In this Update: Vale Trevor Davies – Funeral 23 June 2011 / Groundswell for Redfern Waterloo / Council BEP2 Presentation for REDWatch & Groundswell – 7 July 6pm Factory / USyd Abercrombie Precinct Business School Redevelopment Project - until Friday 24 June, 2011 / Redfern Waterloo will still be State Significant / SMDA gets its Precinct Outcomes Brief for Redfern Waterloo Eveleigh and Darlington / Update on BEP2 Issues / Housing NSW Masterplan and Tenant Engagement / What is happening around the RWA Sites / RWA Heritage Update / AHC Revises Pemulwuy / Alexandria Residents Action Group (ARAG) / It is almost Census time – Please Fill in The Census / Monthly Informal Gathering Friday – 24 June 2011 at 1 pm / Electricity Pricing Workshop for Community Workers – 18 July 2011
In this Update:
Have Your Say- Summary of Current Consultations (looks at current consultations on the REDWatch website)Coming Events (looks at the current events listed on the REDWatch website)
The Funeral Service for Trevor Davies will be held at 10am on Thursday June 23, 2011at Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt St, Sydney (near to corner of Pitt& Park Streets and a block from Town Hall Station). The service will be followed by refreshments until 1pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to The South Sydney Herald. By mail: PO Box 3288 Redfern NSW 2016. By EFT: BSB 062 231; Account No. 1021 8391.
Trevor was a member and Elder of South Sydney Uniting Church, the founding editor of the South Sydney Herald and long-time Secretary of the Darlington ALP Branch. Trevor was one of the foundation members of REDWatch, had served as a committee member in almost every community organisation in the area at one time or another over the last 30 years. At the time of his death his committee responsibilities included being Vice President of the St Vincent de Paul branch that covered the Redfern area. Trevor had a wide circle of friends from his various involvements and the people he met along the way; be that as a street sweeper, working in the Darlington newsagency, at Politics in the Pub, as part of Redfern Residents for Reconciliation, at political meetings or delivering leaflets for a meeting, or his beloved local newspapers (the South Sydney Herald only being the most recent incarnation).
Trevor’s death was sudden although he had not been well for some time. He was due to have an angiogram on the day he died but was taken to hospital the evening before where he had a heart attack and was operated on for several hours before he died on Tuesday 14 June 2011. His death came as a particular shock to those who had spoken to him around the Darlington coffee shops over the long weekend or had talked to him in one of his various activities in the week before. Trevor had only recently celebrated his 55thbirthday and was brother to Susan, Annie and Ivor. Susan has recently started work at the Big Issue office in Redfern.
His family would welcome assistance with the funeral costs and if you are able to contribute please contact his sister Susan Leith-Miller on email@example.com / or make a contribution to Account name: Susan Leith-Miller BSB: 062 231 Account Number: 1037 0246. Any surplus funds will be donated to the South Sydney Herald.
The South Sydney Herald will publish tributes to Trevor in their July issue. You can email your story or message to firstname.lastname@example.org before the weekend. Trevor played an important role in the South Sydney Herald and they are currently looking at how they rearrange responsibilities to cover a Trevor sized hole. If you have skills that may be of assistance to the paper, even in the short term, please contact Andrew at email@example.com.
It has also been suggested by Gai Smith, who is helping with other family archives to be deposited with the Mitchell library, that the Mitchell Library would also be interested in receiving people’s stories. She says “it's very important to use the occasion of the great gathering of people who come to honour Trevor on Thursday to get people to commit to contributing their memories of Trevor, and what they know of all he did in their area of interest, in writing - so we can gather the materials that will be needed to document the life of a great man. We'll never get that chance again, to have in oneplace so many people who knew the different facets of Trevor's life”. We encourage you to put something in writing about your interactions with Trevor and add items to SMH Tribute Page for Trevor or pass these on to the South Sydney Herald to either publish or to pass on to an archive.
Below are some current online tributes to Trevor and if you know of others please let us know to pass on to others:
- Tanya Plibersek on Trevor Davies in the House of Representatives on 16 June 2011
- City News’ Redfern mourns the death of community activist – Trevor is on the front page of a paper other than SSH!
