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5 October 2006

RWA Phase Two Draft Human Services Plan (HSP) Released for Comment / Changes to Privacy Laws not just for Redfern Waterloo / ILC seeks Planning Approval for Redfern School Site to include PCYC / The AHC – When is a Major Project Application “Lodged”? / Should the Large Erecting Workshop be considered for a Living Heritage Centre? / The Battle for Public Toilets / Weekly Redfern Street Construction Meetings / South Sydney Herald October 2006 / Knowledge is Power - Freedom of Information in NSW: Why isn't it working? - Wednesday 11 October 2006 / A Community Forum on Stolen Wages - 11 October 2006 / Redfern East & West Local Area Traffic Management Scheme Consultation – until Friday 13th October 2006 / Edna Turvey Memorial Service – Saturday 14th October 2006 / Youth Rock the Block - 12-4pm, Saturday, October 14 / Reggae on the Block - 12-4pm, Sunday, October 15 / Danks Street Festival 2006 – 22 October 2006 / Inner West Local Action Plan Consultation – until Thursday 26th October 2006 / Lord Mayor Community Forum Redfern Waterloo – 30th October 2006 / Forum on the issue of Overcrowded Apartments – 31st October 2006 / Sydney open 06 includes tours of Carriageworks – 5th November / Employment / Education Expo – December 1st 2006 / Other Consultations of Interest

In This Update

RWA Phase Two Draft Human Services Plan (HSP) Released for Comment

Changes to Privacy Laws not just for Redfern Waterloo

ILC seeks Planning Approval for Redfern School Site to include PCYC

The AHC – When is a Major Project Application “Lodged”?

Should the Large Erecting Workshop be considered for a Living Heritage Centre?

The Battle for Public Toilets

Weekly Redfern Street Construction Meetings

South Sydney Herald October 2006

Knowledge is Power - Freedom of Information in NSW: Why isn't it working? - Wednesday 11 October 2006

A Community Forum on Stolen Wages - 11 October 2006

Redfern East & West Local Area Traffic Management Scheme Consultation – until Friday 13th October 2006

Edna Turvey Memorial Service – Saturday 14th October 2006

Youth Rock the Block - 12-4pm, Saturday, October 14

Reggae on the Block - 12-4pm, Sunday, October 15

Danks Street Festival 2006 – 22 October 2006

Inner West Local Action Plan Consultation – until Thursday 26th October 2006

Lord Mayor Community Forum Redfern Waterloo – 30th October 2006

Forum on the issue of Overcrowded Apartments – 31st October 2006

Sydney open 06 includes tours of Carriageworks – 5th November

Employment / Education Expo – December 1st 2006

Other Consultations of Interest

Coming Events (entered on the REDWatch website)

RWA Phase Two Draft Human Services Plan (HSP) Released for Comment

The RWA have released the Draft Redfern Waterloo Phase 2 Human Services Plan (pdf ~126kb) which is available for download from the RWA website. The HSP Phase Two was established to review services for older people; people with disabilities; migrant communities; and homeless people. The Draft Plan follows the release of Draft Issues Papers and a Forum held on July 24-25 2006. All the papers from the forum are available on the REDWatch website at http://www.redwatch.org.au/RWA/humanservices/phase2paper/.

Following on from the issues papers and forum the Plan identifies eight priority issues:

  1. Improving access to dementia support
  2. Improved service quality for migrant communities
  3. Improving access to aged care and health services by Aboriginal people 45 years and older
  4. Reducing the negative impacts of homelessness through early intervention and support
  5. Improving identification of need and access to services for people with disability
  6. Reducing social isolation
  7. Improving access to local and community transport for people who are transport disadvantaged
  8. Improving safety and amenity

As advised to Forum attendees the Phase Two draft will be on exhibition for 4 weeks. Submissions close Tuesday 7 November 2006.

