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Ready to Rock - Redfern's red carpet ride

When the stars hit the red carpet at this year’s MTV Awards, they’ll put Eveleigh and Redfern on the international stage. But several local projects are also helping this area move forward in leaps and bounds reports Lisa Capozzi in the cover story of Central of 27th February 2008 with photos (including a front page of RWA CEO Robert Domm with guitar and train) by Phil Rogers, Melanie Russell.

New Stage for MTV

This years Australian MTV Awards will have a revolutionary new format when the stars walk the red carpet at Redfern on Saturday, April 26 reports Lisa Capozzi in Central of 27th February 2008.

Dave Sibley, managing director of MN Networks Australia, said, the new-look show will expand into categories honouring music, film, television and sport and, in a first for Australia, viewers will be eligible to win a trophy.

The MTV Remake Award allows viewers to submit videos re-enacting some of the year's unforgettable pop culture moments.

Mr Sibley said that in their new home within the Australian Technology Park the awards would set new standards for the show, combining the industrial setting with the event's glamorous party atmosphere.

"Instead of resorting to traditional auditorium seating like most awards, the 5000 guests of the 90-minute show will be treated to an innovative and fast-paced mix of performance, design and staging unlike any awards show to date."


AFTER scouting locations all over Australia, MTV Australia Awards executive producer Ean Thorley knew he had found the perfect space for this year's show as soon as he walked into Redfern's Australian Technology Park reports Lisa Capozzi in Central of 27th February 2008.

International and home-grown celebrities will strut down the red carpet at the Garden St site on April 26, when the MTV Australia Video Music Awards are held in our own backyard.

Mr Thorley told Central that awards organisers were looking for something different from the large-scale arenas that had been used in previous years.

"So I looked at venues all across Australia. We've pretty much seen every location around the country," he said. "But as soon as I walked into ATP I was blown away, and I thought 'wow'.

"ATP is very industrial, very cool, very earthy.

"This presents a great opportunity for MTV - I was very impressed."

He described the site's historic railway bays as urban, gritty and unique.

"It is this great disused railway yard with this great exhibition hall that holds 4000 people," Mr Thorley said. "There are railway bays all exposed and railway pillars. "We've got this great depth and this great scope to use, through lights and visuals.

"I've been at the site lots of times with my team and we've

got lots of ideas about what we can do."

He said the show would have eight performers but their names are still top secret. Rumoured to be in attendance are Hollywood starlets Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton.

Mr Thorley said inner city residents should be proud of their area.

"It's a great area and its going through a lot of change including creating a media hub, which is superb." The glitz and glamour of the MTV Awards aren't the only things changing the face of Redfern.

Planning and Redfern-Waterloo Minister Frank Sartor last year approved a concept plan for a development at the for- mer Rachel Forster Hospital site that is expected to generate $70 million worth of investment in the area, 150 dwellings and more than 1000sqm of open space.

Mr Sartor said over the next 10 years, planning strategies put in place by the Redfern-Waterloo Authority were expected to generate 440,000sqm of employment space, 18,000 jobs and 2000 dwellings in the area.

RWA chairman and ATP managing director Robert Domm said the MTV Awards were another breakthrough for the area, which had been moving forward in leaps and bounds. "To have an event with such a global television reach, to have that international profile is fantastic for us and fantastic for the area," Mr Domm told Central.

"We are very excited."

He said Redfern would soon boast the country's largest dedicated television production facility and a media centre that would have another 2000 employees by next year.

"These sorts of major TV events go toward boosting Redfern's new profile, and we are expecting to secure a lot more in the future," he said.

"Redfern-Waterloo is a large area and what we want to see is a safer, better community that provides jobs and opportunities for people to progress, and ATP is a key strategy to creating that." He said the authority's Koori Job Ready program was providing 60 jobs for local Aboriginals, which was 10 per cent of all construction jobs on the site, and the proposed Redfern Community Health Centre would also be a great addition.

"Redfern is changing, but we want to keep the best of the old," Mr Domm told Central.

"We want to make sure the people living here now have a place in the new Redfern."

He said the authority stood for better housing, creating optimal open spaces and ensuring safer streets.

"When you put them together, you create a mosaic of a community," he said.


  • Redfern-Waterloo has more than $500 million earmarked for urban renewal as part of the State Government's 10-year plan.
  • Global Television will join Channel Seven and Pacific Magazines at Australian Technology Park in 2009, with 2600 permanent workers.
  • A Development Application has been approved for the re-use of Wilson Street's heritage Blacksmiths' Workshop to create a community market and arts space.
  • Former Redfern Public School was sold to the Indigenous Land Corporation for a $45 million National Indigenous Development Centre.
  • Redfern Oval upgrade will keep the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern.


PLANS for Redfern's proposed $10 million community health centre are currently on public exhibition reports Lisa Capozzi in Central of 27th February 2008.

The proposed centre will provide essential services for the area including Aboriginal health, community nursing, post acute care services and counselling, as well as mental health and drug health services.

Minister for Planning and Redfern-Waterloo, Frank Sartor, recently announced the proceeds from the sale of the Rachel Forster Hospital site would be spent on the new development, proposed for the former court house and police station on Redfern Street.

He said Kaymet Corporation had bought the former hospital site, on Pitt Street, for $11.5 million.

Source: Central of 27th February 2008