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Responses to Lift for Redfern Station Announcement

Below we have collected statements made by various political party representatives (Liberal, Labor and Greens) about the announcement of a lift for Redfern Station. They are provided together for contrast. Lift Redfern which organised two petition and a range of other activites from schools to lobbying drove the community campaign. Lift Redfern was supported accross the political spectrum but it was really a community campaign with many people playing a part. When the anouncement was made here is what the political parties said.

Christine Forster - Liberal Coucillor City of Sydney - Redfern Station Accessibility Upgrade

Liberal City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster has welcomed an announcement by Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian about plans to make trains at Redfern Station accessible to people in wheelchairs and parents with prams for the first time. The State Government has issued a tender for a concept design to provide lift access to one platform at Redfern, allowing customers to access all train lines via Central Station.

“The lack of wheelchair and pram access at Redfern Station has been a pressing problem for the community for many years but was never addressed by successive State Labor governments,” said Councillor Forster. “I have been advocating for action since I was elected to Council in 2012, and I welcome the Minister for Transport’s plan to address this issue by installing a lift. Redfern Station is one of the busiest in Sydney and it is vital that it is accessible to all members of the local community.”

Councillor Forster also praised plans by Transport for NSW to address other issues at Redfern Station. “Real action by the State Government to upgrade Redfern’s ageing infrastructure and reduce congestion on platforms will deliver tangible benefits to this thriving inner city suburb,” she said.

Lobby group Lift Redfern, which is associated with community organisation REDwatch, also welcomed the news. Lift Redfern had previously lodged a petition signed by over 11,000 people seeking at least one lift as an initial response from the Government while upgrade plans for Redfern Station were put in place. “We and the 50,000 people who use the Station daily look forward to Redfern becoming fully accessible from all directions in the not too distant future” said REDWatch spokesman Geoffrey Turnbull.

(Source: Media Statement)

Irene Doutney - Liberal Councillor City of Sydney -Redfern station to finally be made accessible

The news yesterday that a lift will be installed at Redfern railway station was a rare piece of good news for a community that has campaigned long and hard for this investment, which is essential to providing equity of access to this important transport hub.

The news comes just under a year after our state politicians disappointed the people of Redfern with their underwhelming response to the issue and almost a year and a half after I had the honour of launching the Lift Redfern campaign with federal disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innis.

While any progress on providing access to the station, which is used by over 50 000 people per day but can currently only be reached via steep staircases and escalators, is appreciated this week’s announcement is mostly only an interim measure as the transport minister has stated that a lift will be provided to only one platform at this stage. Hopefully yesterday’s announcement will shortly be followed by a timeline for the implementation of the single lift in the short term and a longer term plan to install access facilities across all the station’s platforms.

While the announcement is currently only small scale and awaiting a defined timeline the fact that anything is happening at all represents a significant victory for the community.  The Lift Redfern campaign has seen dozens of community volunteers invest hundreds of hours into collecting thousands of signatures and highlighting the importance of this upgrade.

I was thus surprised by the fact that the transport minister’s press release announcing the investment didn’t mention this community involvement and instead singled out Liberal Councillor Christine Forster as a strong advocate for the project.  While all relevant parties have provided varying measures of support for the campaign I’m not aware of Christine Forster personally having any involvement - I’ve never seen her at a meeting or an action of the campaign group and never heard her say anything publicly on the matter.  Most of the hard work of the campaign was done and dusted by the time she was elected to Council.

Still, politics aside, this is a victory for the community and everyone genuinely involved should be congratulated.  I look forward to this announcement resulting in action on the ground as soon as possible. 


Ron Hoenig ALP Member for Heffron in Central Magazine -Community Wins Big Victory in Station Lift Struggle

THE installation of a muchneeded lift at Redfern station has finally been given the green light by the State Government.

The announcement, which has been seen as a community victory, came from NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian after more than 50,000 signatures were gathered to ensure the issue was debated in NSW Parliament.

Heffron state Labor MP RonHoenig said the installation of a lift at the busy station was long overdue.

