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RWA Human Services plan Phase 2 Forum Issues Papers – Read Text Webpage

This is a text file of the RWA's REDFERN-WATERLOO HUMAN SERVICES PLAN PHASE 2 FORUM ISSUES PAPERS Issued in 2006. The link to the RWA's PDF version of the file is at the foot of this page. (To obtain a rough translation of this page paste the web address into your preferred web based translation tool from the links at http://www.redwatch.org.au/redw/translation-tools )














Ten issues papers have been prepared to assist with the development of Phase 2 of the Redfern-Waterloo Human Services Plan. Phase 2 focuses on improving the delivery of human services to older people, people with disabilities, homeless people and migrant communities.

A forum will be held on July 24 and 25 bringing together service providers, government agencies and members of the community to discuss and analyse issues as part of the development of this Plan.

The aim of the Forum is to invite participants to consider and discuss the priorities and actions identified in these issues papers. Participants will also have opportunity to recommend additions to the suggested actions as well as removal or amendment.

It is important to note that these papers are not the Plan itself. They are a resource to assist and inform discussion. Phase 2 of the Redfern Waterloo Human Services Plan will be written by the RWA after the Forum taking into account outcomes of discussion.

Once a draft Plan has been completed it will be submitted to the NSW Cabinet for endorsement prior to its release for public comment.

These issues papers and the Forum are part of a three phase consultation process which includes:

1.                   Pre-forum submissions

2.                   Forum discussion

3.                   Release of draft Plan for public comment

The Forum is premised on the identification of actions and suggested changes to the service delivery system being realistic, achievable and within existing funding resources.

Of particular interest are your views on the sorts of changes which will improve service delivery and client access, encourage service integration and strengthen the governance and day-to-day management of non-government services. Steps to be considered in achieving these outcomes include:

-                      joint service planning;

-                      sharing of administrative resources;

-                      common reporting, monitoring and evaluation arrangements;

-                      physical and virtual co-location of services using modern communication technologies and out-sourcing arrangements;

-                      training and professional development of staff; and

-                      improving facilities.


Forum issues paper No. 1



A review of human services conducted in Redfern and Waterloo in 2004 concluded that services in the area are poorly coordinated and integrated and could offer better value for money. It also found that in some instances there were serious administrative inefficiencies, poor governance and service duplication.


To develop an improved, integrated and effective human services system that delivers positive outcomes for service users. A better service delivery system also requires the support of a service culture that promotes outcomes focussed partnerships between government and non-government services as well as other stakeholders.


Effective delivery of services requires a coordinated, responsive and holistic service system. Concerns about the difficulty of providing services, especially for people who have multiple and complex needs have been raised by service providers for some time.

By way of example, in 1996 the NSW Law Reform Commission made recommendations aimed at overcoming a lack of coordination between government agencies in the provision of services to people with a disability.

Services that people with complex needs come into contact with are often reactive, implemented at high cost and often do not achieve optimal outcomes.

The 2004 Innovative Models of Community Support for People with High and Complex Support Needs’ report prepared for the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC) recommends the following as essential service elements:

  • negotiated memoranda of understanding between key agencies;
  • senior-level involvement in case co-ordination;
  • close collaboration involving disability services, mental health services and physical health services and the police;
  • building on existing infra-structure (eg local health centre and established intake services).

Non-government human service providers are also developing service reform strategies which deliver improved client outcomes.


The Redfern-Waterloo Case Coordination Project is reducing barriers between service providers to assisting children and young people with high support needs. This model could be applied to a broader range of clients with complex needs.


  • Establish Service Delivery Reform Taskforces focusing on services for older people, homeless people, people with disabilities and migrant communities. These Taskforces will broaden the areas of reform established under Phase 1 of the Human Services Plan.
  • Improve coordination and integration between government and non-government service providers funded by the three tiers of government by:

-                      making specific recommendations for implementing shared back-office arrangements for NGOs operating in Redfern and Waterloo;

-                      identifying opportunities and suitable facilities for co-locating government and non-government service clusters using a one-stop-shop model, as a means of streamlining access to and delivery of services;

-                      setting baseline requirements for organisations to offer value for money and operate effectively in the delivery of quality services in a professional manner (including minimum number of administration, field and IT staff);

-                      setting minimum service standards to benchmark and evaluate performance of services over time using the existing the NSW Government’s Generic Quality Standards Framework as a starting point (including client satisfaction and service integration outcomes);

-                      recommending individual services or groups of services to be approached to commence negotiating reform and capacity building; and

-                      recommending conditions to be included in NSW agencies’ funding and contractual arrangements.

