You are here: Home / Other Government Involvement in RW / NSW Parliament / Inquiry into Issues relating to Redfern & Waterloo 2004 / NSW Government Response / Redfern-Waterloo: A Report on Progress 22.02.2005 - text version

Redfern-Waterloo: A Report on Progress 22.02.2005 - text version

This is a text version of Redfern-Waterloo: A Report on Progress, the NSW Government's response to the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into issues relating to Redfern and Waterloo. The Government's response is divided into seven sections, including: Policing in Redfern-Waterloo, Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo, Redfern- Waterloo Plan, Redfern-Waterloo Authority, Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project, Human Services in Redfern-Waterloo, and the Aboriginal Housing Company and Redevelopment of the Block. The original document can be downloaded from the Inquiry website at the link at the end of the text version.



FACSIMILE:      (02) 8243 9466   1 FARRER PLACE

G.P.O. SOX 5341, SYDNEY 2001           SYDNEY NSW 2000


The Hon J Burnswoods MLC


Standing Committee on Social Issues

Legislative Council

Parliament House

Macquarie Street

Sydney NSW 2000




Dear Ms Burnswoods


I refer to the Inquiry into Redfern and Waterloo which was undertaken by the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues in 2004. The Standing Committee issued two reports on its findings, an interim report in August and a final report in December 2004.


Enclosed is the NSW Government's response to the reports of the Standing Committee. The paper outlines the Government's comprehensive response to the issues raised through the Parliamentary Inquiry and set out in the Committee's Interim and Final reports.


The Government's plans for Redfern-Waterloo, which were announced in mid to late 2004 took into account issues raised through the course of the Inquiry. Accordingly, the Government's response is divided into seven sections, including: Policing in Redfern-Waterloo, Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo, Redfern- Waterloo Plan, Redfern-Waterloo Authority, Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project, Human Services in Redfern-Waterloo, and the Aboriginal Housing Company and Redevelopment of the Block.


On behalf of the NSW Government, I would thank the Standing Committee members for their commitment to resolving the complex issues in Redfern-Waterloo.


Yours sincerely


Dr Col Gellatly

Director General






A report on progress


Inquiry into issues relating to Redfern and Waterloo

NSW Government's response to the Interim and Final Reports

February 2005


1. Introduction


The NSW Government's response to the Inquiry into issues relating to Redfern and Waterloo was announced in two stages, in June and October 2004. In June 2004, the Government announced a package of 32 strategies and initiatives to enhance policing in Redfern.


In October 2004, the NSW Government committed significant resources to the regeneration of the suburbs of Redfern-Waterloo. This commitment builds on the Government's previous work in the area, and is a radical departure from other work being undertaken in revitalising and strengthening communities in Australia.


The key elements of the Government's commitment to Redfern-Waterloo are:

    • the appointment of a Minister with special responsibility for Redfern¬-Waterloo
    • the establishment of a new statutory authority, known as the Redfern¬ Waterloo Authority (RWA), and an associated fund to facilitate development of the area
    • the continuation of the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project (RWPP) until 30 June 2008 and the expansion and redirection of the RWPP Team to focus on specific areas of responsibility which complements the role being undertaken by the new RWA; and
    • the development of three key strategies which address infrastructure, jobs and human services.


This paper outlines the Government's staged response to the issues raised through the Parliamentary Inquiry and is divided into the following sections:

    • Policing in Redfern-Waterloo
    • Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo
    • Redfern-Waterloo Plan
    • Redfern-Waterloo Authority
    • Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project
    • Human Services in Redfern-Waterloo
    • The Aboriginal Housing Company and redevelopment of The Block.


2.         Policing in Redfern and Waterloo


In July 2004, the NSW Government announced a package of 32 strategies and initiatives designed to enhance:

    • Community safety in the Redfern area
    • Strategic and operational effectiveness of the Redfern Local Area Command; and
    • Support for local frontline police.


The package, known as Enhanced Policing in Redfern 2004, includes:

    • Enhanced police resources
    • Enhanced incident response
    • Enhanced criminal investigation capabilities; and
    • Enhanced community engagement by and cultural awareness of police.


It also provides:

    • More police at Redfern
    • More experienced police at Redfern; and
    • More support for Redfern police from other NSW Police commands.


