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Rally at the Waterloo Towers

REDWatch joined with other local organisations to arrange a rally for 6th December 2004 in response to the revelations in the Sydney Morning Herald about the NSW Governments Plan for Redfern - Waterloo.


There will be a rally of residents and concerned citizens in Sydney’s inner-city Waterloo on Monday 6 December 2004 as alarm spreads over the NSW Government’s intention to demolish the area’s famous 1950s public housing towers.

The distinctive towers, sometimes referred to as “pillars of despair”, are home to more than 3,200 households and regularly top statistical surveys as the densest concentration of the poorest people in Australia. The residents are a mix of the frail elderly, aboriginal families, single mothers and the sick, including a significant number of HIV positive gay people. The Carr government, while announcing its intention to transform the socially depressed area into a multi-billion dollar residential and commercial showcase as part of its $5 billion Redfern-Waterloo Strategy,  has not provided one word of assurance to those about to lose their homes. 

“The towers might not look like much but a real estate opportunity to the politicians of Macquarie Street, but they are home to a lot of people,” spokesman for community group RED watch Geoffrey Turnbull said.  “While the Carr government has mouthed platitudes about community consultation, in reality no one who lives in the Redfern Waterloo area has been consulted at all.”

A rally co-ordinator, local journalist Trevor Davies, said many of the area’s elderly had no idea what was happening. “Some of these people have lived their entire lives in Waterloo and are very frightened of what might happen to them,” he said. “Arbitrarily turfing people out of their homes in the name of progress without so much as a word of consultation or reassurance is causing enormous hardship. Not surprisingly, they feel they are being literally bulldozed out of the way.” 

Admired local community advocate, the Anglican Church’s Reverend John Rev John Mcintrye said, “any proposed displacement of 3,200 households is outrageous and must not happen .We are seeing Sydney at its cruellest, and the city’s powerbrokers at their most heartless,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be this way.” 

Media Contact:          Trevor Davies on 0400008338

                                  Geoffrey Turnbull 04i8655246

                                  Rev John Mcintrye… 96989497