  • Develop case management systems for people with high support needs using the current Redfern-Waterloo Case Co-ordination Project as a template to ensure:

-                      multiple service requirements of people with complex needs are catered for;

-                      services are linked to need and packaged to enable people to continue to live in their own homes or move into more stable accommodation;

-                      case managers assist clients to achieve access to a range of services;

-                      entry and exits points for services based on assessment of need are clearer; and

-                      services remain appropriate over time and reflect changing needs.

  • Ensure that services are delivered in a culturally appropriate manner by:

-                      embedding culturally appropriate practices in the policies and operations of all agencies and funded organisations operating in the Redfern – Waterloo area;

-                      ensuring the delivery of cultural awareness programs is consistent with agency operational policy objectives;

-                      training to improve cultural awareness among service provider staff; and

-                      increasing the numbers and supporting the professional development of Aboriginal people and people from non-English speaking backgrounds working in services.

  • Identify opportunities to integrate health and community care services that are provided or funded by the three levels of government and non-government organisations.
  • Improve support for older people discharged from hospital by improving protocols used by local hospitals to link older people to community and service supports.
  • Improve links between community organisations providing services to frail older people and local GP services.
  • Improve the capacity of staff in service agencies to respond to abuse of older people through joint agency awareness training.
  • Improve and standardise information about advisory and referral services to ensure service users are able to access a wider range of support services more easily.


Forum issues paper No.2



Some people with dementia face significant disadvantages, compounded by personal circumstances such as living alone, geographical isolation or their cultural background. Personal stigma sometimes associated with physical and mental disability can lead to people withdrawing from activities they enjoy, compounding social isolation and depression.

Carers and family members living with people with dementia report that caring can be a lonely and frustrating role.

For people with dementia who lack a carer (particularly people living alone) dementia symptoms are less likely to come to the attention of support service providers.

Others with a mental illness, HIV/AIDS or pre-existing cognitive disability who develop dementia require very specific support service planning to meet greater level of needs.


Provide more flexible and responsive services to dementia sufferers in conjunction with more and better information about dementia.


The Review of Human Services in Redfern-Waterloo identified a higher proportion of older, physically frail people living alone particularly in Waterloo. Some service providers report that older people with dementia may already use mainstream community services but may be unaware or resistant to being referred to dementia support services. Mainstream community services require information about how best to continue to support these people.

Most people wish to remain in their local community. However people requiring long term dementia-specific residential care or access to respite in secure facilities must move out of the local area due to the lack of specialised facilities.


Deliver better outcomes through improved access to services and dementia support for Redfern and Waterloo residents by:

·         Establishing a Redfern-Waterloo Dementia Taskforce to:

-                      ensure actions to improve dementia-related services in Redfern and Waterloo are is consistent with the NSW Government’s Stronger Together: A New Direction for Disability Services in New South Wales 2006 -2016 policy and Future Directions for Dementia Care and Support in NSW 2001- 2006;

-                      identify local barriers to referral and support for people with dementia;

-                      ensure improvements to service delivery are consistent with the Service Reform Action Plan developed by the Redfern Waterloo Authority;

-                      recommend specific actions to improve capacity within government and non-Government organisations providing services to people with dementia;

-                      improve access to services, planning, accountability and coordination between the Inner West HACC and the South East Sydney HACC regions;

-                      improve referral processes, joint planning and coordination between non-government service providers; and

-                      improve access to appropriate housing accompanied by appropriate supports.

·         Increase access to high and low care dementia-specific facilities, aged care packages and respite services for carers.

·         Remove other government funding and service boundary inconsistencies in Redfern-Waterloo.

·         Improve the delivery of culturally appropriate dementia and aged care services for Aboriginal people by Aboriginal and mainstream service providers.

·         Improve access and referral to services for migrant communities.

·         Provide cultural awareness training for all employees of services supporting older people.


