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3 May 2007

Elizabeth Street Redfern Public Housing Re-development announced / National Trust (NSW) nominates Eveleigh Railyards as being At Risk / RWA’s Wilson Street Café applies to be open until midnight 7 days a week – on exhibition until 10th May 2007 / Sydney Broadcast Property (Channel 7) MP 06_0149 Determination on Website / Waterloo Incinerator demolition for 2007 / Rock the Block – Saturday 5 May 2007 11am to 4pm / AHC Release Updated Social Plan / AHC to use new Home Clinic Design / A Very Successful Coloured Diggers’ March / St Andrews Cathedral Schools’ Gawura Campus opens / NSW Aboriginal Land Council Election 2007 / 40th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum / Village to Village Bus Route Changes and Increases Frequency / Do you need practical assistance meeting daily nutritional needs? / Opera House Events for those with Healthcare Cards / Connect Redfern Term 2 lists available / Redfern in a wider media context / Key South Sydney Herald News Stories / Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

[We know you may not be interested in everything in an update. To avoid overwhelming people we do a list of articles at the top of the email so you can easily see what is of interest to you. Depending on your email programme and computer settings these headings may also give you a link to jump directly to the story of interest.]

In this Update:

Elizabeth Street Redfern Public Housing Re-development announced

National Trust (NSW) nominates Eveleigh Railyards as being At Risk

RWA’s Wilson Street Café applies to be open until midnight 7 days a week – on exhibition until 10th May 2007

Sydney Broadcast Property (Channel 7) MP 06_0149 Determination on Website

Waterloo Incinerator demolition for 2007

Rock the Block – Saturday 5 May 2007 11am to 4pm

AHC Release Updated Social Plan

AHC to use new Home Clinic Design

A Very Successful Coloured Diggers’ March

St Andrews Cathedral Schools’ Gawura Campus opens

NSW Aboriginal Land Council Election 2007

40th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum

Village to Village Bus Route Changes and Increases Frequency

Do you need practical assistance meeting daily nutritional needs?

Opera House Events for those with Healthcare Cards

Connect Redfern Term 2 lists available

Redfern in a wider media context

Key South Sydney Herald News Stories

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)

Elizabeth Street Redfern Public Housing Re-development announced

On Friday April, 2007 Minister for Housing Matt Brown announced that the redevelopment of the public housing bordered by Elizabeth, Phillip, Morehead and Kettle Streets Redfern would proceed. This area has been the subject of a Master Plan under South Sydney Council since 2002, but it has been stalled for some time while the Department of Housing (DoH) tried to find a private partner for the development. The announcement means that the re-development will proceed in 2008 irrespective of the DoH finding a private sector partner. The project still envisages some of the cost of the public housing redevelopment being offset by the sale and development of 158 new private dwellings on the western portion of the site on the block closest to Redfern Oval.

The Department of Housing re-development replaces the existing 106 DoH apartments built in 1953 with 106 new DoH apartments occupying about 60% of the current land. Of the replacement public housing, 40 will be terraces and 66 will be purpose built DoH accommodation for seniors. In their media statement the Department has said that “all existing residents will be offered alternative housing in the area” and that “they will also be offered a guarantee of return to housing appropriate to their needs in the new accommodation if they so wish”. While such undertakings are aimed to minimise concern about the impact of the re-development on those currently living on the estate, the change of unit sizes available after the redevelopment may mean that not all wishing to return may be able to do so. In the Minto redevelopment DoH was unable to deliver on such undertakings and the pressure will be on DoH to ensure they are delivered in Redfern. This will be especially so given that the RWA, which is not involved with the development, will want to see it go smoothly so it does not create unnecessary problems for Stage Two of the Built Environment Plan which is to plan for the broader redevelopment of public housing in Redfern Waterloo.

As in the Master Plan, the PCYC site has been excluded from the development. PCYC can take up the DoH offer of a 50 year lease or they can choose to move into the ILC redevelopment of the former Redfern school site where they could also be accommodated. The problem for PCYC if they stay is that, like the rest of the site, they have subsidence problems, which will be costly to fix. If they move there is local concern about the ongoing need for a youth service in the Redfern public housing estate area, as not all the current users are expected to follow the PCYC to a new home.

