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Protest against Millers Point sell-off outside Sydney Town Hall. Photo: Natalie Cox / Capture That Photographics

ICAC called on to investigate NSW Government’s secret business voting bill

By Lucia Osborne-Crowley

Last week NSW Premier Mike Baird announced the state Liberal government would support a Shooters and Fishers Party Bill to change voting practices in City of Sydney Council elections.

If passed, the Bill will mean business owners in the City of Sydney will be automatically enrolled to vote in council elections, regardless of whether they actually live or work in Sydney.

Following this announcement, Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich has requested the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigate the development of the Bill.

The Bill was put forward by Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak. Premier Mike Baird announced to the media last week he would be supporting the legislation.

“The Government supports these important reforms that give business people a voice in the city that they work and pay rates in,” Premier Baird told City Hub.

Greens MLC David Shoebridge expressed concern about the lack of information provided to the public about the legislation.

“Whatever political deal there is between the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Baird Government, it has not been explained to the public. There is no immediate reason for the Shooters and Fishers Party, which is primarily based in the regions to be expending political capital attacking Clover Moore,” he said.


State Government under fire over Millers Point housing sell-off

By Christopher Harris

Sydney state MP Alex Greenwich has revealed the NSW Government edited a draft social impact assessment of its plans for the sell-off of public housing in Millers Point.

When addressing the issue of impacts of forced relocation, the NSW Government removed the phrase “negative health impacts, and potentially death” from the report.

The Government has been headstrong in maintaining that the sell-off would allow a greater number of homes for the vast numbers of people on public housing waiting lists, as well as the fact it was too expensive to upkeep the heritage properties.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Mr Greenwich revealed the omission last week.

Former Federal Labor Minister Anthony Albanese scorned the governments plans as being short sighted and noted any extension of the logic would result in the sell off of all inner city public housing.

The shadow minister for the portfolio, Sophie Cotsis, has been vocal about the government’s claims.

“Since coming to office the Liberals have sold more public housing that they have built, and they have used the proceeds of sales to paper-over their budget cuts,” Ms Cotsis said.

Minister for Family and Community Services Gabrielle Upton said the process had been transparent.

“The potential health impacts of the Millers Point sale have been handled by the government in an open and transparent way,” she said.




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