Forum issues paper No. 3



Approximately half the population of Redfern and Waterloo speaks a language other than English in the home. The 2001 Census indicated that 38 per cent of Redfern residents and 34 per cent of Waterloo residents were born overseas and speak a language other than English at home. While the most common languages other than English spoken in Redfern - Waterloo are Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Spanish and Greek, the number of people from African countries, Iraq and Afghanistan living in the area is increasing.


Provide migrant communities in Redfern and Waterloo with well-coordinated services delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.


Services delivered to migrant communities need to be more accessible and delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. The delivery of information in languages other than English is also a challenge for all service providers. Language barriers can limit access to information, reduce capacity to make informed decisions and can contribute to social isolation.


  • Improve access to information by working with service providers to:

-                      increase use of community radio to promote services;

-                      organise education, information and training sessions in community languages;

-                      create information forums and mini-information expos for small and emerging communities;

-                      ensure service users access mainstream services such as Department of Housing maintenance services; and

-                      ensure internet translated services are available in local council libraries.

  • Reduce social isolation by:

-                      providing access to affordable community events and other meetings in local recreational spaces;

-                      conducting community harmony and ‘get to know your neighbour’ events to encourage community interaction;


  • Increase access to employment opportunities by:

-                      ensuring employment expos undertaken by job networks target newly-arrived migrants and involve TAFE and other vocational institutions;

-                      providing information about employment in relevant community languages; and

-                      identifying training and employment opportunities associated with the Redfern Waterloo Authority Employment and Enterprise Plan.

  • Improve access to mental health services by:

-                      developing partnership activities between migrant groups, health services and other community organizations;

-                      organising information sessions targeting migrant communities; and

-                      increasing the promotion and delivery of mental health services to migrant communities in the area.

  • Develop responses to family violence among migrant communities by incorporating the following issues in the work being undertaken by the Redfern-Waterloo Family Violence Taskforce:

-                      developing greater communication and collaboration between police, migrant community organizations and family violence services;

-                      holding information sessions on spouse visa and family violence provision for visa holders in partnership with the Australian Government;

-                      encouraging migrants affected by family violence to report incidents;

-                      ensuring appropriate support services are available at the time family violence incidents are reported; and

-                      developing partnerships with mainstream family violence support services to improve their cultural appropriateness.

  • Improve community access to health services by ensuring the Migrant Health Service caters to a wider range of communities.


Forum issues paper No.



Lower life expectancy and quality of life outcomes associated with lower rates of use of health and aged care and other support services by older Aboriginal people.


Increase access to and use of health, aged care and other community support services by older Aboriginal people.


Aboriginal people have a consistently poor level of access to appropriate health care services and are not receiving the same level and quality of care for the diagnosis and treatment of illness as the rest of the Australian population. Available primary health care services are also under-utilised for other reasons, including lack of bulk billing, difficulties getting transport to and from appointments, and lack of culturally sensitive service development and delivery. As a consequence many Aboriginal people are presenting to health services late in the course of their diseases and experience significantly higher rates of preventable complications and death.

The Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) is a major point of access to community services and aged care accommodation. In recognition of the lower life expectancy of Aboriginal people most aged care services (including Home and Community Care Service and the Residential Aged Care Service) are available to Aboriginal people from the age of 45 years. However, fewer than expected numbers of older Aboriginal people in Redfern and Waterloo access ACAP and other community services.

Consultation with Aboriginal people and service providers indicates that some Aboriginal people prefer services to be provided by a member of their own family or community, rather than by an external worker. This may lead to carers not receiving the support they need to look after a family member as well as preventing identification of disability or other illnesses by professional staff.

Furthermore, social stigma which may be associated with disability prevents some Aboriginal people from acknowledging and identifying a disability. This makes it difficult for services to assist. Some Aboriginal people however, prefer to have a choice of whether to access a mainstream service or an Aboriginal service. The availability of choice is therefore important.

There is a need for better cooperation and coordination among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal services. Information sharing, service planning and flexibility could be improved. Case management services need to be identified and be appropriate.


