Greens call on Government to drop the ban on affordable housing for Wollongong council

Media Release: Greens call on Government to drop the ban on affordable housing for Wollongong council


The state government ban on Councils mandating affordable housing through local planning controls is hurting residents and lining the pockets of developers, according to Greens Councillor candidate Jamie Dixon.


There is a state-wide planning policy (called SEPP 70 or State Environmental Planning Policy 70) that sets out how councils can require developers to provide affordable housing, but it expressly excluded 95% of councils in NSW and this includes Wollongong. 


Wollongong has not been permitted to use SEPP 70 despite writing a lengthy submission and being one of the most unaffordable cities in Australia when you compare wages with house prices.


Greens Councillor Jamie Dixon said: 


"There is a housing crisis in Wollongong.  People are sleeping in the sand dunes and the picnic shelters at the beach.


"Many others are couch surfing or living day to day with friends, family or in other impermanent accommodation. 


"There are virtually no homes for rent in the entire city that are affordable for anyone on Newstart.  Even if you are on an average Wollongong wage, you can't afford to buy. 


"Yet the state government is actively preventing Council from setting affordable housing goals for major new developments.  This is worsening the housing affordability crisis, and only helps big developers maximise their profits," Jamie Dixon said today.


NSW Greens MP and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said: 


“Across NSW housing costs are spiralling out of control, and Local Councils are at the forefront of addressing this. 


“All councils should be allowed to set affordable housing targets for major new developments. 


“Housing prices in the Illawarra have skyrocketed in the past ten years, along with the rest of NSW.


"The Greens believe local councils are best place to understand their community's housing needs and set sensible and attainable affordable housing targets so that everyone gets a home," Mr Shoebridge said. 


Media Contact: Jamie Dixon 0403 402 114, David Shoebridge 0408 113 952.


Illawarra Greens launch election candidates

Our pledge: politics for the people, not private interests


The Illawarra Greens have today announced their candidates for the state and federal elections, with an industrial engineer, 2 university professionals, an economics student and a shearer set to represent the party.


“We have an incredible team of candidates here and I know each one of them will be standing up for the Illawarra. For too long corporate interests and corporate money have too much influence over how decisions are made, while the community misses out,” Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said today.


“The big end of town has infected politics and skewed decision making away from the best interests of our community.  Why else are we still waiting for a serious climate policy when everyone knows this is the most serious challenge of our generation,” Kaye Osborn, candidate for Keira said.


“As an engineer, I know that we have the technical capacity to reduce climate change impacts o our land and water.  What we don’t have is the political will.  Renewable energy is rapidly replacing fossil fuel power, but the transition is being slowed by out of touch politicians who are far too cosy with the coal industry,” said Rowan Huxtable, candidate for Wollongong.


“Everyone in our community deserves the opportunity to live a good life. To have a home, a job, an education.  Health care in times of need. Instead of providing for everyone, the major parties have let the gap between rich and poor get wider.  That’s not economic management, that’s economic injustice,” said Mitchell Shakespeare, candidate for Heathcote.


“Well resourced public education is the key to raising people out of poverty and allowing them to reach their potential.  Education should be free, and equally accessible to everyone; regardless of where you are geographically, economically, or socially. Successful educational outcomes start with quality early childhood education and care,” said Jamie Dixon, candidate for the state seat of Shellharbour and the Federal seat of Whitlam.


“We live in a city of a quarter of a million people.  And yet we have a train that runs just once an hour or every 2 hours on weekends.  It’s simply not good enough in the 21st century.  Wollongong deserves a decent public transport network, including fast and frequent trains.  It’s not enough to replace a few carriages, we will be campaigning for a proper 21st century public transport network,” said Ben Arcioni, candidate for Wollongong.


High-res Images of Candidates


More information:

Mithra Cox (Illawarra Greens) 0425 351 844

Matt Hilton (Senator Faruqi) 0423 106 247



Greens call for Wollongong to follow Shellharbour and Kiama with food waste composting service

The Greens candidate for Wollongong Council has launched a petition calling for Council to allow residents to follow the lead of Shellharbour and Kiama Councils and allow residents to put food waste in the green bin so it can be composted. 
“Food waste is currently the largest component of the rubbish in our red topped bins, and produces the largest amount of greenhouse gases, and odours, as this rots in landfill,” said Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate in the upcoming Wollongong City by-election.
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Steelers Club $100K fine for Pokies Porkies

MEDIA RELEASE - Record penalty for Illawarra Pokies Club raises questions about NSW Coalition's Deal with Clubs NSW 

Friday 5 October 2018 - Greens MLC Justin Field is the Greens spokesperson on gambling.

