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21 November 2006

AHC Posts latest Plan for Pemulwuy Project / Catherine Burn Farewells Redfern to be new Assistant Commissioner / Some Clarification on the future of 3801 Ltd, RTM and NSW Rail Heritage / Proposal for a Eveleigh Heritage Tourist Attraction / Variation to CarriageWorks DA on Exhibition - Until 6 December 2006 / CUB Site Exhibition - Until 27 November 2006 / CDEP Changes Meeting - 9th December 2006 / St Andrews Cathedral School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Campus for Redfern / Clover Moore asks NSW Police to provide funds for PCYC building on ILC site / Is the Future of South’s Leagues Club in Redfern or Alexandria? / Updates enter 4th Year / NSW State Plan / Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

In this Update:

AHC Posts latest Plan for Pemulwuy Project

Catherine Burn Farewells Redfern to be new Assistant Commissioner

Some Clarification on the future of 3801 Ltd, RTM and NSW Rail Heritage

Proposal for a Eveleigh Heritage Tourist Attraction

Variation to CarriageWorks DA on Exhibition - Until 6 December 2006

CUB Site Exhibition - Until 27 November 2006

CDEP Changes Meeting - 9th December 2006

St Andrews Cathedral School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Campus for Redfern

Clover Moore asks NSW Police to provide funds for PCYC building on ILC site

Is the Future of South’s Leagues Club in Redfern or Alexandria?

Updates enter 4th Year

NSW State Plan

Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

Coming Events (look at the new local events entered on the REDWatch website that are not covered here)

AHC Posts latest Plan for Pemulwuy Project

The Aboriginal Housing Company has posted the current plans for the Pemulwuy Project on its website at Pemulwuy Project Description Report (PDF 1.1MB). These are the plans prepared under the new RWA development controls in September and were shown to Minister Frank Sartor, RWA and Department of Planning Officials at their meeting with representatives of the AHC’s project team recently. The plans show that the AHC is primarily looking to develop housing on The Block as well as an Elders Centre and Health / Fitness Centre / Gymnasium. The plans show that planned housing on The Block has a Floor Space Ratio (FSR) of 0.85:1 which is slightly higher than the reduced 0.75:1 residential FSR gazetted by Minister Sartor. The Minister is able to change the ratio if he wishes. The Gym and Elders Centre have a non-residential FSR of 0.19:1. Surrounding The Block the AHC is proposing cultural / retail / commercial developments. Between Caroline and Lawson Streets a Health and Respite facility is proposed, along with offices and retail with further commercial development along the railway line to the south of land owned by Murrawina. Together this provides the mixed use for the precinct required by the RWA and the Minister.

The plans show a reasonably well worked up plan for the residential component of the Project including some typical floor plans for different sized units. A photomontage of the completed project is also included to show the scale and bulk of the proposed development on the surrounding area. The Plans (marked amendment 2) have also been supplied to the Department of Planning for their website.

In response to the Pemulwuy Project submission shown on the Department of Planning Website (which are a mix of the plans submitted under the draft RWA BEP and the final RWA BEP - see RWIU 25 October 2006) six owners and residents of privately owned land near the corner of Holden and Eveleigh Streets north of Murrawina have written to the Department of Planning stating their opposition to any commercial zoning, use and development of their land. The letter Some Eveleigh & Holden Street Resident Landowner's letter to Department of Planning was circulated by Beverley Baker who was one of the landowners who sent the letter. As can be seen from the AHC link above the AHC proposal does not cover any of this land. Only land owned by the AHC or where land owners are in agreement can be covered by the final proposal for the project. The form of the initial AHC application to the Department of Planning however made it possible for any landowner in the RWA zone covering The Block to join as part of the AHC project by mutual agreement.