  • Involve older Aboriginal people in the design, implementation and evaluation of health programs.
  • Involve older Aboriginal people in the design, implementation and evaluation of a strategy to address treatment issues associated with the cost of purchasing medication and medical equipment.
  • Include Aboriginal representation on the Redfern - Waterloo Human Services Plan Transport Taskforce.
  • Ensure that services are delivered in a culturally appropriate manner by:

-                      embedding culturally appropriate practices in the policies and operations of all agencies and funded organisations operating in the Redfern– Waterloo area;

-                      ensuring the delivery of cultural awareness programs is consistent with agency operational policy objectives;

-                      training to improve cultural awareness among service provider staff; and

-                      increasing the number of Aboriginal people working in services and supporting their professional development.

  • Build on existing points of contact between the service system and older Aboriginal people to develop more opportunities to link Aboriginal people with the health system and positive health messages.
  • Develop and build on soft entry models that allow easier access for older people to community services and minimise red tape and other barriers.
  • Strengthen service delivery partnerships between the Aboriginal Medical Service, Area Health Services and community services.
  • Improve planning and coordination of government and non-government services used by Aboriginal people with complex needs.
  • Develop protocols between local providers to ensure individual service users have access to the full range of services required to meet their needs.


Forum issues paper No.5



As NSW residents live longer the median age of the population is steadily increasing and by 2021 older people will outnumber children in NSW. Already 13 per cent of the NSW population is aged 65 years and over and it is estimated that over the next 20 years this proportion will grow to 20 per cent.

Positive interaction between younger and older people strengthens their relationships and reduces the likelihood of generations becoming disconnected or separated from each other. Interaction between the generations also contributes to recognition that each group has a valuable contribution to make to the wider community.

Supporting efforts to enhance positive connections between younger and older people can benefit families and the broader community. The role older people play as role models, care providers and educators is important in all communities especially in Aboriginal families, where respect for Elders is an important contributor to keeping families strong and culture alive.


Implement community engagement and community building programs and strategies in Redfern and Waterloo which encourage intergenerational initiatives.


Young people and older people generally spend more time in their local communities than other age groups. Initiatives that bring all age groups together to promote positive engagement and connections between different generations can have a positive impact on individual well-being, community strength and social cohesion.

Initiatives which have been shown to be effective at bringing younger and older people together and bringing about change in communities include: creative arts projects and volunteering in community support, mentoring, crime prevention or environmental improvement activities.

Also important are events which:

  • enhance participation and decision making in community activities;
  • provide older and younger people with a valued community role and identity;
  • enable the strengths of one age group to benefit another;
  • develop new community networks and support systems that increase social capital and enhance the resilience of children and young people;
  • reduce community tensions and misunderstandings between older and younger people; and
  • help young and older people to feel less marginalised or excluded from their local community.


  • The Redfern–Waterloo Community Safety Taskforce to recommend initiatives specifically addressing the safety needs of older people including policing and community development strategies which build a stronger sense of neighbourhood and community.
  • Ensure services increase opportunities for positive engagement and connection between younger and older people by:

-                      actively involving older people in classroom and school activities;

-                      increasing access to Families First and Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy initiatives;

-                      developing joint community activities (eg: cultural and social events, community safety projects, improving public spaces and maintaining community gardens); and

-                      implementing Intergenerational Reminiscence and Theatre Demonstration Projects in Redfern and Waterloo.


Forum issues paper No. 6



Addressing the causes of homelessness requires coordinated services able to respond to individuals who often have complex needs. Service must be capable of providing a range of pathways out of homelessness and into more stable accommodation and living patterns.


The causes of homelessness are complex but are often linked to unemployment, mental illness, family breakdown, domestic violence, child abuse and/or drug or alcohol abuse. Therefore, homeless people cannot be seen as a homogenous group, with easily defined needs or issues. While individual government agencies offer a range of services, homeless people often need help from a number of different sources at the same time.

There are a number of definitions of homelessness. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines three forms of homelessness: those without conventional accommodation (primary), those in temporary or transitional accommodation (secondary) and those living in boarding house accommodation (tertiary).

Previous consultations with community members and service providers have highlighted concerns about the extent to which homelessness is an issue in the Redfern and Waterloo areas. Obtaining accurate homelessness data specific to the Redfern and Waterloo areas is problematic because data is usually not collected by agencies at this smaller level.

National Data Collection Agency data for 2004-05 indicated there were 4,117 people accessing Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) accommodation throughout Inner Sydney, comprising 674 (16.4per cent) women and 3,443 (83.6per cent) men.

