I hear a train a comin’?
Zoe’s Law on hold
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The club is broke and the development was rejected. So what happens now?
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march 27, 2014
Rozelle Village blames council, government By Michael Koziol The managing director of Rozelle Village, Ian Wright, says the fiasco surrounding the ill-fated development can be traced back to a meeting he had with then Mayor of Leichhardt Jamie Parker in 2010. The meeting regarded Joint Regional Planning Panel decision to refuse a 12-storey development on the old Balmain Leagues Club site, a project which Mr Wright describes as “essentially complying” with the Local Environment Plan. Mr Wright alleges Mr Parker and Margaret Lyons, Leichhardt Council’s chief legal officer, indicated that the proposal would “never work”. That was the moment the developer appealed to Macquarie Street, under the planning law provision then known as Part 3A. “We had no other option but to ask for the state government to declare it state significant,” he said. While “this disaster starts with Leichhardt Council”, Mr Wright apportions much of the blame to the state government. The Department of Planning last week advised the independent Planning and Assessment Commission to reject the proposal. Mr Wright argues it was nonsensical for the planning department to declare the revised 20-storey proposal as state significant but oppose it three years later. The PAC will now determine the fate of Rozelle Village. Mr Wright said the company would assess its options if and when the proposal is rejected. He said a lesser development of 12 or fewer storeys is “not feasible”. “Our position is that there must be a viable development approval on that site,” he said. “There is no point in a consent authority giving approval for a project that can’t be built.” In an interview, Mr Parker comprehensively rejected Mr Wright’s claims and said the independent JRPP unanimously voted down the 12-storey proposal in 2010. He said it was ludicrous to think that a Leichhardt councillor could in any way unilaterally influence the panel’s
decision. The LEP considers matters other than height, Mr Parker said, including bulk and traffic impacts. “It’s not just about how big it is, it’s about the intensification of use,” he said. Mr Parker called on Rozelle Village to listen to the advice of the planning department and submit a reasonable plan. “It’s very disappointing that there isn’t an appropriate development for that site,” he said. “It’s clear that a development needs to happen, but skyscrapers in Rozelle was never going to be approved.” Coinciding with the planning department’s decision was Rozelle Village’s attempt to place Balmain Leagues Club into administration. The developer loaned the club millions of dollars to assist in its temporary relocation while the development was approved and built - a process that is now dragging on far longer than could have been anticipated. Defending Rozelle Village’s actions, Mr Wright said the dire state of the club’s finances had only recently become clear. “We need to get to the bottom of the financial mess to find out the way forward.” But the club successfully pursued an injunction against the developer’s move. The case will be back in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, ahead of a full hearing in May. Danny Munk, spokesperson for Balmain Leagues Club, said the events of last week - including the rejection of Rozelle Village’s proposal - were “not what we wanted to see”. He indicated the club could support any solution that will allow them to return to the site, including a 20-storey tower. “The developer makes the choice on how big it is and how many levels,” he said. “The right development will be a huge plus to the area.” Mr Munk said he wanted to work with Rozelle Village on a constructive outcome and hoped to avoid further legal action. “Ending up in court to make the decision doesn’t always give you the best outcome.” >> Saving the Tigers, News, p3
Battle to save an endangered Tiger
Photo: Naparazzi via Flickr
By EDMUND KIRKWOOD The future of the Tigers’ remains uncertain despite Balmain Leagues Club surviving an attempt by developers Rozelle Village to place it into receivership. While the club’s operations in Five Dock and Flemington continue, there is growing doubt that it will ever return to its Balmain heartland. One of the founding NSWRL teams, the Balmain Tigers were born over 100 years ago at Birchgrove Oval and in 1999, merged with the Western Suburbs Magpies to create the Wests Tigers. Local Tigers supporter Dave Fitzgerald lamented the potential loss of the club, and recalled its unique ability to foster a strong sense of club unity on game day. “Particularly during big games, like the finals, if you’re
The Balmain Leagues Club is home to the Wests Tigers
not at the match the next best place to be is at the club with the other Tigers fans,” he said. The club has also played a significant role in supporting junior rugby league by providing crucial funding to local teams. The uncertainty surrounding its future calls into question the funding for those junior teams. “If the club goes, the funding to the Tigers goes,” said the club’s spokesperson, Danny Munk. “But also, the journey from juniors, through reps and into Wests Tigers becomes disconnected. At the end of the day, this journey is where young people develop team behaviour, and learn their place as part of the community.” Mr Munk described the club as a safe place where likeminded spirits have bonded for more than 50 years. “It’s a place for people to meet, and to belong,” he said. “It represents the heartland of Leichardt and Balmain.” Mr Munk urged supporters and members not to abandon the club and stressed that the Tigers are still functioning at Five Dock and Flemington. He encouraged members to use these facilities, as well as support the junior club by attending games. “Please do not turn your back on the club,” he said. “If you lose your heart, it becomes a lot harder to drive our brand.” But Mr Fitzgerald is worried that off-field drama may damage on-field performance throughout the season, and wants to see it resolved as soon as possible. “If financial troubles continue, and more questions about the future of the team are asked, that’s when problems might emerge on the field as well,” he said. “As long as fans get behind the team and we have strong seasons going forward, the Tigers should be fine. Winning solves everything.” Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne recalled his early memories of the club and how important it was for members of the Balmain, Leichardt and Rozelle communities. “When my parents moved to Balmain in the 1960’s the place was considered a slum. People didn’t have much, but what they did have was their beloved Tigers,” he wrote. “Since it opened, the leagues club has always been a social hub, where young families and older people could find a cheap meal, friendship and camaraderie.”
Ex-gay ministry bites the dust BY VIRAT NEHRU Living Waters Australia, one of the largest and longest running ex-gay ministries still operating in Australia, will cease its operations next month. Only two ex-gay ministries – Liberty Christian Ministries and Beyond Egypt - remain in Sydney. In November, the Inner West Independent revealed Liberty Christian’s struggle to find a new pastoral worker after the resignation of Haydn Sennitt. Founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International, Anthony Venn-Brown, said the closure of LWA is a significant step for LGBTI people and wider society. “It has been one of the largest and longest running organisations in Australia,” he said. “Their closing down means that we are towards the very end of these sorts of organisations [ex-gay ministries] actually existing in Australia, which means, we’d be ahead of America.” A letter from LWA cites shrinking numbers and lack of new leadership potential as reasons why it has decided to shut down. The letter admits the organisation has shrunk to “three groups operating in the Sydney area” and “a couple of ministries in Victoria”. Mr Venn-Brown said that the relevance and significance of all ex-gay ministries has declined in the past decade. “Liberty Christian Ministries’ previous pastoral worker, who was an ex-gay himself, had only seen less than a dozen people in the last twelve months. They hadn’t had any conferences, they hadn’t run any groups,” he said.
“The last time Beyond Egypt had a conference was two years ago. They are very insignificant in the big picture.” Liberty Christian is registered in Balmain East and previously conducted business in Surry Hills and the inner west. Earlier this year it hired a new part-time pastoral worker, Allan Starr. It is not known if Mr Starr has yet conducted any sessions. Living Waters will hold a Thanksgiving Service to mark its closure in April, and on the same day, Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International will hold a vigil to remember those who have taken their own lives due to conflict between their faith and sexuality. Mr Venn-Brown said the churches must face up to the reality that “they are 40 years behind society”. Liberty Christian and LWA did not respond to requests for comment.
Does this train stop at Balmain? Published fortnightly and distributed to residents in Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Balmain, Annandale and Rozelle. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by the Alternative Media Group of Australia. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, The Independent takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 48 135 222 169 Group Publisher: Lawrence Gibbons Group Manager: Chris Peken Group Editor: Michael Koziol Independent Editor: Michael Koziol Contributing Editors: Paul Gregoire and Triana O’Keefe Contributors: Georgia Fullerton, Edmund Kirkwood, Jonathan Mimo, Virat Nehru, Myles Stedman, Angela Stretch Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Arts Listings: Jeremy Bridie Live Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley Dining Editor: Jackie McMillan Advertising Managers: David Sullivan, Toni Martelli, Robert Tuitama and George Tinnyunt Design: Joanna Grace Publisher’s Assistant: Deeksha Chopra Distribution Manager: Danish Ali Cover: Photo montage Joanna Grace Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Contact: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Web: altmedia.net.au
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By JONATHAN MIMO Verity Firth, former member for Balmain and a candidate in Labor’s community preselection for the seat, said she will consider supporting the light rail station under Gladstone Park that was rejected by Leichhardt Council. Ms Firth will meet with advocacy group EcoTransit Sydney on Friday to discuss the issue. She described herself as a fan of light rail, citing its low carbon footprint and high passenger capacity. “It is important to encourage inner-city residents to use public transport,” she said. But while the old light rail infrastructure at White Bay is “waiting to be used”, Ms Firth said she had concerns about preserving “good quality open space” such as Gladstone Park. Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne, who is also contesting Labor preselection for Balmain, was more definitive. He said the costs would be “astronomically expensive” and could destroy the park and playground that is used by Balmain Public School. “It may be an engineering possibility, it doesn’t significantly increase public transport capacity and it would involve turning one of Sydney’s most beautiful parks into a construction zone for years,” Cr Byrne said. The plan was the brainchild of Nathan English of EcoTransit
Sydney, who has received the support of incumbent Balmain MP Jamie Parker. The Greens representative has made an official submission to the NSW government calling for the station’s construction. Mr Parker insisted that the location was perfect for Balmain residents to have a light rail stop and claimed Labor is failing to deliver public transport amenity. “A stop in Gladstone Park will make a significant difference, the location is right next to a hospital, right next to a school, it is right in the heart of the community,” he said. “This is reminiscent of NSW
Labor all over again - they are not interested in innovative ideas, they just want to build more roads.” That accusation was flatly rejected by Ms Firth who said roads were not the solution to Sydney’s problem, but the enemy. Cr Byrne has also been a vocal opponent of the WestConnex motorway. But Mr English lashed out at Cr Byrne for engaging in what he calls “political opportunism” on the proposed light rail station at Gladstone Park. “We see this as purely political as Darcy is very ambitious and going into preselection he needs to polarise the electorate and shore up Labor’s certainty,” he said.
Mayor Darcy Byrne said a station at Gladstone Park wouldn’t be feasible
Cr Byrne said expert advice ruled against the station’s feasibility. He is instead pushing ahead with plans to build light rail into White Bay. “We are fighting to get light rail into White Bay where the line already exists. We have also introduced a new community bus in order to make sure elderly people are able to picked up and dropped off for short trips,” Cr Byrne said. The mayor also suggested groups such as EcoTransit should focus their attention on transport issues in areas that are currently under-serviced. “To be totally frank, the people at EcoTransit are well-intentioned - however, as public transport advocates or advocates for NSW, I think they need to start putting intellectual energy into how kids in Campbelltown can get a bus to a job interview,” Cr Bryne said. “Public transport is about social justice.” Ms Firth echoed those sentiments, telling the Inner West Independent: “We need to get serious about providing good transport to people in the outer suburbs [and] we need to get serious about master planning for our city.” For all their similarities, last night Cr Byrne and Ms Firth faced off in a debate at Balmain Town Hall as part of Labor’s community preselection process. This was after print deadline. >> ‘All aboard’, Briefs, p4
Labor ‘could have saved Millers Point’: Greenwich
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL Labor could have prevented the sell-off of public housing at Millers Point if it had helped amend legislation related to the Barangaroo casino, MP Alex Greenwich says. In November, the independent member for Sydney called on the opposition to “tie their support for [the casino] to the retention of public housing in Millers Point and to action on muchneeded repairs and maintenance”. In a parliamentary debate over the casino, which will be inside Mr Greenwich’s electorate, he said the bill would advance the interests of the gambling industry at any cost. “Public housing in Millers Point has been neglected by the O’Farrell government and the former Labor government,” he said. “I share the local community’s concern that the government is bending over backwards to give James Packer exactly what he wants while
neglecting and taking away the security of vulnerable public housing tenants.” The casino legislation passed with the support of both major parties in the Legislative Council. “Labor completely ignored the opportunity to use their leverage to help Millers Point,” Mr Greenwich told City News this week. “The casino bill required ALP support to pass the NSW upper house, and they gave it to the government without a fuss.” The state government announced it will sell 300 Millers Point properties, including the Sirius apartment complex, with tenants informed of their upcoming eviction last week. Community services minister Pru Goward has promised full assistance with relocation. “This has to happen,” Ms Goward told Channel Ten’s The Project last week. While she said every cent raised “will remain within the
Around 300 properties will be sold off, but what will happen to the proceeds?
