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Newtown reclaims its streets By Alex Yujin King Street and Sydney Park were transformed into a playground awash with glitter, fire twirling and partygoers of all ages at the Reclaim the Streets protest on Sunday 19th March. The street festival-come-protest was organised in response to the rise in violence since the New South Wales Government lockout laws took effect in 2014. According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, violence and assaults in Newtown doubled in 2015. After the brutal attack of transgender woman Stephanie McCarthy in the same year, Newtown locals decided to take action. Hundreds gathered in Sydney’s inner west to march down King Street in the name of “Keep Newtown Weird and Safe”. Tyson Koh, Spokesperson of Keep Sydney Open, said there was a widespread feeling that the streets are more hostile since the lockout laws were passed. “There are queues outside every single bar and venue [in Newtown] on the weekend now. “That never happened five to ten years ago. A lot of pressure has been placed on the community because of the lockouts,” he said. The Newtown Roundtable, made up of local stakeholders including Greens MP Jenny Leong, Liz Yeo from the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and the Newtown Liquor Accord, recently met to discuss ways to make the area safer and return it to its famously diverse self. “We want to keep Newtown weird, welcoming and open, it’s not about saying we don’t want people to come here. “We just want people to behave well, have fun, have a few drinks, but just don’t be homophobic or aggressive,” Ms Yeo said. In an effort to target drunken violence, the committee offered safer bar training for local venues and successfully installed extra taxi ranks.
Partygoing protesters in Victoria park for the Reclaim the Streets rally on 19 March. Credit: Alex Yujin
Talks are continuing to find more ways to tackle rising crowds and intoxication. At a community meeting hosted by the Newtown Roundtable last week, Ms Yeo said many locals agreed there had been an improvement. “There were several community members who got up and said we should celebrate what we’re doing right here. “We do seem to actually be managing this and i say that knowing there have still been incidents and particularly some that haven’t been reported,” she said.
Published weekly and freely available Sydney-wide. Copies are also distributed to serviced apartments, hotels, convenience stores and newsagents throughout the city. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by Altmedia Pty Ltd. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 52 600 903 348 Group Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Editor: Jessica Hill, Stephanie Tiller Contributors: Jessica Hill, Stephanie Tiller, Andrew Woodhouse, Lin Evlin, Georgia Clark, Alex Yujin, Tallulah Thompson, Dylan Crismale, Sathsara Radaliyagoda and Tommy Boutros Arts Editors: Jamie Apps Advertising Managers: Mark Barnes, Karl Krticka Cover Photo: Imogen Yeomans - Nick Atkins and Zack Lewin Designer: Nadia Kalinitcheva Advertising: email@example.com Mail: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Website: altmedia.net.au
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Richard Adamson, Coordinator of the Newtown Liquor Accord, echoed the sentiment. “Overall, the feedback we received at the public meeting was that measures put in place by the Liquor Accord, Police and local councils had impacted the situation positively. “The most important thing to do if residents are affected by any type of violence is to report it, without a report, the police can’t act and the data used to shape policy will be inaccurate,” he said. Partygoers at the protest said that despite progress, there was still work to be done.
“We’re sick of being harassed in our own community just for being a little bit different,” said one punter, Reid. “It was good to have that many people out that were non-conformist in one way or another,” said Bruno, who had graced the “weird” catwalk earlier that afternoon. Asked if it was ironic to protest against the effects of alcohol fuelled violence by getting drunk at a party, Reclaim the Streets Spokesperson, James Loch, denied there was any inconsistencies with their approach. “We’ve never had any violent incidents because violence isn’t caused by alcohol or parties, violence is caused by disrespect for other people. “Our crowds are respectful and look after each other. We believe that if that was taught in all aspects of our schooling and culture then there would be no premise for the lockout laws,” he said. Mr Koh said the problem is whether people are getting drunk responsibly or not. “If people are celebrating with friends, with a purpose and they’re not hurting anyone, then there’s absolutely no reason for any backlash or outrage,” he said. City of Sydney Liberal Councillor, Christine Forster, believes that her party’s solution to alcohol fuelled violence in Sydney’s CBD has expired. “I believe they have served their purpose, and the 1:30am lockout should be revoked,” she said. Newtown Greens MP, Jenny Leong, said Reclaim the Streets is essential to bring people together and protect the things that are important to the local community. “People feel comfortable to dance in the streets and talk to strangers here. “They can feel proud to identify as queer or trans or anything else. “Keeping Newtown ‘weird’ is about ensuring that all types of diversity are not just tolerated but accepted and celebrated,” she said.
Share house prices sky rocket in Inner West By Sathsara Radaliyagoda and Tommy Boutros Sydney’s housing affordability crisis is putting immense pressure on shared housing in the Inner West. Between 2011 and 2014 the area has seen an increase of 30,000 people living in shared housing accommodation. Andrew Potts, National Convener for the Affordable Housing Party of Australia, said the situation is so dire that students are moving into boarding houses meant for the most vulnerable members of the community. “We’re seeing this situation where students are moving into crisis accommodation, where boarding houses are filled with young students and not for those in crisis,” he said. Mr Potts also said real estate and property investors are taking advantage of the demand. “Unscrupulous property managers are putting in bunk beds in every room, I’ve seen a three-bed house go for $1100 where there are potentially 12 sharing a bathroom,” he said. William Pereria, Raine & Horne real estate agent in Marrickville said, “Sydney is becoming quite populated… there are eight to ten thousand people moving to Sydney weekly, so all of those people need homes to live in and that’s going to push up the price.” Mr Pereria said shared housing has been the quick fix for a long term housing affordability problem. He explained living in shared housing has become less affordable because more people are renting rather than buying which is pushing up the rental rate. Inner West resident Ariel Celermajer said, “Housing is not affordable anywhere in the Inner West for the majority of people.” Ashfield share house tenant, Claudia Brown said, “By Sydney standards, my housing is affordable at $177 per week, which is why I choose to live in a share house.” Ms Brown said she hasn’t had much interaction with the Inner West Council but doesn’t feel they would be able to help with making shared housing more affordable.
