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6 July 2007

In this Update: Dr Col Gellatly Replaces David Richmond as RWA Chair / RWA Reorganisation / Changes to Community Representatives on RWA Employment and Enterprise Ministerial Advisory Committee / Rachel Forster Hospital Concerns / Support Independent Media - A concert in support of The South Sydney Herald – Sunday 8th July 4-8pm / DoH Plans for Walker, Kettle, Morehead and Phillip Street Redevelopment on Exhibition – until 18th July 2007 / Kristina Keneally on Heffron Budget News / Post Election Planning Changes / CoS Community Forum for Redfern Waterloo and Eveleigh – Wednesday 25 July 6-8.30 pm / CoS Local Action Plan Grants Saved / City of Sydney to match funds Raised for CUB Site Legal Challenge / Local NAIDOC Week activities 8-15th July / Child Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Redfern Waterloo / National Day of Action - Sydney Rally Saturday 14 July 10am @ The Block (next to Redfern Station) / Coaling at Mortuary – Keeping Everyone in the Dark! / What could become of Eveleigh? / NSW Government Review of Tourism in NSW / Connect Redfern List Updates Needed / South Sydney Herald July 2007 / Have your say – Summary of Current Consultations

In this Update:

Dr Col Gellatly Replaces David Richmond as RWA Chair

RWA Reorganisation

Changes to Community Representatives on RWA Employment and Enterprise Ministerial Advisory Committee

Rachel Forster Hospital Concerns

Support Independent Media - A concert in support of The South Sydney Herald – Sunday 8th July 4-8pm

DoH Plans for Walker, Kettle, Morehead and Phillip Street Redevelopment on Exhibition – until 18th July 2007

Kristina Keneally on Heffron Budget News

Post Election Planning Changes

CoS Community Forum for Redfern Waterloo and Eveleigh – Wednesday 25 July 6-8.30 pm

CoS Local Action Plan Grants Saved

City of Sydney to match funds Raised for CUB Site Legal Challenge

Local NAIDOC Week activities 8-15th July

Child Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Redfern Waterloo

National Day of Action - Sydney Rally Saturday 14 July 10am @ The Block (next to Redfern Station)

Coaling at Mortuary – Keeping Everyone in the Dark!

What could become of Eveleigh?

NSW Government Review of Tourism in NSW

Connect Redfern List Updates Needed

South Sydney Herald July 2007

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)

Dr Col Gellatly Replaces David Richmond as RWA Chair

The former Director General of NSW Premier’s Department took over as Chair of the RWA on July 1st 2007 according to changes posted on the RWA website on July 4th. The new RWA Board listing no longer includes former Chair David Richmond but all other board members remain in place. Dr Gellatly has been on the board since the RWA was established, as well as during the operation of the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project which was overseen by the Premier’s Department. Dr Gellatly has been replaced by Ms Robyn Kruk as DG of Premiers on 7 May 2007. Details of current senior Premier’s Department people can be found at http://www.premiers.nsw.gov.au/AboutUs/ExecutiveProfiles/default.htm .

RWA Reorganisation

The RWA has also posted a new organisational chart for the RWA simultaneously with the Board changes. The new structure breaks the operations up into three main areas: The Australian Technology Park; Urban Renewal (Development) and; Planning and Urban Design. Human Services, Training, Enterprise and Employment are placed with Community Relations and Office Administration separately responsible to the CEO. The “reforming” been dropped from the apparently sidelined Human Services in the new organisation chart which now focuses squarely on the ATP Operational and Urban Renewal aspect of the RWA’s activities. From the links provided you can see both the new and old organisational charts.

Changes to Community Representatives on RWA Employment and Enterprise Ministerial Advisory Committee

Ms Margaret Hobbs, Ms Bronwyn Penrith and Mr Dennis Weatherall have been replaced as community representatives on the RWA Employment and Enterprise Ministerial Advisory Committee by Ms Siobhan Bryson, Mr Karl King, Ms Dixie Link-Gordon, Mr John Newton and Mr Con Passas. The other members, Ms Meagan Gardiner, Mr Tony Larkins and Mr Michael Dalah, continue as community representatives. The changes were made to the RWA website on 4th July 2007. No changes have been posted for community representatives on the Human Services Ministerial Advisory Committee. The only change on the Built Environment Ministerial Advisory Committee was the removal of Ms Anne Weldon as a community representative without replacement. Ms Weldon has been a member of the RWA board since September 2006. The full list of people appointed by Minister Sartor to represent the Redfern Waterloo Community on the RWA Ministerial Advisory Committees can be seen on the RWA website at www.redfernwaterloo.nsw.gov.au/community_consultation/howyourvoicewillbeheard.htm . The community meetings that were announced by the Minister, as part of the RWA community engagement strategy that established the Ministerial Advisory Committees, have never been implemented and in spite of the name given to their committees MAC members have never met with the Minister.

