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Redwater FUTURES Public Meeting

As a result of community concern about how the RED consultation was being conducted a meeting was called for Tueday 29th July. Following are the minutes of that meeting which provide some indication of the community concern. This concern was also reflected in some of the 2004 submissions to the Legislative Council Social Issues Inquiry into Redfern-Waterloo regarding the poor consultation processes used by the RWPP.






Dear Sir/Madam,


Enclosed (or attached) are the Minutes of the Public Meeting called by RedWater Futures to discuss consultation over the RED Strategy held on Tuesday 29th July at the Police Citizens Youth Club in Redfern.  Also enclosed (or attached) are the points that came out of the ‘brainstorming’ session towards the end of the meeting.


A diverse group of residents and workers attended the meeting, totaling about 130 – 150 people, a very good turnout for a cold Tuesday night.  It was plain that the meeting felt that the consultation process so far conducted by the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Program (a program of the NSW Premier’s Department) and their consultants has been totally inadequate.  People were concerned for the future of their homes and of public housing in the area in general.  They were concerned that there has been very little in the media about the RED Strategy, and very little debate.  Residents want the people from the Program to be allowed and encouraged to talk to the press.  They don’t feel like they know what’s going on.


Pressure from the RedWater Futures group and from others has rightly caused the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Program to schedule a public meeting (the first that they have called) at the Redfern Town Hall on Saturday 2nd of August, which by the time you receive this will be tomorrow.  It’s on at 2.00 pm, and it’s important that you attend it and raise your concerns there.  It’s your area, and possibly your home, that will be affected.


I hope to see you on Saturday!






Charlie Richardson

On behalf of RedWater Futures



Tell your neighbours, tell your friends!

Public Meeting about the future of Redfern and Waterloo

2.00 pm Saturday 2nd August

Redfern Town Hall

71 Pitt Street, Redfern (near Redfern Street)












Held: Tuesday 29 July 2003 5:30pm at PCYC, Redfern


Meeting Convened by: RedWater Futures


Chaired by: Rev John McIntyre



Welcome: Clover Moore MP, Cllr Tony Pooley, Mayor SSCC, Denny Hall (Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project)

Apologies: Bob Carr (Premier NSW), Tanya Plibersek, Kristina Keneally

Acknowledge the amount of work Charlie Richardson and Kerry McGrath

Aim of meeting: To identify community concerns regarding the consultation processes of the RED Strategy.


To identify

1.      statement of community concerns

2.      appropriate timeline for consultation

3.      a clear plan for RED Strategy to engage in consultation with community




Kerry McGrath:

·         Kerry worked in area for many years, Currently, living out of area but on Management Committee of the Settlement

·         RedWater Futures convened meeting, not incorporated group but made up of concerned community members living or working in area

·         Explained that the RED Strategy is a 6 Stage process and 80% into Stage 1 of the Strategy. Minimal consultation so far. Many more opportunities for community to be involved in consultation

·         Groups identified as not being consulted to date include youth, elderly, cultural, students, public housing tenants and Indigenous. Kerry questioned who does that leave?

·         Next Public Consultation of the RED Strategy is Saturday 2 August 2003 from 2 to 4pm at Redfern Town Hall. All encouraged to attend and participate.


Charlie Richardson:

·         Coordinator Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development

·         Spoke about the RED Strategy and aim to achieve a better social mix which can mean to change who people are

·         At RED Strategy meetings maps showed every piece of public land including all public housing marked in yellow and described as available for re-development. 

·         Increase population of area by 10,000 people, which is an increase of 50%.

·         Questioned if improvements to area same as improving the quality of life in area?

·         Encourage all to get involved, speak to community representatives and leaders and highlighted the scale of change we are faced with.


Denny Hall:

·         From Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project, employed by Planning NSW

·         RED Strategy came out of consultation from Partnership Project

·         Previous meetings poorly attended due to incorrect letterbox drop

·         Held smaller meetings with public housing tenants, community organisations, precinct representatives

·         Highlighted that youth are not involved in process at all

·         RED Strategy idea came about to integrate other development projects that are happening in area including Technology Park, Eveleigh St Railway and Redfern Station and to drive return from these developments to the community

·         RED Strategy involves 6 Stages. Clear that to date has not met needs of community. Highlighted that there is no hidden agenda around consultation and acknowledged not the best process used to date

·         Stage 1: consultant employed to put issues together eg: traffic, safety, security. Ideas into draft strategy to take to community and ask does this meet the needs of community? Stage 1 should be complete October 2003

·         community can request copies of documents

·         Stage 2: research, analysis and consultation

·         Stage 3: conclusive direction, costing and consideration by Government

·         Stage 4: consult with community

·         Stage 5: consideration by SSCC and consultation

·         Stage 6: refined again and put back to community. Final strategy and consult.


Clover Moore MP Bligh:

·         Plan should be to improve area not change it

·         consultations held to date were not sufficient

·         Highlighted it is still the beginning of process and community input is still possible

·         Meeting of 2nd August will use public meeting process (presentation and giving community information to take away)

·         Partnership Project advised by Elton Consultants not to hold a public meeting

·         Strategy plan needs to be complete by June 2004

·         Clover Moore called for a plan that has real improvements for community

·         Aboriginal Housing Co developed proposal and bringing it to 2 August meeting

·         Public housing not threatened with no reduction in public housing

·         Looking for employment opportunities, improvements to transport (light rail, shuttle buses), increase in open and green space

·         No plan to date for community space (halls, libraries)

·         Stressed that community involvement is vital.