The Housing affordability crisis in Sydney is pushing share house prices up in the Inner West Credit: Wikimedia Commons
“I feel that with such extensive damage being caused by negative gearing there wouldn’t be much wriggle room to help with affordability,” she said. The Inner West Council is attempting to provide more affordable housing and has approved nine boarding houses in 2016-2017, with six more pending. While a 15 percent affordable housing target is currently within reach for the Inner West of Sydney, some community groups believe that it should be risen to 30 percent to further accommodate those who are in dire need. Mr Potts believes that even if higher affordable housing targets are in the works, the nature of real estate and property investors will result in the continued rise of shared housing rents. city hub 23 MARCH 2017
MPs a no show at drug reform launch
The Australia21 report aims to decriminalise drugs in an attempt to reduce the amount of drug related deaths. Credit: Flickr User
By Jessica Hill Prominent supporters of drug law reform in Australia are unconvinced the NSW Government will implement recommendations from the Australia21 report published on Monday 20 March. The ‘Can Australia respond to drugs more effectively and safely?’ report is being hailed as the first of its kind due to the reports’ backing by prominent Australian lawmakers and enforcers. Gino Vumbaca, President of Harm Reduction Australia, said it’s not likely the government will implement the recommendations. “What was concerning for most of us who were at the launch yesterday at Parliament House was that there was
only one sitting MP there,” he said. Mr Vumbaca said this was despite the attendance of former Premier of NSW, Bob Carr, former Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett, former police commissioners and senior judges. “So that gives you an insight into how front of mind or not this issue is,” he said. Dr Mary Ellen Harrod, CEO of the NSW Users and Aids Association is also sceptical of how the government will respond to the report. “Victoria doesn’t have a conservative government in place and they just made a devastatingly disappointing decision to not implement a safe injecting facility in Melbourne.
“You have probably the most left leaning state in Australia making what can only be described as a very bad policy decision with no regard for the people who are actually dying. “I think it will happen when we have some people with political courage and are willing to stand by what is clearly right, which is reducing harm and saving lives,” she said. Dr Alex Wodak, former Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and current President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, said although the report is missing political take up there is still hope for drug reform in Australia. “It’s going to be more and more difficult to ignore reports like this with Mr Ginos and Mr Carr having both praised the quality of the report. “Governments sometimes do things unexpectedly and the Turnbull government is not travelling well in terms of opinion polls and they might realise that if they did some of these things that we talk about in the report… they would get a lot of kudos for that, which they need to do. “It’s hard to ever know what’s going to happen in politics and sometimes there’s a huge unpredictability factor, let’s hope they decide that now is the time,” he said. Mr Vumbaca said the push for drug reform would continue. “If you know what you’re doing can benefit the community and society as a whole, you don’t stop because politicians of the day are not listening,” he said.
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Greens MP rails against Sydney light rail costs By Georgia Clark Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi is calling for greater transparency of the Sydney light rail project, alleging the budget blow out has tainted the project’s reputation. Her call comes after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was accused by the NSW Opposition party of misleading the public about the reasons for the overspend. “The unnecessary chopping down of hundreds of trees without regard for the environment and the community, the unjustifiable route changes and the secrets and cover-ups regarding cost blowouts … has tarnished the reputation of what should be a fantastic mode of public transport. “Any transport project this government touches blows out in cost and is shrouded in secrecy. “If the Premier is serious about meeting the needs of the community then she needs to be honest and open about the mistakes made, and most importantly work with them,” she said. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Sydney light rail project’s failure to deliver prompted a funding cut by the Council. “It was our proposal in 2007 that became the basis for the State Government’s plans and at the time we committed $220 million to deliver the public domain elements of the project. “We have been forced to withhold the last instalment of that contribution, due to the significant gap between what the State promised and what is being delivered,” she said. Ms Moore says the project’s budget overspend has also cast doubt on the Government’s ability to deliver on public transport infrastructure. “These problems do reflect broader concerns about the governance and oversight of the NSW Government’s major infrastructure projects, chief among them the $16.8 billion and counting WestConnex toll road. “It is not too late to rethink the approach of these projects and get them right – doing so will go a long way to restoring the community’s faith in the Government’s ability to deliver major infrastructure projects,” she said.
Transport NSW is under fire for putting taxpayers at the mercy of million dollar budget overspends on transport infrastructure. Credit: Bernard Spragg
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said sustainable public transport infrastructure like the Sydney light rail is critical to help the city cope with a population set to increase by 2.7 million by 2036. “The CBD and South East Light Rail is a game-changing project, delivering more public transport capacity and better reliability for our congested city. “This project will generate $3 billion in economic benefit for NSW,” they said. According to public transport advocates, Ecotransit, the project cost was at least three times what any European government
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would pay for comparable work in a similar urban environment. Gavin Gatenby of Ecotransit railed against the project since the budget blow out was uncovered. “We believe the delivery has been outrageously overpriced and many aspects of it have been badly implemented. “For example there’s quite unnecessary over-engineering and unnecessary and insensitive tree removal,” he said. Mr Gatenby said the privatisation and excessive outsourcing of labour is almost corruption. “Over the last 25 years governments have gutted their centres of expertise in the transport bureaucracy and relied on outside consultants. “People who have no interest in keeping costs down and are in league with the construction companies in extracting as much from the public purse as they can for their own benefit. “This is corruption in all but name,” he said. Ms Faruqi said if the Government can deliver on its promises, public transport is still the best eco-friendly transport alternative, according to Dr Faruqi. “Investing in public and active transport is the way to tackle pollution, traffic congestion and providing commuters efficient and effective means of travel… [but] the issues of poor planning, no transparency and privatisation risk ruining much-needed world-class public transport systems,” she said. A Transport for NSW spokesperson said the project will deliver a sustainable public transport alternative and reduce pollution from excessive car use. “Light rail is an environmentally-focused mode of transport that will reduce greenhouse gases and noise pollution to provide clean, efficient travel… Light rail uses 10 times less energy than a car, per passenger kilometre,” they said. A Grattan Institute report released late last year revealed the Australian government spent $28 billion more on transport infrastructure on the past 15 years than they told taxpayers they would spend.
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‘True Stories from the Morgue’ With John Merrick at Edition Book Bar 25th March @ 10.45AM. Join us at Edition Book Bar with John Merrick as he talks about his latest release ‘True Stories from the Morgue. ’Forensic Counsellor, John Merrick spent 20 years in what he describes as ‘a very unusual environment’ – the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Office of the State Coroner in Glebe, Sydney – more commonly known as the ‘city morgue’. What’s it like to work in a morgue? Hear it for yourself here @ edition.
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city hub 23 MARCH 2017
Harbourside highrise hit with Libs By Lin Evlin Despite fierce objections from residents and the City of Sydney council Liberal councillors are backing the proposed redevelopment of Harbourside Shopping Centre. Mirvac proposes to add a new retail shopping centre and a residential apartment tower on the site. The Director of City Planning, Development and Transport, Graham Jahn argued against the proposal and said it does not meet the aims and objectives of the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005 because it put private use before public good. “Darling Harbour is a precinct for the people which is owned and operated by a public authority with open space and highly accessible and varied leisure activities,” he said in the written submission against the development. “Permanent ownership of public land through strata-titled apartments is inconsistent with the intent and purposes of Darling Harbour.” City of Sydney Liberal Councillor, Craig Chung doesn’t agree and is pushing for the redevelopment to take place. Mr Chung has also called for the City of Sydney council to work with the project developers, Mirvac. “The Clover Moore Political Party blanket opposition to development in general misses a great opportunity to provide a wide range of mixed uses in and around Darling Harbour. Mr Chung said the redevelopment would provide an opportunity for affordable housing in Sydney’s CBD. “Instead of engaging with the developer to produce great outcomes for the City, Clover Moore has simply rejected a great opportunity for affordable housing in Sydney. “The floor space of the precinct shouldn’t be dominated by one land use – commercial, housing, retail, tourism are all part of a broad mix needed to keep the area vibrant,” he said.
