You are here: Home / About REDWatch / REDWatch Incorporated & Membership / REDWatch Co-ordination Group Report for 2014-2015

REDWatch Co-ordination Group Report for 2014-2015

REDWatch Co-ord Report 2014-2015

UrbanGrowth NSW’s Central to Eveleigh Urban Transformation & Transport Program (C2E) has taken up a lot of REDWatch time in the 2014-15 year. This in part is because REDWatch has been represented at all the engagement sessions C2E has undertaken but also REDWatch has been active in getting word out about C2E and trying to improve their engagement processes of which we have been especially critical.

Central to Eveleigh brings together UrbanGrowth NSW (UG NSW) formally Landcom with UrbanGrowth Development Corporation (UG DC) the successor of the Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority (SMDA) formally the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA). In effect this means the C2E has taken on the old RWA and SMDA work on the railway corridor, including the Australian Technology Park (ATP) and proposals to redevelop the Redfern and Waterloo public housing estates. Given REDWatch has worked on these issues for over 10 years UrbanGrowth C2E had been a key focus for REDWatch this year.

When an EOI process to sell the ATP was announced in the lead up to Christmas 2014 REDWatch asked the City Council to undertake a study into the risks of the sale and what should be done to minimise the adverse impact of a sale on the community. This report raised a number of issues which REDWatch also took up in its submission opposing key aspects of the sale especially as they related to heritage, public access, open space and the need to strengthen technological incubation. While the sale outcome is not currently known we were instrumental in pushing for some covenants on the sale which will hopefully make it more difficult for the final purchaser to override heritage and community concerns.

The other C2E area of concern to REDWatch has been the proposal that a new Sydney Metro Station at Waterloo would be linked to the high-rise redevelopment of the Waterloo public housing estate. After fighting to retain the one in five public housing units that were proposed to be lost through the earlier plans there has been some indication that if the new Waterloo Station and associated development goes ahead there will now be no loss of public housing. This would come however with much higher densities in the redevelopment than earlier proposed and significant dislocation for the current public tenants. We held a session with all the major players for this proposal in the room but it will not be until a decision is made on the location of the Metro Station that plans will be made public and discussions start with public housing tenants. This is likely to be a key focus for REDWatch in the coming year alongside the development of proposals for along the railway corridor including South Eveleigh public housing and North Eveleigh.

REDWatch has struggled to try and improve human service integration in the area. Given the C2E proposal for greater concentration of high needs people in social housing it is REDWatch’s view that integrated service delivery will need to improve substantially to both address existing short comings and if this concentration is not to lead to a significant increase in problems. Our latest human services push coincided with the proposal to introduce the automatic needle dispensing machine in Redfern Street. While government agencies did come together it was not around broader human service issues but rather it concentrated around drug health and policing issues. For a while selected local agencies and residents were invited to meetings with government before the invitations stopped without explanation. Since this time REDWatch has been pushing for Government agencies to set up a mechanism for dialogue between with NGOs without success. It currently appears that Government agencies are quite happy talking only among themselves, organising their own events without NGO’s and see no benefit for them to meet with those outside government or to address the issues NGO’s and residents identify. The latest proposal, rejected by Police, Health and other agencies for a meeting with NGO’s has been rejected because they think they go to enough meetings already!

The last year has seen greater working with other groups. Some of this is a function of the C2E proposals covering the areas of a number of groups meaning for example that co-ordination around the ATP sale made sense. We also worked with Alexandria (ARAG) and Erskineville (FOE) in a Heffron candidate’s forum given the boundary changes in addition to REDWatch’s own candidate’s function which this time took the form of a BBQ entitled Meat the Candidates. During the year we also joined with the South Sydney Herald for a session on media and with CDAT for a drug and an “Addiction” forum. In addition with The Factory we provided a no cost meeting venue of community groups meeting as the Better Planning Network.

REDWatch maintained a watching brief on Lift Redfern pushing the need for lift access to all platforms as early as possible. We also continued to push for protection of Heritage on the Eveleigh Railway workshop site and for the Chief Mechanical Engineers Building to be restored and given an appropriate use.


The REDWatch website has continued to play a central role in making available information about important events, news and developments in Redfern and Waterloo. This is complimented by a number of email lists and Facebook promotion on the Groundswell and Counterpoint sites. Having a REDWatch social media presence is an area that should be explored in the coming year.

Geoff Turnbull continued to be the public contact point for REDWatch dealing with a range of inquiries from the media, students, agencies, residents and the general public looking for information about issues connected to the area. One of the important areas for the spokesperson is dealing with many media inquiries, providing background briefings on issues, talking to students, doing interviews and referring media to other contacts. This helps to raise the issues of concern to REDWatch but not necessarily with it always being associated with REDWatch’s name. Geoff continues to work part time on Inner Sydney Voice at Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development which deals with similar issues to REDWatch but on a wider scale. Geoff has also been on the Leadership Group of the Better Planning Network.

REDWatch office bearers elected for 2014-15 were: Convenor - Michael Shreenan; Secretary – Jose Perez; Spokesperson - Geoffrey Turnbull and Treasurer - Ross Smith. Together with Irene Doutney, Michael Chapman, Desley Hass and Patrick Ewing they made up the REDWatch Co-ord Group. The Co-ord Group deals with the facilitation of meetings and forums, and with formulating and implementing REDWatch’s response to the issues that arise. It meets monthly but is also active in email discussion through the month as required. The Co-ord Group meetings are open to members and this is a good way to become more involved.

Many of the office bearers and Co-ord members have been serving REDWatch in these capacities for a long time. Many have indicated that they need to step down for a variety of reasons and plan not to re-stand this year. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have served on the Co-ord Group over the last and preceding years – without these people REDWatch would not have achieved what it has and it may not have been here to celebrate a successful 11th year.

REDWatch undertook a survey of active members and supporters and the results will help inform our future direction. Over the last few weeks we have been looking for people to step up and take a greater role in REDWatch. Hopefully this will happen tonight and over the next year.

REDWatch has continued to take the initiative in discussions about the issues of concern to us by inviting key people to forums, meetings and roundtables on a wide variety of community issues. Below is a list of meeting REDWatch has been involved in organising for the period of this report.



3rd July 2014 - Central to Eveleigh

7th August 2014 - The Economics of Development - Peter Phibbs & Stewart Lawler- 6pm

4th September 2014 - “Population Dynamics” Workshop - 6pm

2nd October 2014 – Future directions for REDWatch & AGM

6th November 2014 – Supporting CDAT Drug Forum at Redfern Town Hall

5th February 2015 – REDWatch Roundtable - Do we want a new Railway station in Waterloo?

21st February - Beginning of year get together at the Alexandria Hotel

3rd March – Council briefing on ATP Sale Study – REDWatch, ARAG, FOE & CRIG

5th March 2015 – Meat the candidates BBQ

11th March 2015 - Heffron candidates forum ARAG and FOE with REDWatch

2nd April 2015 – No Meeting due to Easter

7th May 2015 – UrbanGrowth Community Engagement

4th June 2015 – Working with the media for Social Change - with South Sydney Herald

2nd July 2015 – Will you get on board Waterloo train station?

6th August 2015 – Debating the War on ‘Addiction'

3rd September 2015 – No Meeting due to Festival of Urbanism


Geoff Turnbull on behalf of the REDWatch Co-ord Group