social housing budget”, she did not guarantee it will be used to build new homes. There is speculation it could instead be used to plug a $300 million annual hole in the public housing budget. Labor shadow minister for housing, Sophie Cotsis, said the opposition is seeking legal advice on the issue but had been gagged by the government when trying to ask questions in parliament. She said she would not play political games with Mr Greenwich and defended Labor’s record. “The Labor Party has invested $2.9 billion in public housing and the fight shoud be taken up to Pru Goward,” Ms Costis said. She also called on Clover Moore’s team to do more at a local level. “I want to see the City of Sydney invest more resources and provide more assistance to help those residents at Millers Point.” Critics of Mr Greenwich said his speech to parliament called only for an extension of the consultation period, and they argue he made no real attempt to work with either Labor or the government. City of Sydney councillor Linda Scott said fighting the sale requires action, not “hollow words in the chambers of parliament”. She accused Lord Mayor Clover Moore (with whom Mr Greenwich is associated) of hypocrisy for retrospectively trying to fight the public housing sell-off. “Each time I have moved motions calling on the City of Sydney to refuse to hand over our contribution to the Barangaroo Development Authority until public housing is secure, or motions seeking to have council place on record our opposition to the sale of public housing in Millers and Dawes Point, the Lord Mayor’s team has joined with the Liberal councillors to defeat my efforts,” Cr Scott said. >> Housing rally, News brief, opposite
news in brief Housing rally A rally will march on Parliament House today, March 27, to protest the state government’s sell-off of public housing properties at Millers Point. The event is being organised by Hands Off Glebe, which unsuccessfully opposed a sale of 16 low-rise apartment blocks in and around Cowper Street under the previous Labor state government. Co-ordinator Denis Doherty called on the state government to urgently put aside more money for public housing. “It’s just lack of will on their part,” he said. The rally will assemble at Hyde Park fountain at 11am, with opposition leader John Robertson and Greens MP Jamie Parker expected to attend.
All aboard The inner west light rail extension was due to open this morning with a 6am ceremony at Dulwich Hill. The service to central will operate every ten minutes in peak periods and every 15 minutes at other times on weekdays. Transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said the project
had been delivered “on time and on budget” and the opening would showcase a new fleet of light rail vehicles. “Customers won’t need to consult a timetable and can easily interchange between inner west bus services as well as local train services at Lewisham and Dulwich Hill,” she said.
Leong prevails Jenny Leong has won Greens preselection for the newly-created seat of Newtown ahead of next year’s state election. The seat should be an easy win for the minor party, according to election analyst Antony Green, with a nominal margin of more than four per cent. Ms Leong narrowly beat former Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne by four votes out of approximately 70, according to a well-placed source in the Greens. Labor’s community preselection will be finalised on Saturday. Sitting MLC Penny Sharpe is a favourite to beat Sean Macken and Natalie Gould in a contest expected to attract more than a thousand ballots.
abortions,” it said in a September submission to parliament. It also advised that the cut-off of 20 weeks or 400 grams was arbitrary and that the bill itself is unnecessary given existing laws. Ms Sharpe reported increased lobbying in recent weeks from proponents of the law, including representatives of organised religion. “We’re getting emails from bishops and pastors and reverends with a very strong message about supporting the bill.” Photo: Chris Peken
BY MICHAEL KOZIOL A controversial bill to grant foetal personhood, expected to be brought on for debate in this parliamentary session, has been delayed in the upper house and now faces an uncertain future. Zoe’s Law, as it is known, would declare an unborn child to be a separate living person once it exceeds 20 weeks gestation or 400 grams. The bill is named after the daughter of Brodie Donegan, who was stillborn after her mother was hit by a drug-affected driver. Proponents of the bill argue it is about dealing with criminal actions that bring about the death of a foetus. But opponents fear it is an attack on reproductive rights by stealth. Zoe’s Law passed the lower house last year, and was expected to be the subject of a close and passionate fight in the Legislative Council. Labor MLC Penny Sharpe said the government had originally advised the bill would be brought forward for debate last week, but that did not happen. The parliament adjourns today, Thursday, until May, and Ms Sharpe is increasingly optimistic that if the bill is brought on it will be defeated. “It seems like some of the people who are putting the bill forward are getting cold feet,” she said. “There’s been a really strong campaign from women’s groups and lawyers and medical people that has opened the minds of a lot of Legislative Council members.” Although the bill is supposed to apply to instances of ‘grievous bodily harm’ such as domestic violence against a pregnant woman, the NSW Bar Association has warned it would open the floodgates to other applications. “Adoption of the principle in this Bill would have obvious implications for late term
Victoria Brookman is concerned by Zoe’s Law
Victoria Brookman, founder of Lactivists Australia and organiser of the Sydney International Women’s Day March, expressed sympathy for Ms Donegan and her tragedy. But she said foetal personhood would set a very dangerous precedent. “As a pregnant woman…I’m very concerned about actions that have been taken elsewhere in the world when people take actions on behalf of foetuses,” she said. “Obviously all of us are really sorry for the mum involved but I don’t think it’s worth potentially curtailing everybody else’s reproductive rights.” Procuring an abortion is technically illegal under the Crimes Act, but has been effectively legalised by a 1971 decision known as the Levine ruling. That case determined that abortion would be legal if there is “any economic, social or medical ground or reason” for a doctor to believe that the pregnant woman’s physical or mental health is at risk. Ms Sharpe said the Zoe’s Law bill highlights the fragile legal underpinning of access to safe access to abortions in NSW. “That’s just not something I’m willing to gamble with for one piece of law which I think is bad law.” The bill was originally proposed by Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile, but the government has taken on a revised version as its own legislation. The Liberal Party member with carriage of the bill in the upper house is Marie Ann Ficarra. A spokesperson said she would not be commenting beyond what is already on the public record, but told the Inner West Independent the bill should be debated in the May session. But a well-placed source within Labor said the bill would most likely “never” be brought forward because it does not have the numbers.
Cartoon: Peter Berner
Zoe’s Law struggles in upper house
The slow dimming of Earth Hour
Earth Hour will change tack and focus on the Great Barrier Reef this year
CBDs, I’m not sure that they would know much about it,” he said. Phil McManus, Professor of Urban and Environmental Geography at Sydney University, told the Inner West Independent Earth Hour doesn’t work in terms of actual energy saved. “It’s one hour out of 8760 hours in a year and it’s a Saturday night, so it’s not the highest time for energy use anyway,” he said. Lights don’t use a great deal of electricity, Mr McManus points out, compared with other appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers. “I think it’s certainly highly symbolic and it works that way, in terms of symbolism, to get people to think at least about their energy usage,” he said. According to Anna Rose, National Manager of Earth Hour
in Australia, that’s the whole point to Earth Hour - it’s about bringing people together to have a conversation about climate change. “So it is a symbolic action and the fact that it’s been embraced by the people of 154 countries shows that the world can unite to show their concern,” she said. Earth Hour, which began in Sydney, is going through a revamp this year, Ms Rose explained. It will focus on the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and being relaunched as a yearlong movement. “After ‘lights out’ we’ll start running campaigns with the Earth Hour community on important issues like increasing Australia’s renewable energy target,” she said. Earth Hour takes place March 29 at 8:30pm.
BY PAUL GREGOIRE Every Sunday in Bogota, Colombia, 120 kilometres of streets are closed and opened up to cyclists. Similar events, though not as frequent, take place in cities around the world, including New York, London and Berlin. The latest addition to these cycling enclaves could be Sydney’s Marrickville, after council decided to support and investigate a local option of the initiative that would go by the name of Sunday Streets. David Borella, convenor of the Sunday Streets movement and President of Bike Sydney, said the event is about bringing together all aspects of the community, not just cyclists. “It’s really about bringing out all of the community to meet each other, out onto the streets: businesses and neighbours, dog walkers and hula hoopers, people who want to do yoga,” he said. “So it’s to give everyone…an opportunity to reclaim the streets that they are otherwise totally excluded from, for a totally different view of their local environment.” These street events are complex to organise, says Mr Borella, so for now the group is focused upon an initial one off event that would happen later in 2014. “Our focus is just for this first one, doing it well and collaborating with all the relevant stakeholders: businesses and traffic management, the relevant councils and of course the local community,” he said. Marrickville Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said council has not committed to any particular streets but most people are interested in King Street and Enmore Road. “We’ve decided in principle to support Sunday Streets and investigate whether we might be able to hold a trial in the second half of this year.”
“We are going to co-operate with the other local councils surrounding and... we’re going to work with the state government.” Cr Ellsmore envisages a family-friendly event that links up across several local government areas including City of Sydney, Marrickville and Leichhardt councils. “So the challenge for us is that if they’ve got roads they’ve identified, we can hook up with them so that we get a nice long consistent street across a couple of local government areas.” A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said council is investigating options for programs similar to Sunday Streets. But the motion adopted by council in November was amended to note that “there are significant issues that need resolving in order to temporarily close a road in Sydney’. Small business owners typically object to road closures but Mark Ely, president of the Newtown Precinct Business Association, told the Inner West Independent he is nevertheless “generally in support” of the event. Photo: Chris Peken
BY PAUL GREGOIRE It’s the global event that began in Sydney, when people shut off their lights for climate change. But in its eighth year, there are signs the lights are being turned off on Earth Hour itself. In what is perhaps a recognition of that, the event will change tack this year to focus more directly on the plight of the Great Barrier Reef. Michael Mobbs, sustainability expert and former environmental lawyer, said it’s difficult to say whether Earth Hour has an impact because there’s no data accounting for its long term effect. “If it was intended to change behaviour, you would reckon they would have the data to show that,” he said. “We do know that energy use is going up, we do know that for most other nights of the year the lights are left on, so it’s a kind of a show pony night that doesn’t seem to bring substantial change.” Those people who are already convinced about climate change enjoy the event, Mr Mobbs explains, but he doubts whether it convinces anyone else. “Those people who are not convinced, the people who are finding it hard to pay energy bills and who are away from the
Reclaiming the Sunday streets
Going home, staying home BY TRIANA O’KEEFE Under new reforms set to be implemented from July 1, the City of Sydney will face funding cuts to homeless services and will lose control of its Homeless Persons Information and Referral Service. In February 2013, the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward, released the Going Home, Staying Home reform plan for specialist homelessness services in NSW. The reform program includes a new method for allocating funding which aims to distribute funding resources with greater fairness across the state. It also aims to ensure that services operate to a greater scale across metropolitan Sydney to stop a drift of people, without secure
housing, into the City of Sydney Local Government Area. The City’s chief executive, Monica Barone, informed council that the Department of Family and Community Services has confirmed there will be a reduction in cash funding provided by the state government to specialist homelessness services in the City of Sydney LGA of close to $6 million, from an original total of $21 million. In addition to the funding cuts, the government has made it clear it intends to develop a new state-wide and state-run homelessness and referral telephone line called the Statewide Information and Referral Service (SIRS). Once that commences operation, the City’s Homeless Persons
The City’s call service will be subsumed by a statewide information centre
Information Centre (HPIC) will become redundant as all of its current functions will be taken up by the statewide information centre. It has been recommended to council, by the CEO, that the current functioning call service be terminated as outlined by the reform. The decision to cease operating the HPIC service will impact 11 permanent staff and five casual employees. Lord Mayor Clover Moore expressed her gratitude for the work of the City’s employees and vowed to assist them through the transition process. The City established the HPIC in 1985 and it answers 60-75,000 calls each year from the 16,000 individuals and families who may become or are already experiencing homelessness. “I would like to acknowledge our wonderful staff and the huge contribution they have made to our community,” the Lord Mayor said. “However, I would like the councillors to support this recommendation and will ensure the City is involved in discussions with the state government to determine the appropriate functions are being being met by the new service centre.” Both Labor councillor Linda Scott and the Greens councillor Irene Doutney expressed concern over the new reforms, including the state’s plan to send homeless persons back to where they came from. “There is a reason for their situation and we could be potentially endorsing sending these individuals back to very stressful environments and ones that may have caused their current situations,” Ms Doutney said.
