The scene is more suburban than salacious and almost every day another piece of the old Kings Cross succumbs to the onslaught of gentrification. We all remember Clover Moore’s endorsement of the precinct as one of “naughty but nice” but these days the label is more “nondescript”. Perhaps the looming edifice of the super upmarket Omnia building, perched right at the entrance to Darlinghurst Rd is the final nail in the coffin, and who knows what consequences its eventual completion will bring.
Those on the city side will enjoy spectacular views of the harbour from their multimillion dollar apartments. On the other hand those lower floor apartments on the Cross side will look directly across to 66 Darlinghurst Rd, the safe injecting room and the clients who regularly loiter outside. Dear oh me, not exactly the ‘neighbourhood views’ you would expect with a one million dollar outlay.
Even more apartments are scheduled to clog the old Golden Mile and with them an invasion of well heeled, cashed up, apartment dwellers – the complete antithesis of the old bohemian culture that once populated the area. Change of course is sadly inevitable, and despite outpourings of nostalgia from those who remember the old Cross, as one long time resident recently told us – “the place is now fucked”.
That might seem an overreaction, after all the remarkable Piccolo Bar still survives, but what of the Sydney sightseeing bus and the visiting sailors who look to the area for the remnants of its licentious past. As in many gentrified areas throughout the world there’s often a faux attempt to preserve or regenerate something of the old historical character associated with the district. Admittedly the Cross has its bronze footpath plaques which spell out some of the strip’s former landmarks and characters but what about a kind of living museum?
The City Of Sydney Council should immediately look to buying up empty shops in Darlinghurst Road – after all there are plenty to choose from. Once secured they could set about recreating some of the Golden Mile’s long lost attractions, like the Pink Pussycat, the Kings Cross Wax Works and even the notorious Cosmopolitan Café. Most would just be facades, with the interiors let out to backpackers or low cost housing, but the effect would still be captivating, with lots of neon and flashing signs. The punters in the Sydney sightseeing bus would never know the difference and visiting sailors could be redirected to the CBD’s thriving massage parlours.
Once the illusion of the various facades was introduced legitimate businesses on the strip would no doubt join the party, rejigging their shopfronts to create their own little piece of Kings Cross history. The $2 Shop could become Sweethearts with an autonotom of Jimmy Barnes sitting in the window. The Omnia could at least evoke the spirit of the old Goldfish Bar with a mural of inebriated patrons surveying the passing parade. Even the wonderful Kings Cross library could be rebranded as the Penthouse Snooker room – complete with the odd pool table and even Louis Bayeh himself occasionally manning the front desk to dispense borrowed books and collect overdue fines.
Just like the Australiana Pioneer Village at Wilberforce, a part of our history would live on in its own twisted Disneyland – a sanitized reminder of what the Cross was like when it was just plain naughty (forget about the nice!).]]>
Thu, Feb 11, Plan B Small Club
Horror My Friend: In the wake of early critical acclaim for debut LP ‘Stay In, Do Nothing’ this Adelaide post-punk group are eager to hit the road with a frenetic schedule seeing them perform 11 shows between the end of January and the start of April. Carefully filling the space between post-punk and indie rock, the group have rapidly developed a fanatical following.
Fri, Feb 12, Blackwire
Jess Ribeiro: With her second album ‘Kill It Yourself’ coming out late last year, Ribeiro has been riding the wave of praise from critics and fans alike ever since as they unanimously accepted her transition from alt-country darling to a more sophisticated and complex singer/songwriter.
Fri, Feb 12, Newtown Social Club
Stories: After a resounding success with the release of their debut album charting in the top 50 of the ARIA charts, a tour has been eagerly awaited for fans of Stories and they are now set to deliver. With the band initially being discovered by Northlane guitarist Josh Smith, who went on to mentor them through their early stages, Stories have become a band renowned for their live performance.
Fri, Feb 12, Red Rattler
Kerser: The past year has seen the Campbelltown emcee grow and develop as both an artist, a professional and a person as a whole. Curser has now started his own label and released his new album ‘Next Step’, which traces his journey since stepping into the limelight without any fear of admitting fault. With his straight talking street style this show is bound to be hard hitting and emotionally impactful.
