A Greener Healthier Inner West
A More Active Community
Healthy people make for happier people. Labor is committed to expanding opportunities for Inner West residents to participate in organised support, enjoy our open and recreational spaces and pursue healthy activities, particularly as we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Labor will:
- Commit more than $10 million to upgrade the Olympic Swimming Pool and Splash Play Area at Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre
- Earmark and develop plans for the Robyn Webster Sports Centre at Tempe Reserve to be upgraded to a state-of-the-art, multi-sports indoor sports centre as it comes to the end of its useful life
- Implement the Inner West Fitness Pass, giving residents access to a streamlined package to access fitness and leisure activities across the Inner West
- Campaign hard to bring Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre and Fanny Durack Pool back into public operation by Council
- Work to extend the Great Harbour Walk through the Inner West, taking in the Glebe Island Bridge and Bays Precinct
- Roll out a pilot program of the Burn 2 Learn program for HSC students for Inner West high schools to improve students’ wellbeing and fitness
- Introduce wayfinding around 15 local schools to help support walking buses and safe walking to and from schools.
A More Open, Greener Inner West
COVID-19 reminded us all just how important quality, open green space is for our health and wellbeing. Our parks, streets and backyards are home to beautiful native species of flora and fauna and must be protected. Labor will protect our parks and local environment by:
- Committing $5 million for new tree planting in the current budget and commit recurrent funding no less than $2 million each year for future years
- Investigating establishing local wildlife areas and offering signage to better inform residents about threatened and unique species of flora and fauna in our local parks and wild places
- Trialling planting trees in “micro forests,” which research shows have the potential to exponentially increase biodiversity and carbon reduction
- Advocating for increased adoption of water sensitive urban design and for the state government to adopt the Blue Green Index tool in the new Design and Place SEPP, and for an increase to stormwater levy for environmental projects
- Committing $1 million and working with the Parramatta River Catchment Group and State Government to reinstate the Leichhardt tidal baths
- Auditing Council’s stormwater assets and an increased budget for maintenance on stormwater pipes and infrastructure to improve the health of Parramatta and Cooks rivers
- Working with community groups to establish at least one flagship inclusive playground in every ward, and to establish public sensory gardens in pocket parks
- Trialling free puppy classes as a way to improve responsible dog ownership and activate our local dog parks.
A Council That Leads On Climate
Combatting the climate crisis takes action from all levels of Government. Labor will make sure our Council does more than its fair share by:
- Introducing a free service to advise homeowners on how to improve energy efficiency and sustainability in their homes and to advise on sustainable building
- Encouraging the greater uptake of electric vehicles by
- funding public charging stations
- simplifying the process for installing private chargers
- working with rideshare and taxis to install chargers for fleet cars
- transitioning the Council’s heavy and fleet vehicles to electric
- Holding an Electric Vehicle Summit in the first term of a Labor Council to bring together residents, businesses, and environmental groups to understand the community’s challenges with taking up electric vehicles and what more we can do to support them.
Towards Zero Waste
Families and households want to reduce their waste and Council has a role to play to make it easier for them to do so. Labor will:
- Expand food recycling to every home in the LGA
- As part of extending food recycling to every home our Local Labor team will also open a food recycling station in the Inner West to allow for the sorting of organic waste and make food recycling viable here and across our region. One of the biggest obstacles to ensuring organic waste does go to rot in landfill is that the infrastructure for sorting and processing food waste hasn’t been set up in Sydney. The Inner West should stand up and lead the way in providing a transfer station that is needed for food recycling to expand. This station can make our own food recycling plans viable also make a financial return for residents.
- Trial a $100 Council rebate on the purchase of sanitary products and a $150 rebate on the purchase of reusable nappies.
Active transport reduces congestion on our roads, improves public health, reduces carbon emissions and provides a cost effective and COVID-safe way for people to travel. Local Labor believes active transport also makes for healthier, friendlier and more connected suburbs.
Investing in active transport makes economic sense: We know the cost of congestion in Sydney will rise to $15.9 billion in 2031, and Bicycle NSW has estimated that every kilometre cycled has a $1.43 benefit to the public health system. Cycling infrastructure projects have been shown to create on average 11 jobs per $1 million spent, higher than the 8 jobs for similar road projects.
For our community to capture all the benefits of active transport, we need to invest in infrastructure for people who ride or walk that is safe and connected. We know a key barrier to increasing cycling participation rates, particularly amongst women and families, is safety. Building separated cycleways, improving lighting for riding at night, and improving road maintenance – particularly at the road’s edge – are all important to increasing safety and participation. Our bike paths and networks must also connect and reflect the routes on which people travel, ensuring more people in the community see cycling as a safe and efficient way to move around our community. We also need to work to ensure cycling is safe and accessible to people of all ages.
Local Labor is concerned that the State Government appears to have shelved plans for the Principal Bike Network, which would have built and connected over 5000 km of cycling infrastructure and lifted cycling mode share to 5%. We also note that the State Government is not accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Walking and Cycling program, further limiting funding for councils to deliver important cycling projects. We’ll work in partnership with Inner West bicycle groups to advocate for the Network.
To ensure Inner West residents are able to maximise the opportunities around cycling and walking projects, Labor councillors will:
- Continue our strong support for the completion of the GreenWay and champion efforts to build cycling infrastructure where it is supported by local communities;
- Audit shovel-ready projects currently in development by Inner West Council to ensure there is an active pipeline of projects available for State and Federal Government funding rounds;
- Run a communications campaign and support bicycle groups to host events to encourage greater cycling participation across our communities;
- Increase maintenance budgets to ensure our roads, cycleways and footpaths are safe;
- Support walking bus programs and introduce wayfinding programs at schools across the inner west local government area to make roads around our schools safer for kids and give families options to walk or ride to school.