Harbourside shopping centre is the site of a redevelopment proposal by Mirvac. Credit: EO1
Mirvac property group purchased the Harbourside Shopping Centre for $252 million in 2013 and had initially planned to build a new retail shopping centre and commercial office tower. It has since updated its plans to include a new retail shopping centre and a residential apartment tower. The proposed residential tower is set to reach up to 166 metres high and have a gross floor area of 35,000 square metres. City of Sydney Councillor, Linda Scott told City Hub she has serious concerns about Mirvac’s proposal, particularly in relation to overshadowing in the Darling Harbour precinct.
“I am for a city where local business and tourism can thrive, but alongside local residents and local businesses I have raised genuine and reasonable concerns about the redevelopment of Harbourside Shopping Centre. “The proposed 40 storey tower will plunge the harbour into darkness. Currently, visitors to the Harbour enjoy virtually unencumbered sunlight during the day,” she said. Neighbouring hotels, Ibis and Novotel, owned by Accor Group, are worried the proposed tower will impact the hotels’ views, taking money away from the tourist industry.
“Hotels are an important part of the tourism industry, which is important to the local and metropolitan Sydney economy,” Accor Group stated in a written submission against the development. Accor group also argued the public interest is better served by protecting commercial interests rather than private residential views. “A far greater public benefit is achieved by maximising the hotel’s visitors to the cultural benefits of Darling Harbour, as opposed to views for permanent visitors,” it said. Liberal councillor, Christine Forster told City Hub she doesn’t oppose the idea of a new residential tower in Darling Harbour. “Obviously, the existing facility is dated, it’s tired, it’s not terribly functional, it does need to be improved and it offers a new opportunity for retail, pedestrian access and connectivity options in that area. “In terms of whether it’s a residential tower, I’m pretty agnostic on this point to be honest - those decisions have to be made by the developer with their own economics in mind. “I do see that it would be an opportunity for us to obtain some affordable housing in the area which is important because we need more affordable housing close to the city,” she said. Neighbouring businesses and the City of Sydney have taken aim at Mirvac’s proposed redevelopment of the Harbourside Shopping Centre during the community consultation phase of the project. Kate Lander, Mirvac’s Group Communications Manager, told City Hub they had “undertaken extensive consultation” with the community and local land owners in developing its plans and is in the process of considering all submissions received. “Mirvac will now consider all submissions in detail before working with stakeholders and the Department of Planning and Environment to respond to concerns,” she said. The public consultation on the redevelopment proposal closed on 14 February 2017.
Public Exhibition Mobile food vending vehicles local approvals policy The City of Sydney invites your feedback on its updated policy to manage food trucks and vans trading on City-owned roads and other public places
The City of Sydney invites your feedback on how busking is managed and supported in the city. Our new discussion paper ‘Busking in the City of Sydney area’ reviews our past approach and explores new ways of supporting and regulating busking. Sydney has a strong tradition of buskers who help make Sydney unique and entertaining. We encourage you to have your say.
You can see the paper at sydneyyoursay.com.au/ busking-in-city The document is open for feedback until 30 April 2017.
For more information call 02 9265 9333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 8
city hub 23 MARCH 2017
HAVE YOUR SAY ON BUSKING IN THE CITY OF SYDNEY AREA
The ‘mobile food vending vehicles local approvals policy’ outlines the approval process for food trucks and vans. It also details where they can trade and their operational requirements. The updated policy simplifies the permit structure, and clarifies approval, fitout and operational requirements. The policy takes into consideration public health and safety, environmental protection, noise, pollution, parking and trading times. We will consider all feedback and report the results to Council. You can view the policy and give your feedback at sydneyyoursay.com.au by 5pm on Friday 28 April 2017. Or you can email email@example.com with your feedback. Printed copies are available for inspection at: • One Stop Shop (CBD) • Glebe Neighbourhood Level 2, Town Hall House, Service Centre 456 Kent Street, Sydney 186 Glebe Point Road Monday to Friday: 8am–6pm (cnr Wigram Road), Glebe Monday to Friday: 9am–5pm • Redfern Neighbourhood Service Centre • Kings Cross Neighbourhood 158 Redfern Street, Redfern Service Centre Monday to Friday: 9am–5pm; 50–52 Darlinghurst Road, Saturday: 9am–noon Kings Cross Monday to Friday: 9am–5pm; • Green Square Neighbourhood Saturday: 9am–noon Service Centre 100 Joynton Avenue, Zetland Monday to Friday: 10am–6pm Feedback marked ‘mobile food vending vehicles policy’ can also be posted to: Chief Executive Officer, Attention: Nicole Stent, Public Health Specialist City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW 2001
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city hub 23 MARCH 2017
Bondi Junction high rises over shadow residents’ concerns By Tallulah Thompson & Dylan Crismale The Waverley community is continuing their efforts to “halt the high-rise” development of two residential towers at West Bondi, after developer Stargate Property Group, took their case to the State Government. Over 100 people attended a rally on Saturday 11 March to raise their concerns about the new planning proposal. Howard Parry-Husbands, Spokesperson for the Save West Bondi Junction group and principal organiser of the rally, said,“There is an assumption that all of these towers…all of the extra cars and all of the extra people can just fit in, and I feel that this is really disingenuous.” “I should be really clear, Save West Bondi Junction is not opposed to development or high rise towers, we are simply opposed to development on this site,” he said. According to a new proposal submitted to the NSW Planning and Environment Department, the developer is seeking to amend the Waverley Local Environmental Plan (2012) for 194-214 Oxford Street and 2 Nelson Street in Bondi Junction, a location across the street from Centennial Park close to where the Moonlight Cinema is held. The revised plan would see the maximum building height increase from 15 to 36 metres, a larger floor space ratio than the current guideline and the demolition of four heritage listed terrace houses. John Wakefield, ALP Waverley Councillor, said the turnout at the rally was indicative of the major concerns residents still have about the development proposal. He said it was disappointing not all Waverley Councillors made the effort to come along. “The lack of attendance of Liberal Party councillors was disgraceful. “All liberal councillors, including the two ward councillors, Angela Burrill and Andrew Cusack and the Liberal Mayor, Sally Betts, were invited to this rally [and] all of them refused to come,” he said. Waverley Mayor, Sally Betts told City Hub that attending the
rally could have affected the obligations of councillors under the Local Government Act which states they must exercise caution in relation to statutory planning matters. “Councillors need to avoid claims of bias or predetermination or perception of having a ‘closed mind’ during the assessment process. “Apart from taking into consideration the cautions expressed about attending… you should know that I actually sent my apologies for not attending the rally due to a long standing family event,” she said. Waverley Council initiated community consultation after the Department of Planning and Environment issued a Gateway Determination for the proposal. “Council is conducting a community consultation process on behalf of the State Government. “Our officers will prepare a report for the Government and the Secretary of the Planning Department will make the final decision,” Ms Betts said. The community consultation closed on the March 10. Mr Wakefield said the report prepared by Waverley Council officers could take up to five weeks to complete. Wendy Wilson, a volunteer for Save West Bondi Junction, said the group fought tirelessly for three years to stop the high-rise development. “Once they allow that tower to go ahead, it gives the green light for a lot of other towers around Centennial Park,” she said. Nathan Short, local resident and small business owner, is also concerned about the development. “I can’t stress enough how much I hate how [apartment block development] removes perfectly good small business properties and replaces them with money sponging high rises,” he said. He also doesn’t think community action, like the Halt the Rise rally, is effective. “I’m convinced there’s no point in fighting big business and big money. “It’s better to take your toys and go and play somewhere else,” he said. Despite some misgivings, the rally ended with a call for
Waverley Councillors and community show there for support for Halt the High Rise campaign. Credit: Karen Radzyner
concerned community members to write to their NSW State member Bruce Notley-Smith, Planning Minister Anthony Roberts and local council. “I think it would be wise for people in Government to realise that this sort of protest is a grassroots movement from people who live here quite peacefully, and just recognise that there is something corrupt about allowing towers like this to be built,” said Mr Parry-Husbands. The Save West Bondi Junction website states residents are worried about the shadow that the towers would create over Centennial Park, the impact on traffic congestion and removal of heritage terraces, among other issues. The preceding proposal went before Waverley Council in 2015 and all councillors voted against it due to concerns about the height and impacts on surrounding properties.
