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14 June 2006

“Use the BEP to zone Marian Street Park as open space” – Kristina Keneally / Council set to be removed from involvement with CUB Site by Minister Sartor / City Calls Urgent Community Meeting on CUB Site – Thursday 15 June 2006 / Human Service Plan Phase Two Papers delayed / REDWatch Postpones Discussion of Stage Two Human Services / A view of Reforming Human Services from the Settlement / Free Financial Counselling Available at the Settlement / UTS Shopfront – New Projects deadline 30 June 2006 / State Budget Funding for Redfern Waterloo / South Sydney Herald June 2006 / RWA holds Free World Cup Action Replays at the ATP / Souths – Under New Management


In This Update

“Use the BEP to zone Marian Street Park as open space” – Kristina Keneally

Council set to be removed from involvement with CUB Site by Minister Sartor

City Calls Urgent Community Meeting on CUB Site – Thursday 15 June 2006

Human Service Plan Phase Two Papers delayed

REDWatch Postpones Discussion of Stage Two Human Services

A view of Reforming Human Services from the Settlement

Free Financial Counselling Available at the Settlement

UTS Shopfront – New Projects deadline 30 June 2006

State Budget Funding for Redfern Waterloo

South Sydney Herald June 2006

RWA holds Free World Cup Action Replays at the ATP

Souths – Under New Management


Coming Events (entered on the REDWatch website)


“Use the BEP to zone Marian Street Park as open space” – Kristina Keneally

In a significant shift of position the MP for Heffron Kristina Keneally has come out in her Heffron E-Herald of 8 June 2006 in support of the Watertower resident’s campaign to retain Marian Park. It is to be hoped, given the Heffron MP’s support of the RWA, that her change of position either reflects a change in the RWA’s position or that it will see the RWA seriously consider the retention of Marian Park “for local, usable, passive public open space”. Following is the text of Ms Keneally’s E-Herald statement:


Many residents have contacted me to express their views on the future of the reserve at Marian Street, which the draft Redfern Waterloo Built Environment Plan designates for an 18-storey building. I agree with the residents’ concerns that open space is a valued commodity in the inner city, and their sadness at the potential loss of this reserve.  

In my submission to the Draft BEP, I urged the Redfern Waterloo Authority to ensure that the draft BEP reflects residents’ desires to have access to appropriate open space within Redfern and Waterloo and in particular in the Marian Street area.  

Last month I took up an invitation from a resident in the Watertower building to visit Marian Park and discuss the concerns residents have about the loss of the park and about the proposed use of the site – that is, the 18-story building – in the Draft BEP.

Now I have spoken before about the pressing need in South Sydney for active recreation space.  I have noted that in the City of Sydney north of Cleveland Street there are five swimming pools and leisure centres whilst south of Cleveland Street residents have nothing.

I will remain a strong advocate for active recreation facilities in South Sydney.  But in this case I am convinced that the Government needs to listen to local residents in their desire for local, usable, passive public open space. 

Marian Street Park is a small oasis in an otherwise busy, hectic, noisy and developed precinct.  With Gibbons Street and Regent Street immediately to its east, Redfern Station to its north and ATP to its south, Marian Street Park provides approximately trees and space for passive recreation in this otherwise highly urbanised area.

But in the end what has convinced me the most is the passionate pleas from local residents in the Watertower building.  Their letters and emails, and the site visit, demonstrate to me how important this park is to the local community.

That’s why I am writing to the Minister for Redfern and Waterloo to ask that he to listen to their concerns and to use the BEP to zone Marian Street Park as open space.  This will ensure that the park remains a park.  This would give local residents certainty.  I also ask the Minister to develop a plan for the future maintenance of the park to ensure the park remains a valuable asset for the local community.

Kristina Keneally will hold the first of her Mobile Offices in Redfern on Saturday 24 June, 12:30 - 2 pm, at the corner of Chalmers Street and Redfern Street, Redfern. Those who would like to try and convince their prospective member about their concerns for the area might like to take the opportunity on 24 June. Following a redistribution for the next state election, the state seat of Heffron will extend to Cleveland Street taking in all of Redfern, except the area on the west of the railway line which will go into the seat of Marrickville held by Carmel Tebbutt.

