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21 November 2005

Reorganising Youth Services - Discussions Start 22 November / AHC calls for Needle Bus to Go / Public Private Partnerships under greater scrutiny / REDWatch Website Update / Redfern Oval ongoing debate / Coming Events including this week: CoS Community Forum & Redfern and Regent Streets Upgrade Workshop Tuesday - 22 November 2005 / REDWatch Meeting Sunday 27th November at Factory Community Centre 2pm / 'Plates in the Park' - an anti-violence event Thursday 1st December 10.30am – 1.30pm Redfern Park / Walk Against Warming - 3 December from Sydney Town Hall at 11AM / UTS half-day workshop on the use of Photo-Voice 8th December 9.30 - 1.30 / Enhanced Design for Redfern and Regent Streets

In this update:

Reorganising Youth Services - Discussions Start 22 November
AHC calls for Needle Bus to Go
Public Private Partnerships under greater scrutiny
REDWatch Website Update
Redfern Oval ongoing debate

Coming Events including this week

CoS Community Forum & Redfern and Regent Streets Upgrade Workshop Tuesday - 22 November 2005
Enhanced Design for Redfern and Regent Streets
REDWatch Meeting Sunday 27th November at Factory Community Centre 2pm
'Plates in the Park' - an anti-violence event Thursday 1st December 10.30am – 1.30pm Redfern Park
Walk Against Warming - 3 December from Sydney Town Hall at 11AM
UTS half-day workshop on the use of Photo-Voice 8th December 9.30 - 1.30

Reorganising Youth Services - Discussions Start 22 November

The Youth Precincts planning meeting been rescheduled to Tuesday 22 November 2005. This meeting aims to bring together the services named in the DHSP to start looking at what youth services these agencies supply and how these may be better organized into the precincts and one stop shops proposed. These discussions do not involve community representatives or other agencies who may provide youth services but which are not mentioned in the RWA DHSP. November 22 was also the day originally set for the DHSP with changes from the consultation to go back to Cabinet.

REDWatch has called on the RWA to release the Evaluation of the RWPP established Redfern Waterloo Street Team (RWST) which is to be wound up by the end of December. The funds from the Street team are to be used to fund the new Youth One Stop Shops. REDWatch have argued that the findings of the evaluation should be made available so that agencies working with youth can learn from the findings of the evaluation. REDWatch has suggested that any personal information on cases or RWST staff should be deleted in the manner used for FOI requests and parliamentary inquiry submissions to ensure the privacy of any personal details in the final report. The RWA has released the Appendix “Literature and program review” of the report as back ground reading on service integration and youth services and a large 1.3 MB scan & OCR version of this report can currently be downloaded here. We have requested a smaller text PDF file and if this is provided we will put the smaller version on the REDWatch site in place of the larger file.

In addition to the RWST “Literature and program review” mentioned above the RWA has supplied a number of other documents as providing a basis for the DHSP One Stop Shop proposal. All these documents are available off the internet and they have been assembled with links on the REDWatch site for those who wish to research the basis for the RWA proposal. The Word document can be downloaded here.

Since our last email REDWatch has received copies of some additional submissions on the DHSP which have been added here. New submissions include those from NCOSS and the City of Sydney ALP Councilors.

AHC calls for Needle Bus to Go

Following revelations in yesterdays Sun Herald that a lethal dose of Heroin was set up by a call from a Needle Bus worker Michael Mundine has today called for the Needle Bus to go. Mr Mundine has said today “Enough is enough; this needle bus has profited on the misery of our people long enough and has to go”. The article fueling the call can be read online here.

The Health Department commissioned a study by consultants some months ago about the proposal to move the Needle Bus functions into a Medical Service proposed for Lawson Street. Recently an RWA employee advised a community member enquiring about the issue that: "The NSW Health Department is currently analysing recommendations of a consultants report into the Community Health Facility proposed for Lawson Street. The report was commissioned by the NSW Health Department. The RWA has not been involved in this process. The RWA's position on this issue is clear. While it supports harm minimisation as a means of preventing deaths from drug abuse, it believes the Health Department must consider placing the proposed health facility and the needle program in another location".

It looks like the RWA and the AHC might finally have agreed on something but an acceptable location for this harm minimisation service still needs to be found!

Public Private Partnerships under greater scrutiny

When the Premier announced the RWA he flagged that the developments would be done as public private partnerships. With the recent tunnel problems there has been a lot of attention being paid in the media to Public Private Partnerships. One which particularly caught our attention was the SMH’s “Tunnel trouble will lead to deeper difficulties” by Anne Davies. We have added the article to the REDWatch media section and the SMH link below for others who might be interested in this topic but missed this article.

REDWatch Website Update

REDWatch have updated their website. The update has improved the presentation of these Updates and media stories when they are posted on the REDWatch site. The updated site also carries an events calendar on to which we will add coming events as the information becomes available rather than when we put out an update. There will also be other new features for community feedback and discussion which we will let you know about when REDWatch has things up and running. The REDWatch website is at .

