By Ian Stephenson, President, Bulletin 2/2023 April

Kobi Shetty the new MP for Balmain and retiring MP Jamie Parker. Image: The Greens

The Glebe Society Bulletin may not have the circulation of The Australian or The Sydney Morning Herald but it is, arguably, the journal of record for Glebe. Its listing on the web make it an essential reference tool for the who and what of Glebe. I am therefore using its pages to acknowledge for posterity the work of Jamie Parker who for 12 years represented us in the NSW Parliament.  He has worked tirelessly for our community including helping constituents negotiate the complex maze of government bureaucracy as well as grappling with the big issues of environment, planning and equity. 

Significant achievements include establishing the Glebe Ferry service, working to get the light rail service functioning again as quickly as possible when it was so suddenly suspended in 2021, campaigning for the conservation of public housing in Glebe and seeking ways to improve the planning system and particularly heritage conservation. His special combination of intelligence, energy and love of people combined with good values has made him not only a great local member, but an effective advocate for a more humane and rational society. One of his predecessors as the member for Balmain was Herbert Vere Evatt who held the seat from 1927 to 1930. He went on to become President of the United Nations General Assembly. 

Jamie you have done great things, you have done them with joy and affection but, like your illustrious predecessor, the best may be yet to come.

In the recent election campaign both Kobi Shetty and Philippa Scott gave their all. Both participated in the Meet the Candidates debate at the Glebe Town Hall which was facilitated by our Communications Convenor Allan Hogan. Afterwards a number of people commented how fortunate we were to have two such able candidates.

The result is now out, and Kobi Shetty is the new member for Balmain. Congratulations Kobi. The Society looks forward to working with you. Philippa you performed creditably, thank you for all your effort.

The ALP has won, although at the time of going to press it’s uncertain whether it will have a majority, but the independents have guaranteed supply and confidence. The Society extends its congratulations to Premier-elect Chris Minns.

During the campaign a commitment was made to create a unified department called Housing NSW to replace the current bifurcated administration where the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) develops and maintains public housing and the Department of Communities and Justice collects the rent and manages the tenants. An article in this Bulletin Having your Cake and Eating it Too highlights how over time the public housing bureaucracy has been de-skilled and outlines the waste and dislocation which results. It is hoped that the restructure will rectify these problems and produce better management of the State’s public housing.

At the launch of the Franklyn Report an undertaking was given not to demolish the Franklyn Street housing complex. This is very heartening. It is hoped that the current development application to demolish 82 Wentworth Park Road will be withdrawn and replaced with a revised scheme to refurbish the building. 

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