The Greater - or lesser - Sydney Commission By Andrew Woodhouse WARNING! Material in this article may cause offence to some readers. The power struggle between state government and councils is formative: friction was born into the relationship. Council is the legal creation and child of the state government. Councils themselves are not even recognised in our Federal Constitution. Sydney Council, for example, has been sacked about four times: when the government thinks it’s become too big for its boots, is becoming too powerful, contradicts it, or openly defies it. It has been amalgamated too many times to dilute or shift its power base to bring it into line with the government’s planning policies, with its boundaries fiddled and nuanced for the same reasons. Hotly-contested council amalgamations are still on the table this year but not for Sydney Council. In May 2016 former Premier, Mike Baird (remember him?) appointed unelected administrators to run nineteen new, larger councils in NSW. “People have us here to make decisions.” he insisted, adding that new councils would deliver better services for lower costs. Historically, this is fibbing: it’s never happened before so why should it happen now? The administrators, by coincidence, are mainly former public servants, council managers and a couple of mayors and former Coalition MP’s. Surprise, surprise. They have the power of mayors and councillors but can’t change development plans. Needless to say, they fully support government initiatives like resuming properties for high-rise near rail transport hubs whilst delisting their heritage status, surely a heritage heresy. These high priests of planning seem to casually overlook the fact that not everyone both lives and works near a train station. So even if you live near one, it may not get you to work any faster. It may even become more 10
city hub 23 MARCH 2017
The jury is still out on the Greater Sydney Commission’s plans to create a more livable Sydney Credit: Wikimedia Commons
frustrating. It will certainly add more cars to already overcrowded roads, now choking on their own fumes. To further wrest control over pesky councils, State Government has now by-passed them altogether. It has appointed its mates to implement its own planning policies. And who are these people? Lo and behold, they are Liberal Party hacks and former unelected, or do I mean unelectable, politicians. Think Lucinda Mary “Lucy” Turnbull AO, former Lord Mayor of Sydney from 2003 to 2004. She was appointed, not elected, Mayor, after Frank Sartor, “the most hated politician in NSW,” left to go to state parliament. She never contested the following election to avoid the shame after her own polls found her wildly unpopular. Now she’s back in her Armani twin set and South Sea pearls, via the back door.
She chairs the Greater Sydney Commission. It has its own Act of Parliament, overruling council plans, and has issued a set of draft plans. What it promises is less important than how it intends to fulfil its promises. It pretends it can create “a city with more jobs and more access to jobs within 30 minutes of where people live,” a “liveable city” with “many different places” and “greater housing choices,” “increased sustainability” and more “resilience”. Yawn. It’s more motherhood statements and meaningless, nebulous, weasel words. Its goal is “to have well‐coordinated, integrated and effective planning for land use, transport and infrastructure,” read overdevelopment. Yet it has no power to implement any infrastructure to cope with increased urban consolidation. But it is still powerful. Its plans overrule councils’ plans
and stipulate how many dwellings councils must provide in the next five years and beyond. They delineate which suburbs and centres are to change and how. Yet, despite hundreds of pages, they don’t say much. They contain grand targets for jobs and housing. They offer bland demographic statistics and passé suburb descriptions. The Australian Financial Review reported that their initial “details … were supplied ... on the condition that no groups such as The Greens and local councils would be approached for comment.” Mmm. They talk about a planning “umbrella”, “design-led DAs”, a “transparent process” and “best-practice outcomes,” but it’s hypocrisy at its height. I am skeptical, rapidly approaching cynical. They don’t say on which street corner a new high-rise apartment block should be built, or what street should have bus or bike lanes, which parks need more trees, or even where there will be more parks, or where new train lines should be. The Surry Hills urban chatterati queen and original New Zealander, Elizabeth Farrelly, says, “Planning has only one job; to defend the public interest against voracious private profit. In every decision, from mall to sprawl, airport to potting shed, planning need ask just a single, Solomonesque question. Wherein lies the public good?” This new commission neuters democratically elected councils, the ones meant to represent us. It is facadism hiding a ‘femmocratic’ fascism. The Greater - or lesser - Sydney Commission’s twenty district plans are now on exhibition until 31st March 2017. Have your say before it’s too late at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 617 681. Andrew Woodhouse is President, Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage and Residents’ Society
Filling Education’s Creative Void
By Rita Bratovich On a street corner in the quiet southern suburb of Carlton stands a vibrant blue building with a large comic style drawing of a mouth covering most of one wall.The converted shop is the home of Shopfront Theatre, a youth and emerging artists cooperative that has been a safe, supportive, nurturing creative space for young people in the region for over 40 years. The shop, adjoining house and a large adjacent shed are all owned by the cooperative, providing it with a spacious theatre, a number of workshop rooms, film and recording studios, a recreational area, fully functioning kitchen and storage. Even more impressive is the extensive range and calibre of workshops offered in Shopfront’s program: acting, writing, design, all technical aspects of theatre, film and television production, editing and more.Young people who have a career interest in film and theatre can benefit from Shopfront’s affiliation with other organisations including Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Blacktown Arts Centre and the Way Out West Festival, with more partnerships being sought. Yet, Shopfront is not exclusively career focused; in fact, it could be argued that is not even its greatest virtue. While government and bureaucratic organisations continue to argue about the value of the arts, Creative Producer at Shopfront, Natalie Rose is quite clear in her mind about the importance of creative facilities to a community: “It builds confidence, especially for people who don’t really fit in at school…they can come to a new place and they can be whoever they want to be and reinvent themselves and create a whole new circle of support around them… It gives young people a voice and a chance to take ownership of their imagination, their ideas and their creativity.” Rose has been a facilitator for 16 years and has worked with young people with disabilities as well as kids who who feel marginalised, insecure or have other social issues. Many times, parents will enrol their kids
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Shopfront Arts Co-Op 88 Carlton Parade, Carlton. Visit website shopfront.org.au for program and events. Star-crossed by Zack Lewin Apr 20-23. $10-18. Info: shopfront.org.au/star-crossed
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“You need to make a lot of crap before you make the good stuff and I wish I had started doing that earlier,” he says. Facilities like Shopfront not only provide employment for creatives such as Atkins, who might otherwise need to find unrelated work between opportunities but they also fill the creative void that is regrettably growing in educational institutions. “I think schools really recognise the value of places like Shopfront. They’re often under pressure because of the nature of curriculum and class sizes etc. From my experience, schools have always been aware that they can’t deliver on the quality outcomes that places like this can,” explains Atkins. In his role as mentor, Atkins is currently working with young artist, Zack Lewin, a sixteen year old student who has just written a play which he will direct, produce and stage at the Shopfront in April this year.