Due to delays in getting the issues papers produced there was little time prior to the Forum for community discussion and input into the Human Services Forum. Restrictions on who could attend the Forum saw many people working in the targeted service areas unable to attend and only limited invited participation in the Forum from service users. In particular REDWatch was concerned that the RWA did not seek input from service users who have valuable insights into the services they receive and the priorities required.

The initial reaction from some of those who attending the Human Services Forum is that despite major gaps in the areas considered in the RWA’s initial issues papers there is hardly any change in the Draft plan resulting from the Human Services Forum input. As an example there was a strong negative reaction to the use of the term “migrant” at the forum but even this wording remained unchanged from the issues papers.

We expect many local service providers will be frustrated that their input has again been ignored and that we will see more comments like the following “quick first impression” from Faye Williams at Inner Sydney Regional Council below (ISRCSD will be producing a more detailed response later):

  • Pleased that the Improved Service Delivery and Intergenerational Priorities have gone
  • Priorities do not address the main needs as identified by service providers, which are insufficient funding to existing services so they can take on more clients and the need for more case managers to deal with increasingly complex needs.
  • Issues for people are complex, interrelated and layered - need to deal with each individual person instead of a service priority
  • Actions in the Plan do not reflect many of the concerns and important issues brought up in the consultation by local residents and service providers. Consultation input was listed, but did not change actions. Most notice was taken of government workers - yet none of them know the area well, what services are doing and what the needs are 
  • Many issues in the Plan have already been identified and local services have attempted to fix them - perhaps the RWA could fix the high level problems, but we think they need to be addressed at a higher level than an LGA.
  • Watch the term 'improved access', which has layered meanings. Access means finding and approaching a service. Government Departments load 'improving access' with the concept that if services are made more efficient by restructuring etc, they will be able to provide a service to anyone who needs one. What is needed is more funding.
  • Left out housing - yet it will impact greatly on all the target groups in Phase 1 and 2 
  • The term 'migrant' remains, despite being the most criticised item in the consultation - shows that they are listening mostly to government depts

We encourage all those who have an interest in services for older people; people with disabilities; people from culturally & linguistically diverse communities; and homeless people, to read the draft and to see if it reflects the issues of concern to these human service users. Details on how to lodge a submission are on the RWA website at http://www.redfernwaterloo.nsw.gov.au/redfern_waterloo_plan/human_services.htm. REDWatch will again put up copies of submissions on the REDWatch website so that the broader community can again see the concerns of various organisations with an interest in the Plan.

Changes to Privacy Laws not just for Redfern Waterloo

We were interested to see in the AAP report Move to extend privacy law exemption that another proposal being trialled in Redfern Waterloo as part of the Human Services Plan will be used more broadly across NSW. The NSW Government will seek to extend the trial exempting young offenders aged between 16 and 25 from some aspects of privacy laws which is underway in Redfern-Waterloo to several other parts of the state.

Under privacy laws, only DOCS can initiate information sharing with other agencies about people aged under 16. Privacy laws limit information sharing between government about individuals aged over 16. The New South Wales Government has proposed changes to privacy laws that will enable its agencies to share information about young people at risk of falling into a life of crime. An expert committee, including the privacy commissioner, will monitor the trials.

If we put this together with the latest anti terrorist announcement that Redfern Station will get new high resolution video monitoring equipment that will be compatible with police facial recognition software as reported in Train station CCTV to reduce terrorism threat, then those concerned about their privacy as well as those “at risk of falling into crime” may really have something to be concerned about.

ILC seeks Planning Approval for Redfern School Site to include PCYC

The Indigenous Land Council have submitted their preliminary proposal for the school site to the Department of Planning and the PCYC is back as part of the ILC plan for the site. This report can be downloaded from the Major Projects section of the Department of Planning’s website at Preliminary Assessment Report. The report states that:

“In addition one new building complex (Buildings F and G – comprising a main building and attached pavilions) will be constructed which will accommodate the PCYC functions and the Murawina Child and Day Care Centres. In addition a new outdoor heated swimming pool will be constructed adjacent to the PCYC Centre”.