Steelers Footy Club have been fined $100k for serious breaches of pokies rules. Patrons were give free drinks and large cash advances were disguised as purchases to induce gamblers to spend more money on the clubs poker machines.

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Sniffer dogs not a deterrent against drug use

Sniffer Dogs not a deterrent for drug use
"The increase in drug detections at this years Yours and Owls festival makes it obvious that sniffer dogs are not a deterrent against drug use. In 2016 there were 11 festival goers that were caught with drugs, this year it jumped to 43. The "tough on drugs" approach just isn't working." said Wollongong Greens Councillor, Cath Blakey
"If we're concerned about public safety, then pill testing is far more effective to reduce harm from illicit drugs.  The pill testing service at Groove in the Moo Festival in April in the ACT demonstrated that when festival goers had their drugs tested, and then received anonymous, timely and specific drug information from health workers about the short and long term effects, it reduced harm and lead to a number of people binning their drugs." 
"Following the Yours and Owls weekend festival, what the police have failed to publicise is how many people were stopped and strip searched. BOSCAR (Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research) data shows that sniffer dogs get it wrong 70% of the time.  On Sunday I spoke with a number of festival goers that had stopped by drug dogs on Saturday, given a strip search, and tested negative for drugs. They described it as a humiliating experience and raised concerns about handler bias and police profiling. It’s incredible that the shonky, unreliable indication from a dog gives the police power to conduct a strip search without a warrant."

Media enquiries - Cath Blakey - phone: 0458 490 122  

Stem the flow of plastic onto Port Kembla Beach

WHAT: Greens candidate for Ward 3, Jamie Dixon calling on Council to stem tot flow of plastic onto Port Kembla beach
WHEN: 9am, Friday 28 September
WHERE: Port Kembla Beach, near the large drain behind Port Kembla pool

Greens candidate Jamie Dixon has called for Council to install stormwater filtration devices to catch plastic rubbish before it hits our beaches, as well as Lake Illawarra.

“Every time it rains, hundreds of plastic bottles, wrappers, straws and other rubbish is being washed directly into our lake, and onto our beaches, through major stormwater drains, such as the one at Port Kembla, near the pool,” said Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate for the Wollongong Council Ward 3 by-election.
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Greens announce Ward 3 by-election candidate

MEDIA RELEASE: Greens announce Ward 3 By-election Candidate
Monday 3rd September 2018
Jamie Dixon, candidate for Wollongong Ward 3, flanked by Greens Councillors Mithra Cox (Ward 1) and Cath Blakey (Ward 2).

The Greens have preselected local shearer, Jamie Dixon, as their candidate to contest the Wollongong Council Ward 3 Council by-election.
Mr Dixon was recently the Greens candidate for Ward 3 in the general Council election last year, and earned a record Green vote for the area.
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Wollongong Council to vote on support for Five Islands marine protection

Wollongong Greens councillor Cath Blakey has welcomed the NSW Government proposal for improved marine protection around the Five Islands and will seek formal endorsement of the plan by council on Monday, 3 September. 

The ocean surrounding Five Islands is a popular diving spot attracting local and international visitors and a group of bachelor fur seals now calls Martin Islet home. The islands are also important seabird nesting areas.

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Breaking the Cycle on new prison building

Media Release: 13 July 2018
On Monday 16 July 2018 the Greens will host a film screening in Dapto that follows prison wardens and inmates behind the scenes in one of America's most notorious jails, Attica, and one of Norway's jails, Halden prison. The screening is particularly topical in the region given current NSW Government proposals for a new prison in Dapto.
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Rally to protect student democracy at Wollongong University

Media Release: 11 December 2017

Students and the local community, with the support of the Greens NSW, will rally at the University of Wollongong to demand Chloe Rafferty be declared the democratically elected president of Wollongong University's Student Association. To date the University administration has blocked Ms Rafferty from taking up her rightful position.

Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge, Student leaders from other campuses and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will be attending the rally with Chloe Rafferty and supporters at 1pm on the 18th of December to call for the University to accept the results of the student union elections.

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