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because they lack confidence or are glued to a screen. These kids may start off reluctant but “the change in a term from beginning to end is massive” says Rose. Shopfront takes students as young as eight and, through their emerging artists program, can continue mentoring up to age 30. Some students have been with the Shopfront for years and have gone on to be facilitators, producers or mentors. Some of the more notable alumni include Paul Capsis, Trevor Ashley and Andrew Upton. Nick Atkins, an actor who is currently mentoring at Shopfront, only wishes there had been such a theatre around in his day: “I missed out on Shopfront type of energy when I was young - there was nothing like this around.” He grew up in the western suburbs which was especially devoid of creative facilities. It wasn’t until he went to university that he became interested in theatre, and because he considers that a late start, Atkins feels he is behind in his creative development.
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Nick Atkins. Photo: Imogen Yeomens
For Lewin, Shopfront was an unexpected revelation. At age 12 he was forced by his parents to come to a workshop because his sister had been coming, and because he wasn’t showing interest in anything else. His initial reaction: “I’m not interested in theatre - that’s boring!” eventually transformed into “a real genuine passion for storytelling through film and performance that I never would have discovered otherwise.” Lewin wrote his play, Star-crossed, then approached the facilitators at Shopfront about having it performed. (The theatre very much encourages students to approach staff with ideas.) He is now working with friends, teachers and professionals to make it happen. Atkins is being a dramaturg for Lewin, coaching him through writing edits, getting him to understand characters and motivations and assisting him with directing. “In the past I’ve had trouble with letting go of my power or using it incorrectly - I’m sort of a control freak but at the same time a total free-loader,” admits Lewin.Atkins actually sees both traits as important and is helping Lewin find a balance; and Lewin has come to appreciate the importance of collaboration. “You can make art by yourself but it won’t be the best it can be.” In describing how he feels about having his play performed, Lewin really sums up the value of a place like Shopfront: “It’s a real honour, in a lot of ways. I feel really blessed to be appreciated and given this responsibility and trusted to put something on. I feel quite grateful for it.”
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city hub 23 MARCH 2017
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Horrible Harriet
The Bleeding Tree
Leigh Hobbs. Photo: Sergio Fontana
Even before school holidays begin Glen Street Theatre in conjunction with CDP Productions is bringing a fun new play to life to draw children into the enthralling theatre scene. Based off of the children’s book Horrible Harriet by Leigh Hobbs the play is centred around Harriet who is wicked, wild and wonderful but what she wants more than anything is to have a friend. So when Athol Egghead lands in his hot air balloon, Harriet
finally meets someone who understands her and thus the mischief begins. This is a compelling play for children as it provides a story focusing on the search for identity and friendship, which kids can all relate to through the fun songs and jokes. (JA) Mar 29-Apr 1, various performance times. Glen St Theatre, Cnr Glen Street, Blackbutts Rd, Belrose. $22-$85.Tickets & Info: www.glenstreet.com.au
Sydney Theatre Company shares with Griffin Theatre Company in bringing the original production of The Bleeding Tree by Angus Cerini to the Wharf in March. The Bleeding Tree premiered at Griffin Theatre Company in 2015, earning praise as “a great and complex production” (The Australian). It went on to win three Helpmann Awards – including Best Play for Angus Cerini, Best Direction for Lee Lewis and Best Female Actor Paula Arundell – as well as a 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. In 2017, STC is bringing it back to a new audience. The Wharf production promises to have audiences on the edge of their seats as we discover that a mother and her two daughters have killed their abusive husband and father.The women face a tangle of practical and ethical considerations as a result of their actions.Their community turns a blind eye and rallies around them. The rural setting lends the story the air of the gothic, while the script, so redolent of revenge tragedy, provides more humour than the situation would appear to allow. Paula Arundell,Airlie Dodds and Shari Sebbens from the original cast are reunited with director Lee Lewis, designer Renée Mulder, lighting designer Verity Hampson and composer Steve Toulmin in this revival. Angus Cerini, a winner of STC’s Patrick White
Airlie Dodds, Paula Arundell & Shari Sebbens. Photo: James Green
Playwrights’ Award, has had his work presented by companies throughout Australia, including Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre,Arena Theatre Company, Melbourne Workers Theatre, Union House Theatre and Platform Youth Theatre. Cerini has been praised for his sharp and evocative use of language and his playful rhymes, but above all, Cerini certainly knows how to kick a story along, as he does in The Bleeding Tree. (ID) Until Apr 9, various performance times. Wharf Theatre,The Wharf, 4 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay. $39-$55.Tickets & Info: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Dream Industry Party 2017 Australia’s premier commercial dance company, Dream Dance Company, is throwing its highly anticipated dance showcase. Entitled ‘The Dream Industry Party’ the event will feature some of Australia’s elite choreographers and dancers unveiling their boundless technical ability and artistic talent. “The party is more of a creative outlet. There are not a lot of opportunities to get up on stage and perform the way you want to. In jobs, we have to be mouldable so it’s great to get up there and show everyone what we’ve got,” says Bec Morris, who is both choreographing and dancing in the showcase. “It’s total creative freedom.You can do
Bec Morris. Photo: Chris Lane
whatever you want and the only thing that limits you is the stage size and venue size!” With genres like hip-hop, ballet and jazz on display, the event caters to all tastes and is a celebration of the different facets of Australia’s thriving dance industry. Open to the general public, the night will exhibit the talents of 18 selected choreographers with their chosen dancers. “These performers are renowned for being the best,” says Bec. “It’s going to be a ridiculous show with incredible dancers.” (ES) Mar 26, 7:30pm. Oxford Art Factory, 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. $25. Tickets & Info: www.trybooking.com
city hub 23 MARCH 2017
12 STAGE 13 Sounds 14 SCENE 15 SCREEN