The text of the Minister’s media statement can be found at NSW GOVERNMENT GIVES GO-AHEAD FOR REDFERN REDEVELOPMENT. The DoH have set up a web page for the redevelopment at http://www.housing.nsw.gov.au/Changes+to+Public+Housing/Redfern+Redevelopment.htm From this site you can see the  before (Gif 107Kb) and after (Gif 179Kb) shots of the site and an artist's impression of public housing streetscape (Gif 167Kb). REDWatch also has a section on its website http://www.redwatch.org.au/issues/public-housing/redevelopment/elizabeth-street which has copies of some of the earlier material put out by DoH on the re-development, as well as the recent files. Media coverage of the announcement can be found in the ABC’s NSW Govt unveils housing plan for Redfern, 2GB’s Redfern to receive $27m upgrade. The SMH ran a wider article Plan to demolish Redfern towers, which sought to link together the Elizabeth street announcement and the RWA’s phase Two Built Environment Plan, with a recommendation of recent City of Sydney Council Waterloo and Redfern Urban Design Study proposal on how the Waterloo public housing could be redeveloped. The REDWatch site has links to the relevant sections of the City of Sydney Urban Design Study and Elizabeth Street Public Housing for those who wish to see what controls the City of Sydney has proposed for the site.

National Trust (NSW) nominates Eveleigh Railyards as being At Risk

The National Trust (NSW) has nominated Eveleigh Railyards as being one of three NSW sites most at risk. The nominations have been made by Heritage groups around Australia and a national 10 most ‘At Risk Sites’ will be announced on 1 July 2007. The nomination, which can be found at www.heritageatrisk.org.au/Eveleigh_Railway_Workshops,_Redfern.html says in part:

“The Eveleigh Railway Workshops are some of the finest historic railway engineering workshops in the world and Eveleigh contains one of the most complete late 19th century and early 20th century forge installations, collection of cranes and power systems, in particular the hydraulic system. The place is of international significance and is one of Australia's finest industrial heritage items. The value of the place is increased by the fact that it is comprised of assemblages, collections and operational systems rather than individual items still in use. Of the many buildings on the greater Eveleigh Railway Workshop site, the Large Erecting Shop was still performing its original use until November, 2006, demonstrating a high level of intactness.”

The Eveleigh Railway Workshops are already listed on the Australian Heritage database and last year the National Trust (NSW) also applied for the The Large Erecting Shop - Eveleigh to be registered. More information on the National Trust’s concerns can be found at http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/news/redfern2.asp . The media release covering the “at risk” nomination can be read at Up for national list: National Trust nominates rare forest, crane and railway workshops as state’s most endangered items and some of the media reports at Crane nominated for heritage list and Eveleigh Railway Workshops 'endangered': National Trust.

The attempt not to use Eveleigh for heritage rail looks like it will have even more implications for those around the Mortuary Station. Currently local residents are complaining about the smoke (see Where there’s smoke there’s … pollution), but we have heard that Railcorp are putting together plans for more permanent coaling, de-ashing and watering facilities at Mortuary so they can operate Heritage rail without Eveleigh. This has implications for both residents around the Mortuary, but also for the Mortuary Railway Station and site, which is on the NSW Heritage database.

RWA’s Wilson Street Café applies to be open until midnight 7 days a week – on exhibition until 10th May 2007

The RWA has applied to itself to operate a café at the RWA’s training facility at 255 Wilson Street until midnight, seven days a week. The DA for the RWA training facility (former Canteen and Carpenters building) proposes continued use of catering and cooking training on part of the first floor at Wilson St level and training facility for construction industry with associated office space on the ground floor. It also proposes a new café on part of the first floor to operate from 8am to midnight 7 days a week. The café is expected to accommodate a maximum of 200 patrons. In the Statement of Environmental Effects (PDF 7.62MB) the DA argues:

“The extended hours sought reflect the amended operating hours of the CarriageWorks development which now allow performances to extend beyond 11pm as long as patrons attending the performances vacate the site no later than 12 midnight seven days a week. The proposed hours also reflect operating hours of the nearby Royal Hotel (located on the corner of Codrington and Abercrombie St) which is open until 12 midnight Monday to Saturday.”