Catherine Burn Farewells Redfern to be new Assistant Commissioner

On 11th November we learnt in the press New Assistant Commissioner Selected that Redfern Police Local Area Commander Catherine Burn would be leaving Redfern at the end of November to become the new Police Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for the Professional Standards Command. Immediately following the announcement Catherine Burn contacted us and asked if we would pass on a message from her to our readers. We placed the statement on the REDWatch site at Redfern LAC Commander Catherine Burn Update and we are now pleased to pass the message on below:

Firstly, it is with the deepest sadness that I have to announce that I will be finishing as the Commander, Redfern Local Area Command in early December. I have been promoted to Assistant Commissioner and will take up a position in the Police Executive in December.  My 14 months at Redfern have been the highlight of my 22 year police career. The police at Redfern are enthusiastic, dedicated and hard working. I have never worked with a better bunch of cops.  The community is one of the best. It is dynamic, interested, and committed. I have met so many good people during my time at Redfern that it would not be fair to only name a few. Suffice to say that I thoroughly enjoyed working with each and every group, agency, community member, program, and service. I would particularly like to thank the members of the Redfern Aboriginal community. I am a far better person because of what I have learned from many Aboriginal people over the last 14 months. My daily walks around the Block and other areas in Redfern have given me a greater understanding of so many troubling issues but have also given me a greater hope that we can move forward and achieve positive change. 

During my time at Redfern I have led the Command into one of its better periods. Crime, particularly robbery and drugs, is substantially lower than when I first started there, as is anti-social behaviour and attacks on police. This has been achieved through a combination of targeted, intelligence-led policing as well as working effectively with the community to identify those who commit crime, and acting swiftly.  Through the Local Area Command Aboriginal Consultative Committee (LACACC) we have been working toward achieving two goals for 2006: reducing the incidence of family violence and breaking down the barriers between police and Aboriginal people. I believe we have achieved some positive steps in both areas including the formation of a Domestic Violence Team at Redfern, the implementation of a 10 point action plan which includes priorities such as improving our investigative response to domestic assault and improving the way we manage victims. We have also tried very hard to overcome some of the obstacles that have traditionally been present between police and Aboriginal people through such programs as the Youth Mentor Program, Oz Tag, Horse Whispering, sea skills, community BBQs and a whole range of other activities. I will always remember with great fondness my trip to the State of Origin with the kids on our Youth Mentor Program. They are great kids who have experienced more trauma in their short lives than most of us have ever, or will ever, experience. Throughout my time I have also pushed for Redfern Police to be more responsive and open to the community and I believe that we have also achieved progress in this direction. I will miss Redfern immensely. I could have quite happily remained as Commander for several years but it was not to be.

Secondly, between the 26th and 30th of November, New Zealand Police is holding its annual Ngakia Kia Puawai Conference in Wellington. The theme of this year's conference is 'Effective Interventions.'  The conference will be opened by the New Zealand Prime Minister and Police Commissioner. There will be representatives from several countries around the world who will be giving presentations on policing and Indigenous communities. I have been invited to address the conference on Redfern post the riot in February 2004 and to discuss some of the things that may have worked and what has been achieved. The New Zealand organisers also requested that a member of the Indigenous community in Redfern be invited to address the conference and to discuss some of the traditional problems between police and the Aboriginal community and some of the things that are working now. I am pleased to say that Dixie Gordon will be accompanying me to New Zealand to speak frankly about these issues and to also give a presentation on the extremely successful Blackout Violence project. If you are interested I am happy to provide more information and let you know how the conference goes, what we learned and what we can do to work on effective interventions.

Thank you for all your hard work and your continued contributions to the community.

We wish Catherine Burn all the best in her future role and pass on our thanks for her contribution to making the Redfern Waterloo community a better place. We will pass on any feedback from the New Zealand conference. We understand Inspector Joel Murchie will take over from Catherine until a permanent appointment is made.

Some Clarification on the future of 3801 Ltd, RTM and NSW Rail Heritage

A Memo on: Future of 3801 - 18 November 2006 was issued by 3801 Ltd for 3801 Staff and Volunteers. The memo follows meetings between Vince O'Rourke and representatives of the committee appointed by the Minister of Transport with both the Rail Transport Museum (RTM) and 3801 Ltd. The memo confirms that 3801 will be handed back to RTM after an assessment in the Hunter Valley following the end of the lease on 26th November 2006. The committee however is encouraging the RTM and 3801 Ltd to ‘share’ the locomotive until a new organisation to administer all aspects of Rail Heritage is established. The memo says that the Minister’s committee will propose a new organisation which would have a representative from the RTM and 3801 Limited on the Board as well as professionals from marketing, tourism, RailCorp, etc. The objective of the new body would be raising the profile of Rail Heritage to a much higher level. It seems the new body could eventually absorb both RTM and 3801 Ltd.