- South Sydney Uniting Church especially Dorothy McRae-McMahon's poem - For Trevor the local legend
- Neil Whitfield's photo’s Trevor–1956-2011and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnhibvhKQ-Y&feature=player_embedded
- The SMH tribute page - www.onlinetributes.com.au/Trevor_Davies/(Fairfax Digital Media are also working on an Obituary)
- Norrie's Facebook Event Page - A Funeral Service for Trevor Davies
It has also been suggested that there should be some permanent memorial for Trevor in Darlington. With Council due to do some work around the Darlington shops within the next 12 months people might like to consider how Trevor could be best remembered by his community? If there is a good idea and it gains support then we are sure it can be made to happen like many of Trevor’s own good ideas!
Trevor will be missed greatly by the community that he served and stirred for so many years. Farewell political comrade, church brother and personal friend.
An important new coalition has been formed in Redfern and Waterloo called Groundswell.“Groundswell is an avenue for the Redfern/Waterloo community to make informed decisions and to ensure their voices are heard during the Built Environment and Master planning processes. Groundswell aims to provide resources and mechanisms for organisations and residents to achieve this goal. Groundswell celebrates our community and its diversity in a spirit of mutual respect, openness and good humour” says the coalition’s mission statement on its new website at www.groundswellcoalition.org.au.
Groundswell has been initially formed by the following non-government organisations: The Factory Community Centre; Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development; Our House Swap; REDWatch; Redfern Legal Centre; South Sydney Community Aid Multicultural Neighbourhood Centre; Sydney University Settlement Neighbourhood Centre; University of NSW Community Development Project; and the UWS Residents’ Voices Project. Groundswell hopes that other agencies and people of goodwill will join with them in supporting local residents. More information on how agency workers can help can be found in Groundswell Introduction - Information for Agencies (231KB PDF).
While Groundswell does not include government agencies, the Groundswell Coalition is keen to see government agencies adequately resource residents to understand what the government has proposed so residents are able to respond to these proposals. To this end Groundswell welcomes the RWA & SMDA registering interest in working with Groundswell. Groundswell is also hoping that Housing NSW will be able to agree its community engagement framework with Groundswell agencies for the Housing NSW Master Plan Community Engagement strategy including adequately resourcing independent support for residents.
The initial focus for the Groundswell Coalition is to encourage the community to start thinking about what is proposed and its implications for the area. An initial Join Groundswell in Redfern and Waterloo (320KB PDF) flyer is also available in Chinese, Indonesian, Russian and Vietnamese from the Documentation section of the Groundswell website. Supporting agencies and residents are encouraged to undertake activities which will encourage discussion and engagement. Among the activities being undertaken are stalls at Redfern Markets and other locations (including the Shelter NSW conference), surveys,film showings and information & skills sessions. Twenty DVDs of the recently released Saving Erko Estate have been obtained and with discussion starter questions are being lent out around public housing tenants.
This will be followed by activities that bring people together where they can explore how they might want to respond to what is proposed. It is likely there will be a variety of responses. Groundswell is not just for public tenants; Groundswell aims to work with both public and private residents and to encourage them to work together in responding to the issues which will affect all sections of the community.
Groundswell also is looking for support from people who are prepared to volunteer their expertise to work with the community – this might include people with expertise in architecture, planning, facilitation, community engagement, community education etc. Coalition meetings to date have included both public and private residents as well as agencies. If you are able to assist in anyway email firstname.lastname@example.org make a post on the forum section of the Groundswell website. You can also follow GroundSwell on facebook - we hope you like it!
You can see media coverage of the formation of Groundswell in the South Sydney Herald’s Groundswell of support for housing tenants and City News’ Groundswell coming to Redfern and Waterloo.
At its July monthly meeting REDWatch is organising for Groundswell a presentation about the City of Sydney BEP2 Submission. This is an opportunity to hear Graham Jahn, Council's Director City Planning and Regulatory Services, provide Council's Planning perspective on the RWA Built Environment Plan 2 proposals for the redevelopment of Redfern and Waterloo. Among Council’s suggestions is a new railway station on the Airport line underneath Waterloo Green allowing higher density around Waterloo and less in the Redfern redevelopment area. There will also be an explanation of the recent state planning changes and what that means for Redfern Waterloo and an opportunity to ask your own questions. This should be a good opportunity to get a different perspective of the BEP2 proposal. The presentation will be at The Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo NSW on Thursday 7 July from 6pm to 7.30pm
At the 4 August 2011 REDWatch Meeting local Federal MP Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Social Services and Social Inclusion will attend to talk about her roles in the Government and their relation to the local area.