Rachel Forster Hospital Concerns

The July REDWatch meeting discussed community concerns that have been raised about the RWA proposals for turning the former hospital site into a housing development. The hospital played a very important role in the practice of women’s medicine by women from WW2 onwards. Funds were raised from the community to help build the hospital. Concerns have been expressed that little of this heritage is retained in the Government’s redevelopment proposal. If you want a glimpse into Rachael Forster’s history we suggest you have a look at the Heritage report in the appendixes (1.3MB PDF) available on Department of Planning’s website. The main report on the proposal is in the Preliminary Assessment (1.8MB PDF).

Support Independent Media - A concert in support of The South Sydney Herald – Sunday 8th July 4-8pm

A concert featuring Jackie Orszaczky, Café of the Gate of Salvation, Wire MC, The Clarity Project and Matt Young is being held on Sunday 8 July 4–8pm Australian Technology Park (Henderson Rd Eveleigh) For directions see map and details on this page of SSH (PDF 397Kb). Join Big Brother’s TIM BRUNERO (MC) & journalists WENDY BACON (UTS), ALEX MITCHELL (Ex-Sun Herald) & LAWRENCE GIBBONS (City Hub & City News) for fine music, food, drink, art & craft stalls, debate & discussion. Tickets are available at the door $12.

DoH Plans for Walker, Kettle, Morehead and Phillip Street Redevelopment on Exhibition – until 18th July 2007

The City of Sydney has placed on exhibition the Department of Housing plans for the redevelopment of the site bounded by Walker, Kettle, Morehead and Phillip Streets, Redfern. This includes the demolition of 10 existing buildings, tree removal and the erection of 4 apartment buildings, 40 townhouses and 2 community rooms. The proposed development varies in height from 2-4 storeys and seeks to act upon the master plan consent approved for the site in 2002. Estimated Cost of Work: $34,212,338. The documents on exhibition can be downloaded from the web (DA Number D/2007/1055) or viewed at Town Hall in the city or the Redfern Neighbourhood Service Centre. The Department of Housing has also separately applied to seek modification of the previously approved South Sydney Council Master Plan (DA Number D/2001/1316A ) to include an increase in the height of 2 apartment buildings fronting Morehead Street, redistribution of permissible floor space across the site, alteration to dwelling and parking numbers and variation in the timing of public domain works. The exhibition period of this modification request has now past.

Kristina Keneally on Heffron Budget News

Member for Heffron and Minister for Ageing and Disability Services Kristina Keneally issued a media release “NSW State Budget 2007-08 – Meeting our commitments in Heffron on 19 June 2007 which we quote in full below:

$3.5 million for the new Redfern/Waterloo Community Health Centre is one of the local highlights in the Iemma Government’s second Budget delivered today, State Member for Heffron Kristina Keneally said today. Ms Keneally said Heffron wins a healthy share of the record $12.5 billion being invested this year in schools, hospitals, roads, transport and other vital infrastructure as part of the Government’s record $45 billion budget.

“This Budget meets the Government’s election commitment to improve and expand the public services working families rely on,” Ms Keneally said. “Our local community will benefit from the acquisition of 260 new buses for the Sydney metropolitan and outer metropolitan areas in 2007/08, and planning for the Easy Access upgrade of Sydenham Station.

“We will further benefit from the $4 million committed in 2007/08 to conduct investigations on identified pinch point corridors including the Princes Highway in Tempe/St Peters. “The Iemma Government will also invest $13 million for the supply of new public housing and upgrading of existing public housing in the Heffron electorate.”

Other projects being supported include:

  • $1 million for feasibility work to begin for the upgrade of Redfern Station;
  • More than $1 million into improving City West community housing;
  • $ 2.3 million to upgrade the Cooks River Rail Yard; and
  • $1.9 million to improve child and adolescent mental health inpatient services at Sydney Children's Hospital.

“The Iemma Government will fund key capital works projects worth almost $50 billion in the four years from 2007-08,” Ms Keneally said. “This is a massive 56 per cent higher than the previous four years. “The increase is driven by investments in new and upgraded schools and TAFE colleges, health and hospital facilities, roads and public transport and the assets of power and water utilities. Ms Keneally said that the Government’s sound financial management and strong balance sheet meant it could increase spending on vital services for our community. “Our record investment is creating and sustaining local jobs and improving the economic strength of the local area,” Ms Keneally said.