Redfern Oval ongoing debate

We apologise that we did not let you know about a ‘Public Meeting’ about Redfern Oval on 11th November but no one told us about it so we could not let people know!

So public was it, we hear, that some of those who turned up to the Council Committee Meeting on November 14th did not realise that there had been any, let alone substantial, community opposition to Souths’ Oval proposal and thought opposition was only coming from some Councillors. Apparently no one invited any of those who were opposed to the South’s proposal to the Friday ‘Public Meeting’.

The amended motions regarding the Oval from the November 14th Environment & Heritage Committee meeting will go to the CoS Council meeting on Monday 21st November 2005. The minutes of the Environment and Heritage Committee can be downloaded here.

Reactions to the CoS committee decision can be seen from Souths here, Peter Holmes a Court here and from Kristina Keneally here.

Clover Moore has responded to the above comments in some detail, including on the Football Club and PCYC aspects of the proposal and these responses can be seen here.

The sparing match between Kristina Keneally and Clover Moore emerged again in Parliament last week with Kristina moving an Urgency motion on 17th November. The debate also included Linda Burney and Barry O’Farrell and can be found here.

While we do not want to get into the argument about the Oval Options here, we really can not let some of Ms Keneally’s speech pass without comment as it interacts with other important Redfern Waterloo issues.

In her parliamentary speech she asked parliament to note “the overwhelming community support for the South Sydney PCYC's Proposal to Develop Redfern Oval”. This reads as if Souths football club did not have an interest anymore and that both the earlier CoS consultation and the CoS telephone polls, that found a large proportion of the community did not support the Souths’ proposal, did not exist at all. When it went to Council committee last time it was the ILC plans that council needed to consider rather than the Souths’ plans. This time it was the PCYC proposal rather than the Souths’ proposal.

Yes lots of people, including probably all the organisations on the list in Kristina Keneally’s media statement and a whole lot more (even Clover), support the PCYC and the promise that local groups and schools will be able to use the new sporting facilities at both the PCYC and at the oval.

The Department of Housing has recently included the PCYC site in the Elizabeth Street redevelopment area as they could not get developer interest when the corner PCYC site was excluded. The commitment from DoH is supposed to have guaranteed the PCYC space in the Elizabeth Street Redevelopment if the DoH or the developer can not supply them with a site with similar facilities in the surrounding area. So if the PCYC do not go into a Redfern Oval development their future is supposed to have been guaranteed by Kristina Keneally’s friends in the NSW Government.

Finally we are getting mighty sick of the Member for Heffron telling everyone how well the RWA has been consulting the community while at the same time saying how badly the CoS has been doing it over Redfern Oval. So far the CoS consultations are streets ahead of the RWA! There have been public meetings about the Oval as well as CoS public meetings about their activities and plans in the area. So far there has not been one community meeting of the four a year promised by Minister Sartor (in fact it is two years since the last community forum held by the then Premiers Department’s RWPP).

Ms Keneally and anyone with an interest knows that when a council decision is being made anyone with an interest can turn up at committees and people can address council about the issue, as people did a few months a go and again last week on Redfern Oval; not so with the RWA.

For a moment just compare the oval consultation processes CoS has gone through with the way that the RWA has handled what is to happen Redfern School, Rachael Foster or the old Police station / Court House. Without any consultation with the community the School site has been sold and the others look like they have the “for sale” sign put up! Is it too much to ask for some consistency in the CoS – RWA comparison?

In the end we find ourselves repeating Barry O’Farrell’s final comments in the parliamentary debate referred to above which ended “It is not about the interests of the Labor Party; it is about the interests of the Redfern-Waterloo community first and foremost”.

CoS Community Forum & Redfern and Regent Streets Upgrade Workshop - Tuesday 22 November 2005

The City of Sydney Community Forum for Redfern, Waterloo and Darlington will host the next Redfern and Regent Streets Upgrade Workshop. From 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm you can come and meet council officers and councilors and raise your general council concerns with them directly. At 7pm there will be a presentation by the Lord Mayor, followed from 7.30 to 9.00pm by a Redfern and Regents Streets Upgrade Workshop. For those that could not attend the last meeting about the upgrades we have provided a brief overview of what is planned at the bottom of this email. The presentation slides from the last presentation on the Redfern and Regent Street Upgrades can be found on the CoS site as a 1.9 MB PDF file.

REDWatch Meeting Sunday 27th November at Factory Community Centre 2pm

The last monthly meeting of REDWatch for the year will be held on 27th November and will be followed by a social get together somewhere nearby. The focus of the meeting will be on the Redfern Waterloo Plan / Built Environment. The RWA is still talking about having the Draft Redfern Waterloo Plan out before the end of the year and there is interest in discussing the RWA announcement that Public Housing will be included in Stage Two of the Redfern Waterloo Plan, as well as the recent announcement to sell the Redfern School. Everyone is welcome to come along and be involved in the discussion and to get involved in the group. REDWatch meets at The Factory, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo.

