Our Campaigns

The 2011 Residents’ Association has been involved in a number of successful campaigns that support the local community and its environs. This includes support for the following campaigns and projects:

Current Campaigns

Minerva Theatre (Metro Cinema), Orwell Street, Potts Point threatened with redevelopment

The Minerva Theatre foyer, 1939.
Photo: Sam Hood.

The Minerva Theatre has been a feature of Potts Point and Kings Cross since the 1930s. It has been a cultural hub first for theatre goers and then (renamed as the Metro Cinema) for movie goers.

In recent years it has been used as film studios and then was mostly dormant for some time, but the Minerva/Metro could still be rejuvenated as a living theatre and a focus for the arts in Potts Point and Kings Cross.

Recently a real estate developer has submitted plans to greatly alter the building and make it into a boutique hotel and restaurant. You can see the development application here.

To see the Minerva/Metro developed into a hotel would be a great loss for the whole of Sydney.

You can read 2011 Residents Association submission here.

We urge you to make your personal submission on this DA. Email it to dasubmissions@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au . Submissions must be sent before 5pm on 15 September.

The Bourbon to The Empire Campaign

In 2017 a DA was submitted to Council to redevelop the block running from The Bourbon to the the Empire Hotel (18-32 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point).

The 2011 Residents Association jointly arranged a public meeting of hundreds of local residents to discuss this DA. Members of the Association stood in the Fitzroy Gardens over a four week period asking locals to sign a petition against the plans. Following widespread disquiet from the community, Council did not approve that first DA.

In 2020 a second DA was submitted by the developer. Our Association campaigned against those revised plans. The DA was waved through by the Central Sydney Planning Commission on 22 July 2021. Nevertheless our campaign achieved a development of less bulk and less height and forced Council to rethink its plans for Darlinghurst Road.

We continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the terms of the DA are followed.

Read more…

Previous Campaigns

Night-time Economy Campaign

In 2007 Sydney City Council and the NSW Government decided to permit 24 hour trading permitted in an entertainment precinct in the Kings Cross area. This was against the wishes of most residents.

Soon Council began approving DAs for large numbers of pubs, clubs, bars and other alcohol-vending businesses. Soon the street fights began. Council also talked up the necessity for “live music” in such business, though this was really pre-recorded music played by DJs. The entertainment strip, formerly mainly in Darlinghurst Road, spread up Bayswater Road.

The Association supports a well run and safe night-time economy that respects residents’ safety and amenity. We are happy to live in an area growing with cafes and small bars but not in one which is returning to the situation of the pre-lockout days. We understand that businesses in both the daytime and night-time economy have been badly affected by COVID but we look beyond the crisis.

Read more…

Macleay Street/Lawrence Hargrave Reserve Campaign

In November 2019 Sydney City Council announced plans for an “upgrade” of Macleay Street which featured the removal of car spaces, the blocking of a right hand turn from Macleay Street into Greenknowe Avenue, the erection of ugly commercial advertising on smartpoles, and more. It also planned to “upgrade” the Lawrence Hargrave Reserve involving the removal of casuarina trees and “activation” of the Reserve (ping pong tables; club house with possible commercial premises) in an area traditionally used for quiet enjoyment.

In March 2020 Council released slightly revised plans for both projects.

The 2011 Residents Association letterboxed neighbours adjacent to these proposed developments to alert them about what was planned in their near vicinity and addressed the Council’s Environment Committee.

Read more…

Public Toilets under Kings Cross Police Station Campaign

Over a period of six years, one or more of the three of King Cross’s only public toilets were regularly out-of-order for days and sometimes weeks in a row (once for 55 days in a row!). Finally, in 2018, after a long joint campaign by the 2011 Residents Association and the Save Fitzroy Gardens group, three new toilets were installed.

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Rushcutters Bay Park Campaign

In 2014 the Council of the City of Sydney announced plans to “upgrade” or replace remove the picket fence around Rushcutters Bay Park’s Reg Bartley Oval and install additional powerful lighting in the Park. The 2011 Residents Association wrote letters to Council questioning those plans and asking for further details and more transparency. In the same year the Association wrote to Council about the removal of mangroves from the Park.

In 2016 Woollahra Municipal Council announced plans to build a large skateboard facility (half the size of a basketball court) in the Rushcutters Bay Park. The 2011 Residents Association wrote to Woollahra Council to argue against this development (which affected the quiet enjoyment of the Park by other users) and to suggest alternative locations.