Funding for Redfern Waterloo is also part of the government’s funding for increased mental illness access for young people as reported in Mental health services get a boost.in the SMH on June 21, 2007.

Post Election Planning Changes

We notice that Minister Sartor has been busy since the elections in spite of having little to say about the State Governments Plans for Planning prior to the election. Having told Parliament he had no intention to removing the Government Architect from the Central Sydney Planning Committee that is what has happened reports Catharine Munro the Sydney Morning Heralds Urban Affairs Editor in Sartor's former staff replace key architect. According to the SMH article Sartor to overhaul building approvals, Minister Sartor has also promised a lobby group for residential developers that he plans to overhaul the development approval system. Mr Sartor revealed that the ALP had made a strategic decision to block him from campaigning on the issue at the last election because he was targeted by the Opposition over a planning overhaul in the last term. "It wasn't felt appropriate that I come out with any great promises so I made no promises," he said. Given the changes proposed and way in which the government has gone about it, it is not surprising that Elizabeth Farrelly has taken up in the issue in her opinion piece Should Sartor have his cake? No, no and no. The Minister has also been the focus of a recent “True Fictions” satire in the Stay in Touch column of the Sydney Morning Herald which reported that CUB site to get world's biggest frank.

CoS Community Forum for Redfern Waterloo and Eveleigh – Wednesday 25 July 6-8.30 pm

From 6-7pm there will be an opportunity to meet with council officers and councillors to discuss your own local problems. This will be followed by a community forum. The CoS has not yet posted the leaflet for the forum, but when they do you will be able to find the link here. If it follows the format of recent community forums there will be discussion of local council developments such as the Redfern Street and Park Upgrades, local DAs, Traffic and Local Action Plans and the current council focus of planning for Sustainable Sydney 2030.

CoS Local Action Plan Grants Saved

In an earlier RWIU we reported on concern about the dropping of funding in the Council budget for Local Action Plan Grants. The City of Sydney Council has responded to lobbying over the proposed grants and in her eNews of 15th June 2007 Clover Moore announced: “Initial funding of $100,000 for a pilot Local Action Plan Grants Program will enable local communities to implement Local Action Plan projects for their area. Under the program, the City will provide funds matching community contributions of volunteer time, goods in kind, or cash. A similar program has operated in Seattle for 15 years and its founder, Jim Diers will be in Sydney to work with the City later this year.” Local community groups should start thinking about projects that might be suited to this new initiative.

City of Sydney to match funds Raised for CUB Site Legal Challenge

If you are able to help support the CUB legal challenge the City of Sydney will match your donation. At the last council meeting the City of Sydney agreed to match up to $20,000 of contributions for the CUB legal challenge. The funds are in support of the community group FOCUS who are fundraising for the legal costs. The funds go to the Environmental Defenders Office who is handling the case. A public fundraiser will be held at the Guthrie Theatre at UTS (enter from Harris St) on Wed July 11th from 6.30pm - 9.30pm at a cost of $30 per head. This is Chris Harris’s flyer for the CUB Legal Action Fund Raiser (PDF 108Kb).For more information contact FOCUS focus@pacific.net.au or Deputy Lord Mayor Chris Harris. Background on the legal challenge can be found at Council Supports CUB Site Legal Challenge, in the ABC news report Council funds student fight against development and the SSH’s Foster’s and Sartor in Land and Environment Court.

Local NAIDOC Week activities 8-15th July

The theme for NAIDOC week this year is "Looking forward, looking Blak". This year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) to promote Aboriginal Sunday as a day to focus attention on the nation's Aboriginal people. In 1974, NADOC became an all-Indigenous Committee, and in 1975 extended the Aboriginal Day to National Aborigines Week, with celebrations held in July. In 1988 the committee's name was changed to NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) to acknowledge Torres Strait Islander people.

