5 million reasons to be proud as community campaign ensures Aboriginal Housing at the Block

The Greens NSW welcome today’s announcement of $5 million in commonwealth funding to ensure Aboriginal housing at the Block in Redfern’s iconic Aboriginal heart. The funding has come after a 15 month community occupation of The Block by the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) lead by the indefatigable Wiradjuri Elder, Jenny Munro and in the shadow of court proceedings to evict RATE from the Block.

Greens MP for Newtown, which includes the suburb of Redfern, Jenny Leong said:

“This is a real win that will ensure Aboriginal housing will sit at the heart of Redfern. A win that will be inspiration for the whole Redfern community, and a tribute to the strong aboriginal leadership..

“Currently our area is facing a large number of threats from mega developments, and wins like these are particularly important.

“This community – and the significance of maintaining Aboriginal housing and community on Gadigal country in Redfern is too important to be ignored.”

“Our neighbourhood is awash with plans to develop and invest in infrastructure projects – with billions for Urban Growth’s development of the Central to Eveleigh site and constant construction by the University of Sydney. And yet there is no money for Aboriginal housing.

“Successive governments have been a part of creating this mess – it’s time for them to step up and help resolve it.

“While it may seem that there is currently an unresolvable conflict – in reality all parties agree that we need to see the funding secured to build Aboriginal housing,” Ms Leong said.

Greens MP and Aboriginal Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“Aunty Jenny Munro and the community have rallied together at the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy to ensure Aboriginal housing remains at the centre of any development at the Block.

“It is an enormous credit to the persistence and tenacity of the Redfern community that they have squeezed $5 million from the Abbott government for Aboriginal housing at the Block.

“If you do the maths, the communities’ 15 month occupation has delivered almost $11,000 a day for affordable Aboriginal housing in Redfern, which is a remarkable achievement.

“It is now time for all parties, RATE, the Aboriginal Housing Corporation, State and Federal governments to work together and deliver on the promise of Aboriginal housing.

“While we welcome the Commonwealth funding it should not have required a crisis produced by eviction orders from Supreme Court to ensure Aboriginal Housing on The Block,” Mr Shoebridge.

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