Wednesday, 4 May 2016
I, and also on behalf of Senator Dastyari, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) on 30 April 2016, at a special Waverley Council meeting attended by 300 people, Ms Sally Betts, the Mayor of Waverley Council and electorate officer for the Member for Wentworth (Mr Turnbull), used her casting vote to pass the redevelopment plan,
(iii) there is growing community concern That the Waverley Council redevelopment plans would reduce the current community-to-commercial use ratio and result in the Bondi Pavilion being privatised by stealth,
(iv) in response to these concerns, Waverley Council has published misleading figures for proposed community floor space which appear to include outdoor areas as a replacement for current community rooms,
(v) the original budget for restoration of the Bondi Pavilion was estimated by Waverley Council in early 2015 to be $9 million, and That the cost blowout to a currently estimated $38 million is primarily the result of the proposed changes to the building's structure in the redevelopment plan, and
(vi) Mr Turnbull in July 2007 with former Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam, and his wife Margaret attended the celebration of a third of a century of the Bondi Pavilion community and cultural centre;
(b) calls on Prime Minister (Mr Turnbull) to publicly support Bondi Pavilion being retained as a community and cultural centre; and
(c) calls on the Turnbull Government to ensure any financial assistance:
(i) is limited to assisting with restoration of the Bondi Pavilion that maintains the current community-to-commercial space ratio, and
(ii) is conditional upon the Bondi Pavilion's first floor being retained for community and theatre use, and the discontinuation of upgrade plans that turn this area into a restaurant and bar or function centre precinct.
The Senate should not presume to tell local governments in Australia how to manage their affairs. They are, after all, creatures of state parliaments. I am advised that the Commonwealth moneys provided were to upgrade the fire protection system and develop the necessary documentation for the conservation of the Bondi Pavilion. Further, I am advised that no final decision on either the plan or the associated development has been made. This is just a flippant Labor-Greens stunt to distract electors in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Council has the responsibility in this area and the decision should be left to them.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has trouble in his own backyard. Bondi Pavilion, in his own seat of Wentworth, is a wonderful cultural and community centre, but the children who use the first floor of that centre stand to be evicted under the Liberal plan of the Waverley Council. At 8 am last Saturday more than 300 people turned up to a special meeting at Waverley Council, which erupted in anger over these plans that would result in the first floor becoming a commercial precinct. They are developing a plan that is really nothing more than privatisation by stealth.
This is a very simple motion that urges the Prime Minister to stand with his community, not with the developers, who so often bankroll the Liberal Party; to stand with the community for their cultural and community centre. What he should be doing is ensuring that the money is only released once there is a guarantee that the community-to-commercial mix remains and the community activities on the first floor remain.