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You are here: Home / Our Community / Elections / State Election – March 24th 2007 / Legislative Council Candidates Responses / Climate Change Coalition Response to REDWatch Questions

Climate Change Coalition Response to REDWatch Questions

The following Answers on Redfern Waterloo Issues were received from the Climate Change Coalition. The Climate Change Coalition is not running candidates in the lower house seats of Heffron and Marrickville only in the NSW Legislative Council.

These answers were submitted by John McInerney on behalf of the Climate Change Coalition

More information about the Climate Change Coalition and its candidates can be found at: http://www.climatechangecoalition.com.au/

[The answers from the candidate / party is shown to the questions below in bold]

The Redfern Waterloo Authority

1)       Do you / your party support the continuation of the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA)? If so what changes (if any) would you like to see happen at the RWA? If not how should the RWA’s present responsibilities be addressed? (In your answer you may like to address the following related issues):

a.       Why should planning control over parts of RW be the responsibility of the RWA rather than the City of Sydney Council?

b.       What benefits / risks are there for the local community in the RWA also having responsibility for the implementation of the Human Services (HSP) and Employment and Enterprise Plans (EEP)?

Answer: Do not support separation of RW from CoS.  Experience has shown this to be unsuccessful, e.g. Darling Harbour Authority.

The Minister for Redfern Waterloo

2)       Do you / your party support a separate Minister for RW?

Answer: No

3)       Since he was appointed the present Minister has had just one public meeting restricted to public housing tenants. The Minister initially promised four a year. Will you / your party expect a future Minister for RW to attend regular community meetings to hear first hand concerns about what is needed in RW?

Answer: Yes

4)       RWA operates three Ministerial Advisory Committees, whose members are half government department representatives and half residents selected by the Minister. Do you / your party support this being the only community input option? The Minister does not attend Ministerial Advisory Committees – should s/he attend such meetings?

Answer:  Advisory Committees are a way of fobbing off the community.

5)       Do you / your party support a representative community reference body for the Minister and the RWA to provide community input into the RWA?

Answer:  No, should be managed through CoS

6)       The RW Act provides for the Minister for RW to deal with the Minister for Planning and with the heritage office. Should the Minister for RW also be responsible for departments or agencies from which s/he can receive delegated authority or on which s/he is reliant for independent advice?

Answer:  No

7)       In estimates hearings the Director General and then Minister for Aboriginal Affairs avoided questions concerning RW citing that they were the responsibility of the Minister for RW. Should the Minister for RW be the sole government spokesperson for RW?

Answer:  No

8)       What role do you / your party see for a future Minister of Aboriginal Affairs in RW and for improving engagement between the NSW government and the local Aboriginal communities?

Answer:  A major role and responsibility.

Funding for Redfern Waterloo

9)       Do you / your party support the sale of government land in RW as a method of funding government initiatives in RW?

Answer:  No, funding should be part of regional and community development funding – not limited by availability of saleable land.

10)   Do you / your party accept the current government view that existing unmet human service needs in RW can be addressed by reforming current human services without any additional government funding?

Answer:  No

11)   Do you / your party support increased human services funding for services in RW to meet the higher needs of new public housing tenants?

Answer:  Yes

12)   The RWA has plans for government departments to introduce early intervention strategies and other new initiatives detailed in the RWA HSP and EEP. Do you / your party support these changes? Is it feasible for NSW departments to operate these new early intervention strategies, in addition to maintaining existing human services, in RW without increased funding?

Answer:  Support early intervention strategies as part of the normal role of human services agencies.

13)   Many government funded human services in RW operate from substandard premises. Should sufficient government funds be made available to ensure suitable accommodation for all?

Answer:  Yes

14)   Do you / your party support government funding to relocate the PCYC to the former Redfern School site or to fix the substandard accommodation on the existing site?

Answer:  Support relocation of PCYC.