'Plates in the Park' - an anti-violence event Thursday 1st December 10.30am – 1.30pm Redfern Park

Inner-City Domestic Violence Action Group and Blackout Violence are arranging 'Plates in the Park' - an anti-violence event in Redfern Park on 1 December from 10.30am. There will be lots of food and drink, activities for kids, singing and dancing (with the aid of a karaoke machine!) and hopefully a lot of sunshine.

Make your stand against violence in our community and tell your family and friends, and anyone else who is interested in making a stand against violence in our community. Bring a picnic for yourself and a plate of food to share. If you have any questions please call Dixie or Susan at Redfern Legal Centre on 9698 7277.

Walk Against Warming - 3 December from Sydney Town Hall at 11AM

From the 28th of November to the 9th December 2005 the first meeting of the 154 signatories to the Kyoto Protocol will take place. The international community is organising events on the day which will focus on the US and Australia's refusal to ratify Kyoto. So, support the call for international action on climate change, timed to coincide with these Climate Talks in Montreal. These demonstrations will demand that Australia and the USA ratify the Kyoto Protocol immediately, and that the entire world community move as rapidly as possible to a stronger emissions reductions treaty that will be both equitable and effective in stabilising 'greenhouse' gases and preventing dangerous climate change.

Walk Against Warming is being organised around an International Day of Climate Change Action with walks taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Cairns. Other events around NSW are currently being planned from Coonabarabran to Parramatta. Further information from

UTS half-day workshop on the use of Photo-Voice 8th December 9.30 - 1.30

The Centre for Popular Education at UTS is arranging a half-day workshop on the use of
Photo-Voice as a tool for community development and social action at UTS Sydney.

This workshop will be an opportunity for people involved in community development; & social, economic, environmental & political action to explore one of the simplest and most powerful Community Cultural Development tools in the context of some critical questions for the future. PhotoVoice involves putting cameras in the hands of the people ‘at the sharp end’ of the issues of concern, inviting them to take pictures representing their world - as they see it - and then exploring the stories that these pictures represent. The combination of the pictures and stories can then be exhibited to the wider community, stimulating greater understanding and community action on the issues. More details on the PhotoVoice process can be found in the Popular Educators’ toolbox for social change.

For further details on the content of the workshop please contact the Facilitator, Tony Webb E-mail: or Phone 0418 212

Enhanced Design for Redfern and Regent Streets

The City's $20 million Redfern and Regent Street upgrade project will create a more vibrant, attractive and safe shopping and pedestrian precinct through improvements to the public domain.

The upgrade will provide widener footpaths, more trees, new street furniture and a pedestrian/bicycle friendly environment. The works will create a strong identity for the precinct and reclaim it for all the local community as an active heart for Redfern.

You can comment in detail on the plans at the Redfern Community Forum next Tuesday, 22 November 2005 at Redfern Town Hall. The City will run a workshop on the upgrade from 7.00pm, following the usual Forum opportunity to talk directly with Clover, Councillors and staff at 6.00 pm.

Following consultation around initial designs in 2003 and 2004, a revised concept design has been developed and was endorsed by Council in October. The City is now proceeding with further community consultation to develop the detailed designs.

The revised concept includes further strategies to create a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly environment, provides greater opportunities for outdoor seating and street life, and extends the upgrades to adjacent laneways. The proposed work includes:

  • footpaths widened by up to 900mm on each side of the road, with widened curb blisters at intersections;

  • more street trees, planted closer together, to provide for a consistent tree canopy along Redfern Street;

  • opportunities for outdoor café seating, busking and informal social activities to create more street life and greater opportunities for businesses;

  • a 40 km/hr speed limit along Redfern Street, with traffic calming devices including pedestrian signals, raised thresholds, decorative pavement, and kerb treatments to slow turning traffic;

  • upgraded lighting, landscaping and paving in Wells Street, Turner Street and Redfern Lane, with a new 10 km/hr shared zones to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; and

  • a range of cycling improvements, including shared cycle/traffic lanes on Redfern Street that include prominent signage and hook turn boxes to facilitate right hand turns, and an alternative route off Redfern Street, incorporating Redfern Park and two-way cycling routes along Turner Street, Wells Streets and Redfern Lane.

Following detailed design and development approval, the City plans construction to begin in the second half of next year, with the project due to be complete by Christmas 2007. Energy Australia is expected to begin undergrounding of cables in January 2006 and be completed by July 2006.

The Redfern and Regent Street upgrade is a vital component in the City's $50 million commitment over four years to revitalise services and facilities in south Sydney. The work includes upgrades to Redfern Park, Prince Alfred Park and pool, Waterloo skate park, other local parks and reserves around the Block area and in East Redfern, and child care places in Alexandria and Redfern.

More information: Mukesh Malhotra, Project Manager, phone 9246 7768, email or visit the project web page