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Minister Sartor once again fails to consult community - 31.10.2005

The following Media Release was issued by the Greens MLC Sylvia Hale concerning the RWA anoucement of the sale of Redfern Public School.

Minister Sartor once again fails to consult community

While welcoming the news that the Indigenous Land Corporation would purchase the Redfern Public School site to establish a National Aboriginal Youth Development Centre, Greens MLC Sylvia Hale criticised the secrecy that surrounded the decision.

“Once again, it appears that Minister Sartor acted unilaterally and consulted none of the community groups in Redfern Waterloo,” Ms Hale said.

“There are a number of questions that remain unanswered.

“It is unclear just where the $25 million proceeds from the sale will end up. Will they be reinvested in the community? Or will they be used to fund the administration of the Redfern Waterloo Authority?

“Or will they go to the owner of the land, the Department of Education? The projected doubling of the area’s population will undoubtedly require a new school to be built. Will the sale proceeds be used for this purpose?

“And what will be the fate of the other community organizations that currently work from the site? Will they be housed elsewhere or be forced onto the private rental market?”

“While it is admirable that the Exodus Foundation has been involved in negotiations, it is less than admirable that the community has been left in the dark.

“Why the need for secrecy? What further purpose is served by these sudden announcements, other than to exclude the community from the decision-making process?

“Decision by diktat is no substitution for democratic, consultative processes,” Ms Hale said.