Founded by Lola LaBelle in 2010 in London, but only in its third year in Australia, Burlesque Idol is just as glamorous as ever. Created to help support emerging talent, Burlesque Idol is a high-energy and deliciously entertaining evening, jam packed with talent, humour and audience participation. Every show features a dazzling array of rising burlesque talents, a comedian host and a panel of judges comprised of burlesque promoters, producers, and world-renowned burlesque artists. Expect to see some of the country’s top performers showcasing their most unique acts, especially in Sydney tonight as this is the final show before next weeks Grand Final at Penrith Panthers. From glamorous vegasinspired showgirls, to comediennes who will have the whole room laughing, to poets, opera singers, and so much more. Burlesque Idol celebrates all forms of burlesque, creating a night as entertaining as it is enticing for it’s audience. Returning this year as the competitions ambassador is 2016 winner Hannie Raegan, a local Sydney performer. Since winning Hannie has been a wonderful face and voice for the competition, could Sydney have the winner in its midst yet again? (JA) Mar 23, 8pm. Oxford Art Factory, 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. $25-$65+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.burlesqueidol.com.au
Arts Editor: Jamie Apps For more A&E stories go to www.altmedia.net.au and don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter at @AltMediaSydney
Hannie Raegan. Photo: Pearl Davies
Contributors: Alannah Maher, Alicia Sim, Athina Mallis, Barbara Karpinski, Caitlin Burns, Chantal Walsh, Craig Coventry, Daniel Jaramillo, Emily Shen, Georgia Fullerton, Greg Webster, Irina Dunn, Jade Morellini, James Harkness, Joseph Rana, Leann Richards, Lisa Seltzer, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Olga Azar, Peter Urquhart, Rita Bratovich, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Sarah Pritchard, Shon Ho, Zeiya Speede, Jade Morellini.
The Flower Whisperer
REVIEW: Under Milk Wood
Saskia Havekes (Floral curator), Tony Assness (Set designer) and Gary Heery (Photographer), founder of AAQ James Beck, explained that they’ve never worked like this before, wanting to explore how to bring music and flora together. “Flowers are exquisite because they are fragile, beauty can’t be taken for granted.” Beck wanted to work with the best in the industry, joining Havekes who is passionate about drama and scale. The audience won’t only be watching and listening to the show, but they will also be consumed by it. “Audiences will initially be overwhelmed by the space and all [the] senses will be assaulted. This is something that audiences haven’t experienced before.” Every inch of the room has been artistically designed with a complete 360 degrees of photography attached to the walls. The overall purpose is to impact the audience and tell a dramatic story. “The costume designs by Romance is Born go the extra mile, bringing fantasies to life and using visual stimuli to take the audience on a journey. It’s the audiences chance to see the best stuff usually reserved for the elite,” concluded Beck. (JM) Mar 29- Mar 31. Yellow House Sydney, 57-59 MacLeay St, Potts Point. $75-85. Tickets & Info: www.yellowhousesydney.com.au
Dylan Thomas wrote this masterpiece Photo: Chris Butel as a play for voices, a radio drama.The language is richly descriptive, evoking every character and scene vividly.When the play is performed as a stage adaptation it risks becoming overbearing.The poetic language competes with fast paced dramatisation where scenes and parts change frenetically.At a running time of almost two hours without intermission, it can be very taxing for an audience… or it can be thrilling. Judging by audience response,The Genesian Theatre’s current production of Under Milk Wood sits midway between those two positions. There was enthusiastic applause at the end of the show, but also audible groans during - but that The text itself is full of acute observation: may well come down to the work itself. Thomas aptly depicting the foibles, folly, Certainly the set design is clever and impressive, vulnerability and eccentricities of an isolated Welsh utilising hanging lamps and nets, crates and cases village. It is steamy with promiscuity and icy with and a U-shaped pier to re-create the insular, salt love gone cold.Thomas has a wry, sometimes encrusted seaside village, Llareggub in which the wicked sense of humour, but he endows his action takes place. Blue hued to bright yellow characters with enough simple humanity to make lighting, mist and subtle sound effects help take us them forgivable. through a typical day, from dawn through to dusk. Familiarity with the work would be an advantage, No one cast member can be singled out - they but if you’re able to relax and take it in, you’ll still are all admirable in their handling of the difficult enjoy it. (RB) accent, dense speech and the numerous diverse Until Apr 8 (Fri+Sat 7:30pm, Sun 4:30pm). characters they each must portray in quick Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St, Sydney. $25-30. succession. Tickets & Info: www.genesiantheatre.com
Night Flowering Catus Grandiflora Window. Photo: Gary Heery
The Australian Art Quartet (AAQ) returns to immerse audiences with their unique approach to art, providing a dream-like garden where music, botany and photography work together to deliver a night that will captivate the audience. This performance is a correlation of the arts and an opportunity for the public to see something special with a few surprises embedded throughout. Uniting their forces with passionate artists
Live Music Guide LIVE WIRE Sydney By Jamie Apps
The East Pointers: A Canadian trio who make traditional music seem ridiculously hip.Their upbeat original tunes inspire audiences the world over and have made them a constant festival drawcard since they began recording and touring in 2015. Thu, Mar 23, Camelot Lounge Kate Miller-Heidke: The Australian music sensation will bring her inimitable vocal ability to a debut collaboration with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.The virtuosic singer-songwriter will perform a selection of her most popular hits with the orchestra as well as highlights from her award-winning opera The Rabbits. Thu-Sat, Mar 23-26, Sydney Opera House sleepmakeswaves: Post-rock trailblazers sleepmakeswaves have had a massive start to 2017, including a brand new album and a plethora of tour dates.Tomorrow they arrive in Sydney to showcase their new album Made Of Breath Only. Fri, Mar 24, Metro Theatre Greg Poppleton: Nearing one million YouTube views,Australia’s only authentic 1920s jazz singer, Greg Poppleton, opens the spectacular 1920s Gin Mill Social tomorrow evening. Gin Mill Social is a speakeasy banquet and a night of live music and dancing, plus surprise pop up performances… a night where you can feast, dance and play! Fri, Mar 24, Gin Mill Social at Slide Winston Surfshirt: Over the past few years,Winston Surfshirt have become vital members of Sydney’s underground live scene, with past performances ranging from sold out
headline shows to festival appearances, warehouse gigs and block parties.This weekend they launch their new single Be About You. Sat, Mar 25, Newtown Social Club Ming Xie: A technical tour de force that explores different colours, emotions and expressions.Audiences can look forward to an aural feast that explores the piano as a virtuosic instrument throughout the ages. Sat, Mar 25, Sydney Conservatorium Of Music Vices: Not your typical hardcore party band.There has always been a socially conscious and ethical dimension to their musical undertakings: resistance to injustice. This weekend they launch their new LP Now That I Have Seen I Am Responsible. Sat, Mar 25,The Red Rattler Michael Griffin: Following a sold out show at The Sound Lounge for SIMA, the Divergence Jazz Orchestra return to Foundry 616 for an exciting new collaboration welcoming Michael Griffin (alto saxophone) as the featured soloist. Expect a night that takes you from be-bop to funk, hard-bop to ballads to contemporary jazz sounds. Sat, Mar 25, Foundry 616 Things Of Stone and Wood: In celebration of the 25th year since the release of their record ‘The Yearning’, the band have decided that this time around they’re focusing on playing (for the very first time), the Yearning from start to finish. Something fans have been calling for, for decades. Sun, Mar 26, Newtown Social Club
