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Frank Sartor addresses public housing tenants

South Sydney Herald August 2005 page 4 by Darcy Byrne

The Minister for Redfern Waterloo, Frank Sartor, recently addressed a. public meeting attended by residents of local public housing estates, in as attempt to dispel fears that the Redfern Waterloo Authority posed a threat to their communities. He opened the meeting by outlining the ways in which he felt the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) would benefit local public housing communities. He argued that the commercial development of Australian Technology Park would provide much needed employment opportunities and that one of the primary aims of the Authority would be to improve the delivery of services to the local community.


The Minister described the 102 organisations delivering 190 separate services to the. Redfern-Waterloo communities as "a little bit inefficient" and emphasised that the Government wanted to get the most out of the "$30-40 million" it spent annually on the area.


He was adamant that "there are no plans" for the RWA to, take control of the Department of Housing properties in Waterloo saying that this position was for the "indefinite" future. After a question: from the floor the Minister was forced to admit that there were Department of. Housing tenants being moved in the estate adjoining the PCYC in which the meeting was being held. He insisted, however, that. this was not under the auspices of the RWA but rather the Department of Housing. The Department of Housing representative was unable to support Frank Sartor's explanation as he arrived a full hour add a half late for the meeting.


Many of the questions from the audience took the Minister to task on the services that had been lost to the local community in recent years, including the local Hospital and Primary School. He would not take responsibility for these closures but did suggest, a to the jeers of some, that had the RWA come into existence earlier these services would never had been lost. The mood of the tenants was summed up by one woman who told the Minister that "It's alright putting maps up. Maps look good." However, she said she would reserve her judgement for when the RWA draft plans were released.