Cyclists push to legislate minimum overtaking distance
BY TRIANA O’KEEFE A tragic cycling accident on Southern Cross Drive has prompted the City of Sydney to respond with a strong endorsement of a new safety campaign dubbed Metre Matters. The March 16 accident between a vehicle and a number of cyclists has left six hospitalised with limb, head and suspected spinal injuries. Last year, the number of rider deaths on roads in NSW doubled to 15. Nationally, the toll stood at 46 bike rider deaths in 2013. Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, delivered a minute which urged councillors to consider the statistics. “Research shows that the greatest risk for bike riders is on roads where there are no cycleways,” she said. “The figures emphasise the need for safe cycling infrastructure and a greater awareness by motorists that there are more bike riders about.” Within the City of Sydney, the number of cyclists has risen by 113 per cent since March 2010. “Safety is a critical factor in the design of our cycleways and we work closely with the NSW Government,” Cr Moore said. “We take the safety of all our road users seriously and our Streetshare program aims to address the behaviour of everyone who uses our roads- motorists, bike riders and pedestrians.” For a number of years, bike groups have been calling for tougher laws and major improvements to bike infrastructure and road safety education. The current Australian Road Rules allow drivers to make judgement calls on leaving
City Of Sydney cycle safety awareness
a ‘sufficient distance to avoid collision’ with a cyclist, while state transport authorities just ‘recommend’ that drivers leave at least one metre when over taking a bike rider. The Amy Gillett Foundation runs a ‘Metre Matters’ campaign to advocate for the introduction of legislation that requires drivers to leave a minimum of one metre when overtaking a cyclist and penalties for drivers to breach the one metre distance rule. With the support of the councillors, Cr Moore has recommended that council endorse the ‘Metre Matters’ campaign and call on the state and federal governments to take action to achieve a uniform, national minimum overtaking distance. Additionally, the Lord Mayor suggests that the CEO ensures the Amy Gillet Foundation’s ‘Metre Matters’ petition is promoted through council facilities including community centers, libraries, pools and staff in the City of Sydney’s Streetshare program.
They think we doth protest too much assembly. The controversial ‘move-on’ Bill was first introduced in Victoria in 2009 in a bid to combat alcohol-related violence. The Federation of Community Legal Centres and Liberty Victoria were directly opposed to the laws, while business groups such as the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry approved. Although the laws are yet to be proclaimed, Victorian premier Denis Napthine added his support last week when the vehicle he was traveling in was surrounded by East West Link Photo: Marco Bok
BY ANGELA STRETCH Three protesters were arrested in Melbourne defending their democratic right to protest following a review of the Summary Offences Act in the Victorian upper house that had been passed on March 11, 2014. The Victorian Bill was being debated in parliament when a group of around 20 protesters - including those engaged in an ongoing placarding of the multi-million dollar city tunnel known as East West Link Road - voiced their anger. The disturbance occurred when the demonstrators were asked to leave the gallery for reasons of hurling abuse to council and the chamber. Police were called in to remove them, or as the legislation sites, ‘move’ them ‘on’. The three offenders apprehended had refused to be ‘moved on’. The aim of the new reforms is to provide police and security guards with more power to effectively control organised protesting, those blocking access or traffic, and those who may potentially turn violent. Under the new laws, people who do not follow police orders to ‘move on’ can be arrested and fined $720. Previous exemptions for a peaceful protest have been removed and the ‘move on’ directive can be issued to individuals and those in a group. Police can also impose a court order banning individuals from entering or returning to a public place for 12 months. If the exclusion order is not adhered to, offenders could receive a jail-term of up to two years. In February the proposed laws met with an organised demonstration of 2000 protesters chanting union slogans and the rights to express freely. The main concern is that it reduces freedom of expression through organised
March in March protest Sydney
protestors. Dr Napthine expressed sympathy for on-duty police officers whose job it was to control these situations, arguing: “It’s absolutely disgraceful behaviour by a small group of rabblerousing professional protesters.” A member of the group was taken to hospital after the premier’s car drove over their foot during the incident. In NSW, legislation protecting against alcoholrelated violence is just as selective and arguably discriminatory. In late February, Barry O’Farrell was forced to reassess mandatory sentencing that provided arresting officers the power to jail an unruly drinker for years. Further impacts are being felt through the lockouts and restrictions within Sydney’s central precinct. The laws continue to shape the geographical night-time movements of business operations, patronage, customer behaviour and our culture. In Newcastle, which has had lockouts for years, there are indications that people are simply going to pubs and bars earlier than they would have before the change. If the NSW government were to seek to further protect the community from alcoholrelated violence by proposing Victoria’s ‘move on’ reforms, it would effectively render NSW a police state. Declining support for political decision-making causes many to assemble and rally against it. In Sydney, the recent March in March protest against federal government policies attracted around 12,000 protestors, and perhaps up to 30,000 in Melbourne. While some condemned those rallies for a lack of specific grievance, they fail to realise that sometimes that is the point. In an age when the freedom to protest is demonstrably under threat, the act of public defiance is a democratic value to protect.
Road closures yield a quieter Kings Cross BY Myles Stedman Kings Cross is again the centre of attention as the government trials the closure of Bayswater Road to private transport on Saturday nights. The trial began last weekend and will continue on March 29 and April 5. Between the hours of 9pm on Saturday and 6am on Sunday, the busy thoroughfare will be restricted to buses, taxis and police, during what is traditionally peak hour in the Cross. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the strategy was the latest in a range of measures from the City of Sydney and New South Wales government to boost safety in King’s Cross. “This trial has the potential to reduce taxi and public transport passenger waiting times, helping people get home quickly and safely,” she said. “Sydney’s late-night precincts face a variety of complex challenges, and the City is committed to taking action wherever we can.”
But by implementing these trial road closures, Sydney’s late-night food precincts are facing a different variety of more complex challenges. On the streets of Kings Cross on Saturday night, the owner of a local Mexican take-away store told the Inner West Independent the trial is “affecting business a lot”, and that the new lockout law has eliminated most of his business after 1.30am. Further up the road, the owner of a Mediterranean food store agreed. “There is no late-night business,” he said, adding that there is “little point to staying open past three”. “Perhaps the laws were being introduced to reduce the amount of people coming through Kings Cross,” he suggested. Both business owners said the traditional rush between 3am and 5am, especially on Sunday morning, has been eliminated - and with it “the bulk of the money being brought in for the week”.
By Georgia Fullerton Discarded artworks have been rescued and renovated for an upcoming exhibition, to raise funds for a local school. Project Re:make has brought together 12 emerging artists, matching them with 12 abandoned artworks, all of which will be available for viewing and purchase on March 29. The funds will be donated to East Sydney High, a school designed for young students who are marginalised and disengaged from the school system. Artist Joel Cameron is among those who will showcase their works. “I am honoured to be a part of a project which is wholesome on so many levels, from recycling to helping disadvantaged kids through the use of art,” he says. “It is great that Project Re:make has found a way to recycle unloved and abandoned art projects. By giving new life to these recycled artworks we are able to contribute and support the future of the art community.” Mr Cameron has a background in illustration and sculpture and has transformed a cabinet of mystery for Re:make. He strressed the importance of access to art programs for young people. “It is a therapeutic form and can be the purest way for people to express their subconscious physically and emotionally.” East Sydney High has been operating in Darlinghurst since 1976. It offers 10am-2pm educations in Maths, English, History, Science and Geography, as well as project-based work from students’ individual interests. Principal of East Sydney High, Peter Tattersall,was contacted by Re:make after she saw an article about the school in the Sydney Magazine and thought it would be a good fit with the project.” “We were more than happy to get involved and Leigh (from Re:make) has since been to the school a number of times to discuss the project and how we
can collaborate to get the best outcomes for both the artists and the school,” he says. “This has been further embraced by one of our teachers, Inga Dalrymple, who also works as an artist and will be represented in the show.” Mr. Tattersall believes fundraising is important, but more needs to be done to put public schools on a level playing field with private schools. “The fact is, there is a massive demand for high-end private education and a line of parents willing to pay more exorbitant fees to get what is perceived as a head start. The discussion really needs to be around what type of education environment we want operating in the state,” he says. “Is the multi-tier system one we are happy with as a community? If not, we need to look not only at funding models, but also teacher training and placement as we target areas that benefit most from the financial and experiential resources available.” Statistics produced in a recent Productivity Commission report showed private school funding increased higher than the inflation rate each year, with government spending per private school student increasing by 3.4 per cent a year. Mr Tattersall says: “There is great variety amongst public schools as there is within the private sector and the Productivity Commission faced an uphill battle in accounting for these differences in the broad brush strokes used.” While private schools get $1.2 million a year more than public schools, funds are coming from all sources including private school fees and other fundraisers. Only 57 per cent is attributed to the government. Federal MP for Sydney and deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek said the report shows we need to do more for those schools that need it most. “We know that a good education is the best creator of opportunity in our society,” she said. “Every child, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, deserves the right to a top quality education.”
Photo: Petra O’Halloran
Project Re:make for Education
Artist Joel Cameron
Ms Plibersek argues the Better Schools Reform, initiated by Labor in 2010, needs to be followed and supported by the Abbott government. “Better Schools gives schools additional funding on the basis of student need. Our plan provided additional funding loadings for disadvantaged students. Need should be the fundamental principle for funding our schools.” 2012 studies show Australia’s educational standing has dropped in the past ten years, with primary school students ranked 27th internationally for reading.
“Public schools are accessible to all, and therefore allow all the opportunity for a great education,” Ms Plibersek said. “In order to ensure that all of our children have the best chance at life we need to make sure that our public schools are able to deliver the best education possible to their students and that means ensuring they are properly funded.” Mar 29 & 30, East Sydney High School, 75 William St, Darlinghurst, free, projectremake.org
Meet the Locals Green Valley Spices
Eastgate Shopping Centre. Shop 10, 71-73 Spring Street, Bondi Junction. 0400 222 664 greenvalleyspices.com Looking to spice up your life? The guys over at Green Valley Spices have you covered. With an ethos of quality and authenticity, it is no surprise they go the extra step in providing an experience that tickles all your senses. With the sounds of Morocco playing and smells that awaken memories for those who have travelled to India, Green Valley Spices will fulfill all your spice needs. Licensee, Peter Seeto convinced the founders, Brazillian brothers Frank and Sam, to open their first retail store in 2006. In August last year they opened their twelfth store in Bondi Junction. Offering a range of herbs, spices, teas, nuts and dried fruits Green Valley Spices is sure to season any spice rack. Drop in and awaken your senses or check out their cooking demos and sample evenings throughout the month.
Southern Antique Centre
245 Princes Highway (Cnr English St), Kogarah (02) 9553 7843 southernantiques.com.au If you’re looking for antiques in Sydney, the
place on every local treasure hunter’s lips is Southern Antique Centre. Established for over 18 years, Southern Antique Centre is an emporium overflowing with an eclectic mix of antiques, where you’ll get lost for hours. If retro is your style or you love the classic touch then look no further. They’ve got antiques ranging from vintage cameras, rustic furnishing, rare books and everything in between. With 20 different dealers under the one roof, you’ll find thousands of unique and unexpected items at prices that’ll make you smile. While you’re there drop into Beties Café, just follow the aroma of the coffee. The quaint café offers Devonshire tea and a variety of delightful lunches. Southern Antique Centre is close to St George Leagues Club - it’s the place with the mural of the bikini-clad lady and classic car on the side.