You can obtain Kristina’s E-Newsletter by emailing her with SUBSCRIBE HEFFRON E-HERALD in the subject line and your name, email address and suburb in the body of the email.

Council set to be removed from involvement with CUB Site by Minister Sartor

At a special meeting of the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC) on 7 June 2006 the four NSW Government members voted that the Planning Minister “use the powers under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 to deal with this development”. The motion was opposed by the three City of Sydney councillors that sit on the CSPC. The CSPC decision arose in response to a Letter from Minister Sartor to CoS and CSPC on 25 May 2006 (PDF 265Kb) in which Minister Sartor expressed his “concern and disappointment with regard to the on-going uncertainty, delays and inefficient processes which have attended redevelopment of the Carlton United Brewery (CUB) site”. The letter cited the failure of the CoS to finalise a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) with the CUB site owners and for the VPA to include “any clauses concerning collection of the affordable housing levy for the Redfern-Waterloo area”. In addition the Minister wanted a “mandatory competitive design process” and “further latitude in FSR [Floor Space Ratio] controls”. The CSPC motion from the government representatives stated that the action was necessary “as the matters raised in the Minister’s letter to the Lord Mayor of 25 May 2006 regarding inclusion of affordable housing provisions and potential for increases in FSR cannot be resolved”.

It is worth noting that the CSPC unanimously agreed to two other significant parts of the motion which addressed issues raised by the minister. Firstly that “the Central Sydney Planning Committee reconfirm the CSPC resolution of 8 December 2005 which endorsed the draft planning controls (which limits the FSR to 4 to 1) , and advise the Minister for Planning accordingly;” and secondly that “the CSPC note that the Voluntary Planning Agreement was nearing agreement after extensive negotiations, and on the understanding that a separate agreement regarding the provision of an affordable housing contribution may be entered into with the Redfern Waterloo Authority”. Of the matters raised by the minister it was the “inclusion of affordable housing provisions and potential for increases in FSR” that the CSPC used to ask the Minister to deal with the CUB development.

Concerning the Floor Space Ratios Clover Moore in City of Sydney calls public meeting for 15 June 2006 on CUB said “The City of Sydney and Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC) signed off on planning controls for the site in December last year, with an agreed FSR range of 3.5:1 to of 4:1. The absolute upper end of the range is conditional on achieving high standards of amenity, heritage, design excellence, parkland and sustainability. The draft controls were developed to balance the owner’s rights with environmental constraints and community benefits”. Council was pushing for the 3.5:1 end of the range and expert opinion indicated a maximum of 4:1. An indication of the size of the proposed development can be seen in the PowerPoint presentation CUB Site showing 4:1 FSR (PowerPoint 907Kb). While local residents feel the perspectives of the presentation do not adequately reflect the affect of the 100 metre towers the current proposal allows, it does provide some indication of what the CSPC had agreed for the site. The only indication of what increased FSR the Minister may want came from one of the government representatives at the 7 June CSPC meeting who eluded to an increase in the FSR to 4.5:1.

The lack of communication and tension between the RWA and the CoS has been an issue for some time. Now the circumstances created by the insistence that the RWA did not have to talk to the CoS about the affordable housing levy on the CUB site is being used by Minister Sartor and the government members of the CSPC as part of his reasoning to consider calling in the CUB development. The papers for the CSPC meeting included a Letter from Clover Moore to Frank Sartor of 2 June 2006 (190Kb PDF) in response to the Minister’s letter and a Report from CoS to CSPC on CUB Site and Minister's Letter for 7 June 2006 CSPC (43Kb PDF). The Lord Mayor’s response to the Minister’s letter makes reference to an unanswered Letter from City of Sydney to DIPNR - 18 July 2005 (126Kb PDF) in which the council sort clarification of how the RWA affordable housing contribution was to be handled. In part Clover Moore’s letter of 2 June said “The VPA has not sought to include any provision dealing with the contribution of the affordable housing levy to the Redfern Waterloo Authority, as provided for in the Redfern Waterloo Authority Act 2004. The understanding of the parties to the VPA was that this would be agreed separately with the State Government, based on the absence of any reply to the July 2005 letter (attached) and discussion between officers of the City and the RWA.”

