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7 july 2006

The Redfern Waterloo Employment and Enterprise Plan Released / RWA Report on the Employment and Enterprise Plan Submissions / Some Initial Comments on the Final Employment and Enterprise Plan / Anger at Human Services Stage Two Papers

In This Update

The Redfern Waterloo Employment and Enterprise Plan Released

RWA Report on the Employment and Enterprise Plan Submissions

Some Initial Comments on the Final Employment and Enterprise Plan

Anger at Human Services Stage Two Papers

Coming Events (these are entered on the REDWatch website)


The Redfern Waterloo Employment and Enterprise Plan Released

In a media release Sartor Delivers On Redfern-Waterloo Jobs Plan (pdf~18kb) dated July 5 2006 Minister Sartor announced the release of the final RWA Final Redfern Waterloo Employment and Enterprise Plan (EEP). The Final Plan can be downloaded from the RWA site at The Employment and Enterprise Plan.

RWA Report on the Employment and Enterprise Plan Submissions

On their Employment and Enterprise webpage the RWA have provided some details of the consultation and the changes incorporated. We have taken the extract below from the RWA website at

The Draft Plan was put on public exhibition for community consultation from December 12 2005 to February 28 2006. Eighteen submissions were received, with three being received after submissions had closed. The submissions received included five from NGO’s; four from residents; five from government departments and four from elected members of parliament or council.

The majority of respondents were supportive of the plan but wanted particular issues highlighted or strengthened in the final plan as follows:

  • supply of childcare provision;
  • employment & education opportunities for mature age people;
  • support for small business and enterprise development;
  • coordination with local service providers;
  • mismatch between future job opportunities and the capability of the local community;
  • ensure the employment meets the needs of residents, and is meaningful employment;
  • acknowledge that a concentration of people in the Redfern-Waterloo area are not able to work as they are well past working age, are ill or have high level of disabilities or other health issues; and
  • addressing the specific employment needs of culturally and linguistically diverse residents (CALD) and disabled residents.

In response to the consultation feedback, the Draft Plan was enhanced to include:

  • More detailed information on the profile of local people on income support, including the finding that 62.5% of people on income support are receiving aged or disability support pensions.
  • Highlighting the large concentration of people in the area who are unable to participate in the labour market due to age or ill health.
  • Clarification that the Authority’s Plan is based on the creation of meaningful work, and ensuring improvement to education and training to provide access to this work.
  • Strengthening the skills audit to capture information on individual’s career preferences.
  • Clarification that the Plan adequately addresses the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, sole parents and people with a disability.
  • Investigating the benefits of having the Redfern-Waterloo area designated as an enterprise zone to offer targeted payroll tax concessions to new or expanding small businesses when linked to a company’s employment and training strategy.
  • The recommendation from the Human Services Plan to increase local, culturally appropriate and affordable childcare by 100 positions for children living in Redfern-Waterloo.
  • Strengthening the vocational training needs of mature aged people in the community.
  • Strengthening the details on the Authority’s training centre at North Eveleigh.
  • Highlighting the benefits of the community’s involvement in local markets, including the potential for cultural industries development.
  • Providing more detail on the cultural awareness program to support local businesses and strengthen the relationship between local residents and employers, including ongoing training and mentoring.

The final plan was approved by the Minister for Redfern-Waterloo on 19 May 2006.

Some Initial Comments on the Final Employment and Enterprise Plan

The Employment and Enterprise Plan (EEP) continues to be built on the Human Services Plan (HSP) and the Built Environment Plan (BEP). While the latter is also due for release within the next week or so, the EEP reveals no major changes in the BEP figures on which it is based. 

There have been some improvements in the EEP although its success will depend on how the proposed programmes are implemented and how the RWA addresses the problems that will inevitably arise. For example in both the draft and the final EEP the RWA has recognised the impact of the Commonwealth Welfare to Work changes from 1 July 2006 but there is no indication of the programmes the RWA will develop to meet this challenge. The EEP notes that “there are thousands of people in the Redfern-Waterloo area that are in receipt of one of these allowances, so it is anticipated that these changes will have a huge effect on unemployment in the local area.”

