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Greens reveal concerns about public housing future

The Greens have called for the Government to "come clean" on Redfern public housing, following the failure of the Redfern-Waterloo Authority (RWA) to release details of its Built Environment Plan reports Cara Davis in the Southern Courier of 20 February 2007.

The plan would affect thousands of public-housing tenants in Redfern and Waterloo, and Sylvia Hale, a Greens upper house MP, said they needed to be told the truth.

"Despite announcing its intention to redevelop public housing in the area two years ago, we are yet to see the plans," she said.

"It is intolerable that residents are not being told what will happen to their homes."

The Greens candidate for Heffron, Ben Spies-Butcher, said he feared a repeat of the "mess" in redevelopments at Minto and Dubbo where public-housing tenants were not allowed to return to their communities after the work was completed.

"You can't just take governments on their word. They say they will look at doing a redevelopment and will let you know after the election exactly how it works and what is going on," he said.

"We don't think that is a reasonable way to do it."

However, a spokeswoman for the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, said there would be no cuts to public housing, current residents would not be disadvantaged, and all public tenancies were secure.

"This is a cynical attempt to score political points by scaring vulnerable people," she said.

"The NSW Government has been clear from the start that current public housing residents will not be disadvantaged under our plans to increase local jobs and affordable housing in Redfern-Waterloo."

The draft stage two of the Built Environment Plan will be exhibited, she said.