Pro-choice campaigners and Greens MPs united on Monday to make it clear that abortion is still a crime in NSW and they … Read more]]>
Pro-choice campaigners and Greens MPs united on Monday to make it clear that abortion is still a crime in NSW and they no longer want it to be the case.
Around 50 people gathered at Martin Place Monday afternoon to mark the September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, calling for its decriminalisation and protest-free zones around existing clinics in NSW.
“It’s time to break the silence, the taboo, the stigma, and the taint of criminality that surrounds abortion,” Greens MP and Status of Women spokesperson Dr Maureen Faruqi said.
“Of course we have got to bust the myth. But actually what we’ve got to do is bust the law that says that women and their doctors are criminals for a basic human right and a medical procedure.”
The group wore End12 t-shirts, chanting in support of Dr Faruqi’s comments.
End12 refers to division 12 (sections 82 and 83) of the NSW Crimes Act 1900 which criminalises abortion, where it is only lawful if it is to prevent serious risk to life, mental and physical health under a 1971 Levine District Court ruling.
Dr Faruqi has taken the step in giving notice to NSW Parliament that she will be introducing a bill to decriminalise abortion and create safe zones around clinics.
Currently, abortion is legal in the ACT and legalised under certain timeframes and circumstance in Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania, and also in South Australia and Northern Territory if pregnancy is deemed a danger.
“I’m from Queensland where, like NSW, we are the only two states left where control of our bodies is still considered a crime,” Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters presented.
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon also agreed that this legislation is not just a necessity for women and transgender men’s rights (female to male transition), but also to their safety.
“It’s also a life and death issue. Tens of thousands of people have died because abortion is not legal; because of the conditions under which the law currently operates,” she said to the crowd.
Recently, a survey of 1015 NSW residents on issues of abortion found that the majority supports abortion, no matter the location, gender or political leaning, according to Dr Faruqi.
The survey was the first of its kind, finding that 87 per cent believe a person should be able to have an abortion.
“Overwhelmingly, the people of NSW have said that they support a woman’s right to make a choice about her own body,” she told the crowd.
“They overwhelmingly support the decriminalisation of abortion.”
“They also overwhelmingly support the [sic] enaction of exclusion zones outside clinics.”
In addition to decriminalisation, the group are calling for protest-free zones to be enacted around NSW abortion clinics, preventing the intimidation of anybody entering or exiting by anti-abortion groups.
Senator Faruqi told the crowd of her recent visit to the Fertility Control Clinic in Albury.
“I did visit the clinic and experienced first-hand what is experienced by women who are going in for a simple medical procedure. They actually need security guards outside that clinic.”
Tasmania also already have these protest-free zones, while Victoria and ACT parliaments are working toward it, according to Dr Faruqi.
Supporter and attendee Monique Newberry feels that abortion illegality and misinformation is a cause of stigma slowing the momentum needed to decriminalise it.
“Abortion is currently criminalised. A lot of people have no idea. A lot of my friends were surprised to hear that, including ones that had had access to an abortion,” she said.
Senator Rhiannon agrees that there is a myth surrounding the legality of abortion.
“Many of us have had this experience that people don’t actually believe you when you say it is a crime. They actually shake their head and you’ve got to delve into a bit to remind them how serious it is.”
The recent poll also found that 76 per cent of those surveyed believed abortion to be legal in NSW.
Law and University of Sydney Medical Student Josephine de Costa says that it is however an unenforced law, with only a small amount of prosecutions happening the last few decades.
Mrs de Costa was invited to highlight to the rally how this law will affect her as a doctor in the future.
“This law impacts me in two huge ways: firstly it restricts a service that I may need, that 1 in 3 women will need in their lifetimes, and it also restricts the things I can provide as a doctor,” she said.
“If this law doesn’t change, the future-me and my practice as a doctor will be limited because my patients simply won’t have access to adequate termination services.”
The rally comes the same day as the announcement of a new national phone service which will enable access to abortion drug RU486 without visiting a doctor or pharmacist, provided by the Tabbot Foundation.
The September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion spans two decades, chosen to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Brazil, now known as the day of the “free womb”.
