in towers up to 40 storeys. On the adjoining metro site, they are proposing another 700 homes and towers of 25, 27 and 29 storeys.

The Council plan is for 50% public housing, 20% affordable and 30% private. This compares with the Government’s pitiful proposal of 35% social and affordable housing.

The SCC proposal ensures residents will have access to a community centre and a 2.2 hectare park, drenched in sunshine for most of the day, every day. The park would be surrounded by shops and cafes, the metro station and streets.

The Waterloo Housing Estate is on public land and Sydney Council is demanding that the land be used for public good and that the State retains public ownership of the land rather than selling it off to the highest bidder.

Council is also calling for planning authority of the site to be returned to the City, allowing consultation with residents to ensure any redevelopment responds to community needs.

More details at: