I understand that needs differ across our community and that government is so important in regulating markets and delivering services. If elected as a Greens councillor, I will listen to the issues important to residents and support initiatives that strengthen the East Ward community.
I grew up in Chifley, went to Matraville High School and have lived with my partner in Coogee for the past 20 years. I did my nurse training at Prince Henry and the Prince of Wales Hospitals before working as a general nurse at Maroubra Community Health Centre. I later gained a PhD and lectured in economics at the University of NSW and Macquarie University.
The East Ward is wonderful for its access to the beach and walkways meandering through coastal parkland, for Randwick Environment Park with its bushland and wetland habitats for native species, and for all its cafes, restaurants and the heritage-listed Art Deco Ritz cinema. I love the lifestyle.
We can make improvements, however, and I will make the following issues my priority:
Better Transport and Parking Solutions
Coogee has traffic gridlock and parking problems that are getting worse. We need well-publicised safe corridors for push bikes and e-bikes, additional public loop buses that link the light rail at Randwick to Coogee beach when demand is high, bike racks attached to buses and ease of access to the beach promenade for people with a disability and the frail elderly. There will be more electric vehicles in the future and we need a plan for the placement of EV charging stations, particularly on public land.
Stronger Regulation of Building Developments
SMH (10/4/21) ‘reveals a sharp decline in fines handed out to private certifiers for signing off on dodgy buildings.’ The Greens on Council have long been against the private certification system and we must keep up the pressure. Large developments are required to have a dilapidation report on adjacent buildings to assess their condition before any work begins. This base line report should be made available to neighbouring residents, not just certifiers.
More Affordable Housing
The cost of living is too expensive for many residents, yet recent proposed zoning changes for Randwick City introduce a measly 3% affordable housing provision. This should be higher. We don’t want to turn our suburbs into demographic monocultures.
A Speedy Transition to Renewable Energy
Climate change is a threat to us all. Howard, Abbott and Morrison have undermined international agreements on greenhouse gas targets and made the world a less safe place. Australia needs to be at net zero carbon emissions by 2035. Our Council has an important role to play in embracing new and innovative ways to link renewables to the electricity grid and establishing a fully electric vehicle fleet.
Keeping Coogee Beach Clean
The runoff from stormwater pollutes Coogee beach and puts swimmers’ health at risk. Efforts to filter, divert and monitor the stormwater should continue.
Increasing Access to Community Spaces
Senior citizens meetings, dance classes, choirs, birthday parties, workshops, musical events, art exhibitions: I could go on. These community activities are the glue that bind us together. Current demand for space has outstripped the limited supply of Council ‘for hire’ halls and centres. We should explore new ways to expand the building and outdoor space dedicated to community activities.
I want East Ward to be a sustainable and thriving local environment and have all of the inclusive services that are part of a caring community.