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The Invisible Minister for Redfern Waterloo

REDWatch issued the following Media Statement on March 20 2006 prior to the NSW Cabinet meeting in Ashfield.

Tomorrow state cabinet will meet at Ashfield and prior to the meeting local councillors and residents will be able to address cabinet on some of the issues in the Inner West.


Geoff Turnbull, spokesperson for the Redfern based residents’ group REDWatch, welcomed the community cabinet meeting but urged them to also hear from Redfern Waterloo residents. “While it is to be applauded that cabinet is getting out and about to speak to a local community, we would like to see cabinet coming to the inner city to historic Redfern town hall and hear the concerns of residents about changes proposed in the Redfern Waterloo Plan.


We are the only area in the state to have our own authority, our own act of parliament and our own Minister. Cabinet has recently signed off on the draft Built Environment Plan for the area, which is the final part of the Redfern Waterloo Plan to be released, but many cabinet members have never spoken to the people of Redfern Waterloo” said Mr Turnbull.


Cabinet has taken the power to handle decisions about us away from local government and has set up a state level authority to handle the area, but the minister continues to avoid fronting up and hearing local reaction. The plan uses land use zoning changes to oppose 62 homes being built for Aboriginal people on The Block. We have invited premier to visit Redfern and talk to people on previous occasions but so far he has not come.


Tomorrow a delegation of Redfern Waterloo residents will be at Ashfield town hall to deliver an invitation to the Premier to bring cabinet, and the often absentee Minister for Redfern Waterloo Frank Sartor, to Redfern so they can meet and hear from local residents directly.

Media comment            Trevor Davies

                                 Ben Spies-Butcher

Monday, 20 March 2006