By Jamie Apps The upcoming show for Melbourne’s Kingswood represents a full circle type moment for the band. This sense of going full circle comes after the release of their second album After Hours, Close To Dawn earlier this month which is allowing them to take to stages around the country and welcome with them a bunch of rising acts. In the three years since the release of their debut album the band saw themselves rising to six on the ARIA charts and also being nominated for Best Rock Album. With debut album Microscopic Wars being so successful the band chose to return to its birthplace in Nashville to record the follow up. “It’s like a wonderland for musicians” said Alex Laska when describing Nashville before adding “Everything there is geared towards giving musicians the opportunities to be really creative.”
Pirra - Animal Kingdom
Kingswood Now with the new record in their bowstring the band are heading back out on the road, arriving in Sydney next Friday. For the tour they’re taking WAAX, Maddy Jane and Batz with them, all of which Alex says they first heard via Triple J’s Unearthed program. “We’re big advocates of that program because it helped shape our career.” explained Alex, thus
The debut album from Sydney-siders Pirra is filled with dreamy, upbeat pop which carries faint undertones of folk rock in its complex, sometimes dark, story telling. The music on Animal Kingdom explores the complexities of the human condition through a dreamy haze which ultimately draws the listener in deeper with each and every track. Whilst the group predominantly employs independent electro-pop elements the undertones of folk and rock often find themselves seeping to the surface. Perhaps these elements are simply ingrained in the members of Pirra from their rural roots and upbringing. Animal Kingdom is certainly one worth checking out if your looking for a deeper meaning within your pleasant pop listening. (JA) WWW
giving this tour the full circle feeling. To be able to provide similar opportunities to what they were given in the past by major bands to new upcoming acts is something Kingswood and Laska take great pride in. “Grinspoon gave us a massive leg up by putting us on their tour, Living End did that for us as well. Even Stonefield put us on, they’re
lovely girls for doing that and giving us the opportunity to tour Australia with them in 2012-13 when it all started for us.” reflected Alex before adding “If we can somehow give the opportunities that we had from the Unearthed program to someone that’s what it’s all about.” With this run of shows Kingswood have been building a new live experience which Alex says is built directly “around the album” and involves a “pretty intense light show and additional players.” After putting in all this work on both the album and now the live show Alex said “We’ve been off the road for a little while and everyone is starting to get a little trigger happy and itching to head out for the most incredible Kingswood performance in the history of Kingswood.” Mar 31, 8pm.The Metro, 624 George St, Sydney. $40. 10-$61.60+b.f.Tickets & Info: www.metrotheatre.com.au
The Waifs - Iron Bark
The Waifs have been a sustained triad for 25 years and are celebrating with the release of a two-disc, 25 song album, Ironbark. Each member of the trio, Donna Simpson,Vikki Thorn and Josh Cunningham, has, in the past, written alone and then brought their respective songs to the group. This time, they wanted to try collaborating on songs. It didn’t work. So once again, this Waifs album has the diversity and range of each individual songwriter’s sound, while still feeling cohesive and thematic as a whole. The title track is an all-in, rollicking, sing-a-long with motivational lyrics, sung in turn by each band member. “Sugar Mama” has a comic hillbilly feel, while “Syria” is solemn, sparse and very moving. There’s the rocked up “Don’t You Ever Feel” and pure country “Goodnight Li’l Cowboy” complete with yodelling. Ironbark explains The Waifs’ longevity and suggests they’ll be around for a little while longer. (RB) WWW1/2 city hub 23 MARCH 2017
THE NAKED CITY
With Coffin Ed Compared to some of the calamitous events abroad and the many large scale problems we face in this country, the following gripes – like the colour you are allowed by Council to paint your own house and the new high tech ‘self service’ borrowing machines in the Kings Cross Library - may seem like small and insignificant issues.Add them to a myriad of another annoyances though and you start to wonder just where everything is heading these days. Let’s start with the Kings Cross Library, for decades a real municipal cultural hub in a suburb not renowned for its community spirit.The Library has recently reopened after a short closure to install a pair of automatic borrowing machines, not unlike those you’ll find in your local supermarket. When I visited earlier last week I was not the only one shocked by the library’s new appearance.The once welcoming lending desk has been completely removed along with most of the friendly and chatty staff who once served behind it. It’s like the heart and soul of the place has been ripped out and replaced with a couple of machines – admittedly easy to use but cold and foreboding. Oh yes it’s progress and even luddites like myself will eventually get used to it - but it’s all horribly impersonal. Unlike the local Coles or Woolies, where you at least have the option to boycott those
As I am sure many of you reading this do I personally love starting a relaxing weekend off with a nice cuppa, a delicious piece of cake and a good book to read. For many of us this might sound perfect but Edition Book Bar have come up with something even better! What might that something better be you may ask? Well it brings together everything we love about this relaxing weekend kickstarter and adds in a talk by John Merrick, the author of brand new book True Stories From The Morgue. John spent 20 years of his life working as a forensic counsellor in what he calls the “very unusual environment” of the Institute Of Forensic Medicine at The Office Of The State Coroner in Glebe, or as it’s more commonly known ‘the city morgue’. It’s not until you read about, or even better hear these stories in person that you can truely comprehend what it’s like to work in a morgue. (JA) Mar 25, 10:45am. 181 Harris St, Pyrmont. $5. RSVP to email@example.com or call 02 7900 3831 city hub 23 MARCH 2017
robotic grip – what you are bloody well going to do – whether you like it or not! So let’s end on a note of both total nostalgia and a warning of what might be just around the corner. Firstly, remember those wonderful days when you would present your library book at the librarian’s desk, how they would greet you cheerfully and often comment positively on the books you were borrowing.With a swift swipe of the old inky pad they would stamp the slip in the front of your book with the return date and you would leave with a glint in your eye. So how will the new whizbang lending machines react when you return a book that is possibly way overdue? “Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate!”