“Today is an international day for women having the right to seek a safe abortion, and there’s fantastic actions around the world.”]]>
Balmain … Read more]]>
Balmain Public School and the nearby Fr John Therry Catholic Primary School were said to be the hot spots for fines,
Independent Councillor John Stamolis said the council wanted to ensure parents would not be punished anymore.
“They just quickly pop in, pick up their children and go home. They just want to go about their normal day-to-day family business which they do every day,” Clr Stamolis said.
Parents raised concerns with council that there had been a recent increase in fines being issued while they pick up their kids from primary school and after school care.
Due to the complaints, Leichhardt Council voted unanimously at a meeting on Tuesday September 22 to investigate implementing 15 minute free parking.
Clr Stamolis said the parents were only briefly stopping at the school and were not taking long enough to justify paid parking.
“By the time you found the pocket change, pumped it into the meter, you would’ve walked in and out, picked up your child and put them in the car. This is the issue,” Clr Stamolis said.
Fines have been said to be over $100 each for parents who are only gone for a short amount of time.
“You certainly wouldn’t want to be hit with one, and you wouldn’t want to be hit with one every week,” Clr Stamolis.
Greens Councillor Craig Channells felt that the free parking measure would not only make things simpler for parents, but cheaper.
“It seemed a simpler solution to me in any case. There were issues around parking meters and getting a fine, or costing you. If you put one or two dollars every day for a school term, that’s a few hundred bucks,” he said.
Balmain Public School P&C President Robert Bennett often doesn’t drive to the school, but said he could see issues arising from use of parking meters every day if he did.
“I think that would be a very practical response if council were to have 15 minute parking,” he said.
In response to the motion, council officers highlighted in documents that parking spaces in these areas are at a premium, and a fast vehicle turnover needs to be maintained, particularly in peak drop off and pick up times.
Clr Stamolis said he was concerned that council might be ‘clouding’ the issue.
“Council is so weathered to parking fines at the moment that it worries me that they’ll use any excuse to maintain parking fines, even so much so that they’ll start hitting parents,” he said.
Leichardt Council has already been offering free 30 minute parking along all of its main streets since 2013.
However, this does not include the area’s local school and after school care centres.
In implementing the 2013 free parking, Mayor Darcy Byrne had said that “people shouldn’t have to put their hands in their pockets every time they stop for bread and milk”.
The council is currently waiting on a report from officers to explore the possible implications, benefits and costs of offering free 15 minute parking.
Clr Channells said the community needed to be engaged when deciding such decisions.
“You also need to talk to the community around that area.”
As part of the 2015 Reginald Season, the Seymour Centre and Sport for Jove Theatre will be presenting a contemporary take on Marlowe’s tragedy, transposing the intriguing political machinations at work in Edward II into today’s highly political climate.
Directed by Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Sport for Jove Theatre Company, Terry Karabelas, and with a set designed by the award-winning Alicia Clements, the play is sure to bring the intricate conspiracies of court to the Seymour Centre. (ES)
Oct 1–17. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre – Cnr of City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale. $25–$36. Info: seymourcentre.com or Box Office: 9351 7940
BY EMILY SHEN]]>
It lost $5 million when the NSW Government decided to rip up the College St cycleway in the CBD, but that didn’t … Read more]]>
It lost $5 million when the NSW Government decided to rip up the College St cycleway in the CBD, but that didn’t deter the City of Sydney from paying for another separated route for cyclists traversing the city.
Last Monday, the City of Sydney opened another cycleway along Castlereagh Street South and Liverpool Street, a project which was fast tracked by the council after the NSW Government sealed the fate of the College St path to the dismay of cyclists.
The opening of the cycleway meant that for the first time ever there was a dedicated bike path for cyclists from Central to Sydney Harbour Bridge.
There are two paths which run along the city for 2.5 kilometres with the aim of reducing congestion and supporting local businesses.
But the latest cycleway does not have everyone happy.
While President of Bike Sydney David Borella said he welcomed the cycleway, it needed to form a connected grid.