Telstra Shop Broadway
Shop 119A Broadway Shopping Centre/1 Bay St, Broadway (02) 9280 4011 telstra.com.au Head to Telstra Shop Broadway for all your communications needs, it’s the shop inner west locals choose. Offering a wide variety of communication solutions, Telstra Shop Broadway can tailor options for every customer, whether you’re an individual, part of a family or looking to fit out a large business. Their well-versed team can advise on options that best suit you personally, from mobile voice and data products to fixed voice and data to setting you up with Foxtel. They’re your trusted local advisers, who can even arrange to bundle your services so you receive lower bills. After 10 years of operating at Broadway, you can’t look any further than Telstra Shop for communications products from the world’s leading brands. So drop into Telstra Shop Broadway, they’re conveniently located on Level 1 of the Broadway Shopping Mall, right next to Harvey Norman – be sure to take advantage of the multi-level car park.
Tender Gourmet Butchery
71- 91 Eastgate Shopping Centre Spring St Bondi Junction (02) 8095 8702 tendervalue.com.au The most awarded butcher shop in Australia “takes the Eastern Suburbs by storm”, says
owner Adam Stratton. With over 200 awards on the mantle for their unique snags, Tender Gourmet Butchery boasts the Best Sausage in NSW (Moroccan Lamb and Raisin) and the 3rd Best Snag in Australia (Sweet Chicken and Corn). While their snag menu features over thirty five flavours it is their Sang Choy Bow gourmet sausage that claims their signature title. With quality never short of perfect, it is no wonder the industry considers their opinion as expert, with regular appearances on A Current Affair. So if you’re after the best and want to impress, head on over to their Eastgate Bondi Junction store where Adam and his team promise perfection. Which flavour of snag will be your favourite?
Meet the Locals introduces you to local businesses that support a local independent press. By choosing to market themselves locally, these businesses are encouraging people to shop locally. By supporting local business, you are keeping money and jobs at home. So if you support your community, support these local businesses. Together we can keep Sydney unique, vibrant and sustainable.
EAT & DRINK
Rocafelas “If everyone’s going to evacuate and be scared of the area, I’m staying in,” declares Rocko Tozzi. He’s got more right than most to sound cocky: he’s the son of Kings Cross hospitality royalty - Antonello Tozzi – owner of Sugareef from the mid-90s. Co-owner with Nate Johnson, their winning formula is to update and offer new, inexpensive ways of eating and drinking $ - mains less than $15
$$ - mains between $15-$22
DARLO, KINGS X & SURRY HILLS The Carlisle Bar This bar wins my most sexy and clever cocktail title: Rye An’ Gosling ($18) made with rye whiskey, Goslings rum, ginger beer and freshly squeezed apple juice. If Sydney women weren’t drinking whiskey before, they are now. After your fling, retire to the workman’s bar – a ‘steerage class’ lounge suited to tapas snacking. Homemade Haloumi ($14) is out of this world, made with real milk (not powder) by an 86-year-old Greek woman. Tortilla Chips ($16) with guacamole go hand-in-mouth with a Skinny Bitch ($18) cocktail: because excess in denial is the Kings Cross way. Chef isn’t giving any secrets away about his Spicy Chicken ($16), but will
By Jackie McMillan all the way up to the city’s new witching hour, 3am. Expect a loosely 70s-themed Italian red-sauce diner. The roof looks like a scene from American Beauty; the walls bear screen sirens Brigitte Bardot and Sophia ‘Everything you see I owe to spaghetti’ Loren, plus a helpful organisational chart of New York Mafioso. There are nooks, crannies, nods to skate culture, and rock’n’roll; plus another of Alex Lehours artworks subtly pushing you at their bootleg Stolen ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ Spiced Rum Dark & Stormy ($14). Tasty Meatballs ($14) with rich tomato sauce and crusty bread beg for Mulo ($16) – basically vodka, ginger and Ramazzotti - an aperitif with a Chinotto-type edge. Kick on with wines, tinnies and longnecks in paper bags; all suited to simple standout pizzas like Pollo ($16) with grilled chicken, avocado and mozzarella, and light’n’bright pastas like Capelli D’Angelo ($16) angel hair with rocket, chilli oil and Parma prosciutto. 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point (02) 9360 0260 rocafelas.com.au Italian, Pizza, Cocktails $-$$ $$$ - mains between $22-$30
talk you through Prawn and Calamari ($18). 2 Kellett St, Kings Cross (02) 9331 0058 thecarlislebar.com.au Bar, Bar Food, Cocktails $$ Mille Vini Chef John Lanzafame rattling the pans gave me cause to visit this Italian wine bar, in operation for over a decade. The beautiful heritage-listed space lined with wines does inspire a powerful thirst. A dry yet strawberryscented 2012 Italian Collefrisio Cerasuolo Rosè ($12/glass) goes well against warmed Sambuca Fritti Olives ($6.50). They defy aniseed expectations with compelling, syrupy sweetness. Slow-baked Ricotta Infornata ($16) drizzled with green olive salsa proved another hit; eclipsed by a decadent Radicchio Salad ($17) with orange segments, walnuts and
$$$$ - mains over $30
yes, more cheese! Pull back to shared Rigatoni ($24) with chilli, pine nuts and muscatels, so you can clink spoons in Meringata ($12) with the pretty 2012 Pizzini Brachetto ($12/ glass). 397 Crown Street, Sydney (02) 9357 3366 millevini.com.au Bar,Wine, Italian $$$-$$$$ Verde Restaurant & Bar This Stanley Street stalwart serves up home-style Southern Italian - “basically what you’d find on my Mother’s table” explains Chef Antonio Ruggerino. He sends out some antipasti, including her hockey puck-shaped Potato and Parsley Fritters ($10), meaty warmed Sicilian Olives ($10) and tender Chilli Dusted Calamari ($12). They’re great against a fruit-driven 2012 Woodlands Margaret River Chardonnay ($52/ bottle). Simplistic pastas, like Linguine
Quarrymans Hotel While the outward facelift hadn’t attracted my attention, the steampunk interior of this Pyrmont stalwart made me smile. From boilerplate bar, to repurposed materials like cracked leather stools and a railway signboard listing two dozen on-tap Aussie craft brews, it was hard to take it all in! Pausing for an easy-drinking Grainfed Brewing Co. Sneaky One ($5.50/reg) under the blue neon glow of an InsectO-Cutor style sign, I surveyed lime-washed walls, Vongole ($36), keep crowds of mostly regulars coming back, but it’s outclassed by Pan Fried Snapper with Saffron Pappardelle, Peas, Capers and Butter Sauce ($36). Throw in something more substantial - Confit of Duck Leg with Herbed Gnocchi and Caramelised Balsamic Pear ($36) – before honey-drizzled Gelatissimo Buffalo Milk Gelato ($14). 115 Riley Street, East Sydney (02) 9380 8877 verde.net.au Italian $$$$
INNER WEST The Merton Hotel With “no pokies, and no gambling of any kind,” The Merton Hotel is “very family-oriented,” explains Bar Manager Jake Dylan. After a Peroni ($7.00/schooner) in the cosy front bar, we head to the bistro armed
softly distressed window frames, hipster aprons and Edison light bulbs dangling from pressed tin ceilings. I know, I know… but somehow here it avoids looking like a cliché; backed up by countless nooks and crannies, well-disguised gaming, and outdoor spaces from courtyards to balconies to a rooftop barbeque. The Drunken Fish first floor dining space offers up surprisingly tasty small plates – like Confit Chicken Wings ($14) on blackened corn, or the more substantial Berkshire Pork Belly ($14) with cider-stewed apples, pear, blue cheese, and raspberry vinegar pearls. Portion sizes fluctuate, though a smallish Prawn Pot ($13) ‘share plate’ does furnish you with a creamy chipotle sauce that goes with everything from Greens and Almonds ($8) to wellcooked Pan-Fried Snapper ($28) on kipflers, chorizo, corn and pickled jalapenos. And if Nail Brewing’s Rick Disnick ($6.50/reg) strawberry wheat beer’s on, you need it to live. 214-216 Harris Street, Pyrmont (02) 9660 0560 quarrymanshotel.com.au Pub Bistro $$$
with the 2011 Botanica Chardonnay ($30/bottle). The menu combines the talents of a Thai Head Chef and a Mexican Sous Chef. We settle for Curry Goat ($23) - tender Booma Boers goat meat in a rich, flavoursome Caribbean curry. Tableside Pickapeppa Spicy Mango Sauce adds an element of sweetness to the robust flavours, enhancing Jamaican Jerk Chicken ($22) and Pulled Pork Tacos ($14/3) too. The Betel Leaves ($8/3) convince me to return to try the Thai dishes soon. 38 Victoria Road, Rozelle (02) 8065 9577 themertonhotel.com.au Pub Bistro,Wine,Thai, Jamaican $$ Nithik’s Kitchen Hankering for good Indian? This Rozelle gem by Chef Vikram Arumugam (ex-Aki’s) has an
innovative and flavoursome menu. Southern Indian Samuthiram ($18.90) is a definite favourite, layering school prawns, crab and rice pancakes with a creamy coconut sauce and a side of Bengalese shrimp, chilli and tomato paste. Tree of Taste ($12.90) gives an oral and artistic demonstration of Vikram’s flavour palate. Great coconut chutney and homemade ghee notches Masala Dosa ($13) above most I’ve tried.Vikram’s curries are all great: from Meen Manga Charu ($25) of barramundi, coconut and green mango, to labourintensive lychee-stuffed cottage cheese balls Lagaan Ke Kofti ($18) liberally dunked in cashew gravy and scattered with dried fruit. 679 Darling Street, Rozelle (02) 8084 8921 Indian $$-$$$
EAT & DRINK
By Jackie McMillan
The Unicorn By Alex Harmon Fringe Bar’s black and white checkered dance floor is gone, and like the mythical creature from which it takes its name, The Unicorn sprinkles some intrigue into the Paddo pub scene. Find yourself a nook and it could almost be a small bar, or head downstairs to EASTERN SUBURBS Elmo’s Restaurant Yes, it’s in a club, but this deceptively exciting restaurant is in a glass box overlooking Coogee Beach. Manager Vinni Dias is an excellent guide (and enthusiast) for the traditional end of this Brazilian-influenced Australian menu that includes Pão de Queijo ($8) cheese bread and Sydney Rock Oysters ($18/6) with flavoursome ‘kiss peppers’, lime, Spanish onion, coriander and palmito.The latter ingredient is a revelation in Baked Palm Heart,Tomato, Chutney, Pimento & Gorgonzola ($16), too. Escondidinho de Cogumelos ($15) delivers four types of mushrooms sautéed in garlic and butter, buried under cassava and cheese; but their biggest hit is Moqueca ($34) a red, coconutenriched fish and prawn stew – oh and
eight-buck Mojitos! Coogee Legion Ex-Service Club, 200 Arden Street, Coogee (02) 9665 8230 coogeelegionclub.com. au/elmos-restaurant/ Brazilian/Modern Australian $$-$$$ Mr. Moustache “Are you going to search me,” a giggling diner asks.Wearing rubber gloves, we’re about to dive into Tortita Ahogada ($12) - the cantina’s messiest dish - a delicious pork sandwich you “drown” with spicy salsa. On one side there’s an opulent bar, and on the other, a colourful kitchen reflecting Mexican street food culture. So drink Mezcal-based cocktails like El Original del Diablo ($18) with homemade ginger beer against share plates: Seasonal Ceviche ($10);Tostaditas Pato ($12/3) - mini tacos with spicy duck - and Huitlacoche ($12/3) - black corn truffle, roasted corn and fresco
Belmore Lebanese Bakery Ten minutes from my Inner West stomping ground, Burwood Road, Belmore offers up a multicultural melange of cuisines including Korean, Chinese and at least five international bakeries. Owner of the Belmore Lebanese Bakery, Eddie Zanbaka tells me: “I am the oldest and probably the most established” of the lot. During my brunch he has a steady stream
GREATER SYDNEY Sedap Malaysian Kopitiam Part café, part street-side hawker, this addition to Westfield Eastgardens new Banks Avenue dining precinct offers al fresco dining and paved paths. It feels like an artificial land, even on a busy Thursday evening. We relax into an Ice Coffee ($4) laced with heavenly condensed milk. Crisp Pork Rolls ($4/each) are wrapped in bean curd and come with a delicious garlic chilli sauce, while Szechuan Ribs ($15.80) are finger licking good. Everyone’s favourite Malaysian dish, Char Kuey Teow ($12) stacks up well
