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State Government Extends Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project

This News Release was issued by the NSW Premier to extend the life of the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project until 2006. This News release was issued on May 27 2004.

The Premier of NSW, Mr Bob Carr today announced the State Government has approved the extension of funding for the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project until 2006.

The Budget Committee of State Cabinet - as part of the mini-budget - earlier this year approved $2.5 million a year for the next two years.

In 2006, the project can re-apply for funding as part of the normal budget process.

Set up in 2001, the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project is a joint government - community approach to combat the complex range of serious, long-term problems including crime, alcohol, housing, health and education.

Some of the current initiatives funded as part of the Partnership Project includes:

  • The eight-person Redfern-Waterloo street team, which operates seven days a week and works with children and young people, aged 11 to 16 years who are at risk to harm or anti-social and criminal activity; (It has recorded on average over 300 contacts with young people each month since March 2003);
  • A specialist three-person Department of Community Services (DoCs) team, which provides a whole of government approach to dealing with high risk children;
  • Barnardo's Intensive Family Support Service-which provides an intensive home visiting service to local families,;
  • Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Home Family Support Service-providing practical support for Aboriginal families including nutrition, parenting programs, domestic violence counselling, housing information and support and drug and alcohol programs;
  • Mentoring programs and the Redfern Police Youth Holiday Camps to build or restore relationships between local kids and police; and
  • Redfern-Waterloo Anti-Drug Strategy-which targets the commercial supply of heroin and related social issues.

"There is no magic wand to solving the issues in the Redfern and Waterloo areas, but we have a responsibility to try to address their root causes," Mr Carr said.

"Crime and anti-social behaviour is still at unacceptable levels, but it has dropped since the government set up the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project. For instance, assaults have dropped by 19.5 per cent and stolen vehicle offences are down by 26.9 per cent.

No one is saying that it can be fixed overnight as 67 per cent of people in Waterloo and 35 per cent in Redfern are not in the labour force. In Waterloo, 46 per cent of families are headed by a single parent.

In addition, there are more than 4,000 public housing dwellings within the two areas. This accounts for 69 per cent of Waterloo's entire housing available.

And the weekly income in 56 per cent of Waterloo households is less than $400 a week and 25.8 per cent have incomes less than $200 per week.