When the RWA was established the affordable housing levy from the CUB site was seen as a way of getting some early non-government funds for the RWA’s activities. This provision, built into the RWA Act, locks the CUB site developer and Council into paying for affordable housing elsewhere rather than including it in the development. As the levy is usually a percentage of the value of the development any increase in FSR which increases the value of the development also increases the amount of money received by the RWA. Understandably locals in Chippendale are concerned that, like with the cross city tunnel, the money the government gets from the deal, in this case for the RWA, may influence the decisions that are made about the FSR and other development parameters for the CUB site; decisions which they believe will impact on them and their local amenity.

You can find more about the CSPC decision, the concerns of Chippendale groups, the concerns of the City of Sydney and the media stories from the REDWatch site on CSPC hands CUB to Minister - 7 June 2006.

City Calls Urgent Community Meeting on CUB Site – Thursday 15 June 2006

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called an urgent public meeting to update people on the significant events surrounding the future of the Carlton and United Breweries (CUB). The Meeting will be held:

7.30 pm, Thursday 15 June 2006
Medina Executive Sydney Central, in the Royal Mail Room
2 Lee Street Sydney (adjacent to Central Station)  

For more information see Councils URGENT MEETING ON CUB SITE and the Coalition of Chippendale Groups Notice re CoS Meeting - 15 June 2006 and their CUB Site - The Inside Story. You can download the Coalition of Chippendale Community Groups poster for the meeting from here Community Meeting Poster - 15 June 2006 (PDF 533 Kb). Please put the poster up where you can and encourage people to and come along.

Human Service Plan Phase Two Papers delayed

If you have been sweating on the discussion papers for the four service areas in Stage Two of HS Plan, as REDWatch has, you will have to wait a while longer. Aldo Pennini, Director, Reforming Human Services has advised that the papers need to go to the CEO’s Steering Committee which will meet in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the papers will bring together much of the research already done in Redfern Waterloo concerning services delivered to homeless people, people with disabilities, older people and migrant communities living in the area. Until we all see what has been covered in the position papers it is impossible to know what needs to be covered in the submissions that are supposed to close on 14th July in the lead up to the two day meeting of 200-250 people from 24 to 25 July 2006 to work on Stage Two of the HS Plan.

We have been advised that the July meeting dates are not movable so any delay in releasing the discussion papers will lessen the time people who have not been invited to the workshop will have to prepare their submissions. The RWA have emphasised that there will be time for people to comment on the draft Stage Two Human Services Plan when it goes out to for community consultation before adoption. REDWatch and, we think, many service providers would prefer the time up front so people can get responses from service users to reality test the position papers to ensure that from the very beginning we are reflecting the real needs and issues of the community rather than the views of those that write the papers and turn up to the forum.

REDWatch Postpones Discussion of Stage Two Human Services

The papers on the second stage of the human services review have not yet been released by the Redfern Waterloo Authority. This obviously makes it more difficult for REDWatch to respond. So REDWatch has decided to postpone the public meeting planned for 14th June. The REDWatch Working Group will still meet and will discuss REDWatch’s response to the human services process as well as deal with a number of organisational matters flowing from incorporation. The REDWatch Working Group will meet downstairs at The Factory, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo at 6pm to about 7.30.

A view of Reforming Human Services from the Settlement

In response to issues facing the small NGOs in the area, we have received the following from Michael Gravener, the co-ordinator of The Settlement.

The Settlement is about to send 10 young Aboriginal people at risk on an adventure to Alice Springs and Uluru with our Muralappi workers and an Aboriginal Liaison Worker sponsored by the Redfern Police.  The aim of the program is to give vulnerable young people an opportunity of gaining insights which will sustain them throughout their lives.  It is about offering these young people better opportunities of living long, healthy and productive lives in a framework where they can learn and experience more about their diverse cultural heritages and the unique place that Aboriginal young people have in the place we call Australia.  It is our hope that this experience enables them to awaken the inherent beauty of themselves on an earth that is an integral part of them.

