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Redfern Waterloo Residents Demand SEPP be Withdrawn - 3 May 2006

The text of the REDWatch Media Release is below:

REDWatch, a residents organisation representing people from Redfern, Darlington, Waterloo and Eveleigh, today called on the State Government to withdraw the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for state significant sites in Redfern Waterloo.

Residents are outraged that plans for the development of Redfern Waterloo might be passed into planning law without proper community reconsideration following a bungled initial consultation.

“These plans have been very controversial. They prepare the ground for the sale of extensive government assets, remove parkland, prevent Indigenous housing plans for the Block and transform the character of the entire area. The public submissions we have collected on our website are overwhelmingly critical. The way things are looking the plans may become law without further consultation.” REDWatch spokesperson, Geoff Turnbull said.

 “We are calling on the Government to ensure the SEPP for Redfern Waterloo is withdrawn. We are calling on the RWA to make publicly available all submission on the BEP and to re-exhibit the BEP with the additional information required for a proper consultation. We want genuine opportunity for public feedback, not a cheap three card trick to prevent residents from having their say.” Mr Turnbull said. “Only after further consultation on the RWA Plan do we want to see the re-exhibition of SEPP that will give it legal effect.”

The Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) made its plans for the redevelopment of large parts of Redfern Waterloo known in a glossy Draft Built Environment Plan (BEP). Rather than wait for changes from the public consultation on the BEP the Government decided to simultaneously exhibit the SEPP required to bring the RWA Plan into law.

According to Geoff Turnbull “In a number of cases the exhibited draft SEPP and the glossy RWA Plan simply did not agree. In addition the RWA Plan did not reflect what the RWA had already agreed on Redfern School, while a lack of information on heritage, open space, traffic and transport impacts essential to understand what the RWA proposed were missing. It had all the hallmarks of an inadequate rushed consultation.”

“For example the RWA Plan covers many existing heritage buildings which have been rezoned to allow higher buildings but there is no information on how the RWA will handle the heritage issues. Existing open space is removed in the Plan and there is no specific provision for new open space yet we are told the RWA will provide adequate new open space. How can residents make considered submissions when the RWA has not been frank with the community about what they propose” said Mr Turnbull.

The City of Sydney strongly recommended that the Draft Plan and the SEPP be deferred until additional information was made available. REDWatch argues the RWA plan needs to be re-exhibited with the additional information for community comment. Only after this should the SEPP giving legal effect be reintroduced.

The REDWatch Submission and other publicly available submissions can be found at

For Further Information contact:
Geoffrey Turnbull                                                                       
REDWatch Spokesperson                                             
Ph Wk: (02) 9318 0824                                                      

REDWatch is a residents and friends group covering Redfern Eveleigh Darlington and Waterloo (the same area covered by the Redfern Waterloo Authority). REDWatch monitors the activities of government activities such as the RWA and RWPP and seek to ensure community involvement in all decisions made about the area.