Issues which have an impact on whether homeless people can access stable accommodation in Redfern and Waterloo include:

  • the transient nature of homelessness which means people may be unable be access crisis mental health teams and other support services because they are not residing in stable accommodation;
  • limited data on actual levels of homelessness in Redfern-Waterloo making it difficult to estimate demand for services in the area.
  • increased demand for support services arising from the movement of people into the community.
  • limited support networks;
  • restrictive service access criteria;
  • poor living, language, communication and inter-personal skills; and
  • limited availability of and access to appropriate, safe and affordable accommodation.


  • Support the implementation of an Inner City Homelessness Action Plan (ICHA) (Phase 2), which includes:

-                      a single outreach and support service for homeless people in Redfern and Waterloo;

-                      an appropriate data collection system that identifies key issues, processes and outcomes of efforts to address homelessness;

-                      enhancement of service delivery to and coordination of support for people with high and complex needs (including dual diagnosis)

-                      piloting housing and support models that lead to sustainable accommodation for homeless people; and

-                      early intervention initiatives which identify people at risk or in the early stages of homelessness, with a specific focus on the issues and needs of Aboriginal people.

  • Develop a joint assessment and referral protocol between service providers to assist the smooth transition from homelessness to stable accommodation and support.
  • Ensure the new Inner City Homelessness Outreach and Support Service (ICHOSS) operates regular patrols in Redfern and Waterloo seven days a week.


Forum issues paper No. 7



The 2004 Review of Human Services in Redfern and Waterloo identified meeting the needs of an ageing population as the biggest issue facing the delivery of disability services in Redfern and Waterloo.

A projected increase in the ageing population in the area (and consequently older people with disabilities) will put additional pressure on respite care and accommodation options for older people and other people with disabilities.


Improve delivery of services for people with disabilities and their carers in Redfern and Waterloo that build on the NSW Government’s ‘Stronger Together’ ten year plan and Australian Government policies. Actions in this plan will inform the implementation of ‘Stronger Together’ in the Redfern-Waterloo area.


The quality of life of people with disabilities, as well as their families’ and carers’, are dependent on the quality of the disability support service system and levels of access to those services. Key determinants of quality and access are:

-                      clear service entrance and exit points;

-                      effective planning and flexible service delivery;

-                      the degree of fairness and transparency of access to services;

-                      linking of services to needs;

-                      capacity to provide quality support to people in their own homes;

-                      providing more options for people who need to live in specialist support services;

-                      transport for people with disabilities who need to access available services;

-                      adequate support for carers;

-                      well-trained staff; and

-                      programs being provided in a culturally appropriate manner.


  • Develop case management systems for people with disabilities that have high support needs using the current Redfern-Waterloo Case Co-ordination Project as a template to ensure:


-                      services are linked to need and packaged to enable people to continue to live in their own homes;

-                      case managers assist clients achieve this goal by enabling access to a range of services;

-                      entry and exits points for services based on assessment of need are clearer; and

-                      services remain appropriate over time and reflect changing needs.

  • Ensure that services are delivered in a culturally appropriate manner by:

-                      embedding culturally appropriate practices in the policies and operations of all agencies and funded organisations operating in the Redfern – Waterloo area;

-                      ensuring the delivery of cultural awareness programs is consistent with agency operational policy objectives;

-                      training to improve cultural awareness among service provider staff; and

-                      increasing the numbers and supporting the professional development of Aboriginal people and people from non-English speaking backgrounds working in services.

  • Ensure improvements to disability service delivery are consistent with the implementation of service reform being coordinated by the Redfern Waterloo Authority.
  • Promote greater use of Australian Government Carelink Centres by agencies and in the wider community.
  • Improve access to supported accommodation for people with disabilities and develop alternative supported accommodation models appropriate to needs.


Forum issues paper No. 8



Older people, people with poor English language skills, people with disabilities and people with physical and/or mental health problems are at particular risk of social isolation.


Increase social inclusion and reduce social isolation in Redfern and Waterloo through enhanced community engagement, community building and service delivery strategies.


Recent research from the UK identified seven key characteristics that are most strongly related to an older person experiencing multiple elements of social exclusion. These are:

-                      being aged 80 years of age and over;

-                      living alone, having no living children;

-                      poor mental or physical health;

-                      limited or no access to private car and never using public transport;

-                      living in rented accommodation;

-                      having a low income with income support payments as the main source of income; and

-                      limited or no access to a telephone.