Enhanced Policing in Redfern 2004 is informed by a wide ranging review of policing resources and strategies in Redfern, including:

    • Police response to civil unrest in Redfern in February 2004
    • Evidence presented to the Social Issues Committee of the NSW Legislative Council
    • NSW Police Association submissions; and
    • Recommendations arising from internal investigations undertaken on behalf of the Commissioner of Police.


2.1        Summary of strategies and initiatives

The strategies announced in Enhanced Policing in Redfern 2004 are:

    • NSW Police has accepted the recommendations of the Coburn investigation, commissioned by Police Commissioner Moroney, in the wake of the riot.
    • A new $6 million, seven-storey police station in Redfern, visible from Redfern railway station, is being fitted out.
    • The Target Action Group, comprising 29 officers, will be based at the new Redfern Police Station.
    • Operation Concertinas will be retained and its numbers boosted to 20 - an increase of twelve, to ensure ongoing high visibility policing.
    • All future officers rotated through the Vikings Street Crime Unit will receive Operational Support Group (OSG) training. Officers will be rotated every six months to increase the number of OSG-trained police who can respond to civil disorder and public order management.
    • The Vikings Street Crime Unit will be staffed by trained OSG personnel from October. This 46 officer strong unit will be available to respond en masse to incidents of civil disorder, public order management and major incidents as required.
    • A central coordination group for OSG policy, procedures and training will be created within the State Protection Group (SPG).
    • New and additional riot equipment for Redfern officers is being provided.
    • Redfern Local Area Command's (LAC) criminal investigation capacity will be boosted with the addition of three sergeants and one constable.
    • A further six criminal investigators will be seconded to the Redfern LAC, to better target serious drug and robbery crime.
    • Commissioner's Executive Team (CET) has endorsed "Directed Transfers" to increase experience levels in criminal investigation and general duties within the Redfern LAC.
    • Police will suspend the placement of probationary constables at Redfern for the next 12 months. Only experienced officers will be transferred into Redfern to further increase experience levels.
    • NSW Police will allocate an additional five permanent general duty positions to Redfern with a further review of general duties numbers within six months.
    • Local police will undergo additional Aboriginal cultural awareness training to increase their understanding of such issues and positively impact on relations between police and the Aboriginal community.
    • The Redfern Local Area Commander will be strongly supported in his drive to develop and implement Local Area Command Aboriginal Consultative Committees (LACACC) for youth and seniors.
    • A modern Command and Control Vehicle will be made available on a 24¬hour basis. The vehicle would be deployed to scenes of civil disorder and public order management and other major incidents at short notice.
    • NSW Police Incident and Emergency Management Training will be upgraded to include specific training for commanders and supervisors in the management and resolution of civil disorder incidents and public order management events.
    • Redfern police will continue to receive specific training for use during riots. Officers in neighbouring commands will also undergo riot training to ensure maximum numbers of police are trained and available for deployment.
    • All Redfern LAC duty officer positions will be permanently filled by substantive officers.
    • Redfern LAC position descriptions will be updated to accurately reflect the duties being undertaken by individual officers in the command.
    • Supervisor vacancies at Redfern will be filled as a matter of priority.
    • The training of two specialist Youth Liaison Officers at Redfern has been expedited.
    • Better communication between Youth Liaison Officers and the South Sydney Police and Community Youth Club (PCYC) will be fostered to ensure constructive development, coordination and delivery of enhanced programs targeting young people.
    • Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO) positions at Redfern will be boosted by filling a long-term vacant position.
    • Redfern LAC will be targeted by local Anti Theft, Transit, Highway Patrol and Dog Squad teams to better focus strategies to tackle crime.
    • Local liquor accords will be rigorously enforced by police, local licensees and the Department of Gaming and Racing to help prevent alcohol related crime.
    • Legislation relating to deliberate acts of violence and civil disorder towards police will be reviewed, including the adequacy of existing offences for throwing missiles at police.
    • New riot training will be provided for all Police recruits.
    • A statewide assessment of local public order response capabilities, risk assessment systems and profiles will be conducted.
    • The capacity of existing police computer systems for recording violence against police will be reviewed.
    • NSW Police will continue to work with the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project to better coordinate with other Government services.
    • This package will be reviewed in six months to determine if any additional initiatives are needed.


In addition to the six monthly review referred to above, the Standing Committee on Social Issues recommended an eighteen month review of the initiatives. The NSW Government will determine the need for further reviews once the outcomes of the six month review is finalised.


