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You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Government, UG, SMDA & RWA Statements / 2004 / Letter from Minister to Concerned Organisations

Letter from Minister to Concerned Organisations

The letter below was sent in late December 2004 by Minister Sartor to some of the organisations that had raised their concerns with the Minister about the Legislation and the RWA. Organisations noted that the sucessful lobbying of the non Government side of Parliament to change the Redfern Waterloo Bill were described in this letter as resulting from the Government accepting amendments arrising from the Government being conscious of the need to consult!

Thank you for your letter regarding the Redfern-Waterloo Authority Bill 2004.

The Bill sets up the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) which will manage public infrastructure in the area and implement the Redfern-Waterloo Plan.

The RWA will be established and operating as soon as possible so it can get to work on solutions for the chronic, long term problems afflicting the area.

In drafting the legislation, the Government was conscious of the need to consult widely with key stakeholders while preserving flexibility to be able to act quickly and adapt to challenges as they arise.

From these consultations, a number of amendments were proposed and accepted. These include:

  • Inserting Objects of the Bill to make it clear the Bill is designed to improve public amenity, quality of life and safety in Redfern-Waterloo;
  • The NSW Heritage Council must be consulted before altering any item listed on the State Heritage Register;
  • Clarifying the ability of the RWA to impose certain levies on State Significant development;
  • Limiting any future expansion of the operational area of the RWA;
  • Guaranteeing Aboriginal representation on the Advisory Committees; and
  • Consulting with the Aboriginal Housing Company and the Aboriginal community on the long term strategic vision for the Block.

These amendments clarify the Authority's role and ensure that consultation with occur with the local community.

Further mechanisms for consultation, including the preparation of the Redfern-Waterloo Plan, will be outlined by the RWA soon.

The RWA will work very closely with the local community. Regular public forums will be held for residents or representatives of community organisations, and working groups will be formed for specific projects.

In addition, next year at least three advisory committees with be convened, which may include human services, employment and the built environment. These committees will have at least five members of the local community working closely with local and state government staff.

I am seeking community feedback on the structure and process for these committees. Comments and submissions can be sent to my office at GPO Box 5341, Sydney NSW 2001 (attention: Owen Torpy) by 31 January 2005.

The RWA will, also consult closely with the Aboriginal community and the Aboriginal Hosing Company when considering plans for The Block and Aboriginal housing. The Government recognises the importance of The Block and it will remain a place of significance to the Aboriginal community.

Public housing is also an important issue in Redfern-Waterloo and must be considered as part of any long term strategy to improve the quality of life for residents in the area. I would like to stress that no decisions have been made regarding any redevelopment of public housing estates, with the exception of the proposed Elizabeth Street development, which has been the subject of extensive community consultation.

There will be no reduction in the amount of public housing in Redfern and Waterloo. This will be the starting point for any future decisions in the area. All existing tenancies are secure, and there is no intention to make any decision without extensive consultation with local residents.

I look forward to working with all members of the community and non-government organisations in achieving real and sustainable development in Redfern-Waterloo.

If you have any questions, please call my office on 9228 4700.

Yours sincerely

Frank Sartor