Sat, Feb 13, UTS Sydney
Hush Honey: An exciting new Sydney band on the modern rock and roll scene is set to perform a show this weekend to celebrate the launch of the debut double A side 7” single, which consists of ‘Can’t Get Home’ and ‘Roadhouse Love’.
Sat, Feb 13, Botany View Hotel
Waxahatchee: Next week sees the Sydney debut of Waxahatchee’s (aka Katie Crutchfield) five piece live band show. Last year was somewhat of a breakout year for the young star, who almost unbelievably has been in the music scene for years despite only being in her mid-twenties. With her emotional 90s style indie rock this show is bound to be a highlight for the week – and what a better way to celebrate hump day than to head out to see the show.
Wed, Feb 17, Oxford Art Factory]]>
An email from a City of Sydney employee to Councillors claims the City’s CEO dismissed further complaints of bullying, just days after … Read more]]>
An email from a City of Sydney employee to Councillors claims the City’s CEO dismissed further complaints of bullying, just days after the suspected suicide of a council ranger.
The employee from the City of Sydney Council ranger unit wrote to councillors last week “as a last resort” after his complaints were dismissed without explanation and he was indefinitely suspended from work.
It states that his complaints were dismissed on June 26, just days after ranger Leong Lim was found dead in his apartment.
Just the month before, Lim had emailed Council CEO Monica Barone and Lord Mayor Clover Moore complaining of “corruption” and poor mental health with the Council’s ranger unit.
In a June 26 meeting with the second employee, his solicitor, the Lord Mayor’s chief of staff and CEO Monica Barone, Ms Barone said that she was satisfied that council policy and procedures had been followed.
In the email, the employee said he was not sure what investigation had actually taken place to arrive at this conclusion.
It was agreed that the employee would not be penalized for raising his complaint.
But that all changed when he returned from annual leave on November 11, when the employee was informed he was immediately suspended from duty and was escorted off council property.
“I am happy for all Councilors to view the material which will be relied upon should I be dismissed or demoted for talking to my Union Representative!” the email reads.
Because of the looming possibility of a coronial inquest into the death of ranger Leong Lim, the employee said he could potentially be called upon as a witness in the coronial inquest.
“I therefore ask you in the interest of fair play, to consider intervening on my behalf and take whatever steps are available to you as a Councilor to delay consideration of my termination or other disciplinary action by the Chief Executive
Officer until after the Coroner’s determination,” the employee wrote to the councillors.
The Coroner is expected to conduct an internal in-chambers review on February 12 for Leong Lim’s death. Following that, it will be decided if a coronial inquiry will proceed.
Councillor Edward Mandla said that it was “extraudinary” that the City was having these sorts of discussions around the same time that Leong Lim died.
“Unfortunately I am not surprised this has come up again because there has been this recurring theme of bullying in the council rangers unit,” Clr Mandla told City Hub.
He said it was concerning that the complaint was dismissed again by the CEO at a meeting just days after the death of Leong Lim.
He said an external review was overdue.
“I think we are all fed up with the City doing internal investigations on itself.”
“The City is full of people doing internal investigation and human resources people. People who make a complaint feel like they are going through a termination or execution process, not a complaint process.”
“I have been on this 18 months talking about mismanagement of rangers unit. We had Warfield report talking about bullying and cronyism, and all the copies of that report have been substantially redacted.”
He said the email revealed to him for the first time a recommendation from the 2012 Warfield report, which said that the council should let rangers know the ” progress of grievances and code of conduct breaches so they don’t think the grievance has been “swept under the carpet””.
Clr Mandla said “For the first time we saw a recommendation from that report in the email, that people know about the complaints process, and then we learn that there has been no intention of the City to follow that recommendation”.
A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said that the City was taking the allegations seriously and denied the matter had been dismissed by the CEO, but rather offered the employee “options” to resolve those matters.