Apart from what this application tells us about what is planned for this site, it can also provide insights into the planning process as it may apply to other major projects in the area. In this regard two quotes in the ILC Report caught our attention. We would be pleased to hear from any readers who can throw light on the issues raised.

The ILC Preliminary assessment Report says:

  • “It should be noted that the heritage provisions contained within the SEPP do not apply to the subject land given that the development is a Part 3A project. Given the heritage significance of two of the buildings on site, however, it is intended that a Heritage Impact Statement will be prepared as part of the EA process to identify and assess the heritage impact of the proposal.”[page 16] So what is the value of the new Heritage map in the SEPP if it only applies to projects under $5 million?
  • “While it is noted that the part of Renwick Street in the centre of the site which has been physically closed is owned by the City of Sydney, section 8F of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 provides that owner’s consent is not required for a Part 3A application which is lodged by a public authority. Owners consent for the application will not therefore be required for the subject application.” [page 20] So does this mean a Federal Authority does not need the consent for a development over land owned by a local council?

The AHC – When is a Major Project Application “Lodged”?

Having recently reported on some of the projects appearing on the Department of Planning’s Major Projects website it makes us wonder what kind of application triggers a Major Project Listing on http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/asp/register2006.asp#gma. The two recent Major Project applications from Redfern (the School and on Cleveland Street) have been submitted to obtain the Director General’s requirements for these project. The AHC formally submitted its project description to the department of Planning back in March 2006 to obtain the Director General’s (DG) requirements for their project. This resulted in Government Departments and the local Council being advised about the AHC project proposal and them being requested to submit their input for the formation of the DG’s requirements for the project. At no point however has the AHC been given an application number or has the documentation they submitted been listed on the Major Projects site. The AHC, at the Department of Planning’s request in mid September submitted a project application form even though they are not yet at this part of the process.

This would not matter greatly except that Minister Sartor has inferred in evidence to a Budget Estimates Committee that the AHC has not lodged an application. The transcript reports him as saying “If the Aboriginal Housing Company ever gets its act together it can lodge an application and it will be considered on its merits.” Transcript 08/09/2006 Planning, Redfern and Waterloo, Science and Medical Research. The statement infers the AHC does not have “its act together” and is potentially evocative of the aboriginal laziness stereotype inferred in Minister Sartor’s infamous “black arse” jibe last year. From the AHC perspective they have done what they were asked to do by the Department of Planning but after seven months the application still has no Major Project number, no Major Project Listing and no public Ministerial recognition that it formally exists, even though government departments have made their submissions to the Department of Planning for the DG’s requirements!

Should the Large Erecting Workshop be considered for a Living Heritage Centre?

Following on from our last update we received a colour copy of the Large Erecting Shed Assessment of Adequacy Report (PDF 2.3MB). We have replaced the initial scanned black and white copy on the REDWatch website. If you did not get the colour copy when you visited the site we suggest you revisit the site and get the colour PDF. While the 'Large' is owned by Railcorp the Assessment of Adequacy referred to above was commissioned by 3801 Ltd & paid for by 3801 Ltd and not by RailCorp. Since the last update we have seen copies of a letter being sent out by Minister Sartor concerning Eveleigh and Rail Heritage Issues. You can read this letter at Letter from Minister Sartor regarding 3801 and Rail Heritage. We have also seen  John Watkins MP Deputy Premier Minister for Transport comments on Eveleigh.

REDWatch at its October meeting had an excellent presentation by Associate Professor Lucy Taksa, Associate Dean (Education) from the Faculty of Commerce and Economics at University of New South Wales on Eveleigh and the experience of other cities in creating Living Heritage Centres on similar sites. The meeting strongly supported the proposal that Railcorp and the RWA should seriously investigate the option of using the Large for a Living Heritage Centre, which could see employment, training, heritage, tourist and broader community benefits flowing from having an active heritage component within the broader RWA plans for urban renewal. The Adequacy report indicates that the Large can continue to be used with a modest investment of $3 million over five years. The RWA Built Environment Plan seems to be predicated on the Large needing $12-15 million to be retained. In the BEP it has been slated for replacement by an up to 12 storey building.