‘‘I am exceptionally pleased with this result as the community has waited patiently for years and has been advocating for a lift at Redfern,’’ he said.

‘‘It is one of the biggest stations in Sydney after Central and is 150 years old and people have continued to talk about its redevelopment over the years but nothing has happened. So over the years you have had a population increase and council encouraging more people to use public transport but all these elderly residents, people with disabilities and mums with prams and strollers have not been able to use Redfern station because there has been no lift access.’’

Mr Hoenig said while the station will only be receiving lift access on one platform, it would be enough to alleviate the problem for now.

‘‘I feel like we have achieved the impossible with this and while the whole station does really need to be completely redeveloped this will at least allow people to commute to Central, where they can change onto another line,’’ Mr Hoenig said.

‘‘The community should be proud of this result. They were the ones who lead the way.

They were the ones who just wanted access to one platform and in my 30 years in politics I have never seen a community so reasonable and moderate in their request. It was because of them it enabled me to lobby the minister without sounding unreasonable.’’

Labor councillor Linda Scott said she was pleased with the announcement.

(Source: Central Magazine 21 August 2013)

Dr Mehreen Faruqi - Greens Oposition Spokesperson on Transport -Redfern Lift Must Become a Reality

NSW Greens Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, today welcomed the announcement of the tender for a lift at Redfern, but cautioned that the community will be holding the Government to account.

 “After more than twenty years of lobbying from the community, this marks the first firm commitment to accessibility at Redfern Station

“I congratulate the local community who came together and have been campaigning tirelessly to make Redfern Station accessible.

 ‘‘But let’s keep this in perspective; the announcement is a tender for one lift to one platform at Redfern Station. People with mobility restrictions will still face difficulties in moving between platforms to change trains, regardless of where their final destination is.

 “The announcement of the tender marks just the first step towards making Redfern station accessible.

“I look forward to firm timelines from the Minister for Transport for the instalment of the first lift at Redfern station with others to follow closely.

“The Government must ensure this announcement makes it from press release to reality”, Dr Faruqi concluded.

 (Source: Media Release)

At last: lift announced for Redfern Station


The State Government’s announcement that Redfern Railway Station will finally receive a lift has been hailed by a range of community figures reports Peter Hachney in the Hub of 22 August 2013.

The announcement, made last Thursday by NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, means the station will become accessible to customers in wheelchairs and parents with prams for the first time.

A tender has been issued for a concept design to provide lift access to one platform, allowing customers to access all train lines via Central Station, Ms Berejiklian said.

“At the moment it is virtually impossible for people in wheelchairs to access trains at Redfern, and extremely difficult for parents with prams and the elderly, so this is a good start to ensure all customers can access the network at Redfern,” she said.

While only one platform will have a lift at this stage, passengers not travelling directly to the upgraded platform could catch a train to Central and transfer back by train to the desired platform.

Transport for NSW is also investigating works to address ageing infrastructure, congestion on platforms and better integration of the station into the surrounding neighbourhood, said the Transport Minister.

Ms Berejiklian’s Liberal colleague, City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster, said: “This is such an important issue for the local community and the announcement of plans to install a lift at Redfern is very welcome after years of inaction by the previous State Government.”

Ms Forster’s Labor rival, Councillor Linda Scott, also welcomed the news. “This is a victory for the community who have worked tirelessly for lifts at Redfern Station, and especially those who gathered over 50,000 signatures to ensure this issue was debated in NSW Parliament,” said Ms Scott.

“As with previous upgrades to Newtown Station, if this lift is installed and Redfern Station is upgraded, it will make a concrete difference to the lives of inner-city residents.”

But Ms Scott said providing one lift would ideally be “a first step” – a sentiment echoed by Geoff Turnbull, spokesperson for Redfern Eveleigh Darlington Waterloo Watch (REDWatch).

While Mr Turnbull praised the “interim solution”, he said the ultimate goal was a lift for every platform.

“We and the 50,000 people who use the station daily look forward to Redfern becoming fully accessible from all directions in the not too distant future,” he said.