Local NAIDOC week activities can be found on the CoS website NAIDOC Week Activities and include:

Monday 9 July 9.30am-1.30pm The Block March and Flag Raising Ceremony Departing Redfern Park (Redfern St) and finishing at Pemulwuy Park (top of Eveleigh St), Redfern
Tuesday 10 July 11am-12pm Koori Collection Opening Waterloo Library
Wednesday 11 July 11.30am-1.30pm Elders Lunch Alexandria Town Hall
Thursday 12 July 10am-4pm Redfern Market Day Redfern Community Centre
Friday 13 July 10am-4pm Alexandria Park Family Day Alexandria Park
Saturday 14 July 11am-4pm Woolloomooloo NAIDOC Family Day Forbes St Reserve
Friday 6 July-Friday 20 July 10am-6pm Weekdays and 11am-4pm Weekend NAIDOC Poster Exhibition Waterloo Library and Customs House Library

Child Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Redfern Waterloo

There has been a lot of material coming through our inbox over the Federal Government’s intervention in Northern Territory. As we try and keep the focus confined to Redfern Waterloo Issues we are not getting into the broader issues here other than to note that in our view the NSW Government has got a well deserved serve from the Federal Government over its failure to fund the recommendations of the NSW Breaking the Silence: Addressing child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities in NSW report. The issue is very important for many children and adults in abusive relationships around the state including in Redfern Waterloo and the NSW Premier should urgently ensure funding to rapidly implement the New South Wales Interagency Plan To Tackle Child Sexual Assault in Aboriginal Communities. For those who may not have seen the NSW Breaking the Silence report or the government’s response, these can be downloaded with other material from http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/acsat. We notice that during the recent media discussions the Blackout Violence campaign in Redfern Waterloo got some good publicity in the SMH article Meanwhile, Redfern tackles violence at grassroots; much however remains to be done.

National Day of Action - Sydney Rally Saturday 14 July 10am @ The Block (next to Redfern Station)

Jenny Munroe has circulated information about a Sydney rally to stand up with the Aboriginal community to demand: Stop the Genocide - End Indigenous Deaths in Custody; Land Rights not Mining Rights - No Mines and No Dumps; Funding for Community Controlled Services - Not Cops and Troops.

Coaling at Mortuary – Keeping Everyone in the Dark!

Just when we thought the silliness surrounding the use of Mortuary for servicing heritage rail trips could not get any sillier – it did! In the last RWIU we provided a link to photos taken by Friends of Eveleigh of the 3801 being coaled at Mortuary during the extreme weather of the June long week end. On 23rd June 2007, 3801 again took on coal at Mortuary – this time it was a full tender (15MT) but local residents report that strangely the flood lights, which are usually on all the time in the area, were turned off so that no one could get a really good view of the coaling. The Friends of Eveleigh have confirmed the reports of locals and it is believed the action was deliberately taken to make the loading less visible to those in the surrounding areas and prevent photos of the coaling like those recently taken by Friends of Eveleigh. While killing the lights might go someway towards making sure locals “see no evil” they certainly know about what RailCorp is up to at Mortuary. Brief comments from FOE about the incident can be found at RAILCORP “PULLS THE PLUG” FOR MORTUARY STATION COAL LOADING

What could become of Eveleigh?

Past experience of the Department of Planning 3A approval processes in the area has been that little changes after the concept plan documents are submitted for exhibition. The CUB site process was a perfect example. The RWA is looking at how it could adaptively reuse the Large Erecting Shop (LES) if it is surplus to RailCorp’s requirements. At the same time the RWA is also putting together its concept plan for North Eveleigh prior to the sale of the consolidated site. The concept plans will probably be signed off by the RWA’s Minister and possibly cabinet before the concept plans go to the Department of Planning for exhibition. All of this means is that now, rather than at exhibition stage, is probably the best time to float any alternative proposals for how Eveleigh could be developed to include active heritage use of the site and retain its social history. The chances of change at a later stage of the process are likely to be small indeed. So if you have ideas act now before it’s too late.

To encourage the process REDWatch has started a new section on its website What Could Eveleigh Become?. Here REDWatch will put up any suggestions or proposals for what could be done on the Eveleigh site. We also encourage people to pass their ideas on the RWA. A friend of Friends of Eveleigh has provided us with our first contribution for this section of the website. Another View of Eveleigh looks briefly at Eveleigh’s potential for active rail heritage. This would probably be best done by Railcorp holding onto the LES and developing the site as a city component to its heritage rail strategy. Other areas that people might like to think about are creative ways to link together the heritage sites and link them to the stories of the people who worked Eveleigh. If this is to happen as part of private development, the provision for such an approach would need to be incorporated in the RWA’s initial concept plan.

University of New South Wales Associate Professor Lucy Taksa believes the State Government should make a greater effort to preserve the existing “intangible heritage” in Eveleigh. The July 2007 South Sydney Herald article Rail heritage at risk in Eveleigh says:

““There has been lip service given to heritage in terms of adaptive re-use,” Dr Taksa said. “However, that adaptive re-use is focused on commercial redevelopment and maintaining only the built fabric – only the shell. So anybody moving into the area doesn’t actually have any connection with the past and the social value of the site. Basically, we’re talking about the recolonisation of a site without adequate resources being given to making the heritage accessible to the broader community,” she said.

