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A Moment With Mayor Murray Matson

By Joseph Kilby on December 15, 2010 in News

In late September 2010, Councillor Murray Matson was elected to the position of Mayor of Randwick, his second stint in the job having presided as mayor in 2004/05. His current plan for this term as Mayor is to push a variety of issues that aim to benefit the local community.

Matson is a member of the Greens. He first became a radicalised environmentalist in the early 1980s at the Franklin Dam Blockade in Tasmania. Once he had gone green, Mr Matson aimed to introduce environmentally friendly policies within the Randwick area.

For those who aren’t up-to-date with local politics, the Mayor of Randwick is elected every year by the 15 councillors and, as Murray Matson accurately stated, this can be quite an “intense process”.

For this term in office, Mayor Matson has set some environmentally sustainable objectives, which include preserving Randwick City’s Chinese Market Gardens and encouraging the re-introduction of light rail. The light rail system has been a prominent part of the Green agenda for some time now and according to Matson it is now closer to realisation than ever.

When asked about the issue of parking meters in Randwick, the Mayor commented on the success of consultation on the issue during his previous term as mayor and explained how the small amount of paid parking in place at the two car parks at Coogee Beach accumulates approximately $400,000 a year and had generated no complaints whatsoever, but no further meters were likely to be implemented.

The issue of over-development is also high on Mayor Matson’s agenda, particularly when it comes to the State Government’s Part 3A Legislation, which allows developers to go over the top of local councils and have their projects approved by State Government Planning Department if they meet certain criteria and are considered to be “of state significance”. Matson is of the belief that “State Government intervention should not apply to simple local development projects, which are mainly residential in nature”.

When it comes to the trading hours of pubs and clubs Murray Matson’s views are no secret. He believes that “… big pubs are operating too late into the evening”, and he suggested that their operating hours be wound back. He did, however, make the point that restaurants and RSL clubs that provide alcohol to a reasonable hour, which does not impact on local residents, do not bother him.

Mayor Matson also has plans to push for an off-road bike track or lane to be put in place for the length Anzac Parade. He believes alternative transport methods need to be encouraged as much as possible in order to reduce reliance on vehicular transport and take more cars off the road. As such, he is also putting plans in place for a local ‘Festival of the Bike’, which will aim to encourage cycling in the local area.

In a final word, Mayor Matson also encouraged local residents to attend local precinct meetings should they have an issue, stating that precinct meetings are the best way for local residents to have their opinions heard.

The Beast would like to wish Cr Murray Matson the best of luck for the remainder of his mayoral term.

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