Nov 3, 2012

This Blog is discontinued - New blog is

This blog has been discontinue on Ron Hoenig's election to the NSW Parliament. 

The latest blog is accessable at or alternatively at

Aug 31, 2012

New Season for Little A’s

Given the track and field focus of the London Olympics, and the resurgence in the sport, it’s just about time for all aspiring athletes (and maybe some potential Olympians) to register for the coming Little Athletics season.

Registrations take place on Saturday, September 1 at Hensley Athletics Field, Pagewood. Randwick Botany Little Athletics President Tony Vecellio has already had a lot of enquiries about the coming season – our Little A’s 45th. Training is held Monday to Thursday at Hensley between 5.00pm and 7.00 pm with competition on Saturdays.

It’s open for those aged up to 17 and there are as many track and field events to train for or compete in as there were at the Olympics – hurdles, sprint races, long jump, shot put, walking and some more.

In recent years, many winter sports competitors have been part of the local Little A’s as a means to keep up fitness, and for some, athletics has become as important as football. If you’re interested, you can register online at: or call 9349 4862. Tony and his team of great volunteers do a tremendous job with the Little A’s and the training and competition has been growing year by year.

Garden Competition underway

Garden Competition entry forms were letterboxed last week to all residents, so I am hoping as we celebrate our 25th year that we have many new participants. As I say in the brochure we are not looking for creative masterpieces, just well kept gardens that contribute to how our city looks. Walking the streets these past weeks I have seen many attractive gardens all worthy of entering our competition. Our entries do not reflect these numbers. So don’t be bashful. Enter your garden or enter your neighbour’s garden. Yes, you can nominate someone else’s garden if they are too shy. There is over $25,000 worth of prizes to be won - cash, gift vouchers, lunch at a cafĂ© or a mobile!

Aug 23, 2012

Eastakes Shopping Centre - Scandalous Application

I have been advised that we have been successful in getting an extension of time for objections to this outrageous development proposal. Submissions must be with the Department of Planning & Infrastructure by the end of September.

Residents in Eastlakes and the surrounding suburbs should have received a letter from me seeking their support to join with Council in voicing concern about the impact it will have on the local community.

Again, I stress Council and residents do want to see this shopping centre upgraded, just not at our expense. We don’t believe residents should suffer just because a developer wants to subsidise the upgrade with an excessive number of residential towers and no plans to upgrade the current road system to and from the shopping centre. If you have not got your letter in the mail call my office and I will forward one to you. Make sure that your voice is heard.

Aug 21, 2012

State Treasurer’s announcement of removal of Port Botany cap: Unlawful

The O’Farrell Government has announced the effective sale of Port Botany to the private sector by putting it on the block as a 99 year lease. Whilst privatisation of public facilities may not be in accordance with my political philosophy, the decision is one for the government of the day and not Botany Bay City Council. 

In announcing the government’s intention to sell Port Botany several weeks ago, the Treasurer indicated that the government would remove the 3.2 million cap on containers. According to newspaper reports of the Treasurer’s statement, the removal of the cap would mean that the government would receive more than one billion dollars extra. 

The cap on containers, or Twenty foot Equivalent Units (or TEU’s) is not an arbitrary figure. It was stated on the 13 October, 2005 as one of the Conditions of Consent when the then Minister for Planning, the Hon Frank Sartor, determined a development application for State significant and designated development under Section 80 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979. 

Clause A1.4 of that consent provided as follows:

Port Throughput Capacity Limits

A1.4    Port throughput capacity generated by operations in accordance with this consent shall be consistent with the limits specified in the EIS, that is, a maximum throughput capacity at the terminal of 1.6 million TEU’s per annum and a total throughput at Port Botany of 3.2 million TEU’s. These limits may not be exceeded by the development without further environmental assessment and approval. Sydney Ports Corporation shall prepare, or have prepared on its behalf, such further environmental assessment for the determination of the Minister.

The expanded part of the Port is not yet completed. The total throughput capacity limits were designed because the transportation system could not, and cannot, cope with the movement of containers to and from the Port. The road system is currently in gridlock and that is without even the 3.2 million TEU throughput being reached. 

It beggars belief that a State Treasurer, with no credible knowledge or understanding of the Port, the environment or the capacity of the road and rail system, just wishes to arbitrarily remove throughput capacity limits because he thinks he will get another billion dollars in a sale of a public asset. 

The damage to existing infrastructure that the removal of the cap would lead to would, in reality, be a ten times what the Treasurer may receive. It is a frightening prospect that the Treasurer of the State does not seem to either understand this or just sees dollar signs in front of his eyes. Good governance of this state is no where in his equation. 

I am sorry to have to advise the Treasurer that he does not even have the lawful authority to do what he says he wishes to do. 

He seems to forget, or ignore, that the law binds the government of the day as it binds all citizens and the law requires the NSW Government to make an application under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. 

To do what he says he wants to do, and stay within the law, requires the government undertake an environmental assessment and seek approval of a variation to the existing consent. 

I would be surprised if it was even possible to obtain an environmental assessment that could cater and make provision for the movement of freight with the cap being removed. In any event, the Treasurer and the NSW Government is bound by the law. 

Botany Bay City Council has decided to seek an undertaking from the NSW Government that it will act in accordance with the law and, if such undertaking is not received, then Council will institute proceedings against the NSW Government, seeking orders restraining the Government from proceeding in accordance with the Treasurer’s announcement other than by law.

Aug 20, 2012

Communicating with Teenagers

The teenage years can be the treasured years for both teenagers and their parents – but better two-way communication can make the years even better for both. To assist parents in engaging with and understanding their teenagers, our Community Services section has organised a free two hour workshop. It will be held on Thursday September 20 (so you’ve got plenty of notice). It will be at the Central Library, in Westfield Eastgardens and will begin at 5.00pm. As spots in the workshop are limited you’ll need to book, which you can do by calling our Community Services people on 9366 3889.