Local Government NSW and four major NSW councils will hold a forum on the Night Time Economy.. They have formalised the term into an acronym – NTE. The forum will be held in the Parkroyal Parramatta hotel on 12 October (during the daytime). Details here. The forum is the first tangible result of a work […]
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Local Government NSW and four major NSW councils will hold a forum on the Night Time Economy.. They have formalised the term into an acronym – NTE. The forum will be held in the Parkroyal Parramatta hotel on 12 October (during the daytime). Details here. The forum is the first tangible result of a work from a NTE Working Group formed in 2016 by LGNSW and the councils of Wollongong City, City of Sydney, City of Newcastle, City of Parramatta and Waverley Council. The City of Sydney’s Transport, Heritage and Planning Sub-Committee has released a discussion paper ahead of the forum called ‘An Open and Creative City – planning for culture and the night time economy’. The discussion paper sets out proposals and options that “aim to make it easier for shops and businesses to open later in the city’s business precincts, support more small-scale cultural uses in existing under-used buildings, and provide a clear and fair approach to managing noise from entertainment venues.” The discussion paper also asks for feedback from stakeholders, through submission and planned briefings, workshops and community focus groups. City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the forum was an important opportunity for night-time economy experts from across NSW to build their knowledge and share experiences. “NSW has the largest night-time economy in Australia, so it’s essential that experts from local governments across the state work together to ensure the sector continues to grow,” she said. “This forum will give policymakers from both inner city areas and regional centres the opportunity to share best-practice approaches, workshop the challenges they’re facing, and develop their capacity to shape vibrant, safe and sustainable night-time economies.” The forum organisers are expecting representatives on 29 councils and state government agencies at the forum. Presentations, workshops and panel discussions will explore topics including culture and creativity, placemaking and urban design, policy and research, planning and regulation, and services, infrastructure and safety. “NSW’s night-time economy is valued at $37.3 billion and supports more than 34,000 businesses and 342,000 jobs,” said Lord Mayor Moore. She quoted figures that showed that 61 percent of all core night-time economy businesses are food-related, 31 percent are entertainment-led and 8 per cent are drink related businesses such as pubs and clubs. The City of Sydney discussion paper said there are several steps required to make changes to the City’s planning controls to boost the Night Time Economy, which will involve amendments to the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 and the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012. A key proposal is to allow shops to open until 10pm without the need for council approval. “Exempt development is of minor impact and does not need a development approval from the City as long as it meets certain criteria. “The criteria we propose include limiting its application to shops and some business, with licensed premises and cafes and restaurants excluded. The areas where this will apply are those that have existing retail and businesses, to ensure consistency with the overall character of the neighbourhood. “Removing the requirement for a shop or business to get development approval to extend their opening hours will make it easier for operators to respond flexibly to changing retail opportunities, such as local festivals and longer summer evenings. Combined with other initiatives, such as destination marketing and our grants program, we can support and encourage later opening hours.” [post_title] => NSW Councils to boost the ‘Night Time Economy’ [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-councils-boost-night-time-economy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-13 08:47:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 21:47:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28238 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27804 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-10 09:12:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-09 23:12:50 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27806" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo courtesy of SBS.[/caption] Cristy Clark, Southern Cross University The New South Wales state government has passed legislation empowering police to dismantle the Martin Place homeless camp in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. This follows similar actions in Victoria, where police cleared a homeless camp outside Flinders Street Station. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle proposed a bylaw to ban rough sleeping in the city. In March, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, censured the City of Melbourne’s actions, stating that:"… the criminalisation of homelessness is deeply concerning and violates international human rights law."As the special rapporteur highlighted, homelessness is already “a gross violation of the right to adequate housing”. To further discriminate against people rendered homeless by systemic injustice is prohibited under international human rights law.
Further reading: Ban on sleeping rough does nothing to fix the problems of homelessness
Real problem is lack of affordable housingIn contrast to her Melbourne counterpart, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore had been adopting a more human-rights-based approach to resolving the challenges presented by the Martin Place camp. After negotiating with camp organisers, Moore made it clear her council would not disperse the camp until permanent housing was found for all of the residents. As she pointed out:"You can’t solve homelessness without housing — what we urgently need is more affordable housing and we urgently need the New South Wales government to step up and do their bit."It’s no secret that housing affordability in both Sydney and Melbourne has reached crisis point. And homelessness is an inevitable consequence of this. But we have seen little real action from government to resolve these issues. The NSW government has been offering people temporary crisis accommodation or accommodation on the outskirts of the city. This leaves them isolated from community and without access to services. In contrast, these inner-city camps don’t just provide shelter, food, safety and community; they also send a powerful political message to government that it must act to resolve the housing affordability crisis. Having established well-defined rules of conduct, a pool of shared resources and access to free shelter and food, the Martin Place camp can be seen as part of the commons movement. This movement seeks to create alternative models of social organisation to challenge the prevailing market-centric approaches imposed by neoliberalism and to reclaim the Right to the City.