Some former workers at Eveleigh are currently working on a proposal to try and bring together organisations and interested individuals interested in ensuring that the Large is retained as a working site servicing rail heritage interests across the state. As soon as we have a copy of their proposal we will put it up on the REDWatch website at http://www.redwatch.org.au/RWA/statesignificant/southeveleigh/large/.

The Battle for Public Toilets

A recent Council Community Forum in Newtown was told that council have a number of public toilets in storage which were available to meet local needs. There have been a number of mentions of the lack of public conveniences in Redfern Waterloo over the years and mentions of the growing need with an aging community. The problem however is that if a loo need is identified the proposal has to gain support from those who live or work around where the toilet is proposed. As there is often opposition, the needed toilets do not get installed. Objections include concerns that the toilets will be used by drug users, for sex or create an unpleasant odour. The new toilets seek to combat some these problems. For example doors open automatically after only 4 minutes. Not ideal for those who like to take the weight off their feet for an extended time but short enough to discourage non toilet uses.

So here is the challenge to those complaining about a lack of toilets in Redfern Waterloo or about people defecating and urinating in doorways around the area. Come up with the locations for the needed toilets in Redfern Waterloo and then lets all try and convince those around where they need to go that it is a good thing to do. The availability of high tech toilets are the least part of the problem. 

Weekly Redfern Street Construction Meetings

Construction works for Redfern Street Upgrade are progressing well. The City of Sydney Project Manager has updated the web site to provide the current information on Redfern Street Upgrade works. This can be accessed by following the link below: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/CityImprovements/RedfernAndRegentStreetUpgrade.asp. The website also now has the Presentation of Construction Update Meeting - 2 August 2006 | PDF 1.8Mb on it as well as the notices being issued for the construction Notices | PDF 590Kb.

Ford Civil Contracting and City of Sydney will be holding weekly Construction Co-ordination meetings to address the concerns and queries of the residents and traders directly affected by Redfern and Regent Street Upgrade project works. These open meetings will be held for an hour at the Redfern Neighbourhood Service Centre in room B01 at 11am every Wednesday. All community members are welcome to these meetings. Contact Ken Hutt from Ford civil Contracting on 0418 205 225 if you would like further information.

South Sydney Herald October 2006

We have again received the latest copy of the South Sydney Herald and put it up on the REDWatch website for those who do not normally get to see it. You can use this link to download the 2.9MB PDF of SSH October 2006. We have again also put some stories that might be of particular interest to Redfern Waterloo up on the REDWatch website. Articles this month include Chippendale residents champion bicycling plan for inner west which reports on the Chippendale residents and small business proposal for an off-road pedestrian and cycle route through Chippendale,  Those troublesome DA’s which looks at how council handles DA objections and Cana Kids Can Cook which looks at a local cooking program. Redfern Street upgrade problems also get covered in Upgrade challenges: watch your step in Redfern Street as do recent drug raids by Redfern Police in Operation Edgewater, cleaning up drugs in Redfern-Waterloo. The SSH also carries Vision of dance - An Interview with Donald Enoch a founding member of the Bangarra Dance Company about his vision for teaching local children to dance as well as two sports articles one about Dingoes in Darlington - Netball lives in South Sydney which looks at local netball and the lack of playing areas for women’s sport in the area and the other Alexandria warm-up for Swans faithful about the ABC 702 warm up to the AFL Grand final at the Alexandria Hotel. Finally we have also put up a letter to the SSH which makes Comment on story, 3801 train leaves Redfern from last month’s SSH.

