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11 August 2005

RWA Website Preview / Milton Orkopolus and the Block Visit

RWA Website Preview

Milton Orkopolus and the Block Visit


RWA Website Preview

We were all set to tell you about the new RWA website that appeared yesterday … and then it disappeared!!

The Redfern Waterloo Authority site appeared on the old RWPP site at . It was clear that there is still work to be done on sections of the site with dummy links, feedback form not working and instructions for information still to be added. We have been told for months that the site would be up soon so it was disappointing to see it still has a little way to go. It looks like some items have been added in expectation of an earlier unveiling. The cluster reports were there as were the details of the Human Service Advisory Committee. On the Home page there was an intriguing notice that “NEXT COMMUNITY FORUM - Community members are welcome to participate in planning meetings taking place the week commencing 2 August 2005” which of course never eventuated and we suspect might have been for the consultation on the Redfern Waterloo Human Services Plan which is overdue from its consideration by government.

There were some sections which appeared reasonably complete, such as the photos and background details of the RWA Board members, the Role of the RWA and consent authorities, Robert Domm’s comments in the Urban renewal section and some of the employment section. The community consultation section is still a lot less than many would like to see.

We have put some shots of the key sections of the new website up on the REDWatch website so you can see some of what came and went and get some idea of what hopefully will come again real soon.

You can see these shots as pdf files at .


Milton Orkopolus and the Block Visit

You may have seen or heard the media report  that the new NSW Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Milton Orkopolus visited The Block earlier this week with former Aboriginal Affairs Minister Andrew Refshauge. In the media story Minister Orkopolus says resolving housing problems in the notorious "block" area at Redfern in Sydney could be one of his first jobs.

We were intrigued by the article and contacted the AHC to see if the new Minister had visited them and had a look at the Plans for the Pemulwuy project given his visit to the Block and his expectation of needing to resolve the housing problems on the Block. No, Andrew Refshauge had not broken with his well established practice of staying away from the AHC. The AHC did not get the opportunity to meet the new Minister or talk to him about their plans for the Block or let him know about how government inaction has contributed to what he saw when he walked around the Block with Mr Refshauge.

Not a great start for the new Minister we would have thought. If you are going to visit an Aboriginal location and make comments about resolving its problems you should at least talk to the people who own it! On this occasion we guess he will be able to blame his predecessor but he will need to meet with the AHC if he is to play a role in sorting the impasse that has developed.