Latest News and Media Releases - Illawarra Greens

Wollongong eateries, bars to stay open until 2am to boost nightlife economy

The policy excludes pubs and clubs, which will still have to work with police to determine their hours, and will apply only to the city centre within commercial, mixed use and tourist zones.

Greens councillor Mithra Cox, who has long pushed for more activity within the CBD said the policy would help new businesses.

"There has been a reluctance to approve late-night trading hours for any new businesses, so only existing businesses are able to trade past midnight, and for restaurants it's 10pm, which is really early," she said. "That means the concentration of late-night venues at the moment is basically the big pubs that have been around for ever. So the really significant and exciting thing about this policy is that means new players will be more easily able to get a late night trading license, which means there will be more options for people, and most of those newer players are smaller venues."

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 15 September 2020

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Call to resurrect Crown Street Mall water play park to help ailing shops

"It's not our job to determine what type of shops there are, or at what price they are rented ... our job is the public domain," she said. "My grand vision for the mall is that we would have something that would keep people there for a long time and make it a destination in and of itself - the thing I would absolutely love would be a water play park like they have at Darling Harbour. When we have a reason for people to come and people to stay there - especially if kids want to come and parents will stay - it will mean they buy coffee, they do the shopping while they're there and they'll spend money there that they wouldn't otherwise do."

Indeed, about 10 years ago, the council proposed to build a children's water play area in front of the Church on the Mall. However, this design was scrapped after residents chided the council for lack of change room facilities nearby. Others raised concerns over the impact on brides getting married at the church, and the potential for people to slip on the wet ground.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 1 September 2020

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Wollongong councillors vote down push to reduce school speed limits to 30km/h

Greens councillor Mithra Cox had raised the notice of motion calling on the council to develop a pilot project to improve safety around schools, by lowering speed limits, adding zebra crossings and prioritising footpaths and cycleways on school routes, among other measures.

After a long debate, Cr Cox's motion was defeated 10 votes to two, with only Greens councillors Cox and Blakey voting in support.

In reply to the majority, Cr Cox said she thought getting a report or briefing from council staff was an "absolute cop out".

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 31 August 2020

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South32's Dendrobium Mine coal sludge discharge reinforces concern around mine transparency

On August 8 and 9 heavy rainfall caused pockets of flooding around the Illawarra. But at the Dendrobium coal mine, owned by South32 and located abeet Mount Kembla, the heavy rain "led to a release of water from the sediment pond … containing fine coal particles," a company spokesman said in a statement.

There has bee some cleaning up, but local residents still have questions around what went into the creek, in what quantities, and how much was removed in the clean up.

Not satisfied with answers provided in the last three weeks since the spill occurred, with neither South32 or the NSW Environmental Protection Agency providing media interviews, Wollongong Greens councillor Cath Blakey is calling for clear answers.

Cr Blakey has submitted a motion calling on her council to write to the Environment Minister and appeal for a robust and comprehensive investigation into the Dendrobrium water discharge licence breach.

See the report from ABC Illawarra by Nick McClaren, 1 September 2020

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Greens want better control of pollution and better enforcement

Two weeks after coal-wash polluted Brandy and Water creek at Figtree, the clean-up has only just begun. Wollongong Greens Councillor Cath Blakey is concerned the delay.

Watch  Cath Blakey, speaking on Win News, 24 August 2020.

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Call for 'more robust' probe into Dendrobium mine creek pollution

The investigation has not satisfied Wollongong Greens councillor Cath Blakey, who wants the city council to write to Environment Minister Matt Kean and seek a more robust inquiry. Cr Blakey will ask council to "appeal for a robust and comprehensive investigation of the breach of the Dendrobium water discharge licence, including a comprehensive clean-up of the pollution residue, and public and transparent reporting on the quantity and quality of the pollutants, and what actions are being undertaken to prevent further pollution incidents".

Read the article by Ben Langford in The Illawarra Mercury, 27 August 2020

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Just as Wollongong Greens councillor Mithra Cox asked  council to consider cutting the speed limit around schools to 30 kph came the news that the zones - which are sure to spark controversy - have been part of discussions between Transport for NSW and Wollongong City Council.

Read the article by Glenn Humphries in The Illawarra Mercury, 27 August 2020

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Wollongong councillor wants to reduce speed limit to 30km/h around schools

The Ward 1 councillor is calling on the Council to develop a pilot project to improve safety around schools.

"My preference is for it to start around schools but I think ideally we would have a pedestrian friendly city all over the city," Cr Cox said. "But so many parents tell me that it is scary walking their kids to school, that it doesn't feel safe. A lot of schools and parents have contacted me at the council, asking for lowering of speed limits and pedestrian crossings. So far those requests have been knocked back.  I really want to change that approach from council and say yes, pedestrian safety is a priority for us and.......we are going to be proactive and we are going to start doing this."


Read the article by Agron Latifi in The Illawarra Mercury, 25 August 2020

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Fears fast-tracked DA program could add to Northern Illawarra's traffic woes

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 11 August 2020.

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Wollongong City Council to introduce a weekly FOGO or Food Organics Garden Organics collection

Wollongong Greens councillor Cath Blakey was pleased that all councillors supported the move at Monday night's meeting. She has been working on this for over a year.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the FOGO trial carried out last year in Austinmer, Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong was "really positive with great feedback from participants, very low contamination rates and produced high-quality compost and soil products".

Read the article by Brendan Crabb in The Illawarra Mercury, 21 July 2020

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