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“See Block Plans First Hand” – Redfern Challenge to Carr

Following the visit of NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden to the AHC and the Block, REDWatch invited the Premier to also visit the Block and see the AHC plans. The REDWatch invitiation ran on the front page of the May 2005 South Sydney Herald and people were encouraged to write to the Premier encouraging him to see first hand the project his Government was no longer supporting.

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“See Block Plans First Hand” – Redfern Challenge to Carr

Community Group REDWatch has issued invitations to all NSW Premier Bob Carr to visit Redfern’s Block and view the Plans for the Aboriginal Housing Company’s Pemulwuy Project first hand. 

The NSW Government, through the Premier’s Department were working with the Aboriginal Housing Company to develop plans for a 62 home housing project to go on Redfern’s block up until Frank Sartor was appointed Minister for Redfern Waterloo late 2004.

Mr Sartor has made plain his dislike for the Pemulwuy project and his preference for something other than housing on The Block. A compromise offer made by Minister Sartor to provide only 19 homes on The Block has been roundly rejected by the Aboriginal Housing Company Board. 

Over the last few months there has been a succession of politicians and experts both State & Federal who have visited The Block and inspected the project and who have gone away most impressed.

The latest visit was a couple of weeks ago when the NSW Opposition Leader visited The block and viewed what the AHC plans to put on the bulldozed block. 

Community Group REDWatch has now issued the challenge to the Premier to also visit The Block and see what is proposed first hand rather than relying on reports from others.

REDWatch has offered to arrange for him to meet with the AHC project team and for Mr Carr to be shown the plans which have been worked on last year by the Merrima Design Group of the State Architects office as part of the Governments support of the project. 

REDWatch spokesman Geoffrey Turnbull said “We are sure that like Mr Brogden, Mr Carr be most impressed with the vision and how the plans have come together into well thought out plan for the Block’s future”.

“Since Mr Sartor’s appointment we keep hearing that the NSW Government no longer support the Pemulwuy project but so far no reasons have been given. The AHC has set up a task force of prominent experts in housing lead by Mr Tom Uren to assess the project and address any concerns Mr Sartor may raise. But so far no concrete problems have been raised by Mr Sartor.” Mr Turnbull said. 

“The time has come for Bob Carr to take up the Redfern challenge personally. He needs to visit the AHC, see the plans talk to the people involved and hear their vision and aspirations for the Block. He needs to know what the AHC and many in the community want and why they have rejected the option raised by Frank Sartor.” Mr Turnbull said.

REDWatch are prepared to set up the exact same itinerary that was set up for Mr Brogden so the Premier can also meet some local organisations over a cup of coffee after the AHC visit and discuss what the Redfern people want for the Block and their suburb. 

For Further Information contact:
Geoffrey Turnbull                                    or                     Trevor Davies                
REDWatch Spokesperson                                              Tour Organiser
Ph Wk: (02) 9318 0824                                                       Ph: 04 0000 8338
email: turnbullfamily@stassen.com.au

8th May 2005

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.