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.
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
Mithra Cox (Illawarra Greens) 0425 351 844
Matt Hilton (Senator Faruqi) 0423 106 247
MEDIA RELEASE - Record penalty for Illawarra Pokies Club raises questions about NSW Coalition's Deal with Clubs NSW
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.
Media enquiries - Cath Blakey - phone: 0458 490 122
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
“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.
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.
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.Read more