Category Archives: Uncategorized

Motions passed at July meeting

At the July meeting, the following motions passed:

That the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group opposes the WestConnex project and supports the call for:
(i) The release of the full business case;
(ii) A halt to the tender process for the new M5 and M4 East; and
(iii) A parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex

ARAG members call on the City of Sydney to pursue an Interim Heritage Order for the Alexandria Hotel as a matter of urgency.

Alexandria Hotel update

There are two new developments.

Because council took longer than 40 days to approve/reject their DA, the developer has the right to not wait and see if council will approve the application – they can instead go to the Land and Environment Court. And they have done so. It’s not clear how this will play out. The Court can overrule Council, but given that the DA appears clearly non-compliant in several areas, most obviously height, it’s not clear what will happen.

AND, an Interim Heritage Order has been issued: http://www.gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2015_2015-63.pdf

This doesn’t guarantee heritage protection for the Pub, but it does allow up to six months for a proper assessment of heritage to take place, which on the face of it, would seem likely to mean that heritage protection is now a real possibility.

Objection to Forced Council Amalgamations

The June 2015 meeting of the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group unanimously passed a motion in support of the City of Sydney in its fight against forced local council amalgamations that are being proposed by the NSW State Government.

The motion was carried unanimously.

A copy of our submission to IPART ‘Fit for the Future’ can be found here.

An extra 7 days to #SaveTheAlex

The City of Sydney has extended the exhibition period for the Alexandria Hotel until the 21st of July. If you haven’t lodged an objection yet, it’s not too late.

Ron Hoenig (the Labor member for Heffron) has prepared a sample objection you might like to use (for inspiration). He has also released a press release calling on the Minister for Heritage to act, and he also has an online petition you might want to sign.

How to lodge an objection

To lodge an objection to a Development Application (also known as a DA), you need to write to Council explaining what is wrong with the DA – in your own words. Objections can be as short or as long as you like.

It is acceptable to simply explain how a development is going to make an area less pleasant to live in. (Planners call this ‘amenity’).

The best objections drill into the documents in the Development Application and point out where they are incomplete, or misleading, or plain wrong. All the documents will be online until the close of submissions.

You must respond by the closing date for submissions. You must include your full name and address, the relevant Development Application number and the site address.

You can email your objection to or you can post it to council at “City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW 2001″.

For the Alexandria Hotel DA, the DA number is “Application Number D/2015/772” and the site address is “35 Henderson Road EVELEIGH NSW 2015”.

There is a list of documents at http://development.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/DAsOnExhibition/details.asp?tpk=1204858.

The Statement of Environmental Effects (known as the SoEE) is often good place to start because it contains both the rules the DA will be judged against, and a statement of whether or not the DA complies with each rule. (Sometimes they’re rules, sometimes they guidelines.) The Heritage Report often makes for very interesting reading. If you are interested in Disabled Access, check the Access Report. Floor plans (basement, ground, 1st, 2nd, 3rd), elevations (nth/sth & east/west) and montages (se, sw) can be good for helping you understand what a building is going to look like. Where buildings are hard up against each other, it’s usually worth checking the Shadow diagrams. Practically every document is useful to someone some of the time.

Note that _all_ of these links will break after the close of submissions – Council take all these documents down, so always get a copy of everything before then.

For the Alex, the closing date is currently the 14th of July, though we will try to get an extension the 21st of July (Council have granted an extension). So please get your objections in before then.

And when you send your submission, please also email the Councillors – otherwise the objection only goes to Council staff and Councillors don’t get to see your submission – which makes it harder for them to argue for you.

The Councillors’ email addresses are:

For more information, see http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/development/development-applications/comments-and-objections.

PS. You also have the option to submit your objection via https://www.planningalerts.org.au/. This has the advantage of letting other people see your objection, and lets you see what other people are saying.

Planningalerts.org can also send you email notifications of future DAs near you. This is well worth doing – Council are only required to notify you of a DA if it within 50m – practically nothing. And if you do see something, make sure to talk to your neighbours, or letterbox them, because odds are that otherwise they won’t realise what’s happening until it’s too late to react.