Since the announcement of Enhanced Policing in Redfern 2004 key areas of policing progress in Redfern have included:


Enhanced police numbers and resources

There has been an expansion of Operation Concertinas staff from eight to 20 officers, ten extra criminal investigators to the Redfern Local Area Command on both a permanent and seconded basis, and five additional general duties staff.


Better policing premises

Redfern Local Area Command will soon be housed in a new seven storey, $6 million police station. Police are due to relocate to the new Redfern Police Station in March this year.


More experienced police at Redfern

The transfer of police from other Local Area Commands into vacant positions at Redfern has been maintained. Furthermore, to ensure suitably trained staff are working at Redfern, the suspension of the allocation of Probationary Constables to Redfern Local Area Command has continued.


Enhanced incident response

NSW Police has:

    • Established the Operation Vikings Street Crime Unit - a 24-hour, seven day Operational Support Group that targets rapid response to public order incidents
    • Installed a fully-equipped Command and Control vehicle
    • Moved to implement riot training for all police recruits; and
    • Allocated new riot gear to Redfern LAC.


Enhanced criminal investigation resources

This has included:

    • Three new Sergeants and one Constable for the criminal investigator ranks; and
    • Six additional investigators (seconded to Redfern to specifically target drug crime and robbery).


Strategic support for Redfern LAC from other NSW Police commands

This has included:

    • Redfern Crime Management Unit is tasking proactive teams like Concertinas and Target Action Groups in high volume crime areas as appropriate; and
    • A greater focus from Dog Squad, Transit, Highway Patrol and Anti-Theft teams.


Enhanced community engagement and cultural awareness of Police.

This has involved:

    • Three Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training Courses have been conducted by Tranbie (Tranby) College (Glebe). Additional training has been undertaken by the NSW Police Academy. Cultural awareness training for local police will continue.
    • NSW Police are working with the Redfern/Waterloo Partnership to progress Local Aboriginal Advisory Consultative Committee.
    • Training for two specialist Police Youth Liaison Officers has occurred.
    • Filling of a long term vacant Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer position; and
    • Continued involvement by Police in the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project.


The implementation of the plan for Enhanced Policing in Redfern has already delivered real outcomes to the Redfern community. The Plan is designed to send a strong message of deterrence to those engaged in criminal and anti-social behavior.


The initiatives have allowed a greater concentration on both proactive policing and the investigation of offences. Redfern Local Area Command will continue to sustain increased attention and resources.


The Police and the Ministry for Police continue to work together to regularly review the implementation of these initiatives to ensure the best outcomes for the Redfern-Waterloo community and frontline police.


2.2        Recording violence against Police

Police will not undertake a review of incidents of violence against the police during the last decade, as the resources required to undertake the task are too great to warrant the expense.


3.         Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo


A Minister with specific responsibility for Redfern and Waterloo has been appointed to provide strong leadership and coordination of the NSW Government's response to the complex issues affecting the area. The Hon. Frank Sartor M.P. has been appointed as the Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo.


The appointment of this new position will provide greater accountability to the community and ensure that the NSW Government can respond to issues as they emerge.


Minister Sartor will have final approval in relation to all NSW Government funding that is allocated within Redfern and Waterloo under the Redfern-Waterloo Plan.


4.         Redfern-Waterloo Plan


The Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo will prepare and maintain a plan for the area. The plan will be called the Redfern-Waterloo Plan. The RWA Act sets out the matters for which the Plan may make provision. They include:

    • the strategic vision for the sustainable improvement of Redfern, Waterloo, Eveleigh and Darlington
    • urban design
    • land use zoning
    • the carrying out of development e. human services
    • the creation of employment opportunities
    • infrastructure, including transport and pedestrian facilities
    • renewal and regeneration of public land and assets
    • the maintenance of a social mix of income levels, household types and cultural groupings
    • the provision of affordable housing for owners and tenants (including publicly funded housing); and
    • any other matter that the Minister considers is essential for the purposes of the RWA Act.


The Plan will be made publicly available.


