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21 October 2004

Contents / Redfern Park/Redfern Oval Consultation / Mudgin-Gal – Recognition of Aboriginal Women’s Awards Ceremony / Aboriginal Housing Company Wins International 2004 CPTED Innovation Award / Upper House Inquiry / Introducing REDWatch

Redfern Park / Redfern Oval Consultation

The City of Sydney are about to start their consultation on the future of Redfern Oval. Options range from a village green incorporating the existing oval to a 15,000 seat stadium in a rebuilt oval suitable for South Sydney Rugby League home games. With the Football Club’s historic association with Redfern Oval and recognition by the state government that the RED area has significantly less open space when benchmarked against other inner city locations, consultations are likely to be robust. The debate has already started in the last two issues of the South Sydney Herald.

A community organization has been formed called Open Up Redfern Park (OUR Park) to push for the village green option. An article by Ian Thompson about the formation of the group from the October 2004 edition of the South Sydney Herald is in our downloads section - click here to download the file. It sets out their position on the Oval. OUR Park sees community functions such as the recent very successful Aboriginal Knockout and Junior Rugby League as being possible in an open access oval within the village green so the debate will not be simply pro and anti football but rather whether the oval should be locked away for use by the Football Club or incorporated into the public domain of Redfern Park.

OUR Park are holding an historical photographic display with the Historical Society at the Redfern Waterloo Family Festival on Saturday 30 October 2004 at Redfern Park.

As soon as material is around about the consultation we will let people know.

Mudgin-Gal – Recognition of Aboriginal Women’s Awards Ceremony

Mudgin-Gal is looking for support for their Aboriginal Women’s Awards Ceremony on 29th October. Attached you will find a letter indicating ways you can support this event. Nominations are still open for the awards which cover outstanding contributions made by local Aboriginal women working in the Sydney Metropolitan area. Award categories include workers in Family Violence, Community Health, Community Education and Community Support. There are also awards for a Young Achiever (ages 12-25) and a Lifetime Achievement Award aimed at Elders. Nomination Guidelines and Nomination Forms are available from the Mudgin-Gal.

For further information contact Mudgin-Gal on 93192613 or email

Aboriginal Housing Company Wins International 2004 CPTED Innovation Award

On the 16th September 2004 the AHC received the International 2004 CPTED Innovation Award from the International Security Management and Crime prevention Institute & the International CPTED Association, for its Community Safety Report. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles have become an integral part of the new redevelopment plans for the Block, resulting in a comprehensive and sustainable crime prevention strategy. If you have not yet seen the AHC Community Safety report it can be found on the AHC web site at along with a copy of its latest award. Hopefully all the planning work that has gone into the AHC’s proposals for The Block will see an award winning housing project built soon.

Upper House Inquiry

The Committee's public hearing program has been put up on their website. For October and November it includes 3 days of public hearings on 22 October and 2, 3 November 2004. There are also private hearings being held where evidence given is confidential. Peter Laybutt and Elizabeth Rice of the Metropolitan and Environment Sub-Committee Planning Institute of Australia (NSW Division) are the only public hearing scheduled for 22 October.

We understand that the Human Services Review has still not been sighted by the Inquiry so it is very difficult to see how they will be able to review this area of the RWPP’s work and use the Review findings and the community response to it to provide a fully informed Report. Just prior to the tabling of the Interim Report the Government released the police strategies aimed at addressing policing issues in Redfern. The timing ensured the Government package was included in the interim report but left no time for the Inquiry itself or the Redfern and Waterloo communities to respond to the police package before the Inquiry had to produce its interim report.

If the Human Services Review is to be made available by the RWPP to the Inquiry, it looks like it also will now arrive so close to the end of the Inquiry that again the Government response will be included without proper examination by the Inquiry and the community. By design or unrealistic planning, the ongoing delays on the RED strategy and the Human Services Review affect the Inquiry’s ability to assess the RWPP’s activities and importantly the community’s opportunity to respond to the Inquiry about them.

One of the hopes many people had was that the Inquiry would help push the Government to a greater commitment to working with the community to really address the complex issues of Redfern Waterloo rather than confining the government response to a better functioning non transparent public service. The Interim Report was a good start in this direction; however the community has seen no evidence of the greater RWPP community engagement recommended by the Inquiry Interim Report. In fact the reverse has happened as since the interim report much of what was described in the Government submission is no longer functioning.

If the Inquiry really wants to help address the problems of Redfern Waterloo it needs to ask some hard questions of the Government. It needs to push the Government to allow the RWPP to enter genuine partnerships with the City of Sydney, the community and the NGOs providing services in Redfern Waterloo. It needs to push the Government to committing adequate funding to the RWPP and to the services needed to address the issues identified. It needs to push the Government to ensure that they are committed to long term involvement in the area to solve both the structural as well as crisis issues. If the Inquiry can do these things they will have contributed to lasting benefits for Redfern Waterloo. If they don’t then their final report will end up just another Government controlled committee report gathering dust for the want of genuine political commitment by the Government to tackle the complex issues facing Redfern and Waterloo.

Introducing REDWatch

REDWatch is a residents group covering Redfern Eveleigh Darlington and Waterloo (the same area covered by the Premiers’ Department Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project). REDWatch monitors the activities of the RWPP, the RED strategy and its other programs and seeks to ensure community involvement in all decisions made about the area. REDWatch meets on the 4th Sunday of the month at the Redfern Community Centre at 2:00pm. The next meeting of REDWatch is on Sunday 24th October

You can find a list of the community action groups in the City of Sydney web site at the following link

There is also a City of Sydney Combined Resident Action Groups (CityRAGs) which brings together RAGs in the city. More information can be found at

The Redfern Waterloo Issues Update, which you are reading, aims to be an information service for a wide range of people involved with Redfern and Waterloo to help keep them informed about what is happening in the area and is put out by us as individuals.