Community Newsletter
The safety of our communities, customers and staff is the City of Sydney's top priority. The staff are monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) daily and assessing any potential impact on city services and events.

We aim to maintain our current level of service to residents and businesses during this period. We take advice on all public health matters from the state and federal health departments.

View the current NSW health advice HERE
The City of Sydney website provides up to date information on city services

My office will remain operational throughout this period to ensure that we can do our bit to help the community get through this time. 

Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 

I have requested the Lord Mayor to call an Extraordinary Council Meeting to discuss the unfolding COVID-19 crisis that is developing across Australia. The NSW and Federal Government are taking action to protect our citizens as well as to help keep the economy functioning. It is clear that Council can also take action to relieve the pressure on small businesses which are facing unprecedented downturns in business.

Small business is suffering from the biggest downturn in trade that most of us can remember. In Haymarket, Kensington, Randwick, Chatswood, Eastwood, many businesses are down 90% with some making the heartbreaking decision to close temporarily. For some, they may not reopen. Throughout the CBD of Sydney, I am hearing varying reports of how much small business has been affected by the reduction in foot traffic but there is one thing for certain - everyone is down.

Council has resolved to take action to improve the activation and promotion of the area, but unfortunately that won’t be enough. I want more done to help our small and family businesses during this difficult time.

I have called on Council to immediately suspend all fees collected from Small Business. Fees such as Outdoor Dining fees should be waived immediately. I have also called on the City of Sydney to offer rent relief to small business tenants who are suffering from the downturn in trade caused by the spread of COVID-19. 

I also call on the State Government to suspend payroll tax for all small businesses affected by the downturn in the retail market.

After speaking with Property NSW, I urge all small businesses in the Rocks and Darling Harbour who are struggling under the current spread of the Corona Virus to contact their Property NSW representative to discuss rent relief.

Finally, I call on landlords to do their bit. Rent and wages are the biggest overhead for these small businesses. Any small rent reduction will ensure the landlord still has a tenant when this is all over and the small business tenant can hang on for just that little bit longer.

We can't wait another 2 weeks until the next Council meeting. We need to take action now.

Watch the video for more information
Return and Earn

In March 2018, I asked Council to look for a site to install a Return and Earn kiosk so people could recycle their drink containers and receive a 10c container deposit. It has 'only' taken 2 years (along with consistent probing and persistence for an outcome) to find a location but I am pleased to announce that the City installed a reverse vending machine kiosk in February in the City of Sydney Kings Cross Ward Avenue car park.

The Reverse Vending machines can quickly redeem up to 500 containers at once and provide a variety of options to be refunded by electronic funds transfer, donating to a charity, or collecting a retail refund voucher that you can exchange for cash or in-store credit. 

Alternatives for the New Years Eve Fireworks

At the March meeting I put forward a motion to Council to request that the CEO investigate environmentally-sustainable and non-explosive alternatives including, but not limited, to drone shows, for future New Year's Eve celebrations. 

The suggestion of a drone show as an alternative to fireworks generated
a lot of attention from the public however I'd like the City of Sydney to be open to other alternatives as well. I am pleased that Council unanimously supported my motion to explore alternatives for future New Year's Eve shows and I look forward to the report back to Council. 

The reason why I put forward this motion was the 2019 New Year's Eve Fireworks display were considered the most controversial due to the City of Sydney's decision to go ahead at the height of the bushfire crisis despite calls for it to be cancelled by the community. 

The community response to the 2019 New Year's Eve fireworks raised the question about what alternatives can be used instead of fireworks and to explore the ways in which we can have still a festival that has an impact for the rest of the world, but also send a signal that we are are a progressive, sustainable City that is open to exploring new ways to do what we can to reduce our emissions and improve our air quality.
Watch the video for more information about registering to vote

Non-Residential Roll

The Local Government Elections are being held on the 12th of September this year. If you have a business or own a property within the City of Sydney, you may be able to vote. See if you are eligible HERE

I have been attending local business chamber meetings and using this as an opportunity to spread the awareness and importance of registering, it is now a simple one page application to register - it's so simple I have been able to sign up many people onto the roll on the spot.