5.         Redfern-Waterloo Authority


The Redfern-Waterloo Authority (RWA) was established through the enactment of the Redfern-Waterloo Authority Act 2004 (RWA Act). The legislation was proclaimed on 17 January 2005, and the Authority officially began operating at that time. The Board, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and interim staff of the RWA have recently been appointed. The Board consists of the following ten members:

    • Mr David Richmond (Chair); chairman of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and the Parramatta Road Taskforce
    • Mr Robert Domm (CEO): former General Manager of the City of Sydney Council
    • Mr Michael Collins: chair of the Heritage Council
    • Ms Marcia Ella-Duncan: chair of the ATSIC Sydney Regional Council
    • Dr Col Gellatly: Director General of the Premier's Department
    • Mr Richard Johnson: chief architect for the Sydney Opera House
    • Ms Clover Moore MP: Member for Bligh and Sydney Lord Mayor
    • Mr Sam Mostyn: Insurance Australia Group executive
    • Ms Lucy Turnbull: former Sydney Lord Mayor
    • Ms Jennifer Westacott: Director General of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources.


The RWA will have responsibility for revitalising the Redfern-Waterloo area through planning, development and urban renewal. The functions of the Authority as set out in the RWA Act, are:

    • to promote, facilitate, manage, undertake and secure the social, economic, ecological and other sustainable development and use of the operational area, including the development and management of land, the provision of infrastructure and the establishment of public areas
    • to provide and promote housing choices in the operational area (including for Aboriginal residents)
    • to provide and promote employment opportunities for local residents, commercial opportunities for local businesses and cultural development (including to address the needs of the Aboriginal community) in the operational area
    • to enhance and manage public places in the operational area and to improve, maintain and regulate the use of the public places
    • to promote, co-ordinate, organise, manage, undertake, secure, provide and conduct cultural, educational, commercial, recreational, entertainment and transport activities and facilities in the operational area; and
    • to do any other thing for the sustainable improvement of the operational area.


The Authority's work will be financed through the Redfern-Waterloo Fund. The Fund will be financed through government contributions, any profits made from State owned land or properties, and through contributions to supplement a range of housing opportunities in the community. The Authority is accountable to the Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo.


6.         Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project (RWPP)


6.1 Background

In June 2001, the Premier directed the NSW Premier's Department to develop a whole of government, whole of community approach to address the complex issues within the Redfern and Waterloo communities. In response to this, the Premier's Department established the RWPP as the framework through which the NSW Government would respond to community need.


In March 2002, the Premier announced a $7 million package of initiatives involving local, state and federal levels of government, as well as the community. The initiatives sought to achieve the following outcomes:

  • enhanced community participation and leadership
  • reduced crime and improved safety
  • enhanced services for young people and children at risk or in crisis
  • increased support for families
  • improved health outcomes
  • reduced drug and alcohol abuse
  • enhanced educational opportunities
  • increased employment opportunities
  • increased enterprise development
  • improved urban amenity and public space
  • improved planning and service coordination
  • enhanced relationships between Government and the local community; and
  • improved capacity of services and approaches to service delivery to better meet the needs of the community.


The complexity of issues in Redfern and Waterloo has required RWPP to implement short, medium and long-term responses to achieving the above outcomes. The responses have included:

  • coordination of action by other government agencies
  • crisis management
  • community capacity building; and
  • implementation of specific initiatives such as the Redfern-Waterloo Anti-Drug Strategy, the Street Team, the Barnardos Intensive Family Support Service, the Yallamundi Intensive Family Based Service, the Redfern-Waterloo case coordination model, and the sports development program at Alexandria Park School.

In May 2004, The Premier announced a further $5 million until 30 June 2006 to continue the RWPP's place management approach in Redfern-Waterloo. This commitment enabled the Government to continue funding initiatives such as:

  • The eleven-person Redfern-Waterloo street team, which operates seven days a week and works with children and young people, aged between 0 and 18 years who are at risk to harm or anti-social and criminal activity. This is a joint service between five agencies, with staff from each of the agencies. The Street Team has recorded on average over 300 contacts with young people each month since March 2003.
  • A whole of government case coordination framework which will support high needs children and their families
  • Barnardo's Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS) --- which provides an intensive home visiting service to local families
  • Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Home Family Support Service - providing practical support for Aboriginal families including nutrition, parenting programs, domestic violence counselling, housing information and support and drug and alcohol programs
  • Centacare Culturally and Linguistically Diverse counselling service - which links to Barnardos IFSS to provide counselling and interpreting services to people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
  • Mentoring programs and the Redfern Police Youth Holiday Camps to build or restore relationships between local kids and police; and
  • Redfern-Waterloo Anti-Drug Strategy-which targets the commercial supply of heroin and related social issues.