These opportunities come few and far between for young people at risk in our society.  They are expensive and require considerable resources that are limited at the best of times.  The tragedy of many lives lost in the past decades through drug addiction, imprisonment, cultural and family breakdown is a national shame.  The other tragedy is that those organisations out there trying to make a difference have for years struggled to find appropriate resourcing to enable such unique opportunities to occur and give the chance for a vulnerable young person to break through the difficulties within their lives.

The other tragedy is the way limited resources are being spent.  Currently the Redfern Waterloo Authority is about to embark on stage two of the human services plan.  This is a plan and bureaucracy that has come about due to the perception of governments that human services within this area of great need have failed in their duty to alleviate the stark problems perceived by society.  The reality is that many organisations have struggled for many decades to pay staff, maintain their infrastructures, operate programs and deliver services that have a long term, creative and broad perspective.  For decades these organisations have been under resourced in a very unstable and unpredictable environment and have been only able to act on a reactive basis to the day to day crisis that enters the door of their facilitates.

What I see now is another layer of bureaucracy that tells the grassroots organisations how to do things.  It spends millions on attempting to articulate and reform the human services it judges have failed the people.  If those millions were spent on enhancing those organisations, that for years faced the frontline of people’s struggles, we could have rebuilt our ageing facilities, employed experienced staff, created effective proactive and reactive operating modes, and probably saved the lives of scores of young people.  This is yet another tragedy.  How do we see through the goodness of all our intentions and make a real difference to the goodness of our society when we see the resources of that society dwindle before our very eyes. 

The Settlement may have ten young people about to embark on an incredible journey which we hope will effect positive change in their lives, however, it is only a minute attempt at addressing the core of the issues we face.  The problems will remain overwhelming until we come to the realisation that the precious resources made available to us must reach the reality of the lives of people on the margins.  It looks to me that resources will continue to be spent on well meaning intentions, by well living people, who pity the problem, but don't recognise our part in it.

Bring the resources to the people who need them.

Michael Gravener
The Settlement.

Free Financial Counselling Available at the Settlement

MONEY TROUBLES? Phone debts ? Home Loan? Car loan? Fines ? Credit card debt? Over Spent ? Unpaid bills? The Settlement wants to know about money troubles in the Redfern/Waterloo area. The Settlement is offering free financial counselling with a qualified financial counsellor to 40 people willing to take part in private and confidential interviews about their money troubles. The information given to The Settlement will be used to improve financial services in the area. Interested? Contact: The Settlement Neighbourhood Centre 17 Edward St, Darlington. Phone Ellouise or Danielle: 9698 3087

UTS Shopfront – New Projects deadline 30 June 2006

The UTS Shopfront works with community groups in partnership on community-initiated projects. Community projects are free and are usually carried out by students as part of their coursework under the supervision of an academic. This means the project needs to be achievable in a semester (13 weeks). Larger projects may be broken down to achievable components to allow them to be undertaken during subsequent semesters. Projects picked up in 2nd semester will run from August to November.  Call Pauline or Lisa on 02 9514 2902 to find out more or visit . You can submit your project on line.

State Budget Funding for Redfern Waterloo

We have asked the RWA for any information they have about the impact of the State Budget on Redfern Waterloo and we will pass this on if it is forthcoming. In the meantime we read in the Australian article Orchestral hopes in the pits after budget that the Carriage Works, the new performing arts centre in Redfern expected to open early next year, received a boost of $13.7 million in the budget.

Kristina Keneally Heffron E-Herald 8 June 2006 advised that Inner Sydney families are to benefit from an immediate $318,527 investment in local preschools under the NSW Governments $85.2 million Preschool Investment and Reform Plan. Kristina joined Minister for Community Services, Reba Meagher, at Poets Corner Preschool in Redfern, which will receive $110,000 in immediate funding under the package.

Kristina also provided some details of the public and affordable housing funding her electorate of Heffron won in the budget. Given the high concentration of public housing in the area and the RWA’s commitment to affordable housing in Stage Two of the Built Environment Plan we will quote Kristina’s comments in full.