The application on behalf of the RWA is being considered by the RWA and submissions close on 10th May 2007. Further details can be found on the RWA website at Development Proposals on Exhibition and the Application and supporting documentation can be inspected at the Neighbourhood Service Centre Redfern Ground Level, Tower 2, 1 Lawson Square, Redfern.

Regarding our RWA DA’s on exhibition comments last update, we were incorrect when we said “Technically this means that some of the work already done on Jack Floyd Reserve was done without proper approval”. The work on the reserve itself is exempt but the exemption does not apply to artworks in a public place. Hence City of Sydney only had to lodge a DA with the RWA for the public art in the reserve. Our apologies.

Sydney Broadcast Property (Channel 7) MP 06_0149 Determination on Website

The Major Project Application - Sydney Broadcast Property (Channel 7) MP 06_0149 has now been added to the other Department of Planning’s Notices of Determination along with the approvals which can be seen in the view documents section of the Departments site.

Waterloo Incinerator demolition for 2007

In January 2007 Waverley and Woollahra councils agreed to sell the Waterloo Incinerator site in Zetland to Landcom for the Green Square town centre as part of the area’s urban renewal. Landcom have been doorknocking and talking to residents around the incinerator about what is planned and have just issued a newsletter advising that they plan to start demolition later this year. The DA is expected to go to Council in May and residents will be advised through newsletters and the Green Square website at www.gstc.com.au of the consultation and other developments. While the two page newsletter can be downloaded from their website it is not internet friendly at a bit over 8MB! A scale model of the future Green Square Town Centre is on display at the Green Square Town Centre Project Office at 100 Joynton Ave Zetland between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday. For further information contact Ilona Van Galen on 0412 400 789 or ivangalen@landcom.nsw.gov.au .

Rock the Block – Saturday 5 May 2007 11am to 4pm

Rock the Block is back on May 5th with a Music festival for Aboriginal children's dance studio with Andorra, Emma Donovan, Killa Queenz, Jambaal Dreaming, Wire MC, Dr Greenthumb, Robyn Green and Foreign Heights. This is one of a series of festivals, which started in ’06 and which have so far featured Rock, Indigenous youth & Reggae events. The organisers say:

“As well as raising money for community facilities (like a women and children’s dance studio) the events have also brought thousands of people to The Block to hear community leaders speak about Indigenous issues, advance knowledge of improvements needed & to experience the community’s cultural spirit for themselves (while enjoying great music). The events not only benefited The Block financially, but also brought a sense of optimism & artistic momentum to a community that has endured such heavy social criticism & stereotyping over a long period. Now, The Block is the only community in Sydney which is staging public festivals featuring the talents of locals & other artists, for the education and entertainment of the whole city”.

This is an alcohol free event as Tony Abbott found out when he offered the organisers a signed bottle of wine to auction as a fund raiser for the event and found it reported in the SMH article It's no syrah to Abbott on drop for Block rock. Everyone is welcome and, as the Daily Telegraph said last month, the Block safer than George St. More information about who is performing when can be found on the REDWatch website Rock The Block '07 Saturday 5 May 2007 11am-4pm or phone (02) 9797 1339.