The Redfern-Waterloo area has a higher concentration of older people (65+ years and 45+ years for Aboriginal people) compared to the greater Sydney or the rest of NSW. This is particularly the case for the public housing neighbourhoods in the area where approximately half the population does not speak English at home.

There is also a significantly higher proportion of lone person households, the majority of which are located in Waterloo, house older people and public housing.

Areas containing high concentrations of public housing are often associated with high levels of social exclusion.

Strategies that draw on community strengths and relationships within the community can assist to generate and increase social interaction.


  • • Increase community engagement and community building initiatives that promote informal contact between people by introducing a community development project for Redfern and Waterloo based on the Department of Housing’s Community Regeneration strategies. This project should include:

-                      undertaking community safety audits with the support and assistance of tenants, Department of Housing, Police and the City of Sydney;

-                      developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Police and Department of Housing allowing for the sharing of information about criminal behaviour on Department of Housing Property;

-                      identifying ‘mini-mayors’ / ’safety ambassadors’ as contact points for tenants seeking information and reporting incidents;

-                      improving access to information about services and activities available;

-                      introducing an ongoing audit and management system of maintenance such as repairing lights, doors and removal of graffiti;

-                      identifying community facilities and other assets;

-                      fostering and encouraging the formation of tenant and community groups;

-                      increasing community consultation on community regeneration projects;

-                      promoting the availability for tenants use of community rooms and facilities in high-rise and other projects on estates;

-                      providing ongoing support for the Redfern and Waterloo Neighbourhood Advisory Boards;

-                      introducing community arts projects to encourage tenant interaction as well as mentorship and behavioural change for the disadvantaged;

-                      holding regular community events such as community celebrations, barbeques, storytelling and other recreational activities;

-                      giving greater consideration to current tenants’ needs in allocation of new tenancies; and

-                      developing ongoing interaction between the Surry Hills, Redfern and Waterloo Neighbourhood Advisory Boards to share experiences and successes.

  • Actively engage people in crime prevention and other strategies that help reduce fear of crime in the community.
  • The Office for Ageing to implement a project aimed at reducing social isolation in the area.


Forum issues paper No. 9



Transport is a key service for communities. People need transport that is safe, reliable and affordable so people can get to work, educational and health facilities such as schools and hospitals, go shopping and socialise. Access to transport assists people to participate in a wide variety of everyday activities which can reduce people’s feelings of isolation and improve their health and wellbeing.

There are people who are transport disadvantaged living in the Redfern and Waterloo area who find it difficult to access transport services to meet their everyday needs. Certain factors preventing people from accessing transport services may include:

-                      age and frailty;

-                      disability;

-                      availability and physical accessibility of transport services;

-                      cost of transport: Some people find the costs of personal or public transport are high and unaffordable. These financial barriers are reflected in areas that have high rates of unemployment and people living on low incomes;

-                      services and activities being located in places that are difficult for people to travel to; and

-                      personal safety and security: Some people are unwilling to use public transport or walk to key services because of their perceived fear of crime.

Community Transport services are organisations that receive government funding to provide transport services to frail older people, people with a disability and their carers and to people who are transport disadvantaged who don’t have access to public transport services. Some of the key issues for Community Transport services include:

·         The increasing demand for Community Transport services particularly for people requiring transport to and from hospital for a doctor’s appointment or therapy.

·         The provision of culturally appropriate services to people from Aboriginal backgrounds and people from migrant communities so that more people from diverse backgrounds are able to use community transport services, are ongoing issues for Community Transport services. For many Aboriginal people affordable transport to funerals is also an issue.

·         People requiring Community Transport services are often very frail, have more complex care needs and often require more than one service. This places extra demands on services and the people who may only need assistance occasionally are missing out.

·         Providing services to people living on very low incomes can place additional financial pressures on services. If people do not have the capacity to pay for the community transport service they are still provided with a service. The service provider pays the full cost of this service.

·         Due to the changes in the City of Sydney boundaries there are numerous service providers providing community transport, particularly shopping services. This may cause duplication of service and confusion for some users unable to identify the types of services available.