The Department of Planning (DoP) has placed Sydney University’s proposal for its new Business School to be built next to Darlington Public School on exhibition until 24 June, 2011. The documents for the proposal can be found on line on the DoP website at MP 07_0158 -Abercrombie Street Precinct, Syd Uni or you can view copies at the DoP’s Bridge Street Office or at the University of Sydney Services Building at 22 Codrington Road Darlington. If you want to comment and this is the first you have heard of it we suggest you contact the Department and let them know you are making a submission but need a few extra days. For more information contact the DoP officer handling the exhibition or Joanna Linehan from Sydney University on 02 9351 4614 or email email@example.com
Residents around the site have formed Residents Acting In Defence of Darlington (RAIDD) and quickly distributed the following flyer RAIDD Poster Against Sydney University Business School Development (81KB PDF) and email statement Angry residents demand change to Sydney Uni ‘mega development’ when the exhibition period started. RAIDD can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. RAIDD is asking fellow residents and parents of children attending Darlington school to raise the following six concerns in their submissions:-
- “An enormous amount of public space (a road, 2 parks and a lane), an important amenity for local residents, will be lost to the community. Residents want 24/7 access to some park and/or courtyard space in this new mega development.
- We want a more open design. Entrances for local foot traffic to enter/transit through the mega development must be welcoming/freely accessible.
- We want the car park entrance to be on Darlington Lane - to stop cars being funnelled into Codrington / Abercrombie / Golden Grove streets. And also to keep them away from our kids who are accessing the primary school.
- We want more car parking in the building -to reduce competition for street parking between the 7000 new international students and local residents.
- The Stage 2 development should not go ahead. The existing buildings should remain as their scale fits in with the existing streetscape. The existing car park at the City Rd entrance of the Uni, or other University land, should be used for part of this development.
- We want the height of the 7 storey central pillar of the mega development to be reduced as it is overwhelming for local residents.”
The Darlington School & Community President has circulated a letter Darlington School & Community Objection to USyd Development to parents and the community to encourage people to make submissions covering the S&C’s concerns. RAIDD has also produced a Template for Letter to Dept of Education re Darlington School Impact and are encouraging parents and friends to also write to the Department of Education and local politicians.
You can see media articles regarding the development in Central’sSydney Uni Business School plans not welcomed by locals and Anger over Uni ‘mega development’ on page 1 of the South Sydney Herald in the June 2011 PDF (3MB PDF).
The recently announced changes in the Planning revolution unveiled by Libs (SMH) transferred most of the sites in the previous Major Development SEPP into the category of State Significant Development (SSD) including the RWA Redfern and Waterloo SEPP areas. This keeps planning in these areas out of control of Council and treats these sites as “as being of State significance in terms of their development potential or strategic importance and where, as a result, some or all development on the site will be identified as SSD.” The factsheet also states that “Other sites will be able to be subsequently added to the SEPP should their strategic importance to the State be genuinely established in the future. Such sites would include new, major urban renewal sites.” It is under this latter provision that it is expected that the Redfern and Waterloo public housing estates may be added to the SEPP when RWA’s BEP2 is officially exhibited by the Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority. On the Planning and Infrastructure website you can find out more about the new Major project assessments System
It looks increasingly unlikely that the RWA will be wound up quickly as the recent planning changes also amended the RWA Act. Day to day activities of the RWA have been transferred to the SMDA and the RWA’s Aboriginal employment programmes are being transferred to the Australian Technology Park.
The new NSW Government has decided to proceed with the activities of the Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority (SMDA), previously the RWA, and has issued the SMDA with its brief for both the Redfern-Waterloo and Granville areas under the State Environment Planning Policy (Urban Renewal) 2010. The briefs set out the areas the SMDA is required by the study to investigate and make recommendations upon. The Redfern-Waterloo Precinct Outcomes Brief (21KB PDF) is issued by the Director General of the Department of Planning to the SMDA and follows a meeting of agencies including the City of Sydney Council to discuss what should be included in the brief.
The SMDA will now undertake the required studies across Redfern, Waterloo, Eveleigh and Darlington (Redfern-Waterloo Potential Precinct Map) (773KB PDF) and report back as set out in the Guidelines (3.5MB PDF) to the Urban Renewal SEPP. The study must be exhibited for at least 30 days. It is during this exhibition that it is expected that the BEP2 planning controls will be exhibited.