Nothing in this throws any light on what might happen with the Large Erecting Workshop. We understand that the Powerhouse Museum have been presented with their cheque last week to do up their engine at the Large and that they have been given 18 months at the Large to do this work. This is a similar length of time that was offered to 3801 Ltd if they undertook certain repairs to the Large. This offer was turned down by 3801 Ltd. It is not plain from the memo if there was any discussion with Vince O’Rourke about his committee making any recommendations concerning the long term future of the Large for possible active heritage rail uses. If the new organisation to administer rail heritage is in place in the next 6 months as the memo indicates then the Large will still be in use at least by the Powerhouse and some long term heritage rail role may remain a possibility.

Proposal for a Eveleigh Heritage Tourist Attraction

The RWA Built Environment Plan and the SEPP both contain a list of the heritage buildings within the old Eveleigh Rail yards. Brian Dunnett (a retired Eveleigh worker) and Robert Haworth (from the Heritage Futures Research Centre, University of New England) have prepared some suggestions for how the Eveleigh heritage buildings could be retained and made into a tourist attraction that tells the Eveleigh story. The proposal appears in a draft article The fate of Eveleigh: more of ‘Ugly Sydney’ or an enhancement of the greatest rail heritage site in the world? (MSWord 76Kb). The article is being prepared for "The Australian Folklore Journal" published annually by the University of New England. The article is well worth a read to understand the important role Eveleigh played in Sydney and wider NSW. It also shows the rich potential for a heritage attraction on the site which also includes an ongoing active rail heritage use.

Variation to CarriageWorks DA on Exhibition - Until 6 December 2006

A DA has been lodged with the RWA by Arts NSW to amend conditions of the consent determined on 01 June 2005 for the use of the former Carriage Workshops (North Eveleigh) as a contemporary performing arts centre, in relation to operational aspects of the approved development and ensuring that information to be provided to satisfy conditions of the existing development consent can be submitted to the appropriate consent authority (namely RWA). The variations are primarily contained within Statement of Environmental Effects (PDF 136 Kb) and further information can be found at RWA DAs on Exhibition. If you live in the vicinity of the Carriageworks or along the route to Redfern station you should have a look at the variations proposed. Submissions close 6 December 2006

CUB Site Exhibition - Until 27 November 2006

Since the last update Foster’s have arranged two opportunities for local residents to find out more about the concept plan for the CUB site and to discuss the proposal with some of Foster’s consultants. We posted the details of the consultations on the REDWatch website but were unable to get an update out about it. The display included a virtual tour of the proposed site as well as the display of a model of the site (the model can be seen at the Department of Planning main office or two photos of the model can be seen on http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=73130&page=15). One of the problems facing the community is the huge size of the development and the number of documents to wade through to get an understanding of what is proposed. Foster’s consultants have suggested that the best overview of the concept plan is provided in the Executive Summary [PDF 2.3MB]. The local residents groups have prepared their own overview of the issues in the CCCG Overview of Foster's Concept Plan (PowerPoint 2.8 MB) and councils initial view can be found in the City of Sydney presentation to the public meeting in City of Sydney's CUB objection - November 2006 (PDF 3.8MB). The City of Sydney is expected to make their submission public although it is not expected to be completed until close to the deadline. We will arrange for submissions that people wish to be made public to also go up on the REDWatch website at http://www.redwatch.org.au/RWA/statesignificant/cub/. Lord Mayor Clover Moore made a mayoral minute regarding CUB at the City of Sydney Council meeting on 20th November 2006 but this is not yet available on the city’s website. The city also has to respond to the CUB concerning the use of land owned by the City of Sydney in parts of the development. As information is available we will add it to the REDWatch website.

Submissions must reach the NSW Department of Planning no later than Monday 27 November 2006 - Details of where to make a submission can be found on www.cubproject.com.au along with all the display documents. If you wish to make a written submission it should include:

  • your name and address;
  • the name and address of the proposal and major project number - Carlton United Breweries Site, Chippendale (MP 06_0171);
  • a statement on whether you support or object to the proposal;
  • and the reasons why you support or object to the proposal.

The City of Sydney convened public meeting held on Saturday 11th November 2006 also unanimously passed the following motion:

“This community meeting calls on the NSW Premier to:

  • halt any further decision-making regarding the CUB site until after the State Election and
  • to institute an enquiry to ensure that all processes have been ethical, free from undue influence, and free from any conflict-of-interest.”