ATP sale – C2E planning – Help

*** Important ***
Sale of the Australian Technology Park – moving ahead.
Short-listed Tenderers will be invited in June 2015 to participate in the tender process.
This is the first stage of the Central to Eveleigh project.
Urban Growth are holding a large day long community workshop at Carriageworks on Saturday 30 May.
This will cover such things as the sale of ATP as well as the planning for the huge area around our homes.
It would be great if you can attend to show that people in Alexandria care about what happens here.
You can register to attend at

Agenda for May meeting

This month’s meeting is at 7pm, tonight, 13th May, at Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St.

On the agenda:
– Proposed changes to Henderson Road/Gerard St Intersection
– WestConnex update – post election activity
– Discussion on hosting an Education Forum for Alexandria
– Lawrence St DA – DIY Community Objection

Sorry for the late notice, hope you’ve had it in your diaries.

Regards, Ben

No meeting this month – see you in May.

The Coordination Group have decided that we should skip the April ARAG
Meeting, as it is so close to the Easter break and as we don’t have any
burning issues on the agenda.

We welcome suggestions for the May 13th ARAG meeting, and we ask that
you send them to info@arag.org.au.

We trust you will understand this decision and we wish you all a very
happy and safe Easter break.

Regards, Ben, on behalf of the Coord Group.

Edit note: an earlier version of this post gave the wrong date for next month’s meeting. Apologies. Ben

Heffron Candidates’ Forum – Wednesday 11th of March

Please join us for a 7pm start (doors open from 6:45) on Wednesday 11th of March, at Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St, to hear from:

  • Ron Hoenig – Member for Heffron (Labor)
  • John Koutsoukis – Liberal Candidate &
  • Osman Faruqi – Greens Candidate
Heffron Meet the Candidates, 11 March, 7pm, at Alexandria Town Hall

Heffron Meet the Candidates, 11 March, 7pm, at Alexandria Town Hall

As decided at the February meeting of ARAG, and in consultation with Friends of Erskinevile and REDWatch, candidates have been asked to speak about:

  • WestConnex
  • The sale of the Australian Technology Park
  • Planning and Infrastructure

There will be an opportunity for questions from the floor.

The full text of the questions ARAG has candidates to answer, and background information ARAG has provided to candidates, is as follows.

WestConnex

Context – ARAG and FOE members have real concerns about WestConnex given the lack of transparency, accountability, environmental impact studies, poor community engagement & focus on roads rather than integrated public transport.
Question:

“What is your party‘s position in relation to WestConnex & where does Pubic Transport fit in your party’s policies as it affects the seat of Heffron? ”

Sale of the Australian Technology Park

Context – the ATP sits on the edge of Heffron, but what happens there impacts upon the surrounding area. ATP was founded as a centre for technology and innovation on a valuable heritage site – building on our industrial past, but looking to foster the creation of jobs for the future.
In December 2014, the State Government announced the sale of ATP. The proposed sale means that ATP is likely to be sold to private developers who may not place the appropriate emphasis on technology, innovation and heritage protection.
Question:

“Do you support the sale of the Australian Technology Park? How will you guarantee the protection of its unique heritage, preservation of the existing open space and maintain the vision of fostering innovation and technology? ”

Planning and Infrastructure

Context – The seat of Heffron is feeling extensive pressure from Urban Consolidation with the immediate impact of an increase of 50,000 people from Green Square & the Ashmore Estate alone.
The current State Government promised open consultation, but failed to pass the legislation due in large part to growing resident concerns and the actions of a coalition of over 470 resident groups represented as the Better Planning Network. The resident groups all felt that foundational principles and protections that are the signature of good planning legislation had been excluded and that the legislation if passed would lead to appalling & unacceptable outcomes.
Question:

“What principles do you think are essential to the planning process and will you sign the ‘Community Charter for Better Planning’?”

Edit: John Koutsoukis has had to withdraw owing to work commitments.

WestConnex Q&A, Feb 23rd, 7:00, Enmore Theatre

WestConnex are having a Q&A tomorrow (Feb 23rd), at 7:00 at Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown.

For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/events/1554561164807291/