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11 May 2005

RWA and City of Sydney Start Talking /// New Human Services e-News /// Lawson Street Health / Needle Distribution Centre /// See Block Plans First Hand – Redfern Challenge to Carr /// City of Sydney Issues /// 'Voices of Australia’ Project /// Ephemera, Reconciliation Monologues /// Inner City Domestic Violence Action Group

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RWA and City of Sydney Start Talking

New Human Services e-News

Lawson Street Health / Needle Distribution Centre

See Block Plans First Hand” – Redfern Challenge to Carr

City of Sydney Issues

'Voices of Australia’ Project

Ephemera, Reconciliation Monologues - Reconciliation Week 2005 - 24th May to 4th June

Inner City Domestic Violence Action Group

Relevant documents - click to download

Redfern-Waterloo Human Services E-News Bulletin # 3

Lawson Street Media Release

Sydney South West Area Health Service Letter & Attachment

John Brogden Interview with South Sydney Herald

REDWatch Media Release – Carr should Visit


RWA and City of Sydney Start Talking

In answer to a question from Tony Pooley at the City of Sydney Council Meeting on 9th May, Clover Moore informed the City of Sydney Council meeting that she has accepted a proposal from Minister Sartor for the establishment of Peak Liaison Meetings between the Council and the RWA. The meetings are planned to be held monthly and are to involve the Mayor Clover Moore, Minister Sartor, their respective Chief Executive Officers and Chiefs of Staff. The first Peak Liaison Meeting with the Minister was held on Tuesday 3 May 2005 and Ms Moore described the first meeting as “a positive start for a worthwhile ongoing process”. Meetings are to be “focused on achieving practical benefits for Redfern-Waterloo Community.” The Minister has also written to the Mayor proposing that Council officers participate in the in the various Ministerial Advisory Committees. The full response can be found at

There has been growing concern about the stand off between and Council and the RWA. The establishment of high level liaison meeting hopefully will establish a climate in which Council and the RWA can work together to address the issues facing Redfern Waterloo. Hopefully too this will see the CoS taking up the offered positions on the Ministerial Advisory Committees which will be the central mechanisms for developing the Redfern Waterloo Plan and advising the Minister on the direction of the RWA.

New Human Services e-News

Attached is the latest update from the Human Services Advisory Committee about progress on the Human Services Plan consultations for those that have not received it directly.

Lawson Street Health / Needle Distribution Centre

Last Update we drew attention to the DA from the Department of Health for the establishment of the Lawson Street Health Centre. The battle lines are being drawn with a meeting held last Saturday to organise opposition to the Centre and the attached media release opposed to the DA for the centre being issued. An article also has appeared in The Australian of 11 May which can be viewed at,5744,15248269%255E2702,00.html. The AHC, AMS and many Aboriginal organisations are opposed to the Lawson Street proposal.

We have been advised that the Department of Health are to run a consultation about the Health Centre but as yet no timeframe is available and it will not be until after objections to the DA need to be lodged with council on May 16th. The basic details of the DA can be found on the web D05/00520 120-122 Lawson Street. Attached we have also provided the information Department of Health gave to the CoS about the service proposed.

This is a very difficult issue as there has been a clear need for quite some time for improved health services for drug users and the current location of the needle bus next to a children’s playground is totally inappropriate. The Upper House Inquiry recommended the needle bus be moved to Holden Street and the government responded by bundling up the needle exchange and some other health services into a politically cute bundle and announcing the Lawson Street Medical Centre as a response to the Upper House inquiry. Moving the needle distribution from next to a playground to a residential street, next to families with young children is clearly not a good solution. Many have also questioned whether it is appropriate to combine drug services with neo-natal and general health services.

As a result of major police operations in the last 12 months reportedly there has been a substantial decrease in drug activity on the Block and that the trade has moved to Waterloo. They question the need for the permanent service in the immediate area and feel that it will only bring the trade back to the Block. Others say there is an ongoing need for improved health services for drug users in the area and the government must provide these improved services and not just a needle bus.

In a climate where services are being told there will be no increase in funding for services in Redfern Waterloo, the community can also not afford to lose new funds earmarked for providing services. Residents who attended the health cluster public meeting last week found that the Lawson Street Centre did not appear to be one of the services in the mix for discussion about how government and non-government service providers can best service the health needs of local people. Ideally the Health cluster, which is supposed to bring together all major government and non-government health service providers to look at how health services can be better provided, needs to look at how this new health resource can be best used to meet the areas needs. There is no indication this has happened. This is the group that should assess the health needs and how best to address them and where this new funding can best fit into the range of health services.