AHC Release Updated Social Plan

The AHC’s Community Social Plan was originally put together in 2001 and there have been a number of changes since this time. The AHC has recently released a revised AHC Social Plan Second Edition (PDF 1.25MB). In the Editor’s note about the second edition, the document explains some of the changes:

“Most notably the format of the plan has been redesigned. In this 2nd edition; how the AHC is addressing the social problems; and the strategies, recommendations, implementation and outcomes, now take a more prominent position and make up the opening sections of the document. The statistics reporting on the disgraceful state of the socioeconomic disadvantage Aboriginal people find themselves in [partially due to decades of government negligence] have taken a more evidentiary and contextual standing in this report and have been moved to the end chapters. The implementation of a number of the social planning recommendations over the preceding 5 years has yielded significant improvements for the community, important social planning outcomes, and a disturbing negative reaction from the NSW Government. Some of these updates have been noted in easy to find highlighted dialogue boxes throughout this new document. All the statistics have been updated to reflect the 2001 ABS Census data and a sample of specific outcomes as they relate to the Social Planning Criteria is included in an expanded ‘Strategies, Recommendations, Implementation’ chapter. Finally, many parts of the body of the text have been rewritten to reflect the past tense nature of some of the information provided in the document.”

AHC to use new Home Clinic Design

Following years of visits to Indigenous Australian households, Sydney University architects Paul Pholeros and Col James have developed a prototype home clinic and wash room for the Indigenous Australian community. It is proposed that they will be included into 62 proposed new dwellings at The Block in Redfern. The room features a combined toilet and hobless shower, a medicine cabinet, a ceramic tub and bench with access from the inside and the outside, a wheelchair and a laundry trolley, and a combined washing and drying machine. The story about the home clinic ran in University of Sydney UniNews of 30 March 2007. You can see the text of the article on the REDWatch site at Design to raise living standards and an illustration can be seen in the launch media statement at www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1667 .

A Very Successful Coloured Diggers’ March

Redfern was a proud history of being the birthplace of many Aboriginal services and campaigns highlighting the issues facing Aboriginal Australians. Readers of the South Sydney Herald in March will have read in Brothers are making a difference about how the Aboriginal men’s group Babana enthusiastically supported Pastor Ray Minniecon’s (Crossroads Aboriginal Ministry) presentation of the Aboriginal Diggers Recognition project to honour service-men and women on Anzac Day. In the following month The South Sydney Herald also ran an article on the Aboriginal war heroes campaign and the Sydney Morning Herald ran its front page article It's been a long walk: blacks unite for march. The initial opposition from the RS&L, to this long overdue move to recognise the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service people, revived memories of what many Coloured Diggers had gone through when they returned from active service to a country that would not honour them in the same way as white service people. In a media release The Aboriginal Medical Service responds to RSL trouble-makers the AMS took on the RS&L and heralded a boycott of the Redfern RS&L. The RS&L subsequently retreated from their opposition to a separate march.

On ANZAC day many people, including the NSW Governor, Lord Mayor and local MPs turned out in Redfern to support the hugely successful inaugural Coloured Diggers’ March and Church Service. The event was picked up in many media stories around Australia (see Indigenous Aussies honour unsung heroes 'Unsung heroes' honoured in Indigenous march First ever march for Coloured Diggers) and also by overseas media (see Australia, New Zealand honor war verterans which ran in the Middle East Times). Congratulations to all those involved in making this event the success it was. With the Redfern RS&L boycott off the agenda maybe the next campaign might be for Aboriginal involvement in the running of the RS&L!

St Andrews Cathedral Schools’ Gawura Campus opens

St Andrews has started their Gawura Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Campus at the beginning of term Two 2007 within the St Andrew’s main campus in the heart of the City. Following opposition to the campus being situated in the Redfern Community Centre, and St Andrew’s being unable to find a suitable alternative location in Redfern Waterloo, a decision was made to start the campus within the main school. The Gawura Campus is currently enrolling children from kindergarten to year 5. More information on the school can be found at www.gawura.nsw.edu.au. The Sydney Morning Herald ran an article on 6 April 2007 Stumbling Block for school plan about the problems the school faced in getting their campus established and Sun Herald reported its opening in School opens separate campus for Aborigines.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council Election 2007

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council Election will be held on Saturday, 19 May 2007. Details of the Complete List of Candidates and Polling Places can be found on the Electoral Commission NSW website at http://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/nsw_alc_2007 .