“After a staff member in the rangers unit wrote to the Lord Mayor last year, the CEO met personally with the employee to hear about their concerns,” The spokesperson said.
“The matter was not dismissed by the CEO, who reviewed the complaints raised with senior managers and HR staff before offering the employee options to resolve those matters.”
“The complaint was managed in line with the City’s personnel policies that set out a system and process for making and dealing with complaints.”
“An investigation has been conducted internally, according to the City’s policies and processes, and the City is satisfied the complaints process has been applied fairly.”
“The City ensures all employees and managers are aware of their responsibilities in preventing, reporting and dealing with complaints about harassment and bullying.”
The City spokesperson said that they would not be commenting further on the matter to respect the privacy of the employee involved.]]>
This captivating … Read more]]>
This captivating story of a young lady who migrates from Ireland to Brooklyn in the early 1950’s, details the hardships endured for new beginnings and a better quality life in a strange new country. The separation from her loving family, the tragedy and loss which ultimately envelops her life and the emotional upheaval experienced when she’s torn between two loves, are storylines which deliver a highly dramatic and heartfelt motion picture.
Oscar nominated Saoirse Ronan is outstanding as Eilis Lacey and leads a strong cast including Julie Walters, who provides on-going comedic relief from the lingering heartache. Brid Brennan is fabulous as Miss Kelly, the villain of the piece.
This film is complemented by an intense script, a beautifully composed musical score and the incredible replication of the era, with much detail given to costumes, hairstyles and sets.
Soap opera elements and some needlessly melodramatic moments are evident, but ultimately this is a stylish and endearing film relevant to Australian audiences. (MMo)
These individualised pieces come from experience, the kind that leaves a mark, so deep it can only heal with writing and reliving. Singing helps too, a bit of guitar and comraderie, so listen. They are not long and they are not hard to listen to.
Arriving and leaving without the bigness of a band or the attention-grabbing nature of choruses, Catherine Traicos is singing. They might be old stories, of two people, of one person and the rest of the world, of all the things that live inside heads, but they are the ones that listeners love to hear above all others. Listen, in a couple of songs she will finish her singing. (SP)
Throughout the majority of the adrenaline fuelled five track offering the young producer seamlessly fuses these diverse genres together to create her own unique sound, only rarely does one or two elements seem out of place.
The penultimate track on the EP, Divided, is the true standout here due to its impactful lyricism played on top of a 90s-esque indie-pop-rock guitar riff.
The future is looking bright and full of energy if this initial outing is anything to go by.
The production, directed by Richard Cottrel, dabbles in a mix of comedy, sleuthing, period romance and mathematical theory. The search for truth and knowledge in the face of mystery is one that underpins the course of events as the play lurches through time between the 19th century and the present day.
Set in a stately English country house, Arcadia begins with prodigy Thomasina and her tutor Septimus who stumble across the chaos theory ahead of time. Two hundred years later, two scholars attempt to string together the traces of the past in the same room.
“Audiences are going to be so satisfied in watching the play because it’s like a detective story. If you feel a little bit lost it doesn’t matter because the scene after will establish and then re-establish what was just said,” explained Andrea Demetriades, who plays Hannah, a garden historian with an aversion to Romanticism.
The play deals with illicit romantic intrigues, duelling, hermits, landscaping and the second law of thermodynamics, but is perhaps not as complicated as it sounds.
“It’s magical, you will end up smiling when you leave. The whole ride of the journey is quite an extraordinary one because all the pieces that Stoppard plants all make sense by the end of the play. Everything is answered within it,” said Demetriades.
Filled with the contrasts and paradoxes typical of Stoppard’s work, Arcadia waltzes through the realm of opposites – dipping in poetry and science, reason and irrationality and theories of the Enlightenment and Romanticism to address the absurdities and chaos which surround human existence.
Demetriades explains that there’s a line in the play – “comparing what we’re looking for misses the point, it’s wanting to know that makes us matter” – which touches upon the role of curiosity and the nature of being.