Just because the Department of Health has bought the Lawson Street premises does not mean that they can not resell it and buy elsewhere. Yes, we know it was announced by the Premier but then again so was the continuation of the RWPP until 2008 and that announcement was turned on its head by Minister Sartor in under 3 months.

Finally there is the question of consultation. It was promised in the Government response to the Upper House inquiry and it has not happened. Like all the plans being rolled out by the government and RWA in the area they have to make decisions in consultation with the community if they expect the community to support the solutions. This is central to its success. The comments about consultation in the letter from Department of Health to CoS attached represent the “people have spoken about a series of issues and hence we consulted on our final proposal” school of consultation of which we have already seen far too much under the RWPP.

In an ideal world the Department of Health should have run an education campaign on harm minimization to ensure that the community fully understood the issues before they got into a discussion about the location for another permanent needle distribution facility to replace the needle bus and the supply of improved health services for drug users. Having not undertaken an awareness / eduction programme earlier there is no a need to incorporate this into their consultation we are told the Health Department will conduct.

The debate about the Lawson Street Centre is a very difficult one but the government needs to get it right to lay the groundwork for tackling many of the other very difficult problems in the area. Our fear is that this one is so hot that the RWA will try and wash its hands of it and leave the Department of Health to carry the can. Alternatively if things become too hot the RWA could use all its powers to impose the announced centre on the community. Both actions could result in creating even more distrust of the government and derail any opportunity of establishing a consultative approach to addressing the areas challenges.

Green upper house MP Sylvia Hale has placed the following Questions on Notice to the Premier:

Lawson Street Health Centre, 120-122 Lawson Street, Redfern  The Government’s response of 22 February 2005, to the Legislative Council Inquiry into Redfern Waterloo, stated that ‘The Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project will facilitate community consultation on the services to be provided by the Community health facility in April 2005” (p.12). The Government’s response also noted that “the creation of the community health facility will be complemented by a community based education campaign on the rationale for harm minimisation.”

On 29 April 2005 a Development Proposal for the Lawson Street Health Centre (D05/00520, 120-122 Lawson Street) to convert the building into a community health service, including needle and syringe distribution was submitted to the City of Sydney Council. Why was no community consultation undertaken prior to the submission of the DA? Why was no harm minimisation education campaign undertaken in advance of the DAs submission? Why was the undertaking to “facilitate community consultation on the services to be provided by the community health facility in April 2005” not honoured? When will community consultation and education campaign occur?

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

REDWatch has issued an invitation to NSW Premier Bob Carr to visit Redfern’s Block and view the plans for the Aboriginal Housing Company’s Pemulwuy Project first hand. The invitation follows a visit two weeks ago by NSW Opposition John Brogden who came to see what is proposed to be built on the Block after it is bulldozed. Following this meeting some of the people who had met with John Brogden felt it was now time for Bob Carr to also visit and see what is proposed first hand. The challenge to the Premier was carried on the front page of the recent South Sydney Herald and a media statement about the challenge is attached. So far we have not heard back from the Premier.

If you thing the Premier should visit Redfern and have a look at what is proposed for the Block you may like to email him and / or his ALP colleagues who have responsibilities in the the Redfern Waterloo area and let him / them know you support the invitation. We have provided the email addresses which are self explanatory should you wish to take this action Bob Carr ; Andrew Refshauge ; Andrew Refshauge MIN ; Kristina Keneally ; Frank Sartor MIN

An interview with John Brogden, which contains some comments relevant to South Sydney is attached as it is not available on the internet. With John Brogden taking over as the shadow planning and infrastructure spokesperson we are waiting to see if he will also be the spokesperson on Redfern Waterloo. This question has been put to him and we are awaiting a reply.

City of Sydney Issues

Local MP Kristina Keneally in the recent issue of the South Sydney Herald (SSH) raised the question of what has happened to the Redfern Street Upgrade which appears to have been caught between the CoS and the RWA. In response to questions from Tony Pooley, Clover Moore has provided some additional information on the overdue Redfern Street upgrade. The Mayor’s response was as follows:

Energy Australia, Telstra and Optus were consulted extensively throughout the design phase of the Project. The CEO and Acting Director, City Projects have met with Energy Australia regarding the undergrounding. Energy Australia confirmed their commitment and flexible approach to undergrounding and will work with the City and other stakeholders within the guidelines for cost sharing approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. Options for the connection of house service to buildings are being investigated in order to reduce potential undergrounding costs. Telstra has confirmed commitment to the project and has requested the opportunity to install additional infrastructure. Optus has provided a fee proposal for the undergrounding of their communication lines and has confirmed commitment to the Project. City Projects is presently working to finalise details of the design in order to begin the tender process. No further steps are required at this time. Community consultation was undertaken during the design phase of the project. Further consultation and communication will occur throughout the project to ensure that the community is kept informed of its progress.