The Brief requires the SMDA to look specifically at a number of areas including the ATP, North Eveleigh, the Lachlan Precinct, Rachel Forster, the Redfern Town Centre and land around Redfern Station. The brief also covers public housing, employment, infrastructure, connectivity and transport. The brief sets the SMDA study agenda for the area. REDWatch has put a text version of the brief on its website which some people may find easier to read. It can be found at SMDA Receives Urban Renewal Brief from Department of Planning
BEP2 - the RWA has a draft report on the BEP2 consultation but it needs to go the RWA Board before it can be released. There continues to be a difference in opinion between the Government agencies (RWA & HNSW) and non- government agencies such as those involved in Groundswell about the quality of the initial BEP2 consultation, so the final consultant’s report is eagerly awaited and would be useful to have available before arrangements for the Master Plan community engagement is finalised. The SMDA is hoping to come back with a formal exhibition of BEP2 towards the end of the year but this depends on how quickly it can do some of the precinct outcome studies required under the SMDA’s brief. Meanwhile in discussions with Housing NSW about its Master Plan Consultation, REDWatch has been advised that the total number of units and the 60% private – 40% public housing mix (with 700 public housing units leaving the area) is to be taken as given in the Master Plan discussions, The discussions are expected to start in September 2011 prior to the formal decision on the planning controls.
The RWA still has the BEP2 documents and its report on the exhibition on its website at www.redfernwaterloo.nsw.gov.au/bep2/index.phpas does REDWatch under the BEP2 tab. Since our last update two important BEP2 submissions have been made public City of Sydney (7.51 MB PDF) and Council on the Aging (NSW) [COTA] Submission on BEP2 (861KB PDF). REDWatch is arranging a meeting for the Council to speak publically to their submission – the details are earlier in this update.
There has also been some further media coverage of the BEP2 proposals including SMH’s Transforming the great southern land and South Sydney Herald’s Public Housing Sell-Off andThe Good, The Bad and the BE2.
Housing NSW circulated a Draft Community Engagement Action Plan for the Redfern and Waterloo Masterplan looking for feedback in May 2011. Housing NSW received some feedback including comments from The Factory and REDWatch. Subsequently there has been a meeting with Housing and we are awaiting a revised draft. HNSW has asked that we not put its document up on the REDWatch website until it is finalised so we are unable to share it with you. What we can do is to provide our comments which will provide some idea of the areas of concern – you can see these comments at Comments on Proposed HAF Master Plan Community Engagement.
Housing NSW has pushed back the starting date for the Master Plan into August / September. This will still predate the BEP2 planning controls going on formal exhibition but the Housing NSW Master Plan will assume that the number of units proposed, the 60/40 private/public mix and the decision to move 700 units of public housing out of Redfern and Waterloo have been set in stone. It appears from conversations with Housing NSW that the Master Plan will only concern itself with the areas to be redeveloped and will not deal with the renovation of the high rises, the 700 houses moved out of the area or the approximately 700 public housing units that are not planned to be renewed or renovated in the conservation area adjacent to the proposed redevelopment.
What is currently publically available for Community Consultation is HNSW Tenant Engagement Framework Consultation - Until 12 July 2011. Housing NSW has developed a draft tenant engagement framework that sets out the strategic direction for tenant engagement by Housing NSW – and defines its scope, participants, outcomes and methods - and how it contributes to Housing NSW’s overall purpose. The Draft is on exhibition until 12 July 2011. HNSW is also developing a set of community engagement principles for social housing estate redevelopment projects. These principles will support communities affected by estate renewal projects, including social housing tenants, private residents, and other local stakeholders, to have meaningful input into all key stages of the project. Everyone with an interest in Community Engagement is encouraged to make a submission.
Recent articles dealing with housing issues relevant to the area which might be of interest are the Daily Telegraph’s Suburbs go from No-go to Boom Towns which sees Redfern as one of the desirable and expensive places to move into, SMH’s 'Mixed' estates found to break rather than make communities and Green Left Weekly’sGlebe Residents Protest Demolition of Public Housing which reminds us of the still vacant buildings waiting redevelopment on Elizabeth Street and begs the question as to how soon demolition may start after the Master Plan is finalised for Redfern and Waterloo.