To improve transport options for frail older people, people with a disability and their carers and people who are transport disadvantaged living in the Redfern-Waterloo area.


There are a number of factors which need to be considered to improve people’s access to transport in transport disadvantaged areas like the Redfern–Waterloo area. These include:

  • People living on lower incomes who do not own a car, need access to good public transport, fares that are affordable and a community environment that encourages walking and cycling.
  • As there are more older people living in the Redfern - Waterloo area compared to the rest of the City of Sydney LGA, there is a more likely to be a need for accessible transport where people feel safe using the transport. Accessible pathways of travel within the community are required so people can use the accessible transport.
  • Access to Community Transport is also very important to the wellbeing of many frail older people, people with a disability and their carers and people who are transport disadvantaged who are not able to use public transport. Transport to medical facilities is important for older people particularly as people age and become more frail. Services need to be provided in a culturally appropriate manner so that eligible people can access community transport services.
  • Targeted transport information in relevant languages, plain English and delivered in an accessible manner.
  • Greater co-operation and communication between all transport providers hospitals and other key agencies in the City of Sydney LGA in the delivery of transport services for residents of the City of Sydney LGA, including in the Redfern-Waterloo area.


  • Establish a Transport Working Group for the Redfern-Waterloo area to improve transport for frail older people, people with a disability and their carers and people who are transport disadvantaged by:

-                      identifying gaps in transport services across the community; and

-                      developing and trialling projects to improve transport options for people who are transport disadvantaged.

-                      providing information about service options to make it easier for community transport and shopping service users to know which service they require.

-                      working with funded community transport agencies to provide more culturally appropriate services to frail older people and people with a disability and their carers.

(Membership of the Working group will include: community transport providers, mainstream public transport providers, taxi operators, key stakeholders and community members.)

  • Improve coordination and standardising of referrals for Community Transport agencies through the Better Service Delivery Program, in line with other government and non-government organisations in the area.


Forum issues paper No. 10



Poor amenity in and around the Redfern and Waterloo public housing estates can contribute to social isolation and lower levels of community interaction. This can also encourage anti-social behaviour and heightened perceptions of crime and lower community safety.


Improve general amenity by revitalising community facilities, improving public open spaces and providing a greater range of human services within close proximity to public housing tenants.


Residents, especially older people, living on the Redfern and Waterloo public housing estates also have personal safety and security concerns. This means they tend not to go out into the wider community after mid-afternoon and often prefer to isolate themselves in their own unit.

Improved high and low care accommodation more suited to the needs of the aged, the frail and the disabled as well as more in-home assistance and access to group home facilities can do much to improve quality of life.

Housing options which bring older people together and provide more supportive living environments can also do much to reduce social isolation and improve levels of personal safety and well being. This can also be cost effective for government as it enables agencies to provide services at lower cost as a result of integration of service delivery and reduction in red tape and administrative costs.


  • identifying partnerships under the Housing and Human Services Accord to improve the level of support for older people with medium and high support needs.
  • Reform the delivery of human services to improve in-home support for older frail people in Redfern and Waterloo and provide more flexibility in the way services are delivered to older people and encourage them to remain in their own home by:

-                      developing partnerships between Government and non-government agencies which improve support available for seniors living on public housing estates;


-                      providing seniors-only housing by reconfiguring or modifying some of the existing housing hi-rise stock on the Redfern and Waterloo estates so that it is better suited to the needs of older people;

-                      ensuring that reconfigured housing options support older tenants with high needs by enabling them to be located with or near carers or family support; and

-                      ensuring that age-related housing allocation policies take the different average life expectancies of different population groups into account.

  • Actively engage older people in planning and implementing urban renewal strategies and improving the use of public space.
  • Develop strategies to promote lifelong learning for older people in the community.
  • Actively engage older people in developing crime prevention and other strategies that will help reduce fear of crime in the community.
  • Engage vulnerable older people, City of Sydney, Department of Housing, and local agencies in developing and implementing a cross agency project to reduce social isolation of older people in conjunction with the Office for Ageing’s work on social exclusion and older people.
  • Develop communal initiatives through the Department of Housing High Rise Strategy implementation plan to expand the availability of supported social housing partnerships for older people. 

Download the original PDF file from the RWA site Human Services Plan Phase 2 Issues Papers (pdf ~91kb)