In October 2004, the Premier announced the enhancement of the RWPP and its extension until June 2008, with additional funding of $9.3 million.

On 1 July 2005, the RWPP will be absorbed into the Redfern-Waterloo Authority. This move will ensure a holistic approach to the area's complex issues and is consistent with the Government's commitment to address the social, economic and infrastructure needs of the Redfern and Waterloo communities.


6.2        Communications and community engagement

The Government has responded to the concerns expressed by the community at the Parliamentary Inquiry by dedicating specific resources to ensure that the RWA and the RWPP have the capacity to engage with stakeholders in Redfern-Waterloo. It will build on recent work undertaken to provide clear, accurate and reliable information to the Redfern-Waterloo communities. This information has been provided primarily through fact sheets on topical issues, including frequently asked questions, and website content. As a first step in implementing this approach, four fact sheets were prepared on topical issues in November and December 2004. Copies of the fact sheets are at attachment A. The RWA and RWPP are committed to having an integrated communication strategy to ensure that the community receives holistic messages, thereby avoiding confusion.


The Government will use direct mail, facsimile and email alerts (for crisis management), posters, brochures and the local media to communicate with the Redfern-Waterloo community. Relevant material will be available in both hard copy and electronically in the dominant languages of Redfern-Waterloo, including Russian and Chinese.


The Government will also seek community participation through broad, community forums and Ministerial advisory committees in specific priority areas. Recognising the particular significance of the area to Aboriginal people, the Government will work closely with the local Aboriginal community to ensure involvement.


The Minister has written to all Redfern and Waterloo residents outlining a proposed community consultation structure.


6.3        Capacity building

The NSW Government will implement a community leadership development and capacity building strategy across the Redfern-Waterloo  human services system. The strategy will involve three elements:

  • skills development for staff in human services organisations
  • professional development to create new service models; and
  • a community leadership strategy for community groups.


The Government will also dedicate resources to

  • building the capacity within the Aboriginal community to resolve future issues and achieve tangible and sustainable outcomes for the community
  • building and managing an effective relationship between the RWPP and the Aboriginal community
  • working with local organisations and community members to develop integrated programs in targeted areas of high need; and
  • ensuring that the Government's initiatives and strategies address issues which relate specifically to the Aboriginal community.


7.         Human Services in Redfern-Waterloo


A key aspect of the Redfern-Waterloo Plan will be the Human Services Plan. The Human Services Plan is being developed by the RWPP, following the review of Human Services conducted in 2004. Through the development of the Human Services Plan, it is expected that new approaches to service delivery will be adopted, based on community need; and that a genuine partnership approach is developed between the government, community members and the organisations that work with them.


Findings and recommendations of the Human Services Review

The Review found that there are 192 services being delivered by 102 organisations in Redfern-Waterloo. Of the 192 services in the area, around thirty services are solely focused on Redfern and Waterloo. The Review estimated that Government currently allocates some $35-40 million to human services for residents in Redfern-Waterloo, through locally based services or services delivered from out of the area.


The Review concluded that there were three options for the NSW Government in seeking to reshape the human services system in Redfern-Waterloo. These were:

Option 1.      To re-tender all contracts in the context of a new competitive funding regime that might lead to fewer and/or different organisations being funded in Redfern-Waterloo

Option 2.      To selectively re-tender contracts for services in priority areas to alter the organisational mix in Redfern-Waterloo in a more incremental manner

Option 3.      To engage in a strengths-based reshaping of the human service system in Redfern-Waterloo based on integrated service delivery, capacity-building and greater community involvement.


The NSW Government has adopted option 3 on the basis that failure to achieve change might lead to consideration of option 2.


7.1        Implementation of the Human Services Review

The report on the review was released to the public in November 2004 and in December 2004, the RWPP facilitated a series of information sessions to inform stakeholders of the findings of the review. Different sessions were specifically designed for different interest groups: the general public; people working in service delivery; and CEOs/Management Committee members. Approximately 110 people attended the five sessions.


Following on from the information sessions, the NSW Government is now in the process of developing a whole of government-whole of community planning framework to reshape the Redfern-Waterloo human services system. A Human Services Advisory Committee has been established to develop the Redfern-Waterloo Human Services Plan, 2005-2006. The Advisory Committee consists of representatives from the three tiers of government, the non-government sector, community and service users.