Transparency and Community Engagement

15)   The RWA has the potentially conflicting roles of land owner, developer, planner and consent authority. Do you / your party support local government style transparency in the RWA so that the community are properly notified of what decisions affecting the area are being considered, so they can see when and by whom they are made?

Answer:  Yes

16)   The Upper House Inquiry into RW called for better engagement / partnership by government with the community. Do you / your party support a greater role for community in the various stages of the development of RW plan rather than only being able to make written submissions during the formal exhibition phase which is often after the plan have been accepted by cabinet?

Answer:  Yes

17)   Do you / your party support the development of a vision for RW being developed jointly by the community and the government / RWA?

Answer:  Doubt the ability of RWA to develop a community based vision.  Property development seems to be the driving objective of the RWA.

18)   Do you / your party support a fully integrated RW Plan where all the elements of the Plan are publicly available prior to implementation so the community can see that their concerns have been covered and not just those of the government?

Answer:  Yes

19)   Do you / your party support a publicly released study of the education, health, aged care and other services that will be needed for the future expanded residential and working population of RW prior to any further sales of public land?

Answer:  Yes

20)   During implementation of the RW Plan do you / your party support community involvement in the evaluation and any necessary adjustments to the plan?

Answer:  Yes

21)   Are you prepared to work with the community to build a future for RW in which the most marginalised will have a place in the RW of tomorrow and not just those who can afford to live in a gentrified inner city of the future?

Answer:  Yes

Questions on the RWA Plans

Under the legislation the RW Plan is made and changed by the Minister. It is proposed that it be made up of the three RWA Plans most of which are already public. These are the Human Services Plans, The Employment and Enterprise Plan and the Built Environment Plans (with the redevelopment of public housing and affordable housing outstanding). Some aspects of the Plans have raised concern and you / you party’s comments on few specific questions based on the plans would be appreciated. 

Built Environment Plan

22)   Do you / your party support the planning controls to establish an 18 storey “commercial core” in Redfern?

Answer:  No

23)   Do you / your party support the sale of parts of North Eveleigh to fund the redevelopment of Redfern Station or should this be covered from the state budget in the way proposed for the Town Hall Station upgrade?

Answer:  Should be covered from the State budget.

24)   Do you / your party support the RWA’s proposal to fund measures to lessen the impact of main roads on the area surrounding Redfern Station from the developer levy rather than spend this contribution for community facilities to service the increased residential and working populations?

Answer:  The levy is an artificial barrier.  Funds should be made available from the State Budget in a prioritised form.  The removal of one-way road systems should be a high priority.

25)   Should the cost of reducing the impact of main roads on the communities they pass through be met by the RTA and the state budget?

Answer:  Yes

26)   Do you / your party support the government’s reduction of residential floor space on The Block?

Answer:  No

27)   Do you / your party support the 12 storey zoning gazetted over the area currently occupied by the Large Erecting Shop or do you / your party support some continued active heritage rail and associated tourism use of the Large Erecting Shop?

Answer:  Support continued active heritage rail and associated tourism use of the Large Erecting Shop.

28)   Do you / your party support the inclusion of an interpretive tourist link of the heritage sites listed in the RWA’s gazetted heritage map to showcase the earlier use of the site and people who worked at Eveleigh?

Answer:  Yes

29)   Do you / your party support the sale of the former Rachel Foster site to pay for a new community health centre in the former court house and police station?

Answer:  The two actions are not necessarily related.  All income looks the same to the State Budget.

30)   RW currently has low public and open space per capita. The increased population proposed by the RWA would further decrease it. Should the RWA be required to provide the increased public and open space required for the expanded population? How will you / your party stop erosion of public amenity as population densities increase?

Answer:  RWA should be required to provide increased public open space.  Public amenity must be protected within a comprehensive town plan which includes an integrated transport strategy.

31)   Do you / your party support the under grounding of all cabling in redevelopment areas and the provision of infrastructure for high speed internet for new and existing residents?

