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Redfern-Waterloo 'Community Reps' on the Government Payroll - 10.10.2005

The NSW Government has controversially lifted a ban on government employees being appointed by it as community representatives on the Redfern Waterloo Authority, Greens MLC Sylvia Hale said today (Media Release Monday October 10 2005).

"Under the old Redfern Waterloo Partnership Program, government employees could not be community representatives," Ms Hale said.

"Minister Sartor has changed the rules, and there are now at least two people on the government payroll listed on the Authority's website as community representatives.


"One of them, Ann Weldon is the chair of the State Government's Aboriginal Housing Office and is a well known opponent of the Aboriginal Housing Company's Pemulwuy project.  She does not live in the Redfern Waterloo area.


"The lifting of the ban on community representatives being government employees creates serious potential conflicts of interest.


"Ms Weldon's has a conflict of interest as the chair of the Aboriginal Housing Office while purporting to represent the wishes of the community. 


"Whose interests will Ms Weldon represent? The interests of the Government, or the interests of the Redfern/Waterloo community, where she doesn't even live?


"Minister Sartor's crash or crash through approach has alienated much of the local community, but this is no excuse for him attempting to stack community arm of his Redfern Waterloo Authority.


"The Minister already has enormous powers under the Redfern Waterloo Act.  That he feels compelled to exclude genuine community voices is yet another indication of his intolerance of opposition," Ms Hale said.