Petition to Gary Murphy
Central Coast Council: Establish an Urban Forest Strategy for the Central Coast
Since the introduction of the NSW Government's State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Affordable Housing 2009, the Central Coast has experienced unprecedented loss of mature trees in front and back yards. For every granny flat that goes up, mature trees are coming down - yet the Central Coast Council is doing nothing to offset the devastating loss of shade and habitat. A growing number of cities (for example, City of Sydney, Perth and - now famously - City of Melbourne) are prioritising proactive tree planting and shade production in their town planning by publishing Urban Forest Strategies*, yet the Central Coast - an area experiencing some of the most rapid population growth in NSW - still does not have formal shade production and green space targets. Moreover, the council has recently stopped providing residents with free native trees, something it has done for decades. WHY? Following years of a passive (some would argue, retrograde) approach to managing existing trees, including a lack of any strategic plans for succession planting and carbon offsetting, Central Coast suburbs are gradually becoming hotter, drier and more barren. Pedestrians - primarily children, mothers with prams and the elderly - are met with shadeless streets which on a summer day make the simple pursuit of walking an unbearable task. Newcomers to the Central Coast are often heard remarking at the lack of shade, and the absence of atmospheric tree-lined streets in shopping strips and urban spaces. In an area known for its National Parks and world-class beaches, the back streets of Central Coast suburbs present a stark contrast. We know that granny flats and multiple dwelling developments - much-needed affordable housing options for many - are here to stay. What we urge the Central Coast Council to acknowledge is that as the population becomes denser, and larger homes and less green space become the norm unique stresses are being placed on our suburbs. Planners and policy-makers can no longer ignore the requirement for strategic policies and programs to not only increase the retention of existing hardy trees, but to proactively add to the urban canopy to ensure shade for the future. We call on new CEO Gary Murphy and the Central Coast Council to act now to establish policies and guidelines to prevent unnecessary tree removal and to promote proactive tree planting in suburbs, parks and nature strips. We urge you to take the steps needed to ensure that Central Coast suburbs are vibrant and liveable places...now, and in the future. Many, many cities already have Urban Forest Plans which formalise the value and benefits of trees as community and environmental assets worthy of protection and promotion. *Urban Forest Plan. An urban forest is broadly defined as the collection of green spaces, trees and other vegetation that grows within an urban area, on both public and private land. It provides a range of social, environmental and economic benefits that enrich the quality of urban life. Reference: https://www.perth.wa.gov.au/planning-development/city-initiatives/urban-forest-plan Additional resources: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/community/parks-open-spaces/urban-forest/Pages/urban-forest-strategy.aspx http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/trees/urban-forest http://www.governmentarchitect.nsw.gov.au/thinking/greener-places http://202020vision.com.au/media/53149/urban-forest-strategy-fa_lores_spreads.pdf
Petition to Yarra City Council
Keep RUSHALL RESERVE free from development
For around 30 years Rushall Reserve has been prized by local residents from both sides of Merri Creek as a small, quiet, cul-de-sac. It is now the last of its kind for kilometres around. Rushall Reserve is used by walkers, runners, kids of all ages playing after school and on the weekend, families and dog walkers. Dogs do what they love - they run free, across the Reserve and often down into the creek. It has over the years become a place where members of the community meet with each other in relaxed conversation in quiet surrounds. Being a cul-de-sac means that there is no through traffic and it remains slow-paced and safe for all. Councillors, we implore you to abandon the proposed development of a bicycle path through Rushall Reserve. Our arguments are simple: Rushall Reserve is a unique, undeveloped open space used by the local community. There are already three bike-pedestrian shared paths that circumnavigate Rushall Reserve. The proposed development was planned without knowledge of the extra bike amenity that came with the Kunda Lat bridge shared path being opened. The pedestrian/bicycle interface at Rushall Station underpass that is cited by cyclists to justify a new path through Rushall Reserve is a problem entirely because most cyclists do not dismount at the underpass as they are required to do. The same pedestrian/cyclist debacle would merely be moved a couple of hundred metres away to the existing entrance to Rushall Reserve if the 4th path went ahead. Travel statistics kept by the Council reveal that the majority of cyclists who use the Rushall underpass would not in any case proceed onto a path through Rushall Reserve, but would head towards the city more directly. For those cyclists who would use the 4th path, gaining an extra 2-3 minutes on their westward bike ride would come at the cost of destroying Rushall Reserve as open space. It is completely disingenuous for cyclists who want the 4th path to speak of "compromise" and "sharing". A bike path through the Reserve destroys its open space amenity forever. There is already in place significant infrastructure for cyclists. We are concerned users of a local, rare treasure. We are also ratepayers and voters. We implore you to keep RUSHALL RESERVE free from development for all the right reasons.
Petition to Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk
Save Murphy's Town Pub
The Murphy's Town pub building will be demolished as part of the latest multi-million dollar development of the Ipswich Mall. According to a council spokespeople the facade will remain. According to them, this is the only part of the building that is heritage listed. Documents from the 1991 heritage register state the heritage significance of the pub encompasses the whole allotment. THE DESTRUCTION MUST STOP! The Commonwealth Hotel / Murphy's Town Pub was built in 1910. In 1991 it was added to the Ipswich Heritage Study. The original study document states the building as being significant because An example of a now uncommon, two storey, verandahed hotel. For its fine detailing For its streetscape value On a personal note i believe the building is significant for a lot more reasons. It has formed an important part of so many lives, all the way from bar flies, to weary travellers, men and women working the bar, and those who have never had the chance to see it. The original heritage document also states that the Listing boundary for the heritage listing as the: "Whole allotment, plus adjoining footpath and including all established trees." IT DOES NOT STATE THE FACADE AS THE ONLY HERITAGE SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE BUILDING. In 2014, Ipswich City Properties acquired the former Commonwealth Hotel in an out of court settlement with the owner of the pub. From the Queensland Times: 'Owners of Murphy's had sued owners of the Ipswich City Square, now the council-owned ICP, for more than a million dollars for undermining the foundations of the building during the Kern Corporation's construction of the centre in the mid-eighties.' So the case was settled out of court and the pub has had it's doors closed since. In a 2016 media article in the QT: 'Asked how Murphy's Town Pub would fit into redevelopment plans, Mayor Paul Pisasale said he did not know. "I'm not too sure, Murphy's is falling to bits at the moment," Cr Pisasale said. "It has structural damage." Asked if the heritage-listed building would be retained he said: "Heritage is always important but Kern didn't leave too much heritage there.' This pub is the only piece of heritage left in this corner of town. The One Mile was demolished amid a bunch of ignorance, finger pointing and blame. The Murphy's Town pub is owned by a council owned company and the Ipswich City Council makes the final call regarding it's demolition. So there is no outlet for blame on this occasion. Please! Ipswich City Council! Take a moment and stop thinking about the bottom line. Realise what is significant and why it is significant in this town. The building needs a few extra dollars spent on it to be fully incorporated into the new development, not mowed down so you can simply repeat the mistakes of your forefathers in the eighties. Be the council that stops this carnage, even for the sake of a few dollars. If you agree, please sign the petition. Let's show that people care about our history and do not want it destroyed.
Petition to Toowoomba Regional Council
Rename Community Ct to Sean McCarthy Way, Highfields Toowoomba
To date Toowoomba Regional Council have rejected a request from the Highfields RSL sub branch to rename Community Ct to Sean McCarthy Way a fallen local soldier. Sean was a resident of Highfields whilst serving in Cabarlah, and was highly respected by the Defence Community. It should be noted that Community Ct has no residential properties and leads directly to the Highfields Memorial.