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RWA Response to REDWatch Discussion Paper on Planning for the Redevelopment of Redfern & Waterloo Public Housing

The following response to the REDWatch Discussion paper was received from RWA CEO Roy Wakelin-King on 26 August 2010. It has been added to the REDWatch site to ensure the RWA's comments about the paper are also available to those reading the REDWatch paper.

I refer to your paper (attached) and I thank you for your effort in putting these thoughts together.  The key issues raised within the paper are noted, particularly the importance of effective community consultation in relation to the BEP Project and ensuring that the correct information is provided to all parts of the community.

I would like to raise a couple of key points in relation your paper that need to be made clear.  These are as follows:

1.  As advised at the BEMAC on Tuesday 17 August 2010 the Premier, in her capacity as the Minister for Redfern Waterloo, is yet to consider this matter in consultation with the NSW Cabinet.  As such, there have been no decisions arising from the BEP 2 process on what the proposed planning framework for the Redfern Waterloo social housing estates, and specifically what the built form, heights, densities and use of buildings will be.  Any comments in relation to this are purely speculative and therefore have no status.  As you are aware, BEP 2 is a very critical matter for the Redfern Waterloo area (and Sydney more broadly) as a whole, and as such, full and proper consider will be given to this critical project accordingly.

2.  I wish to reaffirm the Redfern Waterloo Authority's commitment to ongoing human service improvement in the Redfern Waterloo area and in this context, full exploration of the opportunities that BEP 2 will present in this regard.  Through the careful examination of the potential outcomes of the BEP 2 process and in consultation with both the Government and non-Government human service sector, the key linkages between improving the built form, helping create and maintain a sustainable and harmonious community, and human service delivery improvements will be explored.  This will include (but not limited to) options for aged care, health support, youth services and other key community capacity building opportunities.  We also need to look at best practice examples in this regard to learn some key lessons for consideration in the BEP 2 process.  I have personally seen some good examples of where this working effectively and I very much look forward this part of the process.

3.  As advised at the Redwatch meeting of 5 August 2010, a key component of helping create a sustainable and harmonious community will be the effective development of affordable housing as part of the BEP 2 process.  As advised, affordable housing is an essential part of providing opportunities for the broader community, in accordance with the EP&A Act, to gain access to affordable dwellings.  As was evident at the Redwatch meeting from comments from community members, this will also help prevent perceived polarisation of communities that may arise though the development of a new social mix in the estates, and also provide pathways for people who are looking to move into employment and other economic opportunities and not be disadvantaged as a consequence.

4.  As also advised at the BEMAC meeting on 17 August, the RWA is, in consultation with HSNW, developing its consultation framework.  I know this has taken a little longer than expected, and again I apologise for this.  I do however, as advised at the BEMAC meeting last week, intend to provide this framework to BEMAC members asap.

I very much look forward to working with Redwatch and the community on BEP2.  As advised, the RWA will call an extraordinary meeting of the BEMAC to outlined what is being contemplated with the BEP 2 process when we are in a position to do this. 

Please call me if you wish to discuss any of the above further.


Roy Wakelin-King, AM

Chief Executive Officer

Redfern-Waterloo Authority

Managing Director

Company Secretary

Australian Technology Park Precinct Management Ltd

PO Box 3332



The REDWatch Paper refered to in this article can be found at - REDWatch Discussion Paper on Public Housing Redevelopment