Easy Tiger, a nightclub that brings ‘1970’s American Hustle’ to the Eastern Suburbs. Cocktails pay homage to this alluring time, with the punch-packing classic the Negroni ($16), or a more easy-going Fancy Pants ($16) frothy refreshment with amaretto, citrus and apricot nectar.You know it’s not ordinary pub food when you can get a bowl of Activated Almonds ($5) with your beer.Yes, the menu is on the healthy side, from Grilled Haloumi ($12) - big planks of Greekstyle cheese with olives and capers - to Quinoa Salad ($13) with roasted pumpkin, beetroot, Binnorie Dairy feta and optional Grilled Chicken ($17). These are actually heartier than they sound, but if you’re still hungry, share a few Spicy Pork Tacos ($12) with a spectacular avocado coriander salsa – crunchy, hot and delicious, you might not want to share. Or ride solo with Prawn Linguine ($16), the kind of meal you want to devour alone. Just take the most secluded nook - that’s the beauty of these big-small bars. 106 Oxford Street, Paddington (02) 9360 7994 theunicornhotel.com Pub Bistro, Cocktails $-$$ cheese.Their star dessert is Plantos Machos ($11) – plantain, coffee liquor and burnt goat’s milk. 75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach (02) 9300 8892 mr-moustache.com.au Mexican, Cocktails $-$$ ROCKS & CBD Heritage Belgian Beer Café This beautiful beer café, housed in a restored 1914 St Patrick’s Girls’ School hall, is sympathetically integrated with Harry Seidler’s neighbouring Cove Apartments. Start your Belgian beer adventure with silky Stella Artois ($9/330ml) poured in a nine-step ritual that ensures a creamy mousse. “Belgian beers are all about cleanliness,” Manager Gonzalo Burgos explains. My favourites were Leffe
of regular customers popping by for bags of cross-stamped Holy Bread (Qurban) ($5/5). The rhythm of Eddie’s life flows around the feast days and celebrations that bind his local community together. “I’ve just had 500 of these get picked up this morning,” he explains over a well-made Segafredo Flat White ($3) and Latte ($3). The Holy Bread is great with coffee, and toasting mine at home fills the house with the heady aroma of orange blossom, rose water, nutmeg and mastika. If you’re eating in, baked at high temperature in his store centrepiece - a remarkable round artisan brick oven – Eddie’s Meat Pizza (Manoush) ($3.50) with lamb, onions, pepper and spice, is crisp and delicious. It sings against freshly chopped chillies, or his truly wicked Chilli Factory Scorpion Strike sauce. However if it’s lunch on the run, I’d suggest his fluffy Za’atar ($3) cooked with oregano and lemony sumac, then wrapped around vibrant tomatoes and olives. 339 Burwood Rd, Belmore (02) 9759 2490 Lebanese, Bakery, Pizza $
with pork sausage. The Beef Rendang ($14.40) is spot on, but Ice Cendol ($6) ‘green worm’ and mung bean noodles on shaved ice might be just for true Malay enthusiasts. Westfield Eastgardens, Banks Avenue, Eastgardens (02) 9344 7095 sedap.com.au Malaysian $ Minskys Hotel This newly renovated hotel subtly masculine without being alienating to women – has kept the 1am kitchen. Publican Anthony Brady says: “We want people to like this place.” He’s clearly proud of the new menu by Robert Oey, who doesn’t
forget it’s a pub, but notches up the standards. He delivers a well-rendered Caramelised Pork Belly ($25) with Asian ‘slaw; Crisp School Prawns ($10) that won’t damage your mouth; and great Chicken Liver Pate ($11) with house-made chutney. There’s also a smart, underpriced cocktail list with a Salted Coconut Espresso Martini ($14), plus an Enomatic wine pouring system – great when you need a big glass of Pichot Vouvray Sec ($13/150ml glass, $21/225ml glass). 287 Military Road, Cremorne 9909 8888 minskyshotel.com.au Pub Bistro, Cocktails,Wine $$-$$$
Three Williams Bursting onto the café scene late last year, in a part of Redfern not exactly overflowing with great brunch options, Three Williams was certain to make a splash. Utilising the same architects as Chippendale’s Ester, what makes the stripped-back minimalism of concrete, ramps and plywood work here, is builder Neil Hardwick’s carpentry and attention Blonde ($9/250ml) with a distinctive clove note that suited Abbey Cheese Croquettes ($15) with pear jam; and Duval ($13.50/330ml) with Duck Rillettes ($18), sharp pickles and rye bread.The house speciality is Moule Kilo Pots ($30). I take my mussels Roquefort with Chardonnay, cream and spinach, alongside Peche Lambic ($13/330ml) fruit beer. 135 Harrington Street,The Rocks (02) 9241 1775 heritagebarandrestaurant.com.au Pub Bistro, Belgian $$$$ Gowings Bar & Grill Despite the glamour, I found this restaurant surprisingly approachable, and frequented by a diverse range of people. A casually dressed woman, relaxing with a novel and classic Prawn Cocktail ($18) for companionship, proves my point. Entertained by the
to detail. Despite the distinct lack of adornment in the cavernous space, it’s welcoming to people who stretch beyond hipster clichés, including little people, with a dedicated (but not acoustically separated) play space. The yummy Mummy set slide in for slick salads like Chicken, Spice Roasted Carrots, Avocado, Cashew and Citrus Dressing ($14) accompanied by house-made Pineapple and Mint Soda ($12/jug). On naughty days they head straight for Crunchy Brioche French Toast ($14) decked out with roasted pecans, blueberries, yoghurt and a dash of maple syrup, or swap it for dessert in a glass: a clever Banana, Medjool Date and Walnut Praline Smoothie ($7). As for me, I’m all about egg cartons of creamy Fish Croquettes ($3/each) with lemon and aioli, and Chef Tim Bryan’s ‘Narnies’ (re-imagined sandwiches).Yep, you could keep me happy with a mitt full of buttery naan bread dripping with chipotle mayo and stuffed with tender Beef Brisket, ‘Slaw ‘n’ Gerkins ($14) any day! 613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern (02) 9698 1111 threewilliams.com Café $
lively sounds of the upstairs function space, you’re unlikely to feel lonely if you pop in for flavoursome Hot Spanner Crab Cakes ($19) or perfectly handled Darling Downs Black Angus Rib Eye ($48/350g) with condiments on the side.Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18) is marvellously simple, whilst a pair of Whole Roasted Quails ($38) prove indulgent. Sides are necessary, and so is dessert – the perfectly pink pleasure of a layered verrine of Berry Mousse ($15). Level 1, 49 Market Street, Sydney (02) 8262 0062 qtsydney.com.au Modern Australian $$$$ NEWTOWN & ENVIRONS Vic on the Park This fast-paced yellow kitchen – delineated with a hipster font –
produces four winning Sliders ($20/4) from a repertoire of six. ‘Beef’ ($6) with pickles, onion, cheese and French’s mustard mayo is hard to beat; but by doubling up ‘Vego’ ($6) with grilled haloumi and zucchini fritter, it’s a vegetarian game-changer.Their brown-paper serving method keeps ‘em separated, allowing you to twohand them with crafty brews, like Pikes Oakbank Pilsner Lager ($8.50).The mainstays of this old-boozer-turnedlocal-community-hub have been updated rather than forgotten, like a Pie of the Week ($17), bearing duck, chicken and mushrooms, or a hefty Vic Roast ($26) with crisp-skinned pork belly, roast vegetables, greens and apple’n’cider gravy. 2 Addison Road, Marrickville (02) 9557 1448 vichotel.com.au Pub Bistro, Cocktails, Burgers $$-$$$
FOOD NEWS Melinda Dimitriades has renamed and relocated her popular Redfern (Farmgate) butchery into an old butcher’s shop in Hurlstone Park, close to the area she grew up in. Keeping the traditional butcher’s awnings, Chop Shop Carnivorium has been warmly embraced by the locals, including a Greek lady who Melinda tells me has “been coming since the original (Greek) owners ran it thirty years ago.” Another local, actor William Zappa (an accomplished home cook and part-time pistachio farmer) said:“I’d forgotten how good a Christmas ham could be until I tasted Melinda’s – sublime!” Her packets of sliced leg ham off the bone have already seen
me detour four suburbs to revisit this destination butchery, which thankfully includes a boutique range of seasonal vegetables,Will Studd’s specially selected Aphrodite Halloumi, and a range of other products designed to make it a one-stopshop.You can also count on Melinda’s keen “interest in sustainably and ethically farmed animals”.The Melanda Park pork neck and Holmbrae corn-fed chicken were standout favourites for me, alongside more exotic specialties like Longaniza (Spanish sausage) and Queso de Cabesa (head cheese). 10 Crinan Street, Hurlstone Park (02) 9558 5000 www.carnivorium.com.au
By Rebecca Varidel
PARKE DAVIS When my eyes hit the blackboard I knew I was in luck; filled with cocktails, my favourite test drink jumped out at me. The Parke Davis Sazerac was not only based on my preferred Cognac, but was innovative and exciting with the absinthe contained inside an ice sphere. Due to this, the Sazerac Sphere ($19) metamorphoses as you drink it – the ice melts the absinthe into the Cognac and Christmas pudding spice. For more of the Green Fairy,
I mellowed into the apple Star Bright ($19). Other signatures, like the infused rum El Capitan ($18) and foamed Colada ($18), also hit the spot – as does the cosy L-shaped basement; the scrumptious food like ‘Bonito is Beautiful’ or ‘Dr. Yunus Chicken Skewers’; and the welcoming staff. If you’ve had a bad day, you might even get a hug. Basement Level, 125 York Street Sydney (02) 9264 4224 parkedavis.com.au
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Photo: Clare Hawley
The Ensemble Theatre, directed by Tanya Goldberg, brings to life Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park. Not for the easily offended, the production’s bold humour provides no comfort to a polite society audience. Norris’s dangerous and delicious writing brings to boil the bigotry that is often simmering just below the surface. The split between the 1959 and modern settings provide a pertinent commentary on gentrification and the way in which history lingers in the dry wall. Whilst the tension of the first act allows little breathing room, the
second gives voice to every instance of buried political incorrectness, where every group is a target. Nathan Lovejoy proved to be the standout performance, tackling the two most unlikeable roles in the play. His comic timing in portraying the nervous yet self-righteous 1950s community leader is truly brilliant. Clybourne Park leaves audiences both cringing behind their hands and in fits of laughter. (CK) Until Apr 19, Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli, $30-65; Apr 23 & 24, The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, $30-65, ensemble.com.au
Photo: Blueprint Studios
Music explores the often taboo subject of mental illness, breaking down social stigmas along the way. Award-winning playwright Jane Bodie teams up with director Corey McMahon to critique the way mental illness is perceived today. “Music proves that the central character can be a fully formed person who just happens to have a mental illness,” McMahon says. Two actors researching a theatre project befriend a seemingly quiet and ordinary man named Adam (Anthony Gee). In reality, Adam’s unexceptional existence is carefully calibrated - a precarious sideways tightrope-walk over his mental illness. Now, Adam’s new friends are at risk of throwing his life dangerously off-balance and there’s every chance they’ll go down with him. “I think people will get a lot out of it,” says Gee. “It’s not very often that Australian work examines mental illness particularly in the way Jane is, she’s tearing down a whole bunch of assumptions,” says McMahon. Music features a stellar cast including Anthony Gee, Sam O’Sullivan, Kate Skinner and Tom Stokes. (SM)
Music April 5-26, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $28-35, griffintheatre.com.au
The Jungle Giants
We aim to make it something that will really impress us, as well as the people who listen to our music. We will challenge ourselves, explore a variety of flavours and harmonies, and do something particularly different,” he says. (RM) Mar 28, Metro Theatre, 624 George St, Sydney, $33.65, (02) 9550 3666, metrotheatre.com.au
The Jungle Giants are an up-and-coming four-piece Australian band from Brisbane, Queensland, making their mark in the indie rock scene. Sam Hales, Cesira Aitken, Andrew Dooris, and Keelan Bijker are bringing their Tuss Tour downunder after a stint at South by South West Festival in Texas, USA. “We’re independent so we don’t have a particular label telling us what to do. I have a studio at home, and I just play around with different sounds,” lead singer Hales says. With the freedom of playing whatever they want comes a fresh and vibrant album, Learn To Exist - it was well received last year with popular songs She’s a riot and Mr Polite. Already working on their next album while touring, The Jungle Giants are ready to take on an international crowd. “I really want to play a world tour one day, to travel while writing new records and build my own studio, a really nice one,” says Hales. “You can expect a further exploration of what we can do.