“I feel like that line encapsulates our constant and endless search for why we exist and why we love – you feel as though if there’s going to be a finality to the struggle, there’s no kind of point in doing it.” (SH)
Feb 7–Apr 2. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $78-$104. Tickets & info: sydneytheatre.com.au or 02 9250 1777
BY SHON HO]]>
It may have a reputation for being posh and civilised, but it was anything but last Thursday, when residents from Woollahra local … Read more]]>
It may have a reputation for being posh and civilised, but it was anything but last Thursday, when residents from Woollahra local council area made it clear they were opposed to IPART’s proposed merger with Waverley and Randwick.
Over a hundred turned out to Club Rose Bay last Thursday February 4 to let their views be known at a public meeting between the three councils and their communities.
At a public forum residents had the opportunity to air their concerns to the independent delegate Dr Robert Lang who will decide the outcome of the proposed amalgamation.
Waverley General Manager, Arthur Kyron,Woollahra Mayor Toni Zeltzer and Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza all spoke at the meeting.
At the evening session of the meeting, Randwick made clear that it was keen on the three way marriage of the councils.
Waverley Council offered its support to Randwick’s decision to merge at the forum.
Waverley General Manager Arthur Kyron said that like Randwick, Waverley had previous problems with the global city option, but was in favour of the coastal merger.
“Waverly has never supported being a part of the very large, global city option and wanted to control our own future,” Mr Kyron said.
“Waverley is speaking in favour of the new, much smaller option. One which does reflect a community of interest.”
Many residents from Woollahra took this opportunity to speak out against the merger and sat in a sizeable bloc, jeering from the crowd and making their opinions on what was said known.
Mayor of Woollahra, Toni Zeltzer, was part of this bloc and took her time at the podium to voice her concerns on the matter.
“I am here to represent the unanimous support of my fellow councillors and 81 per cent of our community that want Woollahra to remain independent,” Cr Zeltzer said.
Cr Zeltzer noted that Woollahra residents would experience a rise in rates if the merger goes ahead, while Randwick would experience an apparent decrease.
“Essentially we will be footing the bill for the merger, while Randwick residents experience a decrease in their rates. How is that fair?” she said.
“The idea that bigger is better is a myth. There is no evidence to support a bigger is better approach to reform,” Cr Zeltzer said.
One resident accused Randwick Council of turning their backs on the community by favouring the proposed amalgamation with Woollahra and Waverley Councils.
The Randwick resident, who would only identify as Dr Jayasuriya, took aim at his local councillors.
“Randwick councillors turned their backs on their colleagues on the unanimous resolution of council, on the affirmations that they made to their residents,” Dr Jayasuriya said.
“Ignored the plight of the community and succumbed to the pressure from the local government minister to join forces with Waverley to consume Woollahra.”
Dr Jayasuriya claimed that he could produce an “illuminating” example of these allegations.
“I submit that the fundamentally flawed process of how it conducted and analysed this community survey is an illuminating example,” Dr Jayasuriya said.
“Only 30 per cent of the survey respondents supported amalgamation, the remaining 70 per cent either don’t support or are not sure,” he said.
Labor Randwick Mayor, Noel D’Souza, did not directly reference that statistic in particular during his address to the forum and delegates earlier that day.
Cr D’Souza instead opted to assert that around half of the residents who responded to the survey were in favour of an amalgamation, with the other half against.
Cr D’Souza indicated that the resident’s problems were not associated with amalgamations in general but with a previously proposed, much larger, global city option.
This option would have merged City of Sydney, Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra and Botany Bay councils.
“They [residents] feared a loss of local representation and thought that the area too big and that it lacked a community of interest,” Cr D’Souza said.
But, Cr D’Souza claimed that the community reacted positively to a smaller merger solution.
“When asked if mergers must occur, some 90 per cent of respondents chose a smaller eastern suburbs merger,” Cr D’Souza said.
“When we asked what people most associate with, the majority said the Eastern Suburbs.”
Cr D’Souza also identified that Randwick would benefit from a merger in several different areas, from finance to services and facilities.
“In terms of our own financial modelling which was independently analysed, audited and verified, we estimate this merger option will result in increased services to the value of $235 million,” Cr D’Souza said.