“It’s clear that the design of CBD cycle ways – which the RMS clearly took over – needs to be transferred to either the City of Sydney or Transport for NSW or even NSW Health or the Greater Sydney Commission,” he told City Hub.
“It’s always a great day when a new separated cycleway is opened. However, the RMS is really not grasping the importance of the CBD separated cycleway system needing to be a connected grid – and not for lack of being consulted by cycling groups like BIKESydney. We’ve met with the RMS many times on this.”
“Remarkably, the new Liverpool St Cycleway stops short at both ends, neither connecting to Oxford St nor Darling Harbour, which are both regionally-significant access points for the city. This leaves the target market of new or inexperienced riders still needing to ride on the roads which they just won’t do. Why do we build only 90% of an infrastructure?”
“It’s incongruous with the Sydney Centre Access Strategy that the RMS is permitted to keep ripping up walking and cycling infrastructure such as the College St cycleway, the Market St and Wentworth Ave footpaths, and even Macquarie St trees just to build new car lanes. Sydney is very quickly slipping behind world’s ‘best practice’ transport planning.”
“We need a modern approach that incorporates all users and keeps Sydney agile.”
The closure of the College Street cycleway angered cycling groups, with many staging protests before and during its removal, which has been taking place over the last six weeks.
It is not known how much the project, and its fast tracking has cost the council.
But Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore believes that the initial outlay will be quickly made back through contribution the dedicated cycle ways will make to the national economy.
“Road congestion already costs our economy more than $5 billion each year, and that’s expected to climb to $8 billion by 2020. By increasing cycling, we can accommodate growth without creating more congestion on our roads or further crowding on public transport,” Clr Moore said in a statement.
“You only need to look to London, New York and Paris to see how cycling infrastructure is dramatically changing the way people move and improving public health,” the Lord Mayor said.
Bicycle NSW CEO Ray Rice said that the government should be encouraged to promote active transport such as cycling.
“We’re all for safe separated cycle ways, this is a good first step towards connected grid of cycle ways,” Mr Rice told City Hub.
“There is a plan for a connected grid, we think that should proceed as soon as possible, however at the moment the government have delayed delivery due to the construction of the George St light rail,” he said.
“We encourage the government to complete the connected grid in the CBD.”
In a statement last Friday September 25, Transport NSW reiterated that the removal of the College Street cycleway was due to the street becoming the priority north-south route for general traffic.
“We need College Street to take some of the pressure off the system as a result of the George Street closure,” CEO coordinater general of the project Marg Prendergast said.
In a statement she said it was “a better connected cycleway for people to use”, and, “we need to remove the cycleway to accommodate traffic.”
Ms Prendergast said there were plans in place “over time” to expand the cycle ways to Sussex Street, as well as to Darling Harbour and the Barangaroo Precinct.
In the statement, she said the cycleway section on Liverpool Street, between Kent and Sussex streets, will still be under construction until late November.]]>
“Velvet is a nightclub, but it’s a state of mind, it’s a fantasy,” explained Craig. “On one level its an amalgamate of variety and concert forms put together to a disco soundtrack, but on another level there’s a loose narrative where we chart the progression of a young man’s journey of self discovery.”
The protagonist in question is played by “stunning performer” Brendan Maclean (The Great Gatsby), who has carved himself an undeniable mark in the entertainment world through his work in pop music and film.
A fairy-god-mother-like mentor embodied by no other than Marcia Hines guides Maclean through the night.
Ilott considers the initial idea of meeting Australia’s queen of disco for the first time one of the most challenging parts of the production, having thought to himself “Is she even going to take me seriously? Or is she going to say ‘Little boy, go away! Stop talking to me about what disco is, I lived it!’”
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case: “The best thing about Marcia is that she’s got such a generous soul, she’s such a fine woman… I think there’s no doubt that Marcia’s energy in the room helped immeasurably to create the great family vibe that the cast has.”
Ilott has assembled a handpicked cast of ten including “an astonishing bunch of Australian singers and performers” accompanied by international acts including Perle Noire, a burlesque artist hailing from New Orleans; German handstand acrobat Mirko Köckenberger; and most eccentric of all Scotland’s “Incredible Hula Boy” Craig Reid.