The Sunnyboys The legendary band that rocked Sydney’s indie pop scene in the 1980s will reunite for seven shows around the country in 2014. It’s the first time The Sunnyboys will headline shows across Australia in more than 20 years and will feature the original band members. “The shows we are doing are really celebratory shows, purely for the fact that we can play and we have a lot of fans that want to see us play,” says bass player Peter Oxley. “It’s a celebration time for everyone!” Formed in Sydney in 1979, The Sunnyboys includes the Oxley brothers (Jeremy and Peter), Bill Bilson, and Richard Burgman. They have had huge success over the past couple of decades and are back to celebrate with the fans. The tour comes after 12 months of sporadic live activity for The Sunnyboys which started in 2012 and Peter reveals that during this tour the songs “have gained a great soulful feeling to them.” The beginning of the 2014 tour will also show the re-
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Arts Editor: Leigh Livingstone Music Editor: Chelsea Deeley
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release of The Sunnyboys 1981 debut album in dramatically expanded form. “Our first album will be re-released on the 14th of March, so we are playing in support of that and just for fun really!” says Peter. (CT) Mar 29, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown, $75.10, 02 9550 3666, enmoretheatre.com.au Photo: Lucinda Bilson
A young couple arrive home from holidays to find that things are not quite as they left them. There are some weird potplants around, the electricity has been cut-off, the apartment smells terrible – and where are the friends they left house-sitting? Here they come, but who lives where and with whom? So opens Perplex, a lively piece of absurdist comedy from German writer Marcus Von Mayenberg (Fireface,The Ugly One). “Essentially, the whole play is a riff on philosophy, reality and what it means to be alive,” says director Sarah Giles, “and what better place to explore reality than in the theatre, which is the ultimate lie.” Building on her recent success with Mrs Warren’s Profession, Giles seems very comfortable in the comedy space. “I guess I’m drawn to comedy. I think it is just really nice to laugh.” A comedy about philosophy sounds daunting but Giles sees it as the ideal vehicle to talk about complex things. “When I say, ‘It is a German comedy’, people respond with, ‘How can
that even be possible?’ Yet it’s very funny. The way he pokes fun at Plato, Darwin, the theory of evolution, Nietzsche – is brilliant.” A play of freewheeling chaos with the ground continually shifting under the audience’s feet makes for engaging theatre. “The act of watching the whole thing unfold is the most wonderful experience,” says Giles. “It’s very moving. It’s got a lot of heart.” (GW) Mar 31-May 3, Sydney Theatre Company,The Wharf, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $30-65, (02) 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au Photo: Grant Sparkes-Carroll
Contributors: Alexandra English, Alexis Talbot-Smith, Angela Stretch, Anita Senaratna, Catherine Knight, Cheryl Northey, Ciaran Tobin, Craig Coventry, Elise Cullen, Georgia Fullerton, Greg Webster, Hannah Chapman, Jamie Apps, Jemma Nott, Leann Richards, Lena Zak, Lisa Ginnane, Luke Daykin, Lyndsay Kenwright, Marilyn Hetreles, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Melody Teh, Michael Muir, Michelle Porter, Nerida Lindsay, Rhys Gard, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Ruth Fogarty, Sean May, Sharon Ye, Shauna O’Carroll, Siri Williams, Tom Wilson,Vanessa Powell
What happens when lions try to out-renovate each other? With a premise like this, The Pride is sure to be an entertaining, if absurdly bizarre production. “I was fascinated with looking at the behaviour of lions, the structures of their families and thought, ‘what happens if you overlayed those behavioural patterns on human characters?’” says writer/director Zoe Pepper. Or in other words, “What would a David Attenborough about humans be like?” Beside the promise of anthropomorphic lions struggling with decorating dilemmas, just like any other nature doco, The Pride provokes some sobering commentary on “us” - humans. Focusing on the “takeover” – where a younger, more virile lion
challenges the ageing alpha-male for his pride - Pepper found human relationships and love were just as cyclical as in the animal kingdom. “We use love as a determining factor of why one marriage broke up and one stays together. It makes some behaviour acceptable, whereas in the lion pride, the takeover sounds brutal and kinda inconceivable in human terms. It’s not necessarily that dissimilar,” she says. However, despite these lions committing savage and seemingly indefensible actions, The Pride is hopeful, exploring “people’s willingness to forgive and how love gives people permission to forgive terrible deeds,” says Pepper. (MT) Until Apr 5, Bondi Pavilion Theatre, 1 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach, $21-35, rocksurfers.org/thepride
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Photo: Bob Seary
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young girl’s courage in the face of ignorance and bigotry during her father’s defence of a young black man in 1930’s Alabama, arrives at New Theatre Sydney. Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird will be directed by Annette Rawlinson in this instance. The play will be performed by nine-year-old Tegan Croft (Scout), Hudson Musty (Jem), Kai Lewins (Dill), Lynden Jones (Atticus Finch) and Craig Meneaud (Tom Robinson). “For me it is both exciting and daunting to perform in a play that has generated quite a resonance
A MOMENT ON THE LIPS Mad March Hare Theatre Company will stage Jonathan Gavin’s award-winning all-female production, A Moment On The Lips. The play, set during a dinner party, moves backward and forward in time, as seven powerful women confront their jealousies, rivalries and their respective ambitions. The Old Fitzroy Theatre, which staged the production ten years ago, will again play host. Real life sisters, Sarah and Beth Aubrey, will also play sisters onstage, their first performance together. Sarah Aubrey says, “It’s truly a dream come true and also slightly bizarre to be working together. It’s almost like we’ve been researching this role for the last 33 years.” The Aubreys are the only female siblings to ever graduate from NIDA. “The first time we got up to rehearse we couldn’t stop laughing because we know each other so well. The way we speak and move is very similar.” Aubrey continues, “I saw the play ten years ago and it’s been
in my head ever since. I was incredibly moved by it and excited that there was a play with seven intelligent, wellrounded, articulate women, who weren’t all sitting around talking about a man - a rarity in the acting world.” (GF) Until Apr 12,The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Dowling St, Woolloomooloo, $21-39, sitco.net.au
The infamous Mancini sisters were wealthy and brilliant but scandalously abandoned their aristocratic husbands to dress as men and travel across Europe. Possessions is a brilliant production recreated from their memoirs. Conceived, written and performed by Jane Bergeron and Carrie Ann Quinn, this play combines the historical narrative of the Mancini sisters’ lives with contemporary issues in society today.
“There’s a reason it’s called Possessions… They let go of their money, their jewels and in some ways what was their reputation in order to follow their own truth,” says actor and creator Carrie Ann Quinn. “It’s a really relevant topic in our materialistic world that we live in now.” Bergeron and Quinn met doing their Masters in Fine Arts at Boston University and shared an interest in history’s notorious women and the societal double standards that labelled them as such. “As we started researching we had no idea the amazing things these women had done and so it was really a great choice for us,” says Quinn. This thought-provoking production depicts the fascinating lives of the infamous sisters with the inclusion of various modern-day issues and relates to women’s lives in the 21st century. Bergeron says, “It’s about living a moral ethical life and being true to yourself and I think that’s really what we’re looking at.” (CT) Mar 27-Apr 5, King Street Theatre, 644 King St, Newtown, $15-25, kingstreettheatre.com.au
PERFORMANCE STITCHING Little Spoon Theatre’s third offering is sure to get audiences talking: the play has been banned in certain parts of Europe. Now the raw, poetic and oddly humorous Stitching finds itself onstage in Sydney. The show follows Stu and Abby as they contend with a difficult decision: to keep the baby or not. Stitching refers to the decisions that have the potential to unravel the fabric of their relationship. Starring co-founders Wade
Doolan and Lara Lightfoot, and directed by renowned Scottish director Mark Westbrook, Stitching promises audiences a poetic and uncompromising play about concerns we seldom see this scrupulously onstage. (RG) Until Apr 12,Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $20-30 (Strictly 18+), littlespoontheatre.com THE WINTER’S TALE is one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays. John Bell’s production stars Myles Pollard, Helen Thompson, Rory Potter and also newcomer Liana Cornell (Love Child, Schapelle). Set in Sicily and told in two parts,
with so many people. Even those that don’t normally go to the theatre are telling me they are coming,” says Lynden Jones. “It’s wonderful to be able to play a character that is so passionate & willing to fight even though he knows he can’t win. Performing a play in which the children have such prominent roles is also so engaging and [it’s] wonderful to see the energy and excitement they bring, and have passed on to all of us, to come to rehearsals and perform the play” says Jones. (JA) Until Apr 19, New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown, $17-32, newtheatre.org.au
the first involves King Leontes who wrongly accuses his pregnant wife Hermione of adultery and throws her in jail. When the baby Perdita arrives, the King forces Hermione to abandon her into the wild. The second half of the play reunites us with the lost child who is unaware of her royal lineage. Her identity is unveiled and themes of compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation come into play. (LK) Until Mar 29, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $35-79, (02) 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Set in a New York apartment, this “small quirky ensemble show” reveals the tale of a die-hard musical theatre fan who plays his favourite Broadway cast album on his turntable. The musical literally bursts to life in his living room and is transformed into an impressive Broadway set. An energetic production like this being performed at the new Hayes Theatre Co. Potts Point location, provides a much more intimate theatrical experience for the audience. Director Jay James-Moody
promises an amazing show with a star-studded cast of Sydney’s finest musical talent. (CT) Until Apr 6, Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point, $30-48, hayestheatre.com.au JUMP FOR JORDAN goes some of the way to explain what it is like to be part of the mosaic of cultures that make up Australia. It centres on Sophie (played by Alice Ansara), an independent Arab-Australian woman who must lie about her life, career and Aussie boyfriend for fear of shaming her traditional Jordanian family. Director Iain Sinclair was attracted
to the relatability of the script (written by Donna Abela). Much of the cast are of Arab descent and Sinclair says it is not so much a work in progress, but rather a live reflection on the experiences of second-generation women. Women who not only cope with the typical work-life-family-balance, but whom also negotiate clashing cultures. “I can’t think of the last time I saw Arabic women on stage just being themselves,” says Sinclair. (ATS) Until Mar 29, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $49, 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au
THE NAKED CITY
Night of the Landlord Dread
MikiNobu Komatsu Selected Works “Ecstatic” is the word photographer MikiNobu Komatsu uses to describe his reaction the first time he took in the sights of New Zealand’s South Island. “The landscape is very dynamic... Alps, glaciers, fjords, desert-like barren tablelands... All of these in a small island when you see it on a map, but it’s actually vast when you’re in it,” says the talented photographer. This juxtaposition of being both small and vast at once is at the heart of Komatsu’s exhibition, subtitled The Complex Simplicity of Landscape. Komatsu’s exhibition of landscape photography at the Black Eye Gallery underscores the photographer’s fascination with the South Island and the marriage of light and darkness on landscapes. He notes, “Although landscapes look simple, for me they have depth, layers, different moods, and evoke different emotions... The rich quality of light acts as a portal through which I feel I’m encountering another world, perhaps beyond the physical reality.” The exhibition promises to be an equally transcendent experience for viewers. (SW) Until Apr 6, Black Eye Gallery, 138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst, free, blackeyegallery.com.au ‘Rakaia River at Dusk’ by MikiNobu Komatsu
From the Streets
Gentrification – it can be a nasty word, a bit like ‘eugenics’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’. All three generally involve those with power and authority imposing their will on an often hapless minority. Hey, does that sound a bit familiar? Like what’s happening with the proposed eviction of public housing tenants from Millers Point and The Rocks? Earlier this week the media quoted real estate agents and developers, smacking their lips as to how wonderful this ‘gentrification’ will be for this traditional working class, public housing estate. Paralleling the grandiose high rise of Barangaroo across the road. Despite what will probably be a hardfought campaign on the part of Rocks residents to retain their homes, there’s an awful inevitability about the whole process. Money, the scramble for the milliondollar view and the prestige of living adjacent to James Packer’s towering monolith are bound to override the years of tenure and tradition established by the public housing community. The jewel in the crown is the twelve-storey, LEGO-like Sirius building, which sits along the approach to the Harbour Bridge and contains seventy-nine ultra saleable apartments. It’s long been the target of the tabloid media, outraged that public housing tenants are afforded those ‘milliondollar’ views of Circular Quay for a greatly reduced rent.
