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You are here: Home / Our Community / Elections / State Election – March 24th 2007 / REDWatch and the 2007 State Election / Questions for Candidates for March 24th 2007 NSW Election

Questions for Candidates for March 24th 2007 NSW Election

These questions were adopted by a REDWatch General Meeting on 14th February 2007 for use on the REDWatch website and for distribution in the lead up to the 2007 NSW Election. REDWatch has tried to limit the list of questions to those specifically relevant to Redfern Waterloo but we still have a long list to do the issues justice. REDWatch is asking candidates to limit their responses to 100 words for each question.

Redfern Eveleigh Darlington and Waterloo face issues not faced by other parts of the electorate. This area generally referred to as Redfern Waterloo (RW) has its own Minister (Frank Sartor), its own Authority (RWA), its planning powers over redevelopment taken from local council and area wide plans for reforming its human services and creating employment and enterprise. For this reason there are a many state policy and government implementation issues that are relevant to our community that may not be relevant to other suburbs in the electorate. To assist the community make decisions at the 2007 election REDWatch has prepared An Agenda for Redfern Waterloo Changes in 2007 - State Election Issues and the following questions specific to our area which we are asking candidates for Heffron and Marrickville to specifically address. We will then place the candidate’s responses in the State Election – March 24th 2007 section of the REDWatch website.

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)?

The Minister for Redfern Waterloo

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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? 

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?

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?

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

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?

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

Affordable Housing (To be covered in BEP Stage 2)

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

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

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

This REDWatch policy document has been adopted by a REDWatch General Meeting on 14th February 2007. Enquiries concerning this document and any other REDWatch activities concerning the election should be referred to REDWatch Spokesperson:

Geoffrey Turnbull
c/- PO Box 1567,
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone Work: (02) 9318 0824
Email: mail@redwatch.org.au                                        

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.