40th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum

National Reconciliation Week this year (27 May - 3 June 2007) starts with 40th anniversary on Sunday 27 May 2007 of Australia’s most successful Referendum. The Referendum in 1967 that saw more than 90% of eligible Australians vote YES to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the national census of the population and to give the Commonwealth Government power to make specific laws in respect of Indigenous people. This was a defining event in Australian history and the anniversary provides the opportunity to encourage greater action on improving the situation of aboriginal Australians. More information on the 40th Anniversary and Reconciliation week can be found at http://www.reconciliation.org.au/i-cms.isp?page=345 .

Village to Village Bus Route Changes and Increases Frequency

South Sydney Community Transport have released a new Village to Village Bus link Time Table (PDF 432Kb) which incorporates more trips on Thursday and Friday and some route changes especially at the Glebe end, where it now goes around the housing estates and to Bicentennial Park. The running time has been reduced from 1 hour to 45 minutes, which has enabled the service to increase the number of journeys from six to nine per day. Jane Rogers from South Sydney Community Transport tells us “the service is attracting a diverse range of the population.  In terms of age, our youngest patrons are under 12 months and our oldest are in their late 70’s. It is a very multicultural bus but, especially popular with the Chinese, Russian and Aboriginal residents. People are travelling in family groups, such as the two Aboriginal sisters and their children who go to visit uncle at the hospital each week, and in small groups such as the friends who make an arrangement to meet up and explore the shops and lunch together at Broadway”. This is a great service, so spread the word about it to those who might find it useful.

Do you need practical assistance meeting daily nutritional needs?

The Food Distribution Network delivers boxes of wholesale priced fresh fruit and vegies to frail aged people, people with disabilities and their carers who have difficulty doing their shopping and need assistance meeting daily nutritional needs. For $8 you receive over 20 pieces of fruit and/or vegies delivered to your door. If you live in Redfern, Waterloo, Darlington, Chippendale or Eveleigh, and are interested in this Home and Community Care (HACC) service please call 9699 1614 or e-mail enquiries@fdn.org.au !

Opera House Events for those with Healthcare Cards

An exciting new pilot initiative which has been created to broaden access and encourage those who’ve never been to Sydney Opera House before, to come and enjoy a production. The generous support of The Balnaves Foundation enables Sydney Opera House to offer inner city disadvantaged communities $5 tickets to selected premium performances throughout the year. The Daily Telegraph ran a story recently about one Redfern resident who had their first visit to an Opera House production courtesy of the Balnaves Foundation in Opera House open to all. More information can be found on the web at the Balnaves Foundation Opera House Programme or you can ring or call Melissa Burgess, who is the community coordinator for the project, at the The Factory Community Centre on 9698 9569.

Connect Redfern Term 2 lists available

Connect Redfern has put out their Term Two 2007 updated lists on Redfern Waterloo services and they can be downloaded from the REDWatch website at http://www.redwatch.org.au/redw/services/connectredfern .

Redfern in a wider media context

It is sometime useful to look at Redfern Waterloo in a broader context. While we have been talking about the need for affordable housing in Redfern Waterloo to service the needs of the people that live here, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Bosses warn housing crisis will hit business if low-paid workers cannot afford to live in the inner suburbs. The South Sydney Herald ran a similar story from the renter’s perspective Rental crisis: high prices in the inner city.  It is good to see Shelter and business talking about the need to get together around the table with government to address this important issue. We are not sure, however, that business does not have to shoulder some responsibility in addressing this problem. We are old enough to remember when major companies and service providers such as hospitals and the PMG (Telstra’s predecessor) provided hostels and company houses for their workers who needed to live near their work or visit Sydney for training. When companies cut back to their core enterprises it was thought the market could handle this service for their employees better than the businesses owning and providing the accommodation. The mindset flowed through to government instrumentalities that also got out of the accommodation business. Businesses may need to again factor in the cost of housing low-income workers near where they are needed which would be the market solution … well unless you can externalise some of the cost to government. At least everyone is beginning to recognise that there is a problem.