Dr Taksa argues that the NSW Government is “out of step” with governments elsewhere in the country. In Queensland, the State Government has provided $20m towards redevelopment of Ipswich Railway workshops which contain a functional museum, alongside an operational railway workshop where heritage work continues.

“The Labor Government in NSW has had since the 1990s to do adequate heritage interpretation but there have been virtually miniscule heritage funds provided for a design plan or signage. So whilst people can say, ‘Oh wow, what a beautiful building’ and admire the romance of the industry, there is no sign of the people who once occupied that site,” Dr Taksa said.”

If you have anything you would like to contribute about what could become of Eveleigh email your contribution to mail@redwatch.org.au

NSW Government Review of Tourism in NSW

The NSW Government has requested Mr John O’Neill AO to undertake a review of Tourism New South Wales. Initial work has already commenced. Mr O’Neill and his team will also be conducting forums at a later date with industry stakeholders and, as reported last RWIU, the Rail, Tram & Bus Union has requested a forum on heritage tourism. Many see the Large Erecting Shed as a potential city focus for Heritage Rail Tourism in Sydney if handled properly by RailCorp and The Office of Rail Heritage. The Aboriginal Housing Company and the Redfern Waterloo Chamber of Commerce have earlier raised the possibilities of Redfern Waterloo becoming a focus for Aboriginal tourism and businesses in Sydney and the AHC has met with the previous NSW Minister for Tourism to discuss these possibilities. While it is not known where the RWA’s thinking is going on this, Mr John O'Neill has already met with the Hon Mr Frank Sartor MP the Minister responsible for the Redfern Waterloo Authority and Professor David Richmond AO the immediate past Chair of the Redfern Waterloo Authority.

The Objective of the review is to - Undertake a comprehensive review of tourism in New South Wales including marketing, infrastructure, regulatory and planning issues. The scope of the review is:

  1. Assess the current operations and role of Tourism NSW including delivery strategies, programs and services.
  2. Evaluate current resourcing of tourism across the whole of the New South Wales Government.
  3. Evaluate the future role of the New South Wales Government and its co-ordination with industry, other levels of Government and the private sector for enhancing and growing tourism in New South Wales.
  4. Evaluate current and future domestic and international trends and challenges impacting the tourism industry in New South Wales.
  5. Make recommendations to Government on options for tourism in New South Wales including strategies and the role of Government.

If you are interested in making a written submission or placing information before the Review this can be done by 30th July 2007 by email to TMEReview@business.nsw.gov.au .

Connect Redfern List Updates Needed

During the school Holidays Jo Fletcher is updating the lists produce for Term 3 2007. If you have any changes to your listing or events you want added contact Jo Fletcher connectredfern@yahoo.com.au . If you want to view the current lists you can find them on the REDwatch website at http://www.redwatch.org.au/redw/services/connectredfern/ .

South Sydney Herald July 2007

The latest SSH July 2007 (PDF 2.6MB) is out and their team of volunteers are trying hard to get them out quickly this month to remind everyone about the South Sydney Herald’s Support Independent Media Concert 8 July Update (PDF 397Kb). There are a number of articles in the latest SSH which may be of interest to those with an interest in Redfern Waterloo. The SSH cover the proposed Dan Murphy’s in Alexandria in Low price liquor – high cost for locals. Foster’s and Sartor in Land and Environment Court covers the pending Court case by Matthew Drake-Brockman over planning approval for the CUB site. Planned and regular maintenance a must for public housing looks at the backlog of DoH building maintenance. The SSH also looks at Rail heritage at risk in Eveleigh, Danks Street Not “dank & dirty”  and at the discount tickets to events at the Opera House in An Opera House for all. In a follow up to the Black Digger Anzac day march the SSH reports on the pool of reflection honouring of Indigenous veterans on May 31 by the RSL and Aboriginal diggers in Honour, recognition and respect – lest we forget. The SSH also carries an update on the latest about local Aboriginal Men’s Group Babana: source of strength (www.treocom.net/babana/). Other articles include A Supermarket on Chalmers Street Redfern at South Sydney Leagues Club?, A look at local wins in The State Budget – a good one, Seeking nominations for local business awards encourageing people to nominate and vote for their favourite businesses and Good sports at Alexandria Park covers some of the local school’s recent sporting achievements.

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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