While on City of Sydney, Clover Moore MP has taken the opportunity to provide the NSW Parliament with a response to the question many, including Kristina Keneally in the recent SSH, have been asking about the level of City of Sydney spending south of Cleveland Street. Clover’s response can be found on the Parliamentary web site at City of Sydney - 04/05/2005 - NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard (Proof) . Some early action on the Redfern Street Upgrade and some response from Council on the Redfern Oval consultation would go some way towards people feeling CoS was prepared to tackle some of their responsibilities in Redfern Waterloo.

East Redfern joins Paddington - the recent announcements of City of Sydney Public Forums saw East Redfern invited to join South Paddington, Centennial Park, East Darlinghurst, Surry Hills East at Paddington Town Hall, 247 Oxford Street, cnr Oatley Road, Paddington from 6pm to 8.30pm Monday 16 May More Information (120Kb PDF). There is no information available as yet as to when the rest of Redfern can get together with Waterloo and talk to Council about their issues.

'Voices of Australia’ Project

The 30th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act this year has been marked by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) with the launch of the 'Voices of Australia' project.  The Voices Site is also now online  where you can find out more information and submit your story. HEREOC want to hear from as many people as possible because everyone's voice counts and everyone has a story to tell. The deadline for submitting stories is Friday 22 July 2005.

Ephemera, Reconciliation Monologues - Reconciliation Week 2005 - 24th May to 4th June

Ephemera, Reconciliation Monologues is a multimedia performance event exploring Aboriginality and reconciliation, created by Eora Centre for Visual and Performing Arts theatre students click here to down load the media release. It will be performed at the NIDA Studio, Anzac Parade, Kensington between 24th May and 4th June at 8pm Tuesday to Saturday and 2pm extra performance on Saturday. $25/$15 conc. Further information and bookings from Eora phone 9217 4882. Details of other Reconciliation Events can be found at . Ephemera Reconciliation Monologues is being co-sponsored by Redfern Residents for Reconciliation and more information on the activities of this local Reconciliation group can be obtained by contacting Lyn Turnbull on or Debbie Wall .

Inner City Domestic Violence Action Group

Last update we circulated as requested minutes from the Inner City Domestic Violence Action Group. We have since been advised that the minutes had not been accepted and that they contained some errors. Barnardos in particular wished us to make clear they are NOT funded for DV.  The service is an Intensive family Support Service with no specific remit for DV other than that which arises within individual families which are case managed i.e. each family is given a specific case worker who addresses ALL the issues which are identified by them. In response to the concern about the lack of availability of long term/therapeutic support for women in this area who have experienced DV, Barnardos are exploring the possibility of setting up a group in partnership with other workers /agencies who would be interested in delivering such a group to the women of this area.  Any interested parties should contact Denise Psaila at 9698 9577.

Copy of email
From: Samantha Nolan []
Sent: Wednesday, 11 May 2005 10:59 AM
To: Samantha Nolan
Subject: Redfern-Waterloo Human Services E-News Bulletin - editionthree


Cluster groups
Human Services Advisory Committee
CEO Steering Committee
Integrated Service Delivery
What next?

Welcome to the third edition of the Human Services E-Newsletter for Redfern-Waterloo. The aim of the E-Newsletter is to ensure that interested members of the Redfern-Waterloo community and service providers are kept informed about current events relating to the development of the Human Services Plan for the area.

Throughout April and May, intensive planning has been taking place around service provision in Redfern-Waterloo. Cluster groups and the Human Services Advisory Committee have been meeting regularly to progress the development of the plan. A CEO Steering Committee has been established and service providers have been looking at opportunities for improved integration in the area. More information about this work is set out below.

Cluster groups
In early April 2004, groups of service providers were set up in the priority areas of youth, families and children, health, and services for Aboriginal people. The groups have met during the weeks beginning 11 April, 25 April, 2 May, and 9 May 2005.

