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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Wollongong City Council eyes local and ethical purchasing policies

Wollongong Greens Councillor Mithra Cox has called on the council to include options for an “ethical purchasing policy” in considering tenders. Cr Cox this week told the Mercury that this would be to ensure council suppliers and sub-contractors would need to meet the same standards as WCC on human rights, environmental sustainability and workers’ rights.

“Council is one of the largest purchasers in the region – and should set the standards for ethical behaviour,” Cr Cox said.

Read the article by Ben Langford in the Illawarra Mercury, January 5 2018

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University of Wollongong student democracy under the microscope

The University of Wollongong can expect ‘’an almighty and continuing fight on their hands’’ if Chloe Rafferty is not reinstated president of the Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association (WUSA).

So said Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge, who will join student protestors on December 18 at a rally to protect student democracy at UOW.

Read the article by Agron Latifi in The Illawarra Mercury, 11 December 2017.

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Wollongong City Council to help cover costs to keep Gong Shuttle fare-free

Wollongong City Council will stump up the cash needed to keep the Gong Shuttle free. At their final meeting for the year, most councillors voted to free up an annual amount of $350,000 for the next three years to fund the state government service, as long as the bus route remains free during that time.

Independent Greens councillor Mithra Cox was one those to speak against the funding. However, she voted for the final motion.

"We should not be funding this, it is financially irresponsible and politically stupid and handing a gift to Gareth Ward," Ms Cox said/ "We have caved so quickly. Gareth Ward must be thinking you beauty, that was really easy. This is a dangerous slippery slope of local government funding things that are a state government responsibility."

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in the Illawarra Mercury, 11 December 2017.

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