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The Redfern Waterloo Plan Frequently Asked Questions

This is the text of the "The Redfern Waterloo Plan" leaflet produced by the RWPP to answer Frequently Asked Questions following the SMH articles on the leaked NSW Cabinet Documents. The leaflet was distributed to residents in the immediate lead up to the rally held at the Waterloo public housing towers. The original pdf file dated 4th December 2004 is 1.5MB and is available for download at the link below. We have maintained the orginal colour scheme so you can recognise the leaflet if you saw the original.

RWPP - Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project

Frequently Asked Questions Prepared for Residents of Redfern-Waterloo

The Redfern-Waterloo Plan (2004-2014) contains initiatives around three key strategies – infrastructure, jobs and human services

The Redfern-Waterloo Authority Bill 2004 and the Redfern-Waterloo Authority it creates is simply a vehicle to address the renewal of Redfern and Waterloo.

The real work will start once the Authority is in place – and the sooner the better.

There will be extensive consultation on the preparation of the Redfern-Waterloo Plan.

Reports and proposals prepared to date are works in progress to be considered in preparing the Plan.

The challenges are huge and need real focus.

That is why an Authority is being established and there is some flexibility to act provided in the Bill.


Is there a Redfern-Waterloo Plan already completed and ready to go once the Redfern-Waterloo Authority is set up?

There is no final or completed plan. There are working documents which have explored options.

The draft plan, when prepared, will be made public so residents can have their say before being adopted.

There are currently three key strategies that are being shaped to provide a direction for the future development of the area. These strategies, each of which contains a number of proposals, are – infrastructure, jobs and human services.

The Government is providing direction to the project through the appointment of the Minister for Redfern-Waterloo and the Redfern-Waterloo Authority Bill2004. The legislation makes provision for the development of a Redfern-Waterloo Plan, which when approved by the Minister, will be implemented by the Redfern-Waterloo Authority and the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project.


What is the Minister doing about the redevelopment of The Block?

No decisions have been made about the future of The Block. The Aboriginal Housing Company and the Minister for Redfern-Waterloo are working together to establish a sustainable vision for the area.

There is a continuing dialogue between the Minister’s office and members of the Aboriginal Housing Company. Whatever happens on The Block, a broad community consultation strategy will occur.

The site is of great significance to Aboriginal people in NSW and across Australia. The home of urban Aboriginal land rights in Australia, Redfern reflects the history of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal race relations in Australia.

The NSW Parliament Social Issues Standing Committee Inquiry into Issues Relating to Redfern-Waterloo acknowledged that the redevelopment of The Block is of utmost importance.

There is no intention by the State Government to compulsorily acquire the Block.


So what are the plans for public housing in Redfern and Waterloo?

The Government will neither reduce the amount of public housing in Redfern-Waterloo nor disadvantage its current residents.

One of the key elements identified during community consultations in 2003 was the need to provide better housing options in the area.

The renewal of public housing estates will be investigated. No decision has been made on their future. Public housing accounts for thirty-five percent of residents and fifty percent of the housing stock in the area.

The Government is looking at all the options for the long term future of public housing in Redfern and Waterloo. There will be substantial consultation with tenants, local organisations and other government and non-government agencies before any plans for the area are pursued.

All tenancies are secure.


I am a public housing tenant - will I have to leave my home?

No, there are no plans to redevelop any public housing at this time, with the exception of the proposed Elizabeth Street development which has been the subject of extensive community consultation.


Is it the Government’s intention to force Aboriginal people, public housing tenants and low-income earners out of living in the Redfern-Waterloo area?

No. The Redfern-Waterloo Plan is about improving the quality of life for all residents and encouraging community renewal.

A major review of human services, commissioned by the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project, has just been completed. This review will lead to improved services for people living in the area.

Information sessions for the public on the consultants’ findings will be held at: Redfern Town Hall on Wednesday 15 December 5.30pm to 8pm; and Thursday 16 December 2pm to 4pm.

The findings will inform the first integrated Human Services plan to ensure the best possible human services are available for all residents.


How will the Redfern-Waterloo Authority (RWA) deliver affordable housing?

The Redfern-Waterloo Authority Bill 2004 provides that the Authority should provide and promote housing choice. Affordable housing levies will be obtained to assist the achievement of this.


What will happen to heritage buildings?

The Redfern-Waterloo Authority Bill 2004 lists important tests before the provisions of the Heritage Act 1977 do not apply. The site has to be declared as a “State

Significant” development and the Minister for Redfern-Waterloo must be satisfied that the development is essential for achieving the strategic vision for the improvement of Redfern and Waterloo.


What’s happening with Redfern Oval – green space or sports venue?

Planning for future use of the Redfern Oval is the responsibility of the City of Sydney Council. The State Government is not involved with any redevelopment of Redfern Oval.


What’s happening with the Redfern Railway Station upgrade?

Redfern Railway Station is one of the busiest stations on Sydney’s metropolitan network and is close to full capacity.

As part of the infrastructure proposals, Redfern Railway Station will be redeveloped. When ready, an option for the design of the new Station will be released for public consultation.

The redevelopment will improve access to the rail network, provide additional capacity to meet future patronage growth, and allow people with disabilities to use the service.

It will help connect the Redfern town centre with the Station by creating a pedestrian plaza and low-scale retail facilities over the railway lines.

An upgrade to the Station will provide better services for commuters, including those who are disabled, and create a range of retail and commercial opportunities for businesses.