Velvet is an uplifting crowd pleaser of a show, “but that’s not to say it doesn’t have levels”. (AM)
Oct 6 – Nov 1. Studio, Sydney Opera House. $35-$89. Tickets & info: sydneyoperahouse.com or velvettheshow.com]]>
Over 25,000 cats were adopted after being received by the RSPCA, which is a 27 per cent increase since 1998-1999.
CEO of The Cat Protection Society (CPS), Kristina Vesk, told City Hub she had seen dramatic change in the industry since beginning CPS in 1958.
“I can say with confidence that there is an improved understanding of the importance of desexing, but an awareness of early age desexing is not where we would like it,” Ms Vesk said.
She explained that society’s education about cats has also increased.
“I think that a lot of people are now also more aware of the social, health and welfare needs of cats. As long as you provide them with toys and environmental stimulation they will be very, very happy to live indoors.”
Patricia Hood from Sydney Animal Second Chance is one of the many who has recently chosen to adopt.
She had just lost her 19 year-old cat, and decided to take in a litter.
It was then love at first sight with the two kittens she now calls Harry and Tina.
“We call him Prince Harry because he’s a ginger, and he loves to mingle with the other kittens I foster,” she said.
“I’ve got four kittens at the moment and Harry goes in and sort of looks after them and it’s like he is saying ‘it’s okay buddy, you’ll get out of here and get a home.’”
Harry is just one of the thousands of rescue cats finding homes all over Australia.
In celebration of World Animal Day on October 4, the RSPCA is holding two days of events at Bicentennial Park in Glebe.
On Saturday October 3 there will be a mass dog re-homing and rescue information day.
Saturday will also host the RSPCA’s cat film festival, which will screen the Internet’s ‘most watched’ cat videos.
It is estimated that there are 33 million pets in Australia, with 63 per cent of households owning at least one pet.
It is estimated that there are almost 50,000 animals across Australia who live in shelters.
In the City of Sydney, stray dogs go out to the Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, which is operated in partnership with the council and has a no-kill policy.
There are 58 staff working at the shelter, who match owner’s preferences and lifestyle to the stray cats and dogs found at the shelter.
Over the past year, the shelter has found homes for 550 cats and dogs.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was cheaper and more ethical to adopt from the shelter.
“Tragically, 60,000 unwanted pets are killed each year in NSW because they’re abandoned or surrendered to shelters,” Clr Moore said.]]>
Thu, Oct 1, Newtown Social Club
Marshall Okell: With his signature dirty blues sound, Okell has quickly become a recognisable and beloved name on the touring circuit. Now with his fourth album Sipping On Rocket Fuel arriving on record store shelves, he is upping the ante and touring even more intensely.
Fri, Oct 2, The Vanguard
Little May – #Artforthecompany: Sydney band little may have taken a unique approach to satiating their creative appetite for the release of their debut album For The Company by producing an online art campaign which culminates with a physical exhibition and album release party this weekend.
Fri-Sun, Oct 2-4, Goodspace – Above The Lord Gladstone Hotel
Robbie Miller: A natural at straddling the line between overtly emotive and restrained, singer songwriter Miller makes a much welcomed return to the music scene. Picking up where he left off by simultaneously warming or breaking hearts with his silky smooth voice and releasing his debut EP The Faster The Blood Slows, fans will be kicking themselves if they miss this show.
Sat, Oct 3, The Newsagency
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk: When you think pop-rock, France is probably the last place that comes to mind, but that is exactly where Chunk! No, Captain Chunk hail from. Returning to Australia for their first ever headline tour these shows could be the ultimate gateway drug for anybody with a fleeting interest in hardcore music, as they do a wonderful job of blending catchy pop elements with a driving and potent hardcore breakdowns.
Sun, Oct 4, The Bald Faced Stag
Jazzgroove Presents: PILOT / Eamon Dillworth’s VIATA: This exciting Melbourne five piece have already released an EP, received generous radio play around the world, and played sold-out shows in both Melbourne and Europe whilst also placing second in the prestigious Europafest Jazz Competition in Bucharest in their short career to date. Playing in Sydney for the first time next week they will be performing a set of intricate arrangements with elements of jazz, rock and blues.
