Latest News and Media Releases - Illawarra Greens

'We welcome the Ruby Princess to Wollongong': councillors support docking at Port Kembla

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 7 April 2020

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'We're not accepting visitors': Sydneysiders warned to stay off Illawarra beaches

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 7 April 2020

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Illawarra performers losing gigs, income due to the coronavirus pandemic

Like many others in the performing arts, Veteran comedic performer Dave Evans and country musician Benn Gunn are facing a loss of income as events are cancelled because of COVID-19.

The Greens are backing calls by the arts and creative industry for an urgent $500 million rescue package to prevent collapse of the sector in the face of COVID-19.

Wollongong Greens councillor Mithra Cox, also a musician herself, said a lot of artists and performers had used up their savings to get through the summer after the bushfires led to many event cancellations.

This was compounded by upcoming events not going ahead, and less typically taking place in winter, meaning it was a "scary time" for those within the gig economy.

"One of the things the Greens have been calling for is a rent amnesty and no evictions during the crisis, because there will be people who just simply can't pay their rent," Cr Cox said.

"People should also buy music from independent artists... Because that's a way of ensuring that people like musicians are still having some income coming in."

Read the article by Brendan Crabb in The Illawarra Mercury, 17 March 2020.

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Calls for Housing Fix

Greens MP Jenny Leong called for a "radical overhaul" to fix NSW's housing crisis.

"Family and Community Services Minister Gareth Ward, and the NSW Liberal Government have failed to grasp the basics - to stop someone being homeless you don't need to count them, you need to provide them with a home and wrap around services and support," Ms Leong said. "We need to make renting more secure by improving renters' rights, we need to build more public housing, and we need to take the profit motive out of housing."

Wollongong Greens councillor Mithra Cox said the Greens are committed to mandating that 30 per cent of all new apartments built should be for social and affordable housing.

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Read the article by Brendan Crabb in Illawarra Mercury, 28 February 2020

 

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Wollongong council's dramatic new plan to fix our failing CBD

Wollongong City Council has admitted the CBD is failing in its current form, and is planning to dramatically overhaul rules for developers to fix problems which have emerged in the past decade. In a new document, the council has identified that there is too much retail space, empty shops, not enough quality offices, and a host of new but ugly and dysfunctional buildings which block the sun.
The new plan was welcomed by Greens Councillor Cath Blakey. Councillor  Blakey pointed to issues created by high-profile developments like the Oxford on Crown and Crown Wollongong, on Corrimal Street.
"The requirement for residential apartments to have commercial space on the ground floor has meant that we have seen a lot of mediocre buildings approved and now we have a blight of empty shops," she said.
Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 18 February 2020.
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Storm Drains -- Mithra Cox interviewed

Wollongong's storm drains could look a whole lot greener with Council looking into including rain gardens in new developments.

The gardens aim to filter water before it goes down the drain and help slow down flooding in the area.

Watch the interview, Win News Illawarra, 6 February 2020

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Wollongong mayor says fire-affected council leaders should be paid more

Greens Councillor Mithra Cox said words couldn't do justice to the sadness surrounding the loss of life and spoke of her own family's distress as her childhood home in Kangaroo Valley came under threat. Cr Cox also gained support for a suggestion to thank the ABC and its staff, acknowledging that during the height of the crisis, radio was the most up-to-date communication channel and, during power and phone outages, the only way for people to access life-saving information.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 5 February 2020

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Pitch for innovative rain gardens to replace Wollongong stormwater drains

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 4 February 2020.

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University of Wollongong forced to dump coal conference over planned climate blockade

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has withdrawn from hosting a long-running coal conference amid concerns over planned climate protests. The Coal Operators Conference had been hosted by UOW's mining engineering faculty since 1998 and was scheduled to take place from February 12 to 14. The university said it made the decision after considering the needs of the community at this time and adjusted its priorities accordingly.

Climate activists had planned to blockade the event, and say the announcement is a strong indicator that the community supports tougher action on climate change. But Wollongong's Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery, claimed the coal and steel industries had been unfairly targeted by environmental activists.

Greens councillor Mithra Cox said the Mayor's comments were reckless given council's environmental commitments to reduce its emissions.

"It's utterly irresponsible that our decision-makers are not taking this seriously or not treating this with the seriousness it deserves," she said. "If you say you believe in climate change but we should keep burning coal, it's like saying you know you're driving off a cliff but you're going to keep driving."

Read the report by Timothy Fernandez, from ABC Illawarra, 22 January 2020.

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Port pool still closed - and no word on how long until it's back in use

Works had also been underway this year to remove large amounts of sand which have been being washed up next to the surf club, hindering access.

In June Ward 2 Councillor Cath Blakey called for the sand shifting work to halt until it could be properly evaluated whether the solution was working.

Much of the east coast of Australia is experiencing more sand than usual, because of atypical weather patterns and a lack of heavy seas to shift large amounts of sand.

"Currently, along the entire east coast there is a high volume of sand, mostly concentrated at the northern end of beaches," a council spokeswoman said.

Read the article by Ben Langford in The Illawarra Mercury, 12 December 2019.

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