NSW Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong, which covers the Redfern area, and Jan Barham, Housing spokesperson have responded to today’s announcement that a private Metro station will be built in Waterloo highlighting the serious housing concerns.
Two thousand existing public housing residences will be demolished to make way for the development.
Member for Newtown Jenny Leong says:
“The announcement by the state Government today will see Urban Growth taking over the development of large parts of our Redfern/Waterloo public housing community. This is cause for serious concern – not because redevelopment of public housing isn’t needed, but because Urban Growth’s track record in our area has seen some pretty devastating outcomes – including the selloff of the Australian Technology Park site and massive proposed overdevelopment at North Eveleigh.
“While we acknowledge the Government’s commitment that the number of social housing dwellings will be maintained in the new development, we need to ensure that these dwellings will continue to house the same number of residents.
“We have seen cases of redevelopment of public housing where the number of dwellings has been maintained but with a significant reduction in size. As a minimum we need a commitment that there will be no reduction in the number of bedrooms or number of residents that can be housed.Read more
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong today announced a win for inner city cyclists and bike commuters, with confirmation of 50 secure bike spaces to be installed at Redfern Station.
This announcement is part of a NSW Government active transport initiative, which will install secure bike sheds at more than 40 train stations and transport interchanges around Sydney and surrounding regions.
Ms Leong said, "This is a fantastic initiative for people who ride to Redfern station every day, giving them free, secure bike storage.
“It’s recognition that bike riders are entitled to facilities like this as they are actively promoting healthy and sustainable commuter options and easing congestion on the roads.Read more
After years of community pressure by Lift Redfern and other groups, a lift is now operational at Redfern Station. It operates on Platform 6/7, giving access to the Inner West line.Read more
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.Read more
24 August 2015
Local Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP, and Greens NSW spokesperson for Aboriginal Justice, David Shoebridge, are calling on all levels of government to step up and ensure Aboriginal housing is funded on The Block.
This follows the decision of the NSW Supreme Court which ruled against the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy, finding the Embassy was “trespassing” on Aboriginal land at The Block.
Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Aboriginal Justice David Shoebridge said:
“Jenny Munro, a proud Aboriginal Waradjuri elder and the Tent Embassy have been engaging in good faith negotiations with the Federal Minister and the Aboriginal Housing Corporation (AHC), and believed they had reached a final agreement last week on Aboriginal housing in The Block.
“Ms Munro made it clear to the Court that she does not accept that the Aboriginal people ever ceded sovereignty of this land to the English crown. In response the Court held:
The Defendant’s aboriginality, and her contention that the Aboriginal people have never ceded sovereignty to the English Crown does not help her.
“The fact that the law can so readily dismiss our first people’s prior occupation and custodianship of this land is proof positive of a fundamental flaw in our legal system.
“When it comes to symbolic Aboriginal land like The Block, Aboriginality and more than 40,000 years of Aboriginal custody and possession, should never be dismissed so lightly by our Courts.
“This is far from the end of the struggle for Aboriginal housing on The Block, which is supported by a cross section of the Redfern community,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong said:
“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.
The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy were established on ‘The Block’ on National Sorry Day last year, May 26, after the Aboriginal Housing Company put forward a planning proposal for a $70 million commercial development on the site.
The Block in Redfern was one of the first parts of urban Australia to be formally returned to Aboriginal people.