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Champion boxer considers politics

FORMER world champion boxer Anthony Mundine says it is still too early to say whether he will contest next year's NSW election reports AAP on 11th August 2006.

Mr Mundine was reported to have announced his candidature for the inner-western Sydney seat of Marrickville in an address to Redfern's Aboriginal community last night.

Today he said he had never made a definite statement about his intention.

Mr Mundine has previously said he was considering standing as an independent as part of a bid to stop redevelopment of The Block housing area in Redfern, which would become part of the Marrickville electorate under boundary changes for the election.

"At no stage did I confirm I would be taking part in next year's election," Mr Mundine said today.

"I said I would consider whatever strategy is needed to fight for The Block, and the changes to planning laws by (Minister for Redfern-Waterloo Frank) Sartor.

"If that means standing for the seat, then that's what I'll do.

"I'll stand at some stage in the future, but whether it's next year's election, I don't know. I still haven't ruled it in or out."

Sydney's Aboriginal community held a rally in Redfern rally last night to protest against proposed changes to planning controls by Mr Sartor and the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA).

The Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC), which owns The Block, fears the move is a precursor to the government's aim to take control of the area away from Aboriginal people and limit the number of Aboriginal homes that can be built on the land.

Aboriginals say the changes would halve the amount of housing allowed on The Block.

Mr Mundine, who is Aboriginal and nicknamed The Man, told last night's rally that Mr Sartor was a "racist bigot".

"Obviously there's a lot of racism and a lot of despicable acts going on within the government, especially with Frank Sartor," Mr Mundine told hundreds of supporters.

"I'm not afraid to say it, I feel he's a racist bigot."

He said the Aboriginal people were still fighting the land struggle.

"We purchased this land and now they want to try and come into our home and our place and say what we can and cannot do with it and kick us out," Mr Mundine said to a cheering crowd.

The NSW government said today that plans to redevelop The Block have been devised through extensive community consultation.

Mr Sartor today released a statement advising that the government is finalising a draft Building Environment Plan for the area, which will create around 18,000 new jobs for locals, and construct 2,000 new dwellings.

Community consultation on the plan included the sending of 2,000 copies of the plan to key interest and community groups, and a public meeting at Redfern Town Hall in March, Mr Sartor said.,23739,20092019-953,00.html