·         Allan Murray: Lived in area 45 years. Question: How does Government intend to get rid of ball and chain around William Redfern’s legs? Aboriginal ownership of land.


·         No Name: Lack of consultation around education. Don’t stop crime by closing alley ways. Problems will not be solved by ordinary planning processes. These are complex and in-depth issues. A lot of things happening in area (not just RED Strategy) that involves no consultation.


·         Jill Edwards: lived in area 50 years. Consultants come in, research area and nothing happens. Not consulting properly. Suggest that people walk around the area, talk to people where they live and gather.


·         Peter Sckeloski: comments regarding the Department of Housing (DoH) Redevelopment at Elizabeth Street. Council not open and honest.


·         David Crook: comments regarding problems with and treatment by DoH and Redfern police. Suggests DoH functionally engages with community.


·         Tony Pooley (Mayor SSCC): Guarantee SSCC will have public consultation. It is a positive thing that a response has been generated to Strategy from community.


·         No Name: Found RED Strategy meetings a negative experience. Nothing positive proposed and no focus on the positive things in this community. Focus only on the negative things about living in Redfern and Waterloo. Positive for example is that 2/3 of area do not use cars. Strategy should be creative and build on this positive by for example more pedestrian or cycle ways.


·         James (Darlington): only found out about meeting because colleague mentioned it. Highlighted that it is up to community to participate in process. Suggests that a survey is used that is legitimately posted to every resident.


·         Louise (teacher from Eora TAFE): highlighted that there are lots of community services in area and RED Strategy should visit these to engage with community.


·         Sylvia Hale (Greens MP): RED Strategy has admitted that every stage has been a failure. Time frame of strategy eliminates any genuine consultation. Community should demand appropriate time frame for consultation and the use of different methods.


·         Chris Bath (HCAP): time frame needs to be clarified. RED Strategy agreement to hold BBQ’s in Redfern and Waterloo precincts, but this takes time to organise.


·         Geoff Turnbull: lived in area 25 years. Need mechanism for working through social concerns.


·         Richard: need extensive time for consultation. People do not know what is happening on The Block.


·         No Name: Communication should be through local press with public notices in print media. Some areas local paper not delivered (East Redfern). Suggests random sampling with research. Media conference.


·         Edie Ashley: attended the last consultation and did not understand what was being said. Consultation process should clarify exactly what is being said.


·         No Name: SSCC should be at epicenter of Strategy not coming in at Stage 4. SSCC are the communities local representatives and should be involved and listening to the community.


·         Resident from Block: Information needs to be shared between community and stakeholders. Consultation process not giving community information they can challenge. Red Strategy suggested that they are going to change the name of Eveleigh St, no one suggested or wants this. The Block is a reconciliation point. Needle bus removed: where was the consultation about this? Suggested Strategy “tell the community what you heard and we will tell you if we like it!”



Meeting closed at 7:30pm. 


Everyone encouraged to attend RED Strategy meeting on


Saturday 2nd August at 2.00 pm,


at Redfern Town Hall,


71 Pitt Street Redfern (near corner of Redfern Street).



RedWater FUTURES  or  9698 7461



Following are the points raised at the ‘brainstorming’ session during the second half of the meeting …


·        People need greater clarity on the information. Needs to be delivered and explained in a variety of ways, settings etc to ensure that as much of the community as possible can understand it.

·        Use multiple ways of communicating with the community, not just relying on 'pamphlet drops'!!!!

·        Include random sampling of community.

·        Need to consider the mechanisms required to work through social issues.

·        Need an extension of time for stage 1.

·        Need to consider the isolated people in our community.

·        Importance of press in the debate:
- MUST be the first line for community contact (re sending out notices of consultations etc) should be the local press (print media & community radio)
- calling for a media conference & publis debate through press (print, TV & radio).

·        Clarifying content.

·        Council is the centrepiece of this community: We call on them to act now...they have the resources, they should be listening to our concerns now and responding. It is not enough to say that they will act at stage 4!!!!

·        There needs to be a recognition of Aboriginal ownership and connection to the area "How will you remove the ball and chain from around William Redfern's leg?"

·        There has been a lack of consultation around education (social issues surrounding closure of Redfern Public School).

·        Consultation and planning is driven by requirements for development!! it should be driven by the community (especially residents).

·        Stages not reflecting what residents want.

·        Aboriginal Housing Company: not reflective of "community" not even the Aboriginal community!

·        Lack of consultation with public housing tenants.

·        Different ways of consulting and notifying: As well as public meetings, use of agencies, support services, "talking" to people in their areas, smaller forums/focus groups etc.

·        Secretive process so far!

·        Consultation process needs to give back to us the information clearly to allow us to challenge and develop it.

·        Where is the recognition of the history of the area?

·        We don't know what is being said!

·        Their needs to be accountability in every stage. We don't want to get to stage 6 after being involved and feel like they have done what they wanted anyway!!!

·        Question of "Mixed" (change of ‘social mix’) housing needs to be carefully considered.

·        Smaller groups and one on one is also required.

·        Feedback required.

·        What is the relationship with the "master plan" at South Sydney Council?

·        Need to consider social issues and community need and support services.

·        Need functional engagement with the community from government agencies.

·        Look at and acknowledge the positive things happening in our community.

·        People not "hearing" about the meetings.

·        How do community views get voiced?

·        Attitudinal changes between government agencies.

·        Go to services ie students - why weren't they notified ie TAFE, Sydney University etc.

·        Flexible and realistic timeframe required!

·        Need public meetings!