Lord Mayor promises more childcare is “in pipeline”
At Monday’s council meeting, the Lord Mayor and City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone revealed that council was “on track” to deliver its commitment to establish six new childcare centres by 2016 significantly under budget.
Ms Barone says the $55 million set aside for childcare will “remain intact” and the leftover $22 million will be retained for future childcare programs.
“There are six facilities in the pipeline … We just recently accepted a tender for a centre on Bourke Street,” she said.
Ms Barone explained that council had explored alternative leasing options in order to meet its target for a fraction of the projected cost.
Councillor Linda Scott was sceptical, arguing that council appeared to be abandoning close to half its childcare budget.
“There is a huge childcare shortage in the inner city and more facilities are needed now,” Cr Scott said.
Sale of Bondi airspace debated in secret
Waverley Council is considering confidential negotiations which could see airspace for a first-floor balcony in Bondi leased to a hotel developer at a dramatically lower rate than the footpath space directly below it.
The Swiss Grand Resort and Spa Hotel is looking to build a 111 square metre balcony in time for its reopening next year, but little other information has been disclosed to the public.
Labor councillor John Wakefield put the confidential nature of the negotiations down to commercial in confidence, but added that the “main substantive matters [should have been] dealt with in the public domain”.
Greens councillor Dominic Wy Kanak agrees, stating that it sets “a dangerous precedent” for further commercial inquiries into public airspace, which he believes is “not in the public interest”.