Read more…

The Lockout Laws Campaign

The period from 2007 to 2014 was a pivotal time for Kings Cross. Alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour was a regular feature in our neighbourhood before the “lockout laws” were introduced in 2014.

Our Association campaigned vigorously for the introduction of better regulation of businesses selling alcohol and we faced off against both entrenched commercial interests and largely indifferent State and local governments.

When the “lockout laws” were introduced in 2014, we then campaigned for those laws and the benefits they gave to residents, visitors, small business owners and employees, and the frontline workers who dealt with the results of alcohol-related violence (emergency department doctors and nurses, ambulance paramedics, and police).

Click here to read more about this critical campaign

311 Bus Route Campaign

In the years 2008-12 the NSW Government announced it would shorten the route of the 311 bus, so that it would not down Greenknowe Avenue to Elizabeth Bay any more but just run along Macleay Street and Darlinghurst Road. Many commuters in Elizabeth Bay, including the elderly, workers travelling to and from work, and families with young children and prams, depended on the 311 to get them up the long hill to Potts Point and the rest of the city. After public meetings, petitions and lobbying over five years, the 311 bus route was finally retained as before (except for the Billyard Avenue section which modern buses could no longer navigate).

Read more…

Cross City Tunnel Campaign

In the years 2005-2007, the 2011 Residents Association ran a campaign in support of Action Sydney East and several local resident groups, which opposed the major sell-off of public roads by the NSW Government to a private monopoly (and the subsequent loss of many private houses and flats) and fought a major campaign against the Cross City Tunnel.

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St. John’s Church Campaign

In 2003 the Anglican Church proposed building two 6-storey apartment blocks overshadowing St. John’s Church in Darlinghurst. The 2011 Residents Association in conjunction with the Save Our St John’s (SOSJ) group and the Darlinghurst Residents Action Group (DRAG) campaigned to stop that development. The proposed development was rejected by Land & Environment Court on 22 December 2003.

In 2016 Hammond Care submitted a DA to build a 5-storey building on the land just to the north of St. John’s for an aged care facility was for 46 formerly homeless residents. As in there were problems with design, bulk, height and the effects on the history and views of St. John’s Church.

A campaign by DRAG and 2011 Residents Association was successful and the Anglican Church and the developer significantly compromised and stepped the building back and widened public access. The end result has been a valuable contribution to the community, providing accommodation to people who would otherwise be homeless.

Read more…

Community Garden Campaign

The 2011 Residents Association assisted the members of the Bourke Street Community Garden in Woolloomooloo with expanding their garden’s size. Our Association also promoted the concept of community gardens in Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay, and lobbied for the Lawrence Hargrave Reserve, Elizabeth Bay to be protected as a nature reserve.

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Fitzroy Gardens Campaign

In 2010 the 2011 Residents Association, along with the Save Fitzroy Gardens group and local residents, strongly opposed the City of Sydney Council’s plans to redevelop the heritage-registered Fitzroy Gardens, which are located near the corner of Macleay Street an Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross and include the famous El Alamein Fountain. The Association argued that those landscaped gardens, which were designed in 1973 by Australia’s first professional landscape architect Ilmar Berzins, were integral to the heritage and amenity of our neighbourhood.

In 2012 the Association wrote to Council to oppose a massively expanded playground in the Fitzroy Gardens.

Read more…

Kings Cross Dog Show

A positive and fun event that brought the local community together, the Kings Cross Dog Show was held three times (in 2015, 2017 and 2018). The event was staged by the Kings Cross Arts & Cultural Festival and individual members of 2011 Residents Association assisted as volunteers on all those occasions.

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Baron’s Building Campaign

In 2005 Council received an application to develop the 124-year old Baron’s building, 5-7 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross. The building was to be demolished and replaced with a four-level with a single restaurant at street level and commercial offices above.

The Association opposed this DA on the grounds that it would destroy this heritage building and the surrounding historic streetscape with its small, unique retailers and drinking and eating places, including the beloved Baron’s Restaurant.

Council refused this DA in August 2006. Unfortunately the owner appealed to the Land and Environment Court and Council lost on appeal from the applicant. The building was demolished in November 2007.

Read more…