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Balmain candidates – NSW election 2019

Elly Howse – Labor

I’m a feminist, unionist and public health researcher who is committed to fighting for a better world. Communities like Balmain deserve more than just words – we deserve action. As the Labor MP for Balmain, I will be part of a progressive government in NSW delivering for our community on the issues that matter most to us, including: real action on climate change; fairness and equality for all; a world class health system; heritage protection and preservation; quality schools and TAFE; a fairer housing system; a vibrant arts and live music industry; and more public transport, not more toll roads.

 

Jamie Parker – Greens

I’ve served our community for almost 20 years on Council, as Mayor and now in NSW Parliament. I have always stood up to the self-interested decisions of Labor and Liberal governments who have underinvested in public transport, neglected our environment and waved through overdevelopment. We have a plan for a city built for people – not big political donors. Together with the community, we have delivered a strong record of achievement for our local area including a new public school for Ultimo, free travel on the light rail for students and protection for Callan Park. I’m committed to building a clean economy and a fair society.

Sydney is the city with the third most expensive housing market in the world. What housing policies does your party have to address the problems that face people who are not adequately catered for by the commercial market?

Housing is a basic human right and more needs to be done in NSW to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing. The Greens will create 300,000 social homes over ten years to meet the gap in low-cost rental housing. We will set inclusionary zoning targets so that at least 30 per cent of housing on private land will be social or affordable housing.

 

How should planning responsibilities be organised between The City of Sydney Council and state government, so that communities can have a greater say in the development changes in their local area?

The Greens will put the community, not developers, in charge of planning decisions. We will returning planning powers to local councils and abolish the local and regional planning panels that are currently populated by paid development industry professionals. We will also return appeal powers to the Land and Environment Court, including allowing third party appeals on all matters.

 

With redevelopment projects throughout the inner city, how will your party identify and fund infrastructure that needs to be provided to accommodate the increased population density?

Re-zoning by governments has led to windfall profits to developers and put even more pressure on local services in our community. The Greens will extend value-sharing laws to claw back profit from re-zoning and redevelopment projects. We will work with local and state governments to identify necessary local infrastructure including greenspace, school upgrades, health services and public transport.

 

How will your party balance residential amenity and safety within recent proposals to develop Sydney’s night time economy?

The Greens have a long track-record of standing up for culture, nightlife and the creative industries in Sydney and we were the only party to vote against the extreme lockout laws. While it’s important to balance residential amenity, it’s also clear that the current system isn’t working. We will introduce a Bill to repeal the lockouts and work with creatives and residents to establish a register of iconic Sydney venues to be protected.

 

 

Ben Zhang – Liberal

Wenjie was born in China and migrated to Sydney in April 1992. He is a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, starting at the Balmain Chinese Medicine Centre on the same day he migrated to Sydney. He has since completed his MBA at UTS and became a Justice of the Peace in 2002. Ben is a Buddhist and has entered politics to be of service to his community. Having worked in small business locally in Balmain for over 26 years, Wenjie has seen the real difference our strong NSW economy has made in creating jobs and opportunities for people in our area. 

Sydney is the city with the third most expensive housing market in the world. What housing policies does your party have to address the problems that face people who are not adequately catered for by the commercial market?

The NSW Liberals & Nationals have introduced stamp duty concessions for first homebuyers on existing and new homes, valued up to $800,000, to take the pressure off young families trying to buy their first home.

 

How should planning responsibilities be organised between the City of Sydney Council and the state government, so that the communities can have a greater say in the development changes in their local area?

Councils can use Local Environment Plans to guide the types of development they want. New tools have been put in place to help the council, in accordance with the LEP, take local character into account, engage the community and take advice from local experts.

 

With redevelopment projects throughout the inner city, how will your party identify and fund infrastructure that needs to be provided to accommodate the increased population density?

We are investing $90 billion in infrastructure – the largest ever commitment by a state government – made possible by our strong financial management record and robust economy.

 

How will your party balance residential amenity and safety within recent proposals to develop Sydney’s night time economy?

Having worked in small business for over 26 years, I know how important they are for the economy. We’re cutting red tape to make it cheaper, faster and easier to set up and run a night-time business, while at the same time delivering 1,500 additional police officers over for years to reassure the Balmain community that their safety is our top priority.

 

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