There are 240,000 residents within the City of Sydney however there are approximately 70,000 businesses which employ around 420,000 people, 80% of which don't live within the City of Sydney. This is why it is important that these businesses enroll to vote and have a say in who represents them and their interests within the City of Sydney. 

Vehicle Management in Maddox Street

Finally a win for the community. We are about to see some changes to the streets and lanes around Alexandria but first, a bit of history…
Since early 2018 I have been
meeting with residents of Maddox Street Alexandria about the massive disruption and disturbance of oversize trucks ignoring local weight limits and illegally use their street as a rat run. Even City of Sydney vehicles had been caught not only using the rat run, but also parking illegally. This has been an issue of public safety. The Lord Mayor resisted doing anything about it and rejected my motions to implement traffic calming measures for Maddox Street and the surrounding lanes. She refused to allow City Rangers to enforce infringement notices to vehicles violating the weight limit on City of Sydney roads. 
After a huge struggle and several motions it was finally confirmed in that the City Rangers had the authorisation to enforce infringement notices to vehicles violating the weight limit on City of Sydney roads. This is was a great outcome for the residents however it was not enough to solve the problem. I have continued to put pressure on the Lord Mayor to explore alternative traffic calming measures to deter trucks rat running down Maddox Street and the surrounding lanes The existing roundabouts and garden beds were not effective in stopping this problem.

Finally – a win for the community. The City of Sydney has succumbed to the pressure and agreed to develop a Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) plan for Alexandria, Erskineville and St Peters. The plan contains a range of proposed road closures and treatment options. Transport for NSW has supported 17 of the 20 recommendations for street closures and traffic treatments around the area. This is a great outcome for the community however TfNSW doesn’t support the closure of Maddox Street. We will continue to work with the local community to support their demands for the full closure of Maddox Street.

Homelessness Street Count Update

The 2020 Summer Street Count count found there were 334 people sleeping rough across the local area. This is 39 fewer than the 373 people counted in the same month last year. This represents a 10 per cent decrease from the February 2019 count of 373 people sleeping rough, and a 23 per cent decrease from the February 2017 count.

There were also 505 people staying in crisis and temporary accommodation on the night of the count. This represents 91 per cent occupancy, which is 3 per cent lower than at the same time last year.

This is a positive outcome for Sydney and is a testament to the hard work that the City of Sydney Homelessness Unit does in collaboration with the NSW Government, FACs and the many NGOs who all do a fantastic job in delivering services to vulnerable members of society. We need to keep supporting and resourcing these organisations to tackle the highly complex issue of homelessness.

Rotary Community Service Award

It was an honour to receive the Sydney Rotary Club Community Services Award. I am so delighted to have been recognised for my service in Sydney.

We all need to play our part to grow our community and there is no better way than volunteering your time for worthy causes. Rotary exemplifies what it means to give service and so it is a wonderful acknowledgement to receive this award from the club. 

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse Visit

It's always a pleasure to visit the wonderful team at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse and catch up on the amazing things that they are doing.

I had the opportunity to see the empty shell that is soon to become the You Can centre for adolescents and young adults with cancer. It a breakout space for adolescent or young adult cancer patients to relax, socialise and reflect. I look forward to visiting when it is completed later this year.

Read more about the amazing work Chris O'Brien Lifehouse does

March 2020 Council Wrap
If you have any issues or concerns within the City of Sydney, feel free to contact me at 

Kind regards,

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Contact Councillor Craig Chung:
P: +612 9246 7375 | M: +61 412 605 597

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City of Sydney Councillor · Sydney Town Hall · 483 George St · Sydney, NSW 2000 · Australia

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