Further reading: Suburbanising the centre: the government’s anti-urban agenda for Sydney
We should be uncomfortableIt is not surprising that right-wing pundits have described these camps as “eyesores” or that they make NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian “completely uncomfortable”. The breach of human rights these camps represent, and the challenge they pose to the current system, should make people uncomfortable. Unlike most comparable nations, Australia has very limited legal protections for human rights. In this context, actions like the Martin Place and Flinders Street camps are one of the few options available to victims of systemic injustice to exercise their democratic right to hold government to account. In seeking to sweep this issue under the carpet, both the City of Melbourne and the NSW government are not only further breaching the right to adequate housing, they are also trying to silence political protest. It is clear from Moore’s demands, and the NSW government’s own actions, that the Martin Place camp is working to create pressure for action. What will motivate the government to resolve this crisis once the camps have been dispersed? As Nelson Mandela argued in 1991 at the ANC’s Bill of Rights Conference:"A simple vote, without food, shelter and health care, is to use first-generation rights as a smokescreen to obscure the deep underlying forces which dehumanise people. It is to create an appearance of equality and justice, while by implication socioeconomic inequality is entrenched. "We do not want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom. We must provide for all the fundamental rights and freedoms associated with a democratic society."Mandela’s words were hugely relevant to apartheid South Africa, where a ruling elite had established a deeply racist and unjust system that linked political disenfranchisement and material deprivation. But they also resonate today in Australia where inequality is on the rise – driven in large part by disparities in property ownership. Homelessness is a deeply dehumanising force that strips people of access to fundamental rights. The policies that are creating this crisis must be seen as unacceptable breaches of human rights. We need to start asking whether our current economic system is compatible with a truly democratic society. Cristy Clark, Lecturer in Law, Southern Cross University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. [post_title] => Clearing homeless camps will make the problem worse [post_excerpt] => "You can’t solve homelessness without housing." [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => clearing-homeless-camps-will-make-problem-worse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-11 12:22:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-11 02:22:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27804 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 23554 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-12-20 14:00:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 03:00:07 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_23555" align="alignnone" width="300"] Bikes could soon be 25% of traffic. pic: Takver[/caption] Talkback tirades and tabloid beat-ups about battles between drivers and cyclists are a staple of the debate over Sydney’s developing bike lane network; but it’s a completely different story in Melbourne, where even bigger steps to get people riding to work enjoy public and mainstream media support. In an intriguing tale of two cities, the Victorian capital has quietly emerged as a global leader when it comes embedding bicycle-friendly infrastructure into the fabric of its transport masterplan, just as broadly similar efforts in Sydney remain the target of sustained attacks that decry commuter cycling as a wasteful hipster folly that creates traffic gridlock and puts pedestrians in mortal danger. (And that’s before recent punitive increases in fines for NSW riders coupled with new requirements to carry photo ID are taken into account.) So what gives?
Bicycle bipolarityThe bipolar difference in media and public sentiment is now such a phenomenon that urban planners, government officials and policymakers are sitting-up and studying the chasm as cities and towns across Australia grapple with how to promote active lifestyles and deal with deal with traffic congestion. Almost any bike lane extension in Inner Sydney – proposed or real – is a sure fire candidate for a roasting on morning or drive time radio. Yet on the 15th March, the City of Melbourne and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle signed-off on the latest four year Bicycle Plan that now aims “to increase bike use to one in four vehicles entering the city in the morning” by 2020. That’s a quarter of inbound traffic, a target that would likely be laughed off the road by Sydneysiders still struggling to come to terms with separated bike lanes on city streets. In Melbourne the target barely rated a mention. On the surface, Melbourne’s sweltering summers and cold, often wet winters should to be enough to prompt the average cyclist to think twice about committing to serious two wheeled commuting. But cyclists are taking to Melbourne’s streets in their droves. The number of cyclists entering Melbourne’s CBD has maintained double digit annual growth and is now estimated by Bicycle Network – Australia’s peak national cycling advocacy body – to be clocking up between 12,000 and 15,000 bikes a day. Bicycle Network should know too, given the organisation routinely compiles bike counts on cycleways and streets – even if many traffic authorities still don’t collect such data. Bicycle Network’s chief executive, Craig Richards, acknowledges the stark difference in cultures between the two cities, but argues that mainstream acceptance of cycling as an integral part of commuting in Melbourne has been secured and reinforced in bite size chunks over a long time. “The transformation of Melbourne into a bike friendly city started many years ago,” says Richards. “The stages were incremental, not dramatic [and] that policy has been supported by political parties of both persuasions and most local governments and councils.” While cyclists commuting into Sydney appear to overwhelmingly support the introduction of physically separated bike lanes, that city’s comparatively rapid rollout, coupled with the forced changes and disruption as well as the publicity that has ensued, go a long way to explaining the heat being generated. In 2008, the City of Sydney committed a whopping $70 million to cycling works over four years. The backlash from increasing frustrated car drivers – not to mention the occasional minister – has been coming ever since. Part of that frustration stems from Sydney’s street planning (or lack of it) which has been ad hoc since colonisation. The ‘organic’ evolution of the city makes retrofitting of infrastructure like light rail and separate bus and bike lanes not just expensive, but awkward and often crowded when compared to Melbourne’s wide and purposeful grid system of roads. Down south, it’s been a slower and much quieter battle for cycling hearts and minds and one that’s been burning for decades. “There’s never been any huge spending announcements in Melbourne, it’s been drip fed,” says Richards. “There’s a 30 year history of encouraging bike riding.” “Most of the media has come on board [in Melbourne and this] reflects the very large numbers of people riding bikes. “We know it’s very different in other states.” Richards credits City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore for taking the “early running” on embedding cycling infrastructure into the commuting fabric of the city, but pointedly observes adjoining local government areas also need participate to definitively get things moving. “It hasn’t really spread through other parts of Sydney,” Richards says. “But councils are slowly responding.”
The Suburb-to-City (dis)connectThe suburb-to-city cycling disconnection that Melbourne has been progressively ironing is now increasingly becoming a big part of its success as a pedal powered city. The solutions are varied, sometimes a compromise, but at their core give riders sufficient demarcated space to feel confident and safe on their journeys. There is simply less fear of getting clipped by a car, as this video of an incident in front of Government News’ Sydney office illustrates (last 5 seconds). [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX4tb9DncSI[/embed] The nirvana of an urban cycleway for riders is a physically separated, unidirectional lane or path that gets you from home to work (or wherever) in around the same or less time than a car or public transport. Richards says that as the quality of cycling infrastructure increases, so too do the distances that riders commuting to work are prepared to clock up. That means distances once constrained to around 5km can easily stretch out to 10km and sometimes extend to 15km for the more committed. If you consider most people working in offices tend to gravitate towards one or more concentrated points, the realistic opportunity of riding opens itself up to more and more people as cycling infrastructure extends. Corporate employers and property developers are also buying into and backing commuter cycling, and not just to gain a few corporate-social responsibility brownie points. [caption id="attachment_23559" align="alignleft" width="300"] Safety in separation. pic: City of Melb.[/caption] The City of Melbourne has been getting developers to put cycling and active lifestyle facilities into offices for more than a decade, but Richards says such features are now becoming a staple in Sydney too. “Big corporate offices have bike parking for 400 to 500 bikes,” Richards says. Of course it doesn’t hurt that every bike potentially either saves a company the cost of a car space or frees one up for a driver that has far fewer transport options. And while few companies measure it, there’s no disputing the productivity downside that occurs when drivers parked in two-hour zones duck out to check or move their cars, or collectively rush from their desks when a group email about prowling parking inspectors goes around.