TWT Creative Precinct Block Party
EDITION BOOK BAR: True Stories From The Morgue
horrendous self service machines, the KC library offers no choice. It’s just another portent of the world envisioned by Isaac Asimov in his book “I, Robot.” Rumour has it the Library’s own copy has been officially removed from the shelves so as not to further antagonize those unhappy with the recent changes. In the same week that the ‘robotapocalypse’ swept through the beloved KC Library, we read that the Sydney City Council is forcing an 88 year old pensioner to change the colour of his inner city terrace, which he recently painted an eye catching blue. Not in keeping with the usual heritage colours they say, waiving their big punitive stick and the threat of some ridiculous fine. Meanwhile paint peels off surrounding terraces and buildings with graffiti daubed everywhere. A similar scenario took place in Brougham Street in Potts Point a few years ago where one resident chose to decorate their tiny terrace with a kind of hip hop/DJ theme as part of an overall paint job.Whilst the surrounding terraces remained unloved and unpainted, their imaginative façade was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise dull block of houses. It wasn’t long before this expression of urban merriment caught the stern eye of the Council and the mural disappeared overnight. It all adds new resonance to the term ‘Council compliance’ – what you can do, more often what you can’t do and as technology asserts its
The TWT Creative Precinct is an innovative initiative addressing one of the most critical issues facing artists in Sydney – space. Since opening in 2014, the TWT Creative Precinct has grown to now house over 70 artists from the visual, performing, music and film disciplines. Having fast become one of Sydney’s most vibrant artistic hubs the group is swinging open the doors to their multitude of spaces this week. They will do this by creating their own cultural adventure trail so that the public can see the fantastic artistic
incubator they have become and the wonderful art being produced in the spaces. Throughout the day there will be a multitude of highlights for attendees to ensure they check out. One of these highlights is the unveiling of renowned Sydney street artist Beastman’s two storey high public mural. Some of the other highlights include William Mansfield’s multi-sensory, immersive installation, Inferno; screenings of Arcadia’s catalogue of short films and finally Artspace presenting The 15 Minute Landscape which sees a number of different
William Mansfield ‘Inferno’
artists producing painted landscapes in just 15 minutes. The Block Party is not just for art buffs. There will be a number of food and drink stalls, music and entertainment. Finally there will also be opportunities for kids to
Outrun Cancer For those who believe no pain is no gain the 5th Annual Corporate Treadmill Marathon is retuning in 2017 to raise money for the Cancer Council NSW’s cancer prevention work, also known as the Outrun Cancer marathon. Outrun Cancer started in 2012 in one gym in Sydney’s CBD and in a period of five years has expanded to other gyms across the city and outer suburbs. This year the event will take place in five different gyms throughout Sydney and will see small businesses team up against each other in groups of four to 21 people. The contest will be based on whoever can raise the highest or fastest amount of funds in a 42.2km marathon relay on a treadmill. This is a cause that is close to many people’s hearts particularly those who have lost loved ones to
cancer. Every year the proceeds of the Corporate Treadmill Marathon raise money for a different project that is chosen by the Cancer Council. In the past funds have been allocated for projects such as “healthy lunchbox” a website that helps parents pack easily made healthy lunches or a PhD fellow position supporting research into the connection between BMI (body mass index), physical activity, diet and cancer risk. The Corporate Treadmill Marathon this year will be raising funds for a new and long needed project that will decrease children’s exposure to unhealthy foods. It’s also a fun event that will keep you fit and healthy. (DJ) Mar 24.Various locations. Register at www.outruncancer.com
get their hands dirty and experiment with art. (JA) Mar 24, 5-10pm. Atchison Street, Atchison Lane and Chandos Street, St Leonards. FREE. Info: www.twtstleonards.com.au
secrets of this ‘establishment for wellness’ which should unnerve and delight horror enthusiasts. Dark and sinister this film is visually appealing and atmospheric, heightened by the haunting beauty and isolation of the mountainous location and the macabre sanatorium which evokes uneasiness and the feeling that all is not as it seems. DeHann’s performance is a highlight and his natural paleness and piercing facial expressions compound the intensity of the role. Grim and hypnotic and enhanced by a beautiful spellbinding musical score, this film also This psychological horror thriller follows the predictably utilizes the usual scare tactics with horrifying experiences of Lockhart, a young varying success. American executive (Dane DeHann), who is The film suffers from a lengthy running time of sent to retrieve the company’s CEO from a two and a half hours and cheesy storylines in the mysterious sanatorium in Switzerland. second half. The characterization of antagonist Lockhart is told that the health of the patients is Dr Volmer (Jason Isaacs) is also detracting, at of paramount importance, but is it really? As the times inadvertently leading to laughter. (MMo) film progresses Lockhart unravels the horrifying WW1/2
The Death and Life Of Otto Bloom The life of Otto Bloom (Xavier Samuel) is told, documentary style, through the eyes of those who knew him and were affected by him, most notably by his doctor, friend and lover, Ada (Rachel Ward/Matilda Brown). Bloom experiences life backwards and as a result draws his history from our future and is unmoved by events from our past, as he is yet to experience them. Director Cris Jones’s
directorial debut opened the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival. Citing a quote from Albert Einstein as a main inspiration – he skillfully unravels the story of a scientific oddity turned internationally famous artist and phenomenon as he searches for love and meaning in his strange, lonely world, as well as examining the nature of time. (CCov)
the next team of Power Rangers to take on Rita Repulsa. This leads to lengthy generic exposition introducing us to each of the characters as they come to terms with their abilities and the newfound responsibility to defend the world. It’s not until the final 30-40 minutes that the movie finally embraces the campy-ness which made the television series a cult classic. During this sequence the film is a blast, if only they hadn’t been afraid to embrace this for the entirety. P.S. If you do watch the film ensure you stay in the cinema throughout the credits. (JA)
During my childhood the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were a daily staple, I also owned and regularly wore my own full White Ranger outfit. So it’s safe to say when a modern day reboot was announced for the big screen I was sucked right in. Sadly though Power Rangers didn’t meet my expectations. In this version of the Power Rangers universe we’re once again introduced to a rag-tag group of teenagers who suddenly have the fate of the world trust upon them as they are deemed
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Xavier Samuel. Photo: Suzy Wood
A Cure For Wellness
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