CDEP Changes Meeting - 9th December 2006

Federal government changes to CDEP funding are likely to have a major impact on Redfern Aboriginal Corporation. Redfern Residents for Reconciliation are organising a public meeting at Redfern Community Centre on Saturday 9th December to discuss the implications of the changes for projects being run in the local area. We will post the final details on the REDWatch coming events website when details are confirmed.

St Andrews Cathedral School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Campus for Redfern

Sometime ago we alerted you to the announcement that the St Andrews Cathedral School was planning to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) campus in Redfern School idea a boost for Aborigines. We can now advise that the new campus to cater for up to twenty five boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6 is proposed to be at the Redfern Community Centre (RCC) and that an agreement to lease an area on Level 1 (the floor underneath the entrance level) has been negotiated subject to DA approval. The DA is expected to be put on exhibition for comment by the City of Sydney within the next few days. We have been advised by St Andrews that the school plans to provide places to Redfern Waterloo ATSI children rather than for the broader Sydney Aboriginal community. The school plans to operate in the mornings out of the RCC on a core curriculum and then use the main St Andrew’s facilities such as the gym, library, the cathedral, chapter house, Black Box Theatre and St Andrew’s College Oval in the afternoon. The campus plans to have a Campus Head, an Assistant Teacher and a Teachers’ Aide or community resource person. The school has appointed Ms Cathy Miskovich, who has had experience as a teacher of Aboriginal children in western NSW, as the project officer to handle the establishment of the school and to liaise with the local community. Cathy can be contacted on 9286 9583 on Mondays and Fridays or by email on cmiskovich@sacs.nsw.edu.au. The proposal has been put together with the local St Saviours Anglican parish and with Ray Minniecon from Cross Roads. Some background on the school from an Anglican perspective can be found in the article New school order.

Some people looking at the St Andrew’s website for information about the new campus at http://www.sacs.nsw.edu.au/page.php?id=170&nid=664 took offence at some wording on site that ATSI children’s use of the schools facilities “would generally be low key and rarely intrude in specific classes in our Primary.” We have bought these concerns to those involved with the new campus who did not know that this was on the St Andrews website, the wording was quickly removed. Concerns have also been raised with us about the need for St Andrews to also make available suitable places for ATSI students who have achieved academically but whose parents can not afford for them to go St Andrews or who do not get in early enough to secure a place. We are told that a major aim of the new campus is to have ATSI students in a academic position where they could take up mainstream year 7 positions at St Andrews and other schools if they so choose.

Of course this proposal will ignite another skirmish in the public vs private schools debate and potentially provide a new point of tension between local children along these lines. The proposal has already raised some church and state eyebrows with the City of Sydney making available space at the Redfern Community Centre for use by a private church school to run their new ATSI programme. By deciding to come into Redfern and set up an ATSI campus St Andrews school will have to confront these issues head on. It will not be possible for St Andrews to shy away from such issues, but they should be applauded for taking a step which will hopefully make some of that school’s resources available to some of the least resourced kids in the city. The school should also use this involvement with the Redfern Aboriginal community as an opportunity to broaden the school’s Aboriginal culture and history curriculum to enhance the educational experience of the non ATSI students attending their school.

Clover Moore asks NSW Police to provide funds for PCYC building on ILC site

The move of the PCYC to the ILC project at the former Redfern School site looks like it may be dependent on state funds being made available for the new PCYC facilities at the site. In her eNEWS of Friday 17 November 2006 - No. 323 Clover Moore has announced:

I have asked the Minister for Police to provide funds for redevelopment of the South Sydney Police and Community Youth Club (PCYC) club at the former Redfern Public School site as part of the Indigenous Land Corporation development. South Sydney PCYC currently operates from a Department of Housing site at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Phillip Street; however, the current building has structural problems. I am pleased that the Indigenous Land Corporation has agreed to include a new PCYC building in its development of the former Redfern Public School. Youth facilities are sorely needed in this precinct, and both the City of Sydney and Redfern-Waterloo Authority have identified community facilities and youth programs as a priority. A strong and effective PCYC is vital for this community and will help address longstanding concerns about youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

Irrespective of whether the PCYC moves or stays where it is, money will need to be spent on proper facilities so it can continue to function. Another concern about the move is whether all the current PCYC users will follow it to its new location or will a move end up with Redfern public tenants not having easy access to a local youth service? We have even heard it said that if the PCYC moves to the school some of the current PCYC site should be retained to provide some form of youth services in the area. We would be interested in the thoughts of those who use the PCYC’s services on this question.