Safety the prerequisite for womenAlthough elements of the media frequently call out risk-taking behaviour by male cyclists on roads and at traffic intersections, the behaviour and perceptions of female cyclists are almost routinely ignored. Richards says that women place a very high value on the safety of their journey, a factor that in turn directly influences their uptake of riding. “Physically separated bike lanes are essential to get women riding,” he says, noting that on lower quality bike infrastructure (like painted lanes on roads) female participation tops out at around 25 per cent. [caption id="attachment_23557" align="alignleft" width="300"] Green Square embeds cycling. Pic City of Syd.[/caption] But the female participation rate almost doubles when there is full separation, like a physical buffer on the road or a dedicated off road path, with Richards estimating that female counts rises up to 45 per cent of riders. “That’s a major priority for Bicycle Network,” Richards says. “In Europe more females ride to work than males.” “Our surveys show that a large number of people would like to ride to work but don’t because they’re scared of the traffic.” If drivers prefer the comfort and convenience of their cars to public transport, the same motivation seems to be at least in propelling bike riders. Richards notes that congestion and increasing passenger density on public transport has many commuters looking for a more spacious alternative. “In the inner city, public transport infrastructure is already crowded,” Richards says.
Council mergers a catalyst for coordinated changeForced council mergers now sweeping across NSW are generating plenty of grass roots and political heat, but at the end of the day they could also present a once in a generation opportunity for new amalgamated entities to jointly plan much better cycling strategies. Richards won’t buy into the divisive politics of council amalgamations, but he’s certain a glass-half-full approach to bigger local governments can help overcome fragmented and disparate efforts to encourage riding. Bicycle Network has been a long-term critic of councils that talk big about sustainable transport but then only invest tokenistic amounts on cycling infrastructure that often only results in bike symbols being painted on bitumen. In 2012 the group outed Randwick, Botany Bay, North Sydney and Leichardt councils as just some of the local governments that wouldn’t even provide data for Bicycle Networks annual spending survey that year. With mergers now all but a done deal, Richards is urging stakeholders to come together to find a better way forward. “The amalgamations will provide an opportunity for a rethink on bike strategy,” Richards says. “[There will be] more opportunities for more collaboration between councils.” [caption id="attachment_23556" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pic: City of Syd.[/caption] Better coordination between councils within 15km -20km of Sydney’s CBD is shaping up to be a critical issue as Sydneysiders increasingly mount-up to avoid several years of anticipated major traffic disruption caused by major projects that include the construction of a new Metro rapid rail network, the extension of light rail to the east and west and the massive new Westconnex toll road. One the biggest opportunities already sacrificed by both Labor and Liberal state governments is the construction of so-called ‘Green Way’ that would have provided a separated cycling and pedestrian trunk line that hugged the inner west light rail line and took self-powered commuters into the CBD. While a partial ‘GreenWay’ corridor has been constructed, for the time being it remains disconnected and isolated – like much of Sydney’s dedicated cycling and pedestrian commuting infrastructure.
Developers recasting the transport landscapeGiven the high cost of retrofitting dedicated bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that property developers are quickly climbing on the non-car transport bandwagon. Proximity to high capacity public transport has always yielded a healthy premium, but as urban density becomes tighter and tighter the addition of dedicated cycling infrastructure is also becoming a must have for big infill projects such as Sydney’s Green Square redevelopment. [caption id="attachment_23558" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pic: City of Syd.[/caption] Developers of course see a win-win scenario in replacing cars with bikes: authorisation to build blocks of units with a minimum or of dedicated off-street parking spaces can produce a far more lucrative yield because developments are not constrained by the number of car spaces. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is conspicuously talking-up the rare opportunity to put greenfields infrastructure into the central city area. “The cycleways through Green Square will give local residents and businesses an easy, comfortable and safe 15 minute ride to Central Station, with the capacity to transport more than 50 busloads of people a day,” Moore says. “Planning Green Square from the ground up has given us a unique opportunity to create a 36-metre wide central spine through the Green Square Town Centre – wide enough to accommodate a one-way separated cycleway on both sides. This is a first for Sydney, as all our other cycleways are retrofitted on narrower streets.” Wide streets and planned transport infrastructure… maybe not such a first for Melbourne, but at least things are moving. [post_title] => Best of 2016: Why Sydney hates cyclists and Melbourne loves them [post_excerpt] => Learning to live with bicycles as traffic. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-sydney-hates-cyclists-and-melbourne-loves-them [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-20 14:50:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-20 03:50:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=23554 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 7 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25469 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-11-04 11:51:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-04 00:51:03 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_25470" align="alignnone" width="387"] Graduates from the Social Housing Community Leadership
Program. Pic supplied by City of Sydney. [/caption] Eighteen social housing tenants have just graduated from a new City of Sydney and TAFE NSW course designed to improve conflict resolution skills and teach community leadership. One of them is Charlotte Dobrovits who has lived in Redfern’s troubled McKell Tower for nine years and been a tenant representative for three years. Ms Dobrovits advocates for the rights of fellow tenants and offers support to her neighbours, including older people and those affected by domestic violence, mental illness or substance abuse. She said the two-day course taught her how to build rapport, deal with conflict and establish a connection in what could sometimes be difficult circumstances. “We have a lot of anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol and mental health issues and domestic violence so we get the whole gamut,” Ms Dobrovits said. “We just needed the skills to be able to handle situations without being aggressive but being assertive and also [know] how to judge when someone has a drug psychosis or mental health issues.” She said the course helped her set boundaries when dealing with people and was particularly ideal for inexperienced and younger tenant representatives elected after recent Neighbourhood Advisory Board elections. “Understanding and knowing what to say increased my confidence, self-esteem and professionalism – and also the ability to tackle sticky situations with grace and ease.” Ms Dobrovits said she loved her community and would never leave it: “I grew up on Sydney’s North Shore but I would not go back now, not in a million years. There’s so much to do and I love the people. That’s what makes me stay. Sydney Mayor Clover Moore said the program aimed to create more cohesive and harmonious communities across City of Sydney. The council has one of the largest concentrations of social housing properties of any local council in Australia with more than 9,700 properties. “It’s great to see this diverse group of graduates refine their communication skills and gain confidence in resolving conflicts, public speaking and participation in community meetings,” Ms Moore said. “These valuable skills will help them become leaders in their communities and be actively involved in decision making and I congratulate all our graduates for taking part.” The graduates were from Redfern, Camperdown, Woolloomooloo and Surry Hills. The council already does a lot of work with social housing tenants. It is the only local government in Australia to employ a dedicated social housing liaison officer and delivers and supports a range of community projects in partnership with state government and non-government agencies. These include the Redlink integrated service hub in Redfern, local community safety audits and annual events such as the Northcott Pet Day in Surry Hills, Summer on the Green in Waterloo and Redfern Neighbourhood Day. [post_title] => Social housing tenants skilled up to cope with conflict [post_excerpt] => City of Sydney pilot. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => social-housing-tenants-skilled-cope-conflict [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-31 10:26:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-31 00:26:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25469 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25052 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-09-19 10:21:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-19 00:21:06 [post_content] => The Sirius building at The Rocks, Sydney. Pic: Creative Commons. By Louisa Wright This article was originally published on ArchitectureAU.com and is republished here with permission. The CFMEU and Unions NSW have placed a “green ban” on the Sirius building, meaning no unionized workforce is allowed to work on the site in Sydney’s The Rocks. The Sirius building lost its bid for heritage listing in July 2016 despite the Heritage Council of NSW unanimously recommending the building for heritage protection following a council meeting in December 2015. Sirius is a brutalist-style public housing complex designed in 1975 by Tao (Theodore) Gofers, architect for the Housing Commission, and is built adjacent to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore and Jack Mundey, the former union leader who led the green bans in the 1970s, announced the Sirius green ban on Wednesday. The 1970s green ban prevented the state government’s plans to redevelop The Rocks into high-rise towers. Sirius was built following the end of the green bans, and is seen as aphysical reminder of the campaign. Read more here. [post_title] => Unions place ‘green ban’ on Sirius [post_excerpt] => Brutalism brutalised? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cfmeu-unions-nsw-place-green-ban-sirius [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-20 11:07:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-20 01:07:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25052 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24964 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-09-12 12:30:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-12 02:30:54 [post_content] => Sydney Mayor Clover Moore has seized a record fourth term and Western Sydney councils have swung towards Labor in NSW local government elections, with many blaming the results on NSW Premier Mike Baird’s forced council mergers, the greyhound racing ban and lock-out laws. Moore increased her proportion of the formal vote to 60 per cent, despite an attempt to kneecap her candidacy by introducing compulsory voting for businesses and giving them two votes each for the first time. In the 2016 Sydney Council election around 23,000 businesses were able to vote and 117,000 residents, who were allowed only one vote each. The promised threat from arch rival Liberal Mayoral hopeful Christine Forster – former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s sister - never materialised. Forster, who scraped only 17 per cent of the vote, was later spotted at Stonewall bar on Oxford Street with security guards in tow, battling the electoral blues. The strong showing by the Clover Moore Independent Team means that high profile candidates ex-Australian Medical Association President Dr Kerryn Phelps and architect Philip Thalis also serve on City of Sydney Council. With Moore on track to increase the number of councillors in her team from five to at least six on the ten-seat council there will also be spots for sustainability champion Jess Miller and festival director Jess Scully. Moore called it “a real victory for democracy” and “a victory for good government” and said the attempt by the Shooters and Fishers’ Party, which was backed by Baird, to ‘gerrymander’ the vote against her by giving businesses more say than residents had backfired. Clover's crew: Dr Kerryn Phelps, Jess Miller, Clover Moore, Robert Kok, Catherine Lezer, Jess Scully and Philip Thalis. Meanwhile, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley was busy trumpeting the swing to Labor in western and southern Sydney, including councils in Blacktown, Penrith, the Blue Mountains, Sutherland, Liverpool, Camden and Campbelltown. “The people of Western Sydney and across NSW have sent a message to Mike Baird. They’ve had enough of his high handed arrogant behaviour,” Foley said. “If the swings we saw yesterday were replicated at the State election, the Coalition would be wiped out.” He congratulated Clover Moore on her win and said that “stacking the roll - an affront to democracy - has blown up in the Premier's face.” Labor looked to have secured seven of the 15 seats at Sutherland Council, including the election of Ray Plibersek, brother of Federal Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek. Only three Labor councillors were elected in the 2012 election. Over in Blacktown, Labor increased its representation from seven councillors to ten and the Liberals lost two councillors. Blacktown’s Labor Mayor Steve Bali said there had been an 11 per cent swing to Labor. He told the Daily Telegraph: “People are sick of Baird ignoring Blacktown by concentrating on Parramatta. The Liberals also declared Blacktown Council not fit for the future, which people reacted against pretty angrily.” Blacktown Mayor Steve Bali Labor’s Wendy Waller won the close mayoral race in Liverpool against Liberal candidate Tony Hadchiti, a contest made more poignant after Liverpool’s ex-Liberal Mayor Ned Mannoun – who threw his support behind Hadchiti - pulled out of this year’s election, citing family reasons, and after the Independent Commission Against Crime and Corruption raided his home and office. The ebbing of support in Western Sydney will hit the Premier hard. Baird is Minister for Western Sydney and has helped push forward initiatives such as moving the Powerhouse Museum from the city to Parramatta, constructing a new airport at Badgerys Creek and new rail links and infrastructure for the region. Labor also did well in the NSW regions, in the Hunter, North Coast and Southern Highlands as well as winning the popularly elected mayoral votes in Lake Macquarie and in Cessnock. Labor’s Isaac Smith is likely to be the Mayor of Lismore. The NSW Greens also benefitted from anti-liberal sentiment during local government elections. Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said the party had “strong results” in Western Sydney in Campbelltown, Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains and also did well regionally in areas such as Kiama, where it may increase its presence from two to three councillors. The Greens won the mayoralty in Byron Shire Council and may also take Shoalhaven and Bellingen. Shoebridge said the party was on track to gain first time Councillors on Albury, Campbelltown, Clarence Valley, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Kyogle Councils, as well as retaining a councillor on Hawkesbury Council and gaining councillors in Campbelltown and the Blue Mountains. He said: "While these numbers may change a bit overnight its clear the Greens NSW has had tremendous success in these elections. "Across the state we have been standing up for local government in the face of the Baird government's attacks and local residents respect the Greens' consistent voice for grassroots democracy.” Just over 60 per cent of the state’s 129 councils went to the polls at the weekend with the remainder holding elections in September 2017, mostly made up of newly-merged councils and those fighting merger cases in court. [post_title] => Moore, Moore, Moore: Clover back in [post_excerpt] => Western Sydney swings to Labor. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => moore-moore-moore-clover-back [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-12 18:00:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-12 08:00:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24964 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24933 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-09-07 13:24:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-07 03:24:16 [post_content] => Callinan has asked for an extension. Image: theguardian.com The Callinan review into lockout laws, which was due to be released by the end of August, has been delayed until mid-September. The NSW Government will now receive the independent review on 13 September following an extension request by the Hon. Ian Callinan AC, according the Liquor and Gaming NSW. Callinan made the formal request this week on the back of the State Supreme Court’s ruling that the NSW Justice Department does not have the legal authority to declare Sydney specific CBD venues subject to the lockout laws. The retired Justice of the High Court of Australia is awaiting further evidence and examining the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the lockouts. Mr Callinan was appointed to review the effectiveness of the 1.30am lock outs, 3am cut-off for liquor sales, 10pm take-away liquor laws and the annual liquor licence fee program. Callinan has received more than 1,800 public submissions and input from three round-tables. There have been calls to lift blanket lockout laws, while Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore called for compromise. [post_title] => Lockout laws review delayed [post_excerpt] => Callinan asks for extension. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lockout-laws-review-delayed [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-13 09:09:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-12 23:09:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24933 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24851 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-31 12:43:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-31 02:43:09 [post_content] => Pre-polling is now open for the NSW local council elections, as the NSW Electoral Commission raised concerns people may not realise they must vote. Seventy-eight councils will go to the polls next weekend (Saturday, September 10) but 48 councils have had their elections deferred, including many metropolitan Sydney councils. Elections have been postponed until September 2017 for the 19 new councils created in May, as well as for councils who are in limbo because they are challenging their mergers in court and councils under administration. A handful of elections in rural areas are uncontested for either the whole council or one or more ward. The split means that the Commission is anticipating some confusion among voters about whether they need to vote or not, particularly where voters live in areas whose bordering councils are doing the opposite. Some may not vote and be fined, others may turn up to vote and discover there is no election. Pre-polling closes at 6pm on Friday, September 9. NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole said people should check whether they needed to vote or not. “I would urge anyone who is uncertain about whether they are required to vote on September 10 to visit www.votensw.info where they can check their enrolment details and look up their enrolled street address to find out whether they will need to vote,” Mr Toole said. “This resource is provided by the NSW Electoral Commission, which has responsibility for making people aware of local government elections, and it is reminding the community that voting is compulsory.” Meanwhile, tales of developers, breakaway candidates and smear campaigns have brought a soap opera quality to this year’s local government elections. City of Sydney remains the glittering prize with the major parties desperate to pry power away from Independent Mayor Clover Moore and unseat her from the Town Hall, scuppering her twelve-year reign. For the first time, businesses in the City of Sydney area are mandated to vote and they get two votes when they do, a change pushed for by City of Sydney councillor Ed Mandla and supported by NSW Premier Mike Baird. The impact of an extra 23,000 (business) voters – around one-quarter of the total vote - on the council election remains to be seen but it is likely to make a dent in incumbent Mayor Clover Moore’s chances, though not enough to topple her. Although Moore is a good bet to retain the mayoralty she is likely to finish up with fewer councillors on her ticket which would tip the balance of power at Town Hall. There are ten spots all up, including the Mayor. In 2012, Moore scooped more than 50 per cent first preference votes and five of her team secured places on the council. Moore’s ticket includes influential candidates Dr Kerryn Phelps, former President of the Australian Medical Association and a public health and gay rights activist, and prominent Sydney architect Phillip Thalis, a sign that the Mayor may be coaching her successor. Moore faces off against ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, representing the Liberals; Independent Angela Vithoulkas, who Mandla defected to (after directing a few choice barbs at his Liberal colleagues about lobbyists and factions) and Labor’s Linda Scott, who has rugby league star Ian Roberts on her ticket. Out west, candidates are limbering up for a fight but this time without Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun. The Liberal mayor recently announced that he will not stand for council this time around, claiming he wanted to spend more time with his family. Mannoun’s decision follows a raft of accusations aired against him and his family by Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak, who attacked Mannoun under parliamentary privilege in September last year. Mannoun has denounced Borsak for running a smear campaign. The mayor’s home and offices were raided by ICAC in August, apparently at the Mayor’s request. Instead, it has been left to Liberal Tony Hadchiti to take a run at the mayor’s job, with Mannoun’s backing. Another focal point of these elections will be around developers and real estate agents, particularly following events at the previous Auburn Council and the highly publicised excesses of former Deputy Mayor and property developer Salim Mehajer. Although the new Cumberland Council, formed by merging parts of Auburn, Parramatta and Holroyd Councils, will not be holding an election until September next year observers are sure to be watching to see if councillors in other areas declare any property interests. The Baird government brought in new rules in June requiring a cap on political donations and ruling that property developers and real estate agents must reveal their profession when running for election. They are not allowed to vote on issues where they have a pecuniary interest but the government stopped short of banning them from sitting on councils. NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has banned Labour candidates from being real estate agents or property developers, a ban backed also by the Greens. NSW Labor banned property developers from becoming candidates at a local, state and federal level in 2013. Fairfield Council’s elections have already attracted their share of controversy ahead of the voting. Fairfield Labor Mayor Frank Carbone was disendorsed by his party in the run-up to the local council elections, allegedly because some State Labor MPs got jumpy about his property interests. While Carbone has protested that he is not a developer his brother Pat (Pasquale) is a well-known developer. Events took a bizarre turn when Frank Carbone decided to run against Labor-endorsed candidate Del Bennett on an independent ticket with suspended Liberal councillor Dai Le. Fairfield's unlikely duo: Dai Le and Frank Carbone. Dai Le was handed a ten-year suspension from the party after running against an endorsed Liberal councillor. Carbone was expelled from NSW ALP this week for opposing Bennett, the endorsed Labour candidate. The 2016 local government elections are also liable to generate a chorus of complaints from residents whose councils are headed by administrators until September 2017. One thing is for sure, they won’t be dull. [post_title] => NSW local council elections promise drama and confusion [post_excerpt] => City of Sydney, the glittering prize. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-local-council-elections-promise-high-drama-confusion [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-01 15:20:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-01 05:20:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24851 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24685 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-11 10:35:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-11 00:35:04 [post_content] => Baxter Inn, Darling Harbour. Pic: Facebook. Sydney Mayor Clover Moore is asking NSW Premier Mike Baird to let small bars double in size and stay open later in liquor freeze zones. City of Sydney Council is asking the state government to boost the small bar licence limits from 60 patrons to 120 and relax the restrictions on their trading hours for small bars in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, which stretches from Kings Cross to Cockle Bay, and The Rocks to Haymarket and Darlinghurst. There are a fair few bars in that area, including Hello Sailor and the Baxter Inn, although the Council says only about 27 of the area’s 128 small bars operate under a small bar licence, the remainder running as general bars or restaurants. The lock-out laws, which enforce 1.30am lock outs and last drinks at 3am, came into effect in early 2014, introduced to curb drug and alcohol-fuelled violence in the city but they are harsher for small bars in the Precinct and restrict them from operating beyond midnight, unless further approval is sought. The council’s plea is contained in its submission to the Liquor and Gaming NSW Review of the Small Bars Legislation and borne from the desire to improve the long-term sustainability of small bars and encourage local live music. City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone said Sydney’s night-time economy contributed more than $19 billion and more than 31,000 jobs. “More than 2,124 licensed premises contribute to creating a vibrant and diverse nightlife, helping Sydney to compete on the global stage as one of the most liveable and inviting cities,” Barone said. “Refining the small bars legislation to increase patron numbers and ensure flexibility in trading hours will help the small bar scene reach its full potential.” Small bar licences fall under the Liquor Act 2007, which sets a capacity limit of 60 patrons. This has forced the hand of many small venues who have instead applied for an on-premises (restaurant) licence or a hotel (general bar) licence. “Venues with a small bar licence can often face the challenge of sustaining live music and performances with these limited patron numbers,” Barone said. “The City’s submission recommends redefining the small bar licence to increase capacity limits to 120, facilitating greater creativity and innovation in our smaller venues.” Sydney’s lock-out laws have become a focal point for next month’s City of Sydney council elections with most mayoral candidates addressing it in their election platforms. Current Mayor Clover Moore has called for exemptions from 1.30am lock-out laws and 3am last drinks for well-behaved small bars; Liberal candidate Christine Forster supports lifting the 1.30am ban and Independent Angela Vithoulkas wants to appoint a night mayor to drive the rejuvenation of the city’s night-time economy. The council’s submission includes the following recommendations in response to the Review of Small Bars Legislation: • Change the liquor licence definition of the Small Bar licence category to increase the capacity limit from 60 to 120 patrons • Remove the restriction on trading hours for small bars in liquor freeze areas to allow standard trading hours to 2am, instead of midnight • The availability of extended trading hours for small bars should be maintained, with each venue’s suitability for extended hours of operation assessed on application • Continue the exemption for small bars from preparing a community impact statement • Consider improved synchronising between the development and liquor licence assessment process, by allowing applicants to prepare a single plan of management to encompass the development consent and liquor licence aspects • Consider providing further information on the types of business activities that a small bar licence holder may engage in, such as the provision of food and live music and performance, to increase awareness and potential uptake • Reduce or remove the trading hours loading fee in the Periodic Licence Fee Scheme for small bar style venues up to 120 patron capacity. The loading fee is currently applied to small bar style venues with an on-premises (restaurant) licence or a hotel (general bar) licence that trade past midnight • Consider research into licenced premises size and type to assess the impact on alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour [post_title] => Council wants larger, later small bars in lock-out zone [post_excerpt] => Lock-out laws focus for Sydney council elections. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 24685 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-11 15:50:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-11 05:50:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24685 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24552 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-07-29 09:10:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-28 23:10:20 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_24556" align="alignnone" width="300"] Serious wheels: Livelo founder Peter Barnes.[/caption] The City of Sydney has had its fair share of collisions with the Baird Government over the council’s big push to make cycling a mainstream mode of mass transit to replace cars in the CBD. But new bike-based enterprises are positively booming in the City, according to Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who’s switched gear from promoting the sustainability and health benefits of riding to selling the hard dollar value of a rapidly growing industry. As one of the toughest council elections yet looms large (September), the economic uplift from “bike centric businesses” is being wheeled out by the Lord Mayor as proof positive that a switch to pedal power is creating new commercial opportunities rather than curtailing them. People that ride into the CBD from nearby local government areas don’t vote in City of Sydney elections … but shops that feed of them now do, thanks largely to a push from Moore’s Liberal Party enemies to rope businesses into the vote. Definitive financial numbers are a little hard to come by, but the Mayoral spin is that replacing four-wheeled gridlock in the CBD with a networked series of dedicated bike lanes is now generating new entrepreneurial investment rather than inhibiting growth. Cycling used to be a niche market, but these days it’s very big business. Reckoning from IBISWorld pegs compound annual growth just from bicycle retailing and repairs in Australia at sharpish 7.9 per cent between 2011 and 2016 million and annual revenue at $729. “The way we travel in Sydney is changing. More than 7,000 people ride to work in the city centre each day – the equivalent of 116 full buses,” Lord Mayor Moore said. “As riding a bike becomes more popular, it’s opening up new economic opportunities.” And the different cultural attitudes towards commuter cycling between Sydney and Melbourne – think police crackdowns – are well documented. Unlike Melbourne and Brisbane and many