Tue, Oct 6, Foundry 616
Greg Nunan & The General Jacksons: Having honed his craft by travelling up and down the Australian east coast, performing as a resident in the Crazy Elephant Bar (Singapores home of jazz) and also touring internationally; it is now time for Greg and his band to return home and once again hit the Aussie roads with their chunky guitar riffs and authentic songs which have them pegged as one to watch for all blues and roots fans.
Wed, Oct 7, Frankie’s Pizza]]>
City Doc in Redfern is the latest contribution to the gentrified suburb.
But who said innovation is limited to the hipster cafes and boutique bars that line the pavements?
A metres long aquarium built into the reception desk will get your visit off to a relaxing start.
Wave at the weaving tropical fish that swim by and relax into a calmer state, priming you for the care and comprehensive services the surgery offers.
The waiting area has been expertly designed by professionals to provide a comfortable environment.
A US study found that watching a real aquarium has been shown to reduce muscle tension and the pulse rate in elderly subjects.
It’s not just a gimmick though.
The use of fish for relaxation is emblematic of the centre’s commitment to empowering patients to have more control over their health, with preventative medicines as well as a wealth of experience with primary care.
“As dedicated partners in your healthcare team our physicians and staff understand their responsibility to provide you with the best advice in your choice of preventing and managing illness.”
“Our team who have years of experience, knowledge and expertise recognize the need to keep abreast of the advances in healthcare, so that we may provide you with the best choices.”
“It was a highly religious … Read more]]>
“It was a highly religious world in Norway in 1881 when Henrik Ibsen wrote Ghosts, both the Catholic and Lutheran churches were very prominent,” explained Emily McGowan, who plays housemaid Regina in the play. “The play couldn’t be performed straight away because it was so shocking to the audience at the time. Ghosts has a lot of elements outside what the Church considers a normal marriage. Ibsen puts things like incest on the stage, things nobody wanted to talk about. He’s saying ‘they actually happen, they actually effect people, I’m going to put it on the stage and show you’. A lot of women at the time covered up their husband’s sins in order to keep up appearances and maintain the family,” she added.
Ghosts is set in a big house on a remote Norwegian Fjord where the family is isolated from the rest of the world. The time frame has been moved forward to the 1950’s.
Syphilis, incest, euthanasia, debauchery – so much of what happens in the play is taboo. It’s a melodrama. It’s so heavy. The main character Mrs Alving keeps so much a secret that when things do come out in the open, it makes it all the more difficult. There’s the maternal love of Mrs Alving, the love for her son Oswald is so powerful she sacrifices his childhood and sends him away because she doesn’t want him learning the habits of his father, who liked to have affairs and liked to drink. There’s family love, romantic love and incestuous love.
“Ibsen doesn’t hold back. The characters have so much inner conflict. There’s so much for the actors to work with. That’s the best thing about Ghosts,” added McGowan. (MS)
Oct 7 – 24. The Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville. $20-$29. Tickets & info: thedepottheatre.com or email email@example.com
BY MEL SOMERVILLE]]>
Inspired by her own experiences and … Read more]]>
Inspired by her own experiences and memories, Bergstrom paints a series of evocative and highly reflective landscape pieces inspired by the land around her enclave in Hill End.
The dream-like sceneries have a sense of rawness about them, visible through the mixing of the fleeting shades of blue and earthly, grounded browns.
The artworks symbolise a journey of self-reflection and acceptance for the artist: “Although Hill End has a powerful presence imbued with its own history, it is my intensely personal relationship with the area that compels me to paint images inspired by the natural bush surrounds,” explained Bergstrom. “The actual location is relevant only in that it is infused with my memories and the feelings that they evoke, which make it seem to me that nature is capable of personifying and portraying my moods and emotions.” (ASha)
Oct 15 – Nov 7. Arthouse Gallery, 66 McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay. Info: arthousegallery.com.au
BY ANVI SHARMA]]>