Latest News and Media Releases - Illawarra Greens

Appeal to save Wollongong cremator 'dead, buried and cremated'

The director of Port Kembla’s community-based Tender Funerals pleaded with Wollongong councillors to find a way to keep the city’s crematorium in public hands. The organisation’s general manager Jenny Briscoe-Hough said she feared shutting-down the Berkeley cremator and leaving two privately-run operations to service Wollongong would lead to rising costs for funerals and cremations.

However, at Monday night’s council meeting, a majority of councillors rejected this appeal, voting against a motion from the Greens’ Mithra Cox to call for expressions of interest from organisations wishing to operate the public facility. Cr Cox said she, as well as Labor MP Paul Scully, had been contacted by “a huge number” of residents concerned over the closure of the crematorium.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in  The Illawarra Mercury, 31 May 2018

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Community groups clash over UOW's Kooloobong Ovals plan

Wollongong councillors will be forced to weigh up competing views of Botanic Garden volunteers and hundreds of junior footballers as they deliberate over a University of Wollongong plan to install a synthetic pitch at Kooloobong Ovals. Greens councillors Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey voted against the second round of consultation, arguing that the university’s plan was not designed to benefit the wider community.

Other councillors supported the new consultation, but raised concerns that UOW’s proposed upgrades should not be approved before a new master plan for the Botanic Garden was complete. After a long debate, councillors voted 10-2 to place the university’s deal back out on public exhibition.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 30 May 2019

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Push coming for more late night eats in Wollongong CBD

For Wollongong’s “Souva King” Frank Kaadan, getting some late-night revellers a bite to eat when they’ve had too much to drink is common sense. But while he wants to extend his Kembla St eatery’s hours beyond 2am on Friday and Saturday nights, he said police and the city council had told him it couldn’t happen.

Mr Kaadan, who previously operated on Brunswick St in Melbourne’s Fitzroy, said food outlets made the streets safer by counteracting drunkenness. A council spokesman said all applications are assessed “on merit”. But Mr Kaadan said all independent food businesses had to close at 2am – while McDonald’s down Corrimal St could trade all night.

Greens Councillor Mithra Cox said rules over opening times should be relaxed. “Shutting down the city to stop alcohol fuelled violence is like shutting down the roads to cut the road toll,” she said. “We need to find a way that our city can be safe - and open. A safe city is one that has people on the street, musicians in the bars, shops that are open late and restaurants that are full.”

Read the article by Ben Langford in The Illawarra Mercury, 25 May 2018

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Call for council to act over city's growing 'homelessness crisis'

Wollongong councillors unanimously supported a motion by Greens councillor Mithra Cox to investigate what they can do to address the growing problem of housing affordability in Wollongong. Councillor Cox asked other councillors if they were “okay with people sleeping in the sand dunes at City Beach because there are literally no other options for them”.

Among the measures they will consider is lobbying for Wollongong to be included on a state planning policy that allows councils to mandate a certain number of affordable homes within large developments.They will also look at whether developers could be encouraged to build affordable homes in exchange for the council waiving development fees or certain restrictions, and see if it would be possible for the council to build its own social housing on surplus council-owned land.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 6 April 2018

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Wollongong councillors back flip over Aboriginal park name 'too hard to pronounce'

Wollongong councillors have voted to withdraw support for an Aboriginal name at a new West Dapto park and to reconsider the name picked out by developers. Three councillors voted in favour of keeping the Aboriginal name -- Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and the two Greens councillors, Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey.

“Personally, I think where there is an opportunity to use an Aboriginal name or an opportunity to reflect on our wonderful Aboriginal heritage, that to me is the better way to go,” said the Lord Mayor.“There’s plenty of Aboriginal names around NSW that when you see them seem challenging, but it’s like Towradgi and Unanderra – locally people just get used to them and it becomes a reference point.”

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 6 April 2018

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Wollongong scene leads the way to save live music in Newcastle

Changes in Wollongong’s live music scene over the past five years have been held up as a shining example of how to revitalise an ailing inner-city nightlife. This high praise came from the Illawarra’s northern rival, Newcastle, which last week adopted a slew of measures based on policies put in place in Wollongong five years ago. Greens councillor Mithra Cox, who plays in a band, agreed the live music measures had made a difference, but believed more could be done to bring people out into Wollongong and its suburbs after dark.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury

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Bisalloy Steels' $900,000 defence contract with Israeli company under attack

A recent deal between Bisalloy Steels and Israel-based Rafael Defense Systems sparked a protest outside the Bisalloy office in Unanderra on Friday. Wollongong Greens Councillor Mithra Cox gave a brief speech before breaking into a Bob Dylan song in front of the crowd.

 “We want a steel industry that we can be proud of. We want our steel to be used for building homes, trains, bridges and schools - not for killing people,” she said.

“A generation ago, Wollongong workers refused to let our steel be sent to Japan for their war effort. Let’s uphold this fine tradition and stand against the military oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Statement of support from Greens Federal Senator Lee Rhiannon

Read the article by Meg Powell in The Illawarra Mercury

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Sandon Point tent embassy here to stay after shock council vote

Wollongong councillors stopped short of voting to tear down all structures at the Sandon Point tent embassy after vehement protest from members of the Aboriginal community. Greens councillor Mithra Cox questioned the right of councillors to make any decision over the future of an Aboriginal sacred place, suggesting that councillors instead vote so that tent embassy structures would not be removed without consultation with the five groups and SPATE members. The council agreed the council would help with the removal of any structures put in place since the end of 2016, and any other structures in consultation with the five Aboriginal groups who have responsibility for managing the site.

Read the speaking notes of Councillor Cox

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury.

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Wollongong council's ban on novelty swimming carnival races to remain until next year

Novelty races will be banned at school swimming carnivals in Wollongong for at least another year, after councillors voted to delay making any changes to its pool policy.

​Greens councillor Mithra Cox had hoped to convince her colleagues to drop some council restrictions on carnivals, including one which dictates that there is “no non-competitive swimming”.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 31 January 2018

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Wollongong councillor's bid to beat the 'ban on fun' at school swimming carnivals

A Wollongong City Council ban on non-competitive activities at school swimming carnivals means many kids “don’t even get wet” at the events, says Greens Councillor Mithra Cox. Next week Cr Cox will attempt to convince her colleagues to drop some council restrictions on carnivals, including one which dictates that there is “no non-competitive swimming”.

“For many children, the highlight of the carnival used to be the fun races at the end of the day - the tug of war, the boogie board races and the pool noodle challenge,” Cr Cox said. “But now fun races have been banned by Wollongong council, and students can only race in competitive races.”

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 22 January 2018

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