Redfern is close to regional parks and recreation including beaches, and this makes it a great place for more people to be able to live in the future we are told. Recently Redfern has been named as one of the inner city suburbs whose residents are clogging up Bondi’s roads as we all try to get to ‘their’ beach. In the Sunday Telegraph’s Don't drive to Bondi Waverley Mayor says "We have statistics that show that residents of Redfern, Green Square and Zetland are travelling to Bondi Beach to swim”. The Mayor suggests that life should be made as difficult as possible for such people to discourage them. We have to ask the question if this shouldn’t cut both ways? What would happen if the same was suggested for the people from Waverley and other eastern suburbs who drive to Danks Street and choke up the local streets, or for those from Waveley who travel through Redfern Station or use Cleveland, Regent or McEvoy Streets and create our traffic and railway congestion problems? For the half of Redfern Waterloo that do not have a car we suspect the solution for them and for Waverley council is to support improved public transport options so people leave their cars (if they have them) at home when they visit the surrounding suburbs.

Reading the Brisbane Times article Big plans for Redfern it gave us a bit of a grin to see the story told with a City of Sydney slant rather than the usual RWA / NSW Government slant on who was doing what. Also putting Redfern in the wider context was the story that ABC radio national listeners think that Paul Keating’s Redfern speech was the most important Australian speech. In the article Keating's high point for Aborigines in The Melbourne Age, Patrick Dodson, chairman of the Lingiari Foundation explains why he thinks they are right and why it was a great speech.

Key South Sydney Herald News Stories

With a greater than usual time between updates we have articles from both the SSH April 2007 (PDF3.1MB) and SSH May 2007 (PDF2.9MB) to cover for those who do not get to see a hard copy. More information about the South Sydney Herald can be found at http://www.southsydneyherald.com.au/. As usual we have extracted key local news stories and added them to the REDWatch news website.

The April edition of the SSH covers the local candidate and new Minister in Keneally promoted to cabinet as well as updating the community about the loss of the local CDEP in Howard’s shame – a sad day for Redfern. It also covers South Sydney Community Aid at 40: Help write the history!, the First ever march for Coloured Diggers, and Mick Mundine celebrates – more to come about the celebration of Mick’s 60th Birthday and the AHC’s expectations for the Block. Also covered are the CUB site Kensington Street Chippendale Evictions, the CUB site challenge “Unethical” – Foster’s to block legal aid and Chippendale residents’ problems with heritage rail over-nighting at Mortuary Where there’s smoke there’s … pollution. Other articles cover the Rental crisis: high prices in the inner city, Darlington kids take it to the Bridge! and News Ltd gobbles up the lot about the take over of the Courier newspapers, as well as a report on the opening of the Survival Café in A new space for coffee, kids, creative arts and Jo Tracy’s 8th solo exhibition in “Same-same, but different!” New works by Jo Tracy .

While in the last update we reported on the Exodus Tutorial Centre opening in Redfern, we did not go into Brendon Nelson’s speech as the South Sydney Herald did in its April edition with A different sort of army! - Brendan Nelson refects on new tutorial centre and the report of the opening Tutorial centre opens in Alexandria. The April SSH also covered the story about the legal challenge on the CUB site approval in Ever try to pour a schooner into a midi? (The SMH ran an article more recently on this under Student launches green legal bid to block CUB site). Other articles covered Inner city building industry blues about a local construction industry problem, the Aboriginal war heroes campaign and Waterloo generosity gets food service up and running about the Salvation Army Neighbourhood Centre, IGA and the ATP food packages programme. Redfern and Regent Streets open for business looked at reaction of local businesses to the Street upgrade and its disruptions while Synesthetic artists deliver in new Performance Space looked at the performance space’s new programme at the CarriageWorks. The South Sydney Herald also carried a report on the Election Results - Labor, Labor and Clover.

Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

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

  • Inner South Community Forum - Suburbs include: Eveleigh, Redfern and Waterloo - Wednesday 25 July
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