The cluster groups have been asked to develop strategies for improving service delivery in their priority areas. In order to encourage free and frank discussion, working papers have been circulated to cluster members to progress members' thinking, but have not been publicly distributed.

Once the cluster have finalised their strategies, this information will be provided to the Human Services Advisory Committee for incorporation into the Human Services Plan.

Meeting with community members
Meetings have been scheduled during the weeks of 2 May and 9 May 2004 to provide an opportunity for service providers to meet with interested community members to discuss ideas for improving local services.

The meeting regarding health services was held on Tuesday 3 May from 1-3pm. The meeting regarding youth services was held on Thursday 5 May from 4-6pm and the meeting regarding families and children's services was held on Friday 6 May from 1-3pm.

The meeting regarding services for Aboriginal people will be held on Thursday 12 May from 1-3pm at the Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern.

Human Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) Since its inception, the HSAC has continued to meet regularly to progress the development of the Human Services Plan. The Committee met twice in April * on 7 April and 21 April 2005 - to discuss a range of issues including:
- the creation of the cluster groups
- principles to guide the development of the Human Services Plan
- the format and content of the Plan
- evaluation of the Plan
- the relationship between the Human Services Plan and the Redfern-Waterloo Plan; and
- models of integrated service delivery in Redfern-Waterloo.

The next meeting of the HSAC is scheduled for 18 May 2005. At that meeting, it is expected that members will consider the strategies developed by the cluster groups, for incorporation into the Human Services Plan.

Some residents have sought clarification about the role of the community members on the HSAC. Community members were appointed to the committee, following a call for Expressions of Interest. A panel of four people (two community representatives, and the co-chairs of the HSAC) assessed the answers provided in response to the following criteria:
* Commitment to support the development of a Human Services Plan for Redfern-Waterloo and willingness to champion the plan and the process
* Willingness to work collaboratively and respectfully alongside other members of the HSAC
* Willingness to challenge both non-government and government organisations to address barriers and challenges in the service system which impact adversely on the achievement of outcomes
* Openness to examining new approaches to service delivery and to services working collaboratively
* Willingness and capacity to actively contribute to the implementation of the plan and to work towards changing the service system to make it more effective for service users and community members
* Commitment to regular attendance at HSAC meetings, workshops and training sessions.

Three community members were chosen through this process and were appointed as individuals to the Committee. Given the limited resources available to community members to disseminate information or respond to queries, residents are encouraged to seek information about the HSAC from the Secretariat on 9202 9100.

CEO Steering Committee
The Minister with responsibility for Redfern-Waterloo has established a CEO Steering Committee to oversee the development of the Human Services Plan. The CEO Steering Committee will advise the Minister on the content of the Human Services Plan.

The CEO Steering Committee is chaired by Mr David Richmond, Chair of the Redfern-Waterloo Authority. The draft Plan will be provided to the CEO Steering Committee once it is finalised by the Human Services Advisory Committee. The CEO Steering Committee will then consider the funding implications of the Plan.

The CEO Steering Committee includes representatives from the following agencies:
- Redfern-Waterloo Authority
- The Department of Community Services
- Department of Health
- Department of Aboriginal Affairs
- Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care
- Department of Education
- Ministry for Science and Medical Research.

Representatives from the Department of Housing and NSW Police will also attend future meetings.

Integrated Service Delivery
The NSW Government considers integration to be a key element of a sustainable human services system in Redfern and Waterloo. For this reason, cluster groups have been asked to develop models of integrated service delivery for inclusion in the Human Services Plan.

Integration can occur at different levels * from networking and information sharing to formal collaborations and merging. Integration may occur within agencies, across agencies, across sectors, across levels of governments, and across governments and community structures.

Service providers working in Redfern-Waterloo have met twice to discuss integrated service delivery and consider appropriate models for Redfern-Waterloo. The workshops have been focused on:
- building a common understanding of the concepts and practice of integration and integrated service delivery
- exploring ways of developing integrated approaches to service delivery
- learning about the skills and knowledge required to work in integrated models; and
- examining the cultural change required for genuine integrated practice.

The workshops were held on 18 April 2005 and 2 May 2005 and involved over 100 participants.

What next?
The HSAC will finalise the Human Services Plan and hand it over to the CEO Steering Committee for consideration.

At this stage, it is expected that the Human Services Plan will be released for public consideration and input in July/August 2005.

It is intended that Part Two of the Redfern-Waterloo Human Services Plan will be developed in the first half of 2006. The second stage will address the priority areas of services for people who are ageing, people with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.