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Aboriginal Housing Company Submission on AFZs

This is the AHC submision regarding the proposed AFZs in Redfern Waterloo.

Clover Moore MP

Lord Mayor

City of Sydney
Town Hall House
483 George Street


7th April 2006.

Dear Clover,

I am writing to you in regard to the City of Sydney proposal to establish a number of Alcohol-Free Zones (AFZs) in Redfern and Waterloo.

The Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) supports initiatives which reduce irresponsible alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking and public drug use.

As you are aware for the last 7 years the AHC has been at the forefront of the campaign to remove the needle bus that distributes syringes on Hugo Street next to the children’s playground on the Block. We have actively lobbied for the needle bus to be replaced by a more culturally appropriate holistic case managed program. The fact is mismanaged services like the needle bus add no value to the community and act as a honey pot for drug dealers and street drinkers.  

Our highest priority has always been to provide a secure environment for the children of Redfern. Street drinking and drug use are the most immediate threats to our children’s safety and health. 

From our experience the implementation of AFZs without an alternative placement for the people who drink on the street, usually only results in moving the problem from one area to another, within the same locality.

The City of Sydney proposal to make some areas in Redfern alcohol free will simply move the majority of street drinking onto land owned by the AHC and the City of Sydney in the vicinity of “The Block”.

We strongly recommend  that, in the short term, Eveleigh Street and Eveleigh Lane; Holden Street; Louis Street; Caroline Street and Caroline Lane; Vine Street; Hugo Street and, City of Sydney land in front the children’s playground at the Redfern Community Centre and the Pemulwuy Park adjacent to the railway line be included in the AFZ proposal.

The AHC would also recommend that, as a long term solution, the City of Sydney should consider convening a working group inclusive of all the relevant stakeholders to work toward to developing a case managed strategy including the establishment of a wet-centre for the people who drink on the street in the Redfern Waterloo area.

Yours sincerely

Michael Mundine Snr JP