Knowledge is Power - Freedom of Information in NSW: Why isn't it working? - Wednesday 11 October 2006

Information is key to a robust democracy. But the right to access information in NSW is being eroded by an increasing culture of secrecy in government. Come along to a public forum organised by the Greens to discuss FOI in NSW, why the system isn't working and what we can do about it. Speakers include Journalist Wendy Bacon, FOI expert Peter Timmons and Dr Ann Smith from the Save Barrington Tops Group. The public forum will be held in the Jubilee Room, Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney at 12:45 for 1pm, Wednesday 11 October 2006. To RSVP and for more details about the Greens FOI campaign, contact Lee Rhiannon's office on 9230 3549 or jemma.bailey@parliament.nsw.gov.au

A Community Forum on Stolen Wages - 11 October 2006

A community Forum is being organised on Stolen Wages by Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) and Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR). The Forum will include a presentation from Dr Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe in the USA, about her work to recover trust funds for members of her Tribe. It will also give an update on the NSW Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme and on the Senate Inquiry into Stolen Wages. The Forum will also include the launch of Dr Rosalind Kidd’s new book, Trustees on Trial. This is Dr Kidd’s exposé of government mismanagement of monies owing to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples. All Welcome at Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo St, Redfern 10.00 am – 12.00 pm (followed by a light lunch) on Wednesday, 11 October 2006. Please RSVP by Tuesday, 3 October to: Janene Collins janene@antar.org.au phone 9555 6138 or Charmaine Smith charmaine@piac.asn.au phone 8898 6517

Redfern East & West Local Area Traffic Management Scheme Consultation – until Friday 13th October 2006

The Draft Redfern East & West Local Area Traffic Management Scheme proposal is currently on exhibition until Friday 13th October 2006. The Scheme proposes a number of intersection changes and traffic calming measures in East and West Redfern. The proposal has been put together following input received at community consultation sessions in July and August. To view the proposals and for more information visit the councils web page on the Draft Redfern Local Area Traffic Management Scheme (LATM)

Edna Turvey Memorial Service – Saturday 14th October 2006

Friends and those people who knew Edna Turvey of Darlington are invited to attend South Sydney Uniting Church to join in a memorial service to honour her life. The service will be held on Saturday 14th of October at 2pm at the Uniting Church Raglan Street Waterloo.

Youth Rock the Block - 12-4pm, Saturday, October 14

It will feature young Indigenous artists performing hip-hop, pop, traditional & contemporary dance, and more. The next generation of Aboriginal artists and activists having fun, raising consciousness and raising money for The Aboriginal Housing Company's continuing fight for self-determination and the Pemulwuy Project. The event is being held on the Block (enter via Lawson St Redfern) and is being coordinated by AHC General Manager Lani Tuitavake (Ph 9698 9249), Joel Beasant (Ph 9797 1339) from Andorra, and community youth worker Donald Enoch. Contact them for further details.

Reggae on the Block - 12-4pm, Sunday, October 15

Sydney's finest reggae acts bring their groove to The Block to entertain sings songs of freedom and add their voices to the call for the Pemulwuy project. The event is being held on the Block (enter via Lawson St Redfern) and is being coordinated by AHC General Manager Lani Tuitavake (Ph 96989249), Joel Beasant (Ph 97971339) from Andorra, and community youth worker Donald Enoch. Contact them for further details.

Danks Street Festival 2006 – 22 October 2006

In the last update we made reference to a New York article about Danks Street Waterloo being an important Sydney tourist attraction There's Something About Sydney: Waterloo. Well here is your chance to see what all the fuss is about. Following the first Danks Street Festival, held last year, the City of Sydney will produce the event again in 2006 on 22nd October 2006 between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. There will also be a skate competition at nearby Waterloo Skate Park coordinated by South Sydney Youth Services. Further details of the event can be found on the council’s website at Danks Street Festival.

Inner West Local Action Plan Consultation – until Thursday 26th October 2006

The 2006 Local Action Plan Inner West includes proposals for implementation in the villages of Camperdown, Chippendale, Darlington, Erskineville, Eveleigh, Golden Grove, Macdonaldtown and Newtown. The Action Plan is the outcome of questionnaires distributed by council early this year and discussions at community forums. Recently Chippendale had a meeting concerning the implementation of the plan in their area. A similar meeting is also expected for Darlington in the next couple of months. If you live in one of these areas please visit the Council web site at Local Action Plan Inner West - Until Thursday 26 October 2006. You can download the details of the Plan for your suburb at Local Action Plan Inner West - Have your say | PDF 233Kb.