The Iemma Government will spend over $20 million to provide much-needed affordable and public housing in the Heffron electorate:

  • $7.94 million to commence construction of 11 new family homes, 14 new pensioner units in Waterloo and 15 new community housing dwellings in Botany,
  • $200,000 to complete the construction of a further 14 pensioner units in Waterloo,
  • $450,000 on planning works for future construction, and
  • $4.76 million on major upgrading works on public housing in the local area

This is a total of $13.36 million from the 2006/07 Housing Budget in the Heffron electorate to provide housing assistance and to support the ongoing implementation of the Governments Reshaping Public Housing reforms announced last year. On top of that, $7 million will be spent by City West Housing at Green Square to develop more affordable housing.

The 2006/07 housing budget demonstrates the Iemma Governments strong commitment to the future of affordable and public housing.

This year the Iemma Government is providing an additional $269.78 million over and above its obligations under the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement. This includes enhancement funding of $520,000 to be provided to the Community Housing sector to provide an additional 50 units of support accommodation for people with a mental illness under the Housing and Support Initiative (HASI).

South Sydney Herald June 2006

The full June edition of the South Sydney Herald is up on the REDWatch website for those who do not get it delivered at (2.9MB PDF).

Some of the individual articles which may be of special interest to update readers have also been put on the “In the Media” section of the REDWatch website. Articles this month in this category include Rachel Foster should be considered for aged-care about one aged care operator who has approached the RWA with an interest in using the former Rachel Foster Hospital site; Local MP calls for street drinkers to be moved onto Wet Centres in which the SSH talks to Kristina Keneally about Alcohol Free Zones and her support for wet centres; Inner city, government buses not good enough looks at the problems of our inner city bus services linking South Sydney to the CBD; NSW Government Aboriginal Affairs Plan – For everywhere but in Redfern? which asks questions about the local implementation of the NSW Government’s policy called “Two Ways Together Partnerships: A New Way of Doing Business with Aboriginal People”; Redfern Police Station has its formal opening reporting on the formal opening of the Redfern Police station; and Midnight Basketball pilot sends warm ripples through the community examines the inaugural Midnight Basketball competition launched in the Redfern/Waterloo area in February.

Subscriptions to the South Sydney herald are also available for those who live outside the delivery area who would like to receive a mailed copy of the paper - contact

RWA holds Free World Cup Action Replays at the ATP

Normally the RWA is not slow to share good news but we had not seen this information until its mention in Kristina Keneally’s Heffron E-Newsletter. We are advised by the RWA that the replays were organised very recently with information getting out just last week. The more people that turn up the better! So if you are interested in football and the world cup come along and watch the reply with some of the people who work and live in your area. The details from the leaflet Free World Cup Action Replays at the ATP (290 Kb PDF) are as follows:

The Redfern-Waterloo Authority proudly presents action-packed replays on the BIG SCREENS at the Australian Technology Park Bay 10, Henderson Road, South Sydney Midday - 2pm on various dates. For more info, call 9209 4429. Food and Beverages available for purchase. Non-smoking venue. The schedule of games being shown is:

Australia v Japan Tuesday, June 13
v Croatia Wednesday, June 14
v Poland Thursday, June 15
v Trinidad & Tobago Friday, June 16
v Brazil Monday, June 19
Saudi Arabia
v Ukraine Tuesday, June 20
v England Wednesday, June 21
v Angola Thursday, June 22
v Croatia Friday, June 23

2nd Round 3 Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A Monday, June 26
2nd Round 5 Winner Group E v Runner-up Group F Tuesday, June 27
2nd Round 7 Winner Group F v Runner-up Group E Wednesday, June 28

Semi-final 1 Wednesday, July 5

Semi-final 2 Thursday, July 6

Final    Monday, July 10

Souths – Under New Management

This week Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe took control of the Rabbitohs and the news and tries were coming thick and fast. Two pieces of news of particular interest to Redfern Waterloo are likely to be: Mundine joins Rabbitohs about the appointment of Anthony Mundine as South’s indigenous community liaison officer and part-time boxing and conditioning coach; and Give up leagues club, or we'll build our own: Souths which revealed that Peter Holmes a Court is prepared to build his own leagues club at Redfern if an attempt to gain control of the Rabbitohs' licensed premises fails.