Is the Future of South’s Leagues Club in Redfern or Alexandria?

The South Sydney Football Club has launched a public campaign to prevent the failed South Sydney Leagues Club from leaving the home of the Rabbitohs in Redfern. Executive Chairman of the Football Club, Mr Peter Holmes a Court, said "We believe the administrator - John Lord of PKF - has recommended to Leagues Club members a proposal which we believe is clearly inferior as it will see the club thrown out of its heartland and away from the state of the art training facility currently being built across the road in Chalmers St, Redfern. The Leagues Club has been in financial distress over the last 10 years and Mr Lord's favoured proposal will keep the club in $2.8 million debt and re-locate the premises to between two hotels and above a supermarket in Alexandria."

The Football Club has made a $13.2 million offer for the Leagues Club's assets, enabling the Leagues Club to achieve cash reserves of $2 million and rescue it from financial oblivion and isolation from the Rabbitohs' players and fans. The Football Club's proposal will see the existing Leagues Club renovated and to be the base of the Football Club's administration, a Hall of Fame, merchandise outlet, renovated dining, bar and entertainment facilities, as well as a range of new public facilities, including a gymnasium.

Updates enter 4th Year

The Redfern Waterloo Issues Updates started with an email on the 6th November 2003 to a number of people in the Redfern Waterloo area who attended the RedWater Futures public meeting about the Premier’s Department’s Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project (RWPP), the precursor of the RWA, in July 2003. The first update said

“After attending subsequent RED meetings and the RWPP Community Forum, as well as talking to others attending these meetings, we have become increasing concerned at the lack of consultation underlying the broader RWPP process that is formulating the programmes being delivered in the area. As a result Geoff put together a comment piece which is published in the latest issue of The South Sydney Herald entitled ‘The Partnership has No Clothes’. It seems to us that if the RWPP is not going to seriously consult the community then the only alternative is for the community to make sure that the RWPP and the participating agencies hear the diverse views of the area”.

The Updates have been trying to do just that ever since even though this was not what was envisaged in the first email! Initially the emails alerted people to RWPP meetings and other opportunities for community input such as the Morgan Disney review of Human Services. It was not until the 8th email on 14th May 2004, by which time we were advising people about the initial meetings of the Legislative Council Inquiry into Redfern Waterloo, that the emails consistently took on the name - “Redfern Waterloo Issues Update”. The establishment of REDWatch in April 2004 and subsequently the REDWatch website in early 2005 enabled us to stop sending out attachments and instead provide links to documents on the website. The REDWatch website also provided a way for many people to be able to access the information in the updates on the internet. We have produced 131 email updates over the last three years that have documented many of the happenings and issues of Redfern Waterloo. The updates now go out to over 1000 people who are local residents, public servants, service providers, politicians and others concerned about what happens in Redfern Waterloo. The updates on the REDWatch website are read by many more including students doing research on the area and its issues. Postings of the RWIUs on other email lists and recipients forwarding it on to their friends and work colleagues mean that a larger number of people now use the emails to keep an eye on what is happening in Redfern Waterloo.

NSW State Plan

We know it is easy to get cynical in the lead up to elections but there is something potentially useful about the State Government having a longer term state plan and setting up ways of monitoring progress towards the goals proposed. On 14th November Premier Morris Iemma released “The State Plan, A New Direction for NSW”. The plan can be downloaded from http://www.nsw.gov.au/stateplan/ and is worth a look. NCOSS have made some comments on the Plan especially on the lack of an affordable housing strategy and you can find their comments on their website at NCOSS response to the State Plan (PDF 65 Kb). The NCOSS response concluded:

“Overall, the State Plan, despite its shortcomings, provides the people of NSW with some clear statements of intent by the Government for which they can be held accountable. It is now up to us to ensure that appropriate resources are delivered to make the Plan work and to ensure that reporting against and monitoring of the Plan is timely and transparent. NCOSS will continue to lobby on key missing elements of the Plan, including a homelessness strategy and substantially more affordable housing”.

Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

Below we have listed consultations currently open for community input and provided a link for further information: 


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