The Plan will be developed in two stages. Cluster groups will develop seven action plans for each part of the human services system. The action plans will be incorporated into the Human Services Plan. The first four plans will relate to Aboriginal services, youth services, family and children's services (including family and domestic violence), and health (focusing on dual diagnosis, mental health and drug and alcohol use). The following three will focus on services for people who are ageing, people with disabilities, and people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.


Cluster groups will specifically address issues raised in the Human Services Review and by the Standing Committee on Social Issues. For example, amongst other things, the youth cluster will explore the adequacy of accommodation for youth services in the area and the adequate provision for weekend and after hours youth services. Additionally, the Aboriginal services cluster will explore the explore of adequate referral services for Aboriginal people with drug and alcohol problems in Redfern and Waterloo.


A CEOs Steering Committee of NSW Government agencies will also be set up to:

  • identify and implement a new way of funding organisations, including a virtual pool of funds for human service delivery
  • develop common monitoring and reporting for government and non-government organisations, and
  • develop a process for funding prioritisation.


Each of these elements will be incorporated into the Human Services Plan.


In undertaking its work, the Steering Committee will act on the findings of the Grants Administration Review and work with the Commonwealth and local Governments to `pool' funding where appropriate.


7.2        Mobile needle and syringe service and community health facility

The provision and location of the Mobile Needle and Syringe Service has been one of the more difficult issues for the Government to resolve, given the need to balance public health issues with community safety concerns. In response to the views expressed by Police, health professionals and the local community, on 24 October 2004, the Premier announced the creation of a new community health facility in Redfern. The Mobile Needle and Syringe Van will close as soon as the community health facility opens.


The facility will be located at 120 Lawson Street, with no entrance at the back of the building on Caroline Lane. It will provide a continuum of services for the whole community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The services will include:

  • basic medical services (including, but not limited to, basic health and medical assessments, treatment and care of drug related injuries and illnesses),
  • psychosocial services (including, but not limited to, assessment and referrals, welfare support, short term counselling and brief intervention),
  • enhanced Aboriginal health service activities (including, but not limited to, cardiovascular and endocrine services, mental health and dual diagnosis services, legal services and family support services), and
  • a range of specialist visiting services (which may include services relating to sexual health, HIVIAIDS, hepatitis screening, antenatal and post natal care) to be provided in collaboration with stakeholders such as Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and local general practitioners.


Within the context of the holistic approach to health care, the community health facility will provide sterile needles and syringes.


The community health care service will also provide opportunities for referral, collaborative case coordination, and continuity of care for clients of the program. Additionally, the collaboration between the Area Health Service and the City of Sydney Council in running an assertive clean up program on the Block, will continue and NSW Health will continue to provide emergency overdose response services. The RWPP will facilitate community consultation on the services to be provided by the community health facility in April 2005.


The Mobile Needle and Syringe Service was originally introduced by NSW Health to minimise the harms associated with high levels of drug injection in the area. NSW Police currently have policy guidelines for the support of needle and syringe exchange and methadone programs. The current guidelines are supported by the NSW Department of Health and are clear in their delineation of the respective roles and responsibilities of police and health personnel. NSW Health and NSW Police consider the development of individual MOUs in multiple locations as unnecessary and potentially resulting in ambiguous or inconsistent policies and practices. They also note that the establishment of a fixed site health service will obviate the need for a MOU in relation to the provision of needles at the Mobile Needle and Syringe Service.


The creation of the community health facility will be complemented by a community based education campaign on the rationale for harm minimisation. The Redfern-Waterloo Drug and Alcohol Taskforce will manage this in the context of developing the Redfern-Waterloo Substance Abuse Strategy.


8.         The Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) and Redevelopment of The Block


The NSW Government has a constructive working relationship with the AHC and continues to work closely with the Company on a number of issues, including developing a sustainable vision for The Block, financial management and governance matters. The renewal of The Block is the subject of ongoing negotiation between the Government and the AHC. The audit of the AHC has been finalised and presented to the Company. The Government is working with the AHC on determining the most appropriate response to the recommendations contained in the report.


This is a text version of

Redfern-Waterloo: A Report on Progress. February 2005

The original document can be downloaded from the Inquiry website at the link below

22/02/2005, Government Response