Lord Mayor Community Forum Redfern Waterloo – 30th October 2006

The Inner South Community Forum for Redfern, Waterloo, Eveleigh will be held on Monday 30 October 6 - 8.30pm Venue: Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt Street, Redfern

Forum on the issue of Overcrowded Apartments – 31st October 2006

The City of Sydney Residents Network (Resnet) next meeting will be devoted to a special Forum on the issue of Overcrowded Apartments. The Forum will be held in the Council Chambers of Sydney Town Hall between 6.00 and 7.30 pm on Tuesday 31 October.

All of the panel members have special experience or expertise in dealing with the myriad of problems overcrowded apartments can create for other residents. Panel members will include:

  • Mark Kelly, City Prosecutor & Compliance Manager for the City of Sydney.
  • George Vumbacca, Board Member of the Institute of Strata Management & Managing Director & CEO of Jamesons Group of Companies (including strata management).
  • Vaughn de Vocht, building manager at The Peak.
  • Edwina Low, Owners' Corporation Chair at Hyde Park Towers.
  • Allan Hoy, building manager at Hyde Park Towers.
  • John Peart, CBD resident, member of Resnet, chairperson. 

Members of the public are very welcome to attend this meeting. An RSVP is requested for catering purposes. Please email gloriajones@optusnet.com.au  or phone John on 0403 001682.

Sydney open 06 includes tours of Carriageworks – 5th November

Sydney open 06 is run by the Historic Houses Trust. One of the many tours being run on 5th November is of the new Performing Arts Centre being built at Eveleigh.  Developed by the NSW State Government through Arts NSW, CarriageWorks will be a contemporary performance space located in the 1880s Carriage Workshop. Carriages were built and repaired in this workshop for over a century and the building retains much of its original built fabric and industrial atmosphere. The fit-out is designed to read as a series of discrete modern elements within the historic shell. Tour times: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm with wheelchair access More details can be found at http://www.hht.net.au/whats_on/sydneyopen. Tickets go on sale from Wednesday 11 October 2006.

While on the Carriageworks, which is due to open in January 2007, if you missed the SMH article Edgy venue forged from gritty past it is well worth a read to find out about what has been done in the building and what is coming to our area in 2007.

Employment / Education Expo – December 1st 2006

An Employment / Education Expo is planned for December 1st at the Vice Chancellors Oval, Henderson Road, Alexandria. This event is being organised by the New Employment Opportunity Network (N.E.O.N). The NEON Program was a result of Centrelink’s outreach activities as well as networking with community groups such as youth services, juvenile justice, probation and parole, community centres and service providers (e.g. CDEPs), to identify ways to bring together both the Unemployed and Employers at the one location for the purpose of actively attacking the unemployment rate and hopefully fulfilling participants career aspirations.

The Expo will be a day of entertainment and information with lunch provided via communal BBQ. There will also be information stalls for employers who had genuine jobs to offer on the day. The program has been running for several years and the event held on “The Block” in Redfern attracted over 500 people due to the entertainment and lunch factor.

An indication of how well the program works is evidenced by the National Flyer for the IEC arm of the CDEP which has a photo of an Indigenous girl in a chef’s hat. She got her job through the NEON program and our links to ACCOR who had a stall on the day. The program also provides an opportunity for networking between services present on the day. For more information contact Mark Spinks, Centrelink Indigenous Services Officer Ph: 9243 3546.

Other Consultations of Interest

Proposed New Heritage Items & Heritage Item listing amendments - Until Tuesday 24 October 2006. Proposes to list Redfern Hotel, 88 George Street, Redfern as a 2 storey Inter-War style hotel, 1935.

Draft Amendment to South Sydney Development Control Plan 1997 – Green Square Precinct - Until Monday 30 October 2006.

Heritage Streetscapes Study - Until Monday 30 October 2006. Includes Redfern and Regents Street Redfern.

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