“A merger of Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils provides an opportunity for improved coordination in planning and delivery of foreshore and recreational activities.”
“We now have an opportunity to expand our services to ensure we provide the highest quality service to our residents and community.”
“A new eastern suburbs council will be able to provide more services and benefits to my community,” he said.
Mr Kyron claimed that the majority of Waverly residents were in favour of the merger.
“The average for the first preference showed that 64 per cent of people in Waverley favoured a merger of some sort,” he said.]]>
“It’s just a whacky comedy about people’s inner thoughts, fears and desires,” explained director and producer Stephen Carnell. “It’s universal.”
Linda is a con-woman, she would normally set her sights on gullible men, but instead she lures Linda with the promise of a magical evening and convinces her to place a bet on a horse with the intention of stealing her winnings.
Carnell explained there were two reasons for setting The Punter’s Siren in the 1960s, the first is that “obviously homosexuality was a lot more tenuous in those days, and fraught with difficulties”. The second was the fashion. “We wanted to encapsulate the fashion change that happened the year before when Jean Shrimpton wore her famous white shift dress to the races in Melbourne and changed Australian fashion forever. And we found a dress just like that in a vintage shop in Surry Hills.”
The contrast in Helen and Linda’s costumes parallels the famous 1966 image of Shrimpton “standing there no gloves, no hat, no stockings just with this dress that everyone thought was really short” surrounded by gawking women dressed in 1940s-style conservative fashion.
Carnell is a stickler for detail, the play is “littered with little connections to the past” from the label on a bottle champagne, to wads of authentic 60s currency, to the names of the restaurants they want to splurge their winnings in.
Gina Schien originally wrote The Punter’s Siren as a radio play, but rewrote it as a stage play for the 2012 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival in response to feedback that women were being under-catered for in the Mardi Gras.
The initial run was met with great praise and the original “amazing” and “powerhouse” performers are back, with Jacqui Robson as Helen and Laura Viskovich as Linda.
“This is the best Australian play certainly that I’ve ever done, but possibly that I’ve ever read,” added Carnell. (AM)
Feb 17–Mar 5. Blood Moon Theatre, The World Bar, 24 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross. $21.89-$32.34. Tickets & info: eventbrite.com.au or theworldbar.com
A new IMAX theatre has not yet been built, but it has already been labelled the “snail”.
The speed of redevelopment has … Read more]]>
A new IMAX theatre has not yet been built, but it has already been labelled the “snail”.
The speed of redevelopment has been anything but at a snail’s pace in Darling Harbour, and has not had sufficient community consultation, locals have said.
Pyrmont resident Leone Huntsman said that the latest concept plan was “the last straw” for the precinct.
At 23 storeys with hotels and serviced apartments, 170 above- ground parking spaces, the new building will expand significantly, taking out attractions such as an historic carosel nearby.
The Department of Planning’s statement did not say where the carousel would be relocated.
“When they say think about it later, you could almost say forget it,” Ms Huntsman said.
“I think Darling harbor has lost any human scale. Previously it has been a place for families to visit on weekends and enjoy, but now the huge buildings have replaced the people,” she said.
“What has happened to Darling Harbor is appalling. It is no longer place for people of Sydney. It is totally overshadowed by looming buildings.
Convenor Pyrmont Action Group Elizabeth Elanius told City Hub she was concerned about the height and footprint of the new building, because it was significantly larger than the current one.
“The new IMAX, will completely block the northern sun from Tumbalong park and the children’s playground.”
A department of Planning and Environment spokesperson said that the community will have the opportunity to express their views on the proposed development.
“Community consultation is an integral part of the planning process and the applicant will have to respond to the feedback we receive.
“Feedback received is taken into consideration when we assess projects and develop our recommendations,” the spokesperson said.
“It’s easy to participate by going online and we encourage everyone to take a look and have their say.”
But Elizabeth Elanius said the consultation process was a “farce”.
“We don’t have a say. They put it on exhibition, and we make submission. It means nothing, all it is a tick a box exercise for the developer and the Planning Department.”]]>