Answer:  Yes

32)   Do you/your party, support:

a.       that the developers ensure any construction is environmentally sustainable with respect to electricity usage for lighting/climate control, storm water re-usage, etc.?

b.       the upgrade of the services infrastructure, electricity, water supply and sewage, to cope with the increase demand caused by the higher population densities?

c.       a repair fund by developers against building work that could potentially alter ground and ground water levels damaging surrounding existing structures?

Answer:  (a) Yes  (b) Yes (c) Yes

33)   At present RW has a low level of private car ownership and transport routes through it to the city. What measures will you / your party support to improve the use of public transport links for local people to the city and laterally to hospitals, shopping centres, parks and other public amenities?

Answer:  A Sydney Integrated Transport Strategy is required to set the context for local transport planning.

Public Housing (To be covered in BEP Stage 2)

34)   Do you / your party support public housing being housing of last resort with allocation and retention of tenancies dependant on the highest level of need?

Answer:  No, there must be a wider range of public affordable or assisted housing using funding techniques similar to those in place in the City of London.

35)   How do you / your party propose to handle the service needs and social impacts of public housing estates being made up of higher needs tenants?

Answer:  By committed government and private agencies with access to appropriate State funding.

36)   Do you / your party want to see the number of public housing units maintained / increased or decreased? How will this impact on RW?

Answer:  Increases in unit numbers should be appropriately located across the metropolitan area as part of a state-wide program for affordable and assisted housing.

37)   Do you / your party support the current government position of reducing the proportion of the population in public housing in RW by doubling the RW population while maintaining the same number of public tenants. Do you support this being achieved by public private partnership redevelopment of existing public housing?

Answer:  Any increase in RW population would be subject to a community based town plan which should also address necessary redevelopment.

38)   Do you / your party support public housing tenants being housed in the RW area during the redevelopment of the public housing estates?

Answer:  Yes

Affordable Housing (To be covered in BEP Stage 2)

39)   Do you / your party support affordable housing being developed in RW?

Answer:  Yes

40)   Do you / your party consider the RWA’s proposed 1.25% affordable housing levy sufficient?

Answer:  No

41)   Please detail how your party’s affordable housing policy would be implemented in RW and to whom affordable housing would be available?

Answer:  Similar to schemes in the City of London where fixed proportions of affordable housing are required as part of any residential development proposal.  An affordable housing policy should be developed by the CoS in association with the State Government.

Human Services Plan

42)   RW has a large and increasing elderly population. Older people in RW can’t get access to many services as they are working at capacity. Dementia and frail aged services are particularly affected as there is no local residential facility available when independent living is no longer an option. How do you / your party propose to meet this unmet need?

Answer:  This service should be provided through the CoS assisted by State funding – similar to programs in Victoria.

43)   How do you / your party propose to address both the crisis and long term health needs of drug users in the area, as well as the social disruption and crime associated with the drug trade in the area?

Answer:  Adequate funding must be provided to State and private agencies working this field.

44)   Alcohol related street and domestic violence are major issues in the area. What steps do you / your party propose to address this issue? Do you support the establishment of wet centres and increased funding for culturally specific drug and alcohol detox facilities?

Answer:  We support wet centres and culturally specific dry and alcohol detox facilities.

45)   People with mental health or dual diagnosis issues are often unable to access services that cater to all their needs. How do you / your party propose to address their problems?

Answer:  Through the social outreach programs of the CoS.  Note that we support the removal of rate capping of local government.

Employment and Enterprise Plan

46)   What ongoing employment and enterprise services would you / your party provide for the increasing needs of public tenants in RW?

Answer:  This issue should be addressed by the CoS with access to state funding and programme.

47)   What policies does your party have to assist the most marginalised in our community become job ready so they can take advantage of the improved job market?

Answer:  This issue should be dealt with by local government with assistance from state agencies as necessary.

48)   Is there anything else your would like to add about your policies and RW which has not been covered?

Answer:  We support the environmental and community related programs currently being developed by the CoS.