European cities, Sydney is yet to establish a dedicated bike share/hire scheme that allows riders to just unlock a council bike from a city stand and then leave it at another. But what is booming in Sydney are more bespoke services catering to regular commuters, hipsters and higher-end corporate cycling types that wouldn’t be seen dead on a tourist treadly. One of the big questions is whether Sydney’s new cycle paths that are persistently pilloried by radio shock jocks and Moore’s opponents are creating new growth. Business mounts-up One business in the frame for Moore’s vision of velocentric* growth is Pyrmont-based Livelo that rents expensive carbon road bikes to visiting business travellers and the corporate lycra set that want to clock-up some quality miles and are happy to rent a decent machine that’s properly sized for them. [caption id="attachment_24555" align="alignleft" width="287"] Make it a 'bucket list thing'. Pic: Livelo[/caption] Livelo’s founder founder Peter Barnes told Government News that from his perspective, the city’s new separated bike paths were a “great foundation” and a “really good direction” for infrastructure to be headed. “The infrastructure is the first step in what I think could be a really great economic outcome for Sydney. Think of the Chinese tourism market, which is significant and growing,” Mr Barnes said. He wants politicians to see the bigger picture. Part of the economic opportunity, as Mr Barnes sees it, is that while many of Sydney’s iconic outdoor attractions – like hitting the surf in Bondi – are somewhat limited because ocean swimming is not a cultural staple of nations like China, that’s not the case for cycling. “They all ride bikes,” Mr Barnes said. “So if we had some infrastructure through which [visitors] could ride through the city and the Eastern Suburbs out to Bondi, that’d be a great physical activity for them to participate in … it could become one of those ‘bucket list’ things.” Like many, Barnes sees Sydney’s emerging bike paths infrastructure as “the first bay steps” to what will ultimately eventuate, not to mention the boost it will provide to commerce and culture. It also says a lot that Livelo operates in many other Australian capitals including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. It’s a business that could easily go global too. There’s a hardcore side to the cycling business that goes way beyond the beard/tatts/fixie café + craft beer set too. Retail opportunities like bike stores, workshops and cafes are a sure sign of ‘main street’ growth, but the demand for smart solutions and products that cater to a massive sports and fitness market also need to be counted Mr Barnes says. He cites Australian businesses like Catapult, which specialises in wearable athletic performance monitoring and analysis, as an example of how creating access to infrastructure that promotes physical activity can translate into wider business success. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArUGxQVUthM “In cycling, a number of businesses that have started operating in Sydney are spreading their wings,” Mr Barnes says. There’s a lot of activity.” But he’s equally adamant that while decent infrastructure is a contributor to the growth in cycling, it’s one of many factors. “While you couldn’t put your finger on the laneways [cycle paths] and say all of this is growing as a direct result of that, it’s the confidence that the laneways give us [that helps]. That cycling is understood in society now at all different levels and that that it’s a growing thing. “When you get Cadell Evans winning [the Tour de France], you get the lanes going in, you get the negative pressures of traffic and the cost of parking … it creates a very strong wind on our back pushing cycling forward.” Not all bike couriers are psychos. Some deliver flowers. [caption id="attachment_24554" align="alignleft" width="215"] pic: LittleFlowers.com.au[/caption] According to Clover Moore 13 per cent of City of Sydney residents ride a bike “in a typical week” a trend the Lord Mayor anticipates to grow “in line with the City’s anticipated population growth by 60 per cent by 2036.” At a business level, part of that growth is set to come from an increase in commercial deliveries being made by bike, and not just documents, small parcels and impoverished students delivering takeaway food. Never one to turn down a bouquet, another of Clover Moore’s real-world business biking successes is start-up (every politician has to have one) Little Flowers that carts around and delivers floral arrangements in a Dutch style delivery bike. Apart from avoiding registration, fuel and other on road costs one of the biggest advantages to delivering by bike, says Co-founder Sarah Regan, is that they differentiate the business and help it stand out in a crowded market. “Bike couriers deliver about 70 per cent of our flowers now and they’re a really critical part of our team,” Ms Regan said. “The bikes act like a mobile billboard; the product and our branding are out on display. People love seeing the couriers laden with flowers and we often get emails and Instagram posts telling us that it’s made someone’s day.” That’s a nice touch when one of Little Flowers’ unique selling points is that it promotes a different bouquet each day. Advertising chain reaction One bike trend the City of Sydney isn’t quite promoting is businesses – usually retailers – kitting out bikes as two-wheeled branded billboards that get chained-up to lamp posts, bike racks or anything else that will attract the attention of passers-by. It’s certainly an innovative and economical form of outdoor advertising for high foot traffic areas, even if the regulatory aspects are just a little ambiguous at the moment. Government News contacted the City of Sydney last year to find out whether the ‘locked bike advertising’ was becoming an issue. It clearly wasn’t. “We have received no complaints regarding signage on bicycles,” said a City spokesperson at the time. “The City of Sydney and its rangers only remove signs if they are deemed to be dangerous or obstruct a footpath.” Abandoned bikes also don’t seem to be an issue either at the time, even if there seems to be more of them. [caption id="attachment_24443" align="alignleft" width="287"] Pollie Pedal: Josh Frydenberg on the hustings.[/caption] “City rangers monitor and remove abandoned bikes in inner Sydney and surrounding suburbs. Around 2 abandoned bikes are removed each month – this number been consistent over the past few years,” the City spokesperson said last year. (*A word we just made-up.) [post_title] => The Spinning Economy: Clover Moore tells Sydney business to go ride a bike [post_excerpt] => Velocentric growth model. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => economic-spin-sydney-lord-mayor-tells-business-to-ride-a-bike [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-29 09:29:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-28 23:29:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24552 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24340 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-07-05 14:40:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-05 04:40:44 [post_content] => City of Sydney Council has begun rolling out what will be Australia’s most comprehensive tactile network of street signs, helping people who are blind or have low vision to navigate the city. Every signalised pedestrian crossing in the city will have braille and raised letter signs next to the push button detailing street names and building numbers. Eventually the network will contain more than 2100 braille and raised letter tactile aluminium panels as part of the council’s legible Sydney wayfinding system that also includes pedestrian-friendly maps, information pylons, new signs and digital technology. A key plank of the strategy has been input and on-site testing with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Vision Australia to get the project right. Michael Simpson, Vision Australia’s General Manager of Client Services in NSW said many people would benefit from the clear, consistent and accessible wayfinding information. “As someone who is blind, being able to easily identify my location in an unfamiliar environment gives me increased confidence to travel independently,” Mr Simpson said. “With clear and consistent information, I am very hopeful that these wayfinding signs will help to improve access for thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors to our beautiful city.” Guide Dogs NSW/ACT estimates that there are around 100,000 people with uncorrectable vision loss in NSW, and that number is predicted to increase by more than 20 per cent by 2020. [post_title] => Lost in the city? New tactile signs for Sydney [post_excerpt] => Australia’s most comprehensive network. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lost-city-new-tactile-signs-sydney [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-06 16:21:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-06 06:21:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24340 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 23911 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-05-19 23:27:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-19 13:27:27 [post_content] => The City of Sydney has announced a $400 million plan for open space and new recreation and sporting facilities over the next 15 years that Lord Mayor Clover Moore says will form the “backyard” for the central council’s rapidly growing population of apartment dwellers. The big ticket, long term vision promises to open an extra 36 hectares of open space up for recreation across the local area by 2030 as developers pile onto new public transport hubs that the state government opened up under its ‘value capture’ co-funding regime. “Three quarters of our residents live in apartments,” the Lord Mayor said. “Since 2004, we’ve spent more than $270 million on more than 50 new or upgraded sporting facilities, parks and playgrounds. The City of Sydney says it already owns or manages around 189 hectares or public open space. If open space managed by other agencies is included, it reckons the total space reaches 386 hectares, around 14.8 per cent of the local government area. The CBD council’s spending on public recreation facilities, strongly assisted by commercial rates that other councils can only dream of, has become the envy of neighbours now in the process of being forcibly amalgamated. Despite a years-long campaign by political opponents to try and oust the popular Lord Mayor dubbed ‘Get Clover’, a confluence of population pressure fuelled by big new apartment builds and major public transport reforms, held back for a decade, has maintained Ms moore's high public support levels as neighbouring councils are extinguished and merged. In a crucial boundary re-setting manoeuvre, the Baird Government opted to avoid any increase to the City of Sydney’s boundaries in favour of lumping together more culturally disparate councils to avoid the creation of a central Sydney mega-council it would find difficult to contain. Despite agreement over light rail renewal, the City of Sydney has proved an unwieldy opponent of many NSW State Government roads projects, choosing to prioritise pedestrians, active transport and public transit over vehicles. More specifically the new City of Sydney $400 million plan and study recommends:
- Increasing the number of parks, sports and recreation areas across the city with over $400 million allocated across the next 10 years;
- Upgrading Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Observatory Hill Park;
- Providing five new sports fields, including Gunyama Park, Green Square, Perry Park and Alexandria;
- Building recreation spaces at Garraway Park, Green Square, McPherson Park, Ashmore Estate, Harold Park and Forest Lodge;
- Developing partnerships with schools and other agencies to increase access to sports fields; and
- Increasing skate facilities at Federal Park, Sydney Park and Green Square.
Local Government NSW and four major NSW councils will hold a forum on the Night Time Economy.. They have formalised the term into an acronym – NTE. The forum will be held in the Parkroyal Parramatta hotel on 12 October (during the daytime). Details here. The forum is the first tangible result of a work from a NTE Working Group formed in 2016 by LGNSW and the councils of Wollongong City, City of Sydney, City of Newcastle, City of Parramatta and Waverley Council. The City of Sydney’s Transport, Heritage and Planning Sub-Committee has released a discussion paper ahead of the forum called ‘An Open and Creative City – planning for culture and the night time economy’. The discussion paper sets out proposals and options that “aim to make it easier for shops and businesses to open later in the city’s business precincts, support more small-scale cultural uses in existing under-used buildings, and provide a clear and fair approach to managing noise from entertainment venues.” The discussion paper also asks for feedback from stakeholders, through submission and planned briefings, workshops and community focus groups. City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the forum was an important opportunity for night-time economy experts from across NSW to build their knowledge and share experiences. “NSW has the largest night-time economy in Australia, so it’s essential that experts from local governments across the state work together to ensure the sector continues to grow,” she said. “This forum will give policymakers from both inner city areas and regional centres the opportunity to share best-practice approaches, workshop the challenges they’re facing, and develop their capacity to shape vibrant, safe and sustainable night-time economies.” The forum organisers are expecting representatives on 29 councils and state government agencies at the forum. Presentations, workshops and panel discussions will explore topics including culture and creativity, placemaking and urban design, policy and research, planning and regulation, and services, infrastructure and safety. “NSW’s night-time economy is valued at $37.3 billion and supports more than 34,000 businesses and 342,000 jobs,” said Lord Mayor Moore. She quoted figures that showed that 61 percent of all core night-time economy businesses are food-related, 31 percent are entertainment-led and 8 per cent are drink related businesses such as pubs and clubs. The City of Sydney discussion paper said there are several steps required to make changes to the City’s planning controls to boost the Night Time Economy, which will involve amendments to the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 and the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012. A key proposal is to allow shops to open until 10pm without the need for council approval. “Exempt development is of minor impact and does not need a development approval from the City as long as it meets certain criteria. “The criteria we propose include limiting its application to shops and some business, with licensed premises and cafes and restaurants excluded. The areas where this will apply are those that have existing retail and businesses, to ensure consistency with the overall character of the neighbourhood. “Removing the requirement for a shop or business to get development approval to extend their opening hours will make it easier for operators to respond flexibly to changing retail opportunities, such as local festivals and longer summer evenings. Combined with other initiatives, such as destination marketing and our grants program, we can support and encourage later opening hours.” [post_title] => NSW Councils to boost the ‘Night Time Economy’ [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-councils-boost-night-time-economy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-13 08:47:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 21:47:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28238 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 83 [max_num_pages] => 6 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => 1 [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 855f39236e591ee204dcac7af43f4c9f [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array (  => query_vars_hash  => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array (  => init_query_flags  => parse_tax_query ) )
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