If we can draw a cinematic analogy, the whole saga reads like a souped-up zombie movie. The normally rabid flesheating posse have switched their focus to that of gobbling up prime real estate, storming the traditional terraces and ripping old-aged pensioners from their beds. Once the O’Farrell Government declares the area open for plunder, the zombie real estate lurch will begin with a ferocity that not even George A. Romero could imagine. If you thought Putin’s annexation of Crimea was brutal wait til the Beamers and Benz clog the streets of the Rocks as the gentrifying zombies converge on the prized Sirius building. There will be cries of anguish at first when they see how small the apartments really are but they’ll soon realise that if you buy up an entire floor you can achieve the space that your status deserves – not to mention those million-dollar views! As sleek coffee shops and upmarket restaurants join the lurch, the zombies will turn their attention to a complete social cleansing of the area. Terraces will be transformed, restored to a condition that is beyond pristine and delivery vans will unload tonne after tonne of upmarket furniture and priceless antiques. Meanwhile, the bus to Claymore will patrol the almost fully cleansed streets, rounding up the last of the public housing tenants and whisking them out of sight, out of mind. As every piece of desirable real estate is consumed by these insatiable real estate zombies attention will soon be directed at a fresh field of plunder. Look out Woolloomooloo – they’re coming to get you!
Street art by Beastman
19TH BIENNALE OF SYDNEY Australia’s biggest contemporary visual arts festival, the Biennale of Sydney, will kick off on March 21st. The festival, held every two years, will exhibit artworks across Sydney from both local and international contemporary artists. The three-month long festival will also host artist talks, forums, film screenings, family days, performances, guided tours, and other special events. Two Berlin-based international artists, Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens, will exhibit their installation, entitled Manners, Habits, and Other Received Ideas, at Carriageworks in Redfern. “It’s our first artwork with the Sydney Biennale and it’s our first time in Australia,” Maxwell Stephens says. “We really enjoy it here, the climate is particularly amazing.” Howes and Stephens’ installation features sculptures made using a black aluminium foil normally used for cinematic lighting effects, called Cinefoil.
When pressed onto other sculptures Cinefoil forms a temporary skin over the sculpture. When removed the impression of the absent sculpture remains on the Cinefoil. The artists use these impressions to create the final sculptures. “We look especially at gestures, symbols of power, symbols of status and different criteria like this,” Stephens says. “We have collected this huge inventory and from that inventory we make new structures. It’s the largest use of the material and we’ve evolved from human figures into architecture, so it’s a step forward for us.” Howes and Stephens have been working together since 1997. They see the Biennale as important for sharing artistic ideas between artists. “It’s like the equivalent of a conference,” Stephens says. “It’s this exchange between international artists and artists from Australia.”
The 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire begins with a launch party on March 20th at the Australian Technology Park, organised by The Events Authority. Tickets for the opening night party are $150. (FM) Until Jun 9, various venues, free, biennaleofsydney.com.au
Photo: Gunther Hang
By Coffin Ed, Miss Death & Jay Katz
Raw, unpredictable and distinct, street art is starting to make waves in the art culture of Australia. With .M Contemporary Gallery showcasing a major street art exhibition called From the Streets, street art is moving from laneways to lounge rooms. Michele Paterson, Director of .M Contemporary Gallery, says the exhibition is designed to open people’s minds about what street art is and its accessibility. “Street art is one of a kind, it’s stenciling, painting, posters, sculptures. There are so many different forms of it, and it is a gift that the artists give for free,” she says. The exhibition is trying to change the way people think about art and collecting art, and show the way different mediums can become valuable collectables. “I want new people looking at art and collecting it, it’s about getting people talking and thinking about art,” says Paterson. “Street art is becoming a bit of a thing in Australia now.” From the Streets will showcase some amazing works from both local and international artists, including Morley, Beastman and Jef Aèrosol. (SOC) Until Apr 27, .M Contemporary Gallery, 37 Ocean St, Woollahra, free, mcontemp.com
‘Manners, Habits, and Other Received Ideas’ by Hadley+Maxwell
The Holidays Real Feel Four years after their debut album Post Paradise, Sydney band The Holidays are back with a hook-laden follow-up. Despite the long wait, there are no signs of ‘difficult second album syndrome’. Set against a dreamy soundscape, Real Feel doesn’t quite fit any pigeonhole. It has elements of guitar-based indie pop but it’s more diverse than that; it’s synth-heavy but not quite electronica; there are even hints of progressive rock – but only hints. In short, they’ve developed their own distinct sound – and it’s a good one. Lyrically, this is somewhat darker and deeper than Post Paradise and a better album for it. (PH)
Taking Back Sunday Happiness Is The latest offering from American rock band Taking Back Sunday is titled Happiness Is.Though, the emotions that span the album are not limited to happiness. Opening track, Preface, is a sparing, orchestral track interrupted by anxious, staccato strings. Beat Up Car is a tune that sounds like it was written years ago; it seems slightly out of place amongst the more developed, mature soundscapes of the rest of the record. Nothing At All is a stripped back, acoustic tune accompanied by pained, melancholy vocals.The whole album boasts fantastic production value but isn’t overwhelmingly exciting. This is one that needs to grow on the listener. (SY)
Melbournian punk quartet The Smith Street Band have come a long way since forming five years ago. “Our very first show in Sydney was at Newtown cemetery believe it or not. It was a semi-acoustic show and we played to, like, 20 people,” reminisces drummer Chris Cowburn. Now they’re playing to crowds of thousands at big festivals like Falls, touring internationally and regularly selling out gigs. While the crazy success isn’t something the band set out to achieve, Cowburn knew the band was onto something pretty special from the get go. “I loved Wil Wagner’s [frontman] songwriting style then and the way he performs. Still do, obviously. In that sense, we were up and away.” Although the band are living out their dreams, they’re not getting complacent or letting anybody get in the way of becoming bigger and better. Their latest EP Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams is testament to that, inspired by an unfortunate incident on tour last year. “Basically Jules, the guitarist from The Bennies, was pretty seriously injured by a violent fan,” says Cowburn. “We all went through a rough patch, questioning ourselves and what we were doing. Our music essentially nearly caused somebody to lose their arm. But we all stuck by each other and that’s
LIVE WIRE Sandy Evans Quartet: In the jazzy heartbeat of our city, these four musicians will be re-creating the unique rhythmic jazz that has garnered them appreciation from all over the globe. Performing sets for the likes of JazzFest Berlin and The Montreal Jazz Festival. Evans will be joined by Alister Spence, Lloyd Swanton and Toby Hall, prepare to dive headfirst into the innovative arrangements from the mind of this talented woman. Thu, Mar 27th, Foundry616, Ultimo.
the theme of the EP – camaraderie, inclusiveness and looking out for each other.” It appears nothing is going to stop The Smith Street Band from bringing their raucous fun and sweaty energy to this upcoming Australian tour. Not even those new liquor licensing and lockout laws. “It’s just a bummer,” comments Cowburn and admits he does feel a difference between the Sydney and Melbourne scene. “I think Melbourne does tend to support live music more than Sydney does, there’s more small music focused pubs in Melbourne. I feel like those sort of places struggle in Sydney, if they exist at all.” Though he assures it’s not the fans that are the problem. “It’s still the same vibe and it’s not going to stop us coming,” he says, but he hopes those pubs can find a way to survive in Sydney. “I still like playing small shows to be honest. Festivals and bigger shows are really cool, but some of my favourite shows have been when there’s a hundred people and people are clambering on the stage. It’s so sweaty and the walls are heaving and people are singing louder than the band – that’s when you really get some magic.” (MT) Mar 29, Metro Theatre, 624 George St, Sydney. $25, (02) 9550 3666, metrotheatre.com.au
Sydney Live Music Guide
Pete Murray: Starting out as a budding rugby star, it’s been a stellar ride for this Brisbane-born household name. Releasing five albums since his career redirection, notoriety began with the 2003 chart-topping release Feeler. This tour will be a celebration of his fantastic body of work, and the recognition of an Aussie legend. Fri, Mar 28th, Enmore Theatre. Bondi Carnivale: This is the inaugural Bondi Carnivale and Jam Gallery aren’t doing anything by halves.The event
promises to be an adrenalinfueled celebration, custom fit for dancing, partying, and ignoring tomorrow. Kicking it off will be The Woohoo Revue, a talented sextet of horns, strings and drums, as well as Sydney’s hottest eightpiece flamenco ensemble, Peña Flamenca and the contemporary band,Waiting for Guinness. Sat, Mar 29th, Jam Gallery, Bondi. 30 Seconds to Mars: Their long-haired leader may have just won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in
The Smith Street Band
the independent sensation Dallas Buyers Club, but the music in Jared Leto will not be put on hold.With their kaleidoscopic sound best suited to famous arenas around the world, Jared, his brother Shannon and Tomo Miličević have had a rollercoaster music career. Despite a well-publicised lawsuit with their record company, their three critically acclaimed albums contain sing-a-long anthems that fans won’t be forgetting any time soon. Sat, Mar 29th, Qantas Credit Union Arena, Haymarket. The Angels: Pub rock at its
finest, these Adelaide musos will be rocking Circular Quay in commemoration of over forty years of riffs and ruckus. From their debut back in 1977 to last year’s effort Take It To The Streets, it seems as though the rocket that powers these chord chancellors is not poised to drop any time soon.They will not only play the classics, but also selections from their upcoming release Talk The Talk, their impressive 31st commercial release. Get “bevvied” to the tune of some brawling riffs. Tues, Apr 1st,The Basement, Circular Quay.
Kodaline: Hailing from the Irish town of Swords, these four gents will be making that dreaded journey across the pond to pursue their decibeldeveloping dream. Back in the British Isles they exploded onto the scene with debut single All I Wanted, a melodic arrangement with simpering vocals and an uplifting instrumentation. Coming from their debut record A Perfect World, this collection contains songs of that signature emotive nature that will ooze the positive vibes in a live spectacular. (CD) Wed, Apr 2nd,The Metro,Town Hall.