We remain concerned however that the Plan continues to ignore the employment disincentives faced by Public Housing tenants as a result of how welfare and housing policy interacts with employment. In our update of May 9 we drew attention to the study undertaken by The Tenants Union of NSW that shows that public housing tenants who get a job face losing more than 70 per cent of their wages, under changes to the NSW Department of Housing's rent rebate system. Single parents on 'moderate incomes' lose 93 cents in each additional dollar, and face losing their housing. At the time we said this research has major implications for the Employment and Enterprise Plan. The full research paper from the Tenants Union of NSW can be downloaded from this link.(570KB).

We have not had a chance to finalise a text comparison so you can see where the changes are as we did for the HSP Plan but we will post one on the REDWatch website. This may take a few days due to our work and other family commitments at the moment.  [ A document comparison of the Draft and Final Employment and Enterprise is now available as a word document at ]

Anger at Human Services Stage Two Papers

There is quite wide concern about the lack of opportunities for community / service user input in the Stage Two process and the extent to which agencies will be limited in their ability to represent all the areas of their activities in the Forum. We asked Faye Williams at Inner Sydney Regional Council for her initial reaction to the Phase Two Papers and she has provided us with this feedback on her first impressions of the Human Services Plan Phase 2 Forum Issues Paper. We spoke to her at the REDWatch meeting and she still stands be her initial impressions and is happy to have her comments passed on to others.  

“First impression? An instant anger at the level of attack on services (starting with the first sentence on page 2) and secondly a profound disappointment at the resulting lost opportunity to work together constructively.

I cannot understand how the RWA thinks it will help a consultation process to start out with the accusation that we are:

  • poorly co-ordinated
  • poorly integrated
  • do not offer sufficient value for money
  • have serious administration inefficiencies
  • have poor governance
  • duplicate services.

We were told by the RWA that these findings from Morgan Disney were not going to be applied, but here they are again.

Its like we live in two worlds, one of reality of the 'on the ground' service provision and another of some rarefied construct in the minds of bureaucrats who are not engaged in direct services".  

If you have not yet had a look at the 23 page document Human Services Plan Phase 2 Issues Papers (pdf ~91kb) then we encourage you to do so and to make your comments to the RWA by 5pm on Thursday July 20.

The issues papers cover the following issues:

  1. Better service delivery
  2. Access to dementia support
  3. Migrant communities
  4. Access to aged care and health services by Aboriginal people 45 years and older
  5. Intergenerational relations
  6. Homelessness
  7. Disabilities: identification of needs and access to services
  8. Social isolation
  9. Local and community transport
  10. Housing safety and amenity for older people 

There is not much time for service providers and service user input so please consider the items that the RWA have highlighted, raise issues that have been missed in the papers that cover delivery of human services to older people, people with disabilities, homeless people and migrant communities that have been overlooked and feed these into the Phase Two process. 

At the REDWatch meeting a couple of questions were raised about references made in the Papers that were necessary to understand what was being proposed. We have passed these onto the RWA and received the following responses which we are not sure will help people understand what is being proposed - but here they are anyhow:

Q. Page 3 and other places in the Issues Papers refers to the "current Redfern-Waterloo Case Co-ordination Project". What is this project / model that various things are supposed to conform to or have applied? A. Please refer to page 12 of the Human Services Plan

Q. Page 6 refers to the Service Reform Action Plan developed by the Redfern Waterloo Authority. What is this Plan? A. The Action Plan aims to implement reform to service delivery as stipulated in pages 27 to 30 of the Human Services Plan

Q. Are there documents explaining these projects / plans which can be distributed so people know what this means? A. See answers to 1 and 2

We also passed on the request for information about how the Forum is to be conducted. Will there be parallel sessions on different service clusters and if so what are the focus of the sessions. Is there a schedule yet for the Forum or some further information that can be made available? The answer is Information about the forum will be forwarded to those people who have accepted the invitation.

Those who have been offered positions at the July 24-25 Forum are reminded that details of attendees are supposed to be to the RWA by today Friday 7 July 2006 and sometime after that you will find out about the process!