Audi Festival of German Films 2014
Taking place two hours after the prequel ended, The Raid 2 quickly engrosses the audience with incredible action-packed scenes and gory violence. This sequel follows the journey of a rookie cop as he goes undercover into the criminal underworld. Writer/director Gareth Evans’ use of advanced cinematography for the epic slow motion encapsulates the frenetic choreography of each fight sequence. The
Moroccan-themed screenings. (MM) Mar 27-Apr 11, Chauvel Cinema, Oxford St & Oatley Rd, Paddington, (02) 93615398; Palace Norton Street, 99 Norton St, Leichhardt, (02) 9564 5620, $15.50-82 (5 film pass), goethe.de/ozfilmfest
Pompeii is an action/romance/disaster film set in 79 A.D. The story centres on a gladiator named Milo (Kit Harington) and his race against time to save his love Cassia (Emily Browning) from the corrupt Roman senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The story contains all the key elements that make a film enjoyable. The captivating gladiatorial fighting sequences, romantic entanglements,
Nymphomaniac Part I and II
violence is jaw-dropping, with every disembowelment leaving a traumatic resonance in its qwdc xwake, only to be outdone by the next gruesome attack. Iko Uwais, who plays the protagonist, reveals some of the greatest martial arts moves as he viciously assaults his opponents. This film is for fans of bloody violence and ferocious fight scenes. (CT) WWWW
Half of a Yellow Sun
The Raid 2 WADJDA is a 10-year-old tomboy growing up in the Saudi capital. She enjoys pop music, wears Converse and dreams of owning a bicycle. Wadjda ‘s mother worries about her daughter’s reputation and her teachers fear the worst. However,Wadjda strives for freedom of expression and she learns how to push, gently, against cultural boundaries. Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, (who sometimes directed from inside a van) commands beautiful performances from her mainly female cast; 12-year-old Waad Mohammed is sweet and spunky and easily carries the film. (RF) WWWW
I, FRANKENSTEIN The latest incarnation of Frankenstein’s monster, Adam (Aaron Eckhart), seems to be ‘developing’ a soul. Two hundred years after his creation he battles it out for the fate of humanity against the forces of darkness led by demon Prince Naberius, played by Bill Nighy – who is better suited to comedic characters. It’s a joint American/Australian (Lakeshore/Hopscotch) production filmed in Melbourne and employed a lot of Australians on-screen and off – roughly 500. Audiences that like a good old-fashioned battle between good & evil with multiple special effects will enjoy this. (MMu) WWW
Half Of A Yellow Sun is a war drama focusing on prosperous Nigerian twin sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose). Set against the backdrop of the harrowing Nigerian civil war in the 1960s, the consequences of their chosen life paths are explored. This is the gripping and touching story of personal crises, sisterly betrayals and romantic entanglements interwoven with the shocking horrors of war as an independent republic was
ALL IS LOST stars Robert Redford in his most demanding role to date, as a man lost at sea.Without navigational or communication systems he manages to skilfully survive the elements but as food and water diminish, so does the prospect of survival. Redford delivers a tremendous performance in this riveting and incredible story of one man’s endurance when all hope is lost. He plays the sole character and speaks few lines, but conveys the desperation and hopelessness effectively. The escalating tension will have audiences at the edge of their seats. (MM) WWWW
This four-hour epic chronicles the life of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin) from her childhood to her self-proclaimed realisation as a nymphomaniac; a status that causes her both joy and hurt. Told in eight chapters, the episodic nature allows for breaths in what is a very intense and traumatic cinematic experience. Simultaneously disgusting and compelling, Lars Von Trier explores the
yearned for in Nigeria. Powerful performances, original newsreel footage and confronting scenes of brutality and cold-blooded massacres enhance the tension and the harsh realities of war. Half Of A Yellow Sun is a haunting story of love and sacrifice resonating that war is the ultimate horror, so unforgivable that in comparison, human flaws such as infidelity and betrayal are insignificant and easier to forgive. (MM) WWW½ GLORIA is a movie about a lady who’s determined to defy old age and reestablish happiness and romance in her empty life. Gloria (Paulina Garcìa) is a 58-year-old divorcee, has two grown children and attends singles’ parties hoping to find love. She meets Rodolfo (Sergio Hernàndez) but problems arise, as the bond he shares with his ex-wife and daughters is suffocating. Gloria is initially engaging, but stagnates in the second half owing to a sudden change in direction and a story which lacks substance. (MM) WW½
affliction of sex addiction from a surprisingly empathic and feminist perspective. Although highly pornographic, the sex is neither erotic nor salacious, only natural; and never to the detriment of plot. Extreme close-ups of genitalia are artfully treated so that they become mesmerising, even beautiful. What the audience is left with is a highly meaningful and genuine film. (ATS) WWWW½ Limited release
Photo: Christian Geisnaes
The Audi Festival of German Films returns to Sydney for its 13th season, showcasing over 50 award-winning features, shorts and documentaries which offer an insightful journey into German culture. This is the biggest festival of German films outside of Germany and an ambitious premiere programme has been assembled including dramas, thrillers, comedies, historical epics, westerns and horror movies. Highlights include Exit Marrakech, the story of an estranged father and son facing their resentments and reconnecting during a road trip in Morocco. Gold is an adventure which centres on German immigrants searching for gold in late 19th century Canada and Bela Kiss: Prologue is a horror film about the ghostly haunting of a bank robber’s hideout. Documentaries include the inspiring My Way To Olympia, which tells of five athletes competing at the 2012 London Paralympics and The Family, detailing the murders of East Germans who attempted to cross the Berlin Wall. There are many Q&A sessions with attending European guests and special events including horror parties, live music/film nights and
political intrigue and a horrifying natural disaster all ensure audience interest is maintained. Adversely, Harrington’s British accent is detracting and he’s oddly paired with Browning. Sutherland also lacks credibility as a Roman senator. The spectacular 3D and CGI effects utilised in the climactic sequences as the volcano erupts heightens the realism of the explosive lava bombs, ash blizzards, tidal waves and earthquakes, which collectively deliver a visually stunning film. (MM) WWW
NEBRASKA is a look at life close to death in the backwaters of America’s Midwest. Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) plays an aged alcoholic who keeps trying to walk from Montana to Nebraska. Eventually his son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him. The characters often teeter on the edge of senility, as well as between humour and sadness. At times the plot meanders and stagnates like the thread of an octogenarian’s well-told story, but has some wonderful moments. (HC) WWW WINTER’S TALE is a fantasy drama set in New York
spanning over two different time periods. The story revolves around master thief Peter Lake’s (Colin Farrell) strong love for dying heiress Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). Even an enchanting musical score, beautiful cinematography and respectable performances from Farrell and Findlay fails to ignite this bizarre tale of destiny, miracles, magic and the battle between good and evil. A stellar cast in supporting roles also fails to compensate, as questionable storytelling techniques and complexities in the screenplay deliver a film that is drawn out and perplexing. (MM) WW½ 21
F R E E W I L L AS T R OLOGY by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): ): I have coined a new word just for your horoscope this week. It’s “zex,” short for “zen sex.” Zex is a kind of sex in which your mind is at rest, empty of all thoughts. You breathe slowly and calmly, move slowly and calmly, grunt and moan slowly and calmly. You are completely detached from the sensual pleasure you are experiencing. You have no goals other than the intention to be free of all goals. Zex is the ONLY variety of sex I recommend for you right now, Aries. APRIL FOOL! I lied. Zex may be fine to practice at any other time, but not these days. The style of sex you need most is exuberant, unbridled, expansive, and even zany.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In Somalia, there’s a law that forbids you from putting your used chewing gum on your nose and walking around in public. Fortunately, you don’t live there, so it’s fine if you want to do that. In fact, I encourage you to go right ahead. To do so would be right in alignment with the cosmic omens. APRIL FOOL! I lied. You should definitely not take yourself too seriously this week; you should look for opportunities to playfully lose your dignity and razz the status quo. But there are craftier ways to do that than by sticking gum on your nose.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Tata Massage is a salon in San Francisco that provides an unusual beauty treatment: faceslapping. The Thai masseuse named Tata claims to be improving your complexion as she smacks your cheeks and forehead with her hands. She also does “massage boxing,” in which she administers health-giving punches to your body with her fists. Is there a comparable service available where you live? I highly recommend it. APRIL FOOL! I lied. Here’s the truth: You should be absolutely firm that you won’t tolerate whacks and wallops -including the psychological kind -- even if they are supposedly good for you.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Now would be an excellent time to launch a new tradition or instigate a fresh trend or make a beautiful thing that will last for a thousand years. I’m talking about an amazing marvel or useful innovation or unique creation that will improve the lives of countless humans all over the planet for the next 40 generations. APRIL FOOL! I was exaggerating a bit. Producing something that will last a thousand years is too ambitious. How about if you simply launch a new tradition or instigate a fresh trend or create a beautiful thing that will last for the rest of your long life -- an amazing marvel or useful innovation or unique creation that will
continue to teach and amuse you all along the way?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Your patron saint for the next three months is surrealistic artist Salvador Dali. Regard him as your muse and role model. In fact, you might want to spout some of his famous declarations as if they were your own. Start with these: 1. “The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.” 2. “I do not take drugs; I am drugs.” 3. “Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature.” 4. “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” APRIL FOOL! I lied. Salvador Dali is your patron saint, role model, and muse for only the next 14 days, not three months.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You know how Jesus could supposedly turn water into wine? Well, St. Brigit, a sixth-century Irish nun, was legendary for an even greater miracle. When visitors came to her monastery in Kildare, she changed her old bathwater into beer for them to drink. I think there’s a good chance you will develop that precise talent sometime soon. APRIL FOOL! I kind of lied. You won’t really possess St. Brigit’s supernatural power. However, you will have an uncanny ability to make transmutations that are almost as dramatic as changing bathwater to beer. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The band Rush was inducted into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame last May. Guitarist Alex Lifeson delivered an unusual acceptance speech. For the two minutes he spoke, he repeated one word endlessly: “blah.” “Blah-blah-blah,” he began. “Blah-blah-blah blahblah blah-blah.” Many hand gestures and shifting vocal inflections accompanied his rap, always in support of variations on “blah-blah.” This is the spirit you should bring to all of your important conversations in the coming week. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s crucial for you to speak very precisely and articulately in the coming week. Say exactly what you mean. Don’t rely on meaningless bullsh-- like “blahblah.”
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When a human embryo begins to develop in the womb, the very first body part that appears is -- can you guess? -- the anus. This scientific fact led the witty commentators at QI.com to declare that “Every human being starts out as an assh---.” They were making a joke, of course, hinting that every one of us has an unattractive quality or two that make us at least a little bit of a jerk. That’s the bad news, Scorpio. The good news is that you now have an unprecedented chance to transform the assh--- aspects of your personality. APRIL FOOL! I lied. You’re not an assh---, not even a little bit. But it is true that the coming weeks will be an excellent time to try to fix
or at least modulate your least attractive qualities.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22Dec. 21): To be in strict compliance with cosmic necessity, you should attend a party every day in the coming week. Dance ecstatically, make love abundantly, and expose yourself to previously unknown pleasures. Feast on a wide variety of food and drink that introduces you to novel tastes. Make sure you experience record levels of sensual enjoyment, nonstop excitement, and dynamic socializing. APRIL FOOL! I’m exaggerating, although just a little. Try doing a 70-percent version of what I advised.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Lifehacker.com has a step-by-step guide to set up your home as a command center where you can pursue your plans for world domination. The article provides advice on how to build a surveillance system, encrypt your computer files, and prepare for black-outs and weather emergencies. Do it, Capricorn! Get the lowdown at bit.ly/secretlair. APRIL FOOL! I lied. You don’t really need to create a high-tech fortress. But you would be wise to make your home into more of an ultracomfortable, super-inspiring sanctuary -- a place where you feel so safe and strong and smart that you will always have total power over yourself, and never feel driven to fulfill anyone else’s standards of success but your own.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The planetary omens suggest that you need to experience all possible flavors of Doritos corn chips. Here’s the problem: The place where you live offers only a limited range. That’s why I urge you to drop everything and travel to Japan, which is the world leader in Dorito variety. There you can sample coconut curryflavored Doritos, along with fried chicken, corn soup, smoked bacon, tuna and mayonnaise, and many others. Buy your plane ticket now! APRIL FOOL! I lied. The truth is, you will benefit from communing with a wide variety of sensations and experiences and ideas in many areas of your life, not just Doritos.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): According to a survey by Public Policy Polling, four percent of the population believes that “shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies.” My own research suggests that 62 percent of those believers are Pisceans. Are you one? If so, now is a good time to intensify your fight against the shapeshifting reptilian people. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, I strongly encourage you NOT to feed your paranoid delusions and fearful reveries. This should be a time when you bolster your positive fantasies, constructive visions, and inspiring dreams.