The most recent flyers distributed by Housing NSW relating to BEP2 and the Housing Affordability Fund Master Plan were at the beginning of April, links to them are HNSW Redfern Update March 2011 (469 KB PDF) and HNSW Waterloo Update March 2011
With the change of Government REDWatch produced a list of Questions for New NSW Government and sent it to the Premier and key Ministers. While REDWatch has not received a reply from the Premier or any of the new ministers, some government announcements like those above regarding the Planning System Changes and the SMDA Brief indicated there is little change from the position taken by the old government. Below is a quick summary based on information from the recent RWA Built Environment Ministerial Advisory Committee (BEMAC) and other sources about what is happening around key sites.
North Eveleigh– the RWA / SMDA now know which parts of the site would not be affected by a City Relief Line if and when it might proceed. It has applied for Federal Housing Affordability Housing funds for developing some of the Affordable Housing earmarked for the site in the North Eveleigh Concept Plan. The North Eveleigh site is covered under the new SMDA Brief.
Redfern Station– responsibility for Redfern Station has been handed to the Integrated Transport Authority and a Project Director will be appointed soon. The previous Project Director has recommended community engagement as being the next step in the process. All these developments are seen by the SMDA as being positive progress on the Station upgrade. The deferral of the City Relief Line by the new Government postpones the proposed new platform, but hopefully not the station upgrade.
The Australian Technology Park – The SMDA and ATP are to define land uses for the remaining building blocks as required in the SMDA Brief.
Transport Planning– The RWA has produced a draft transport study report however this will now be shelved as the SMDA, under the Urban Renewal requirements, needs to do a more detailed Transport Management and Accessibility Plan (TMAP). Geoff has asked for the draft transport report to be released so some information is in the public domain. The SMDA is considering the request but think it may confuse people and that it might be best to wait until the TMAP is produced!
Affordable Housing– The RWA/SMDA has a draft policy it is taking to its board but it may still be some time before it is made public. It now appears that not all the affordable housing announced in Minister Sartor’s 2008 media release may go ahead at North Eveleigh. At the BEMAC meeting Geoff strongly made the point that while there had been announcements about affordable housing at North Eveleigh and for the public housing redevelopments there are no details about what the RWA / SMDA actually mean by affordable housing and how it will be managed, funded or delivered.
The RWA has released the official Final Report of the Redfern Waterloo Heritage Taskforce submitted to Premier Keneally prior to the NSW election - you can download it from RWA website (135KB PDF). A combined Council RWA heritage map can also be Downloaded (2MB PDF) from the RWA Heritage page.
The RWA is still updating the Draft Interpretation Plan and Implementation Strategy for the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops following the exhibition. Here you can see the REDWatch Submission on Eveleigh Railway Workshops. The next important heritage document expected on public exhibition will be the revised ATP Conservation Management Plan. Plans are being drawn up for an Eveleigh Heritage event in February 2012 which will include a Railway Film Festival. If you are interested in further details let us know and we will pass your details on to Brian Dunnett who is planning to form an Eveleigh based film society to arrange this and future railway film festivals.
Finally the details of the nomination of the Eveleigh Railyards for the National Heritage Register have been posted.
The Aboriginal Housing Company Pemulwuy project will continue to be handled as State Significant as it falls within the RWA planning area. The AHC currently expect to have its exhibition plans ready to go to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure late July for checking prior to exhibition. There have been further changes to what was proposed in the Pemulwuy Concept Plan MOD 1 documents produced in September 2010. Under the latest proposal the student accommodation will move over next to the railway line with the cultural centre. The building on the corners of Lawson, Eveleigh and Caroline has been scaled back in size and will be commercial above retail with the pre-school in Caroline Street near the new exit of Caroline Lane. The AHC proposal involves resuming some of Caroline Lane and creating a new exit into Caroline Street rather than via Eveleigh Street. The AHC has also sold its properties on The Block outside the Pemulwuy project area and is now financially secure as it seeks to raise funding for the construction of the Pemulwuy project.
Independently some local residents backing onto Caroline Lane are exploring again the possibility of closing the lane. The proposal being promoted is to keep the lane as common property controlled by a community association which would allow access, as may be required from time to time, but the rest of the time to allow its use as a common space by residents. If you have property that backs onto Caroline Lane and want to be added to the email list about this proposal let us know and we will pass it on. Any proposal for such a use of Caroline Lane needs unanimous agreement by all property owners backing on to the lane and will have to be approved by Council.
The new Alexandria Residents Action Group (ARAG) is up and running working on a range of issues around Alexandria including the impact of the ATP. One of their early “wins” was when the Noisy garden shed at Redfern's ATP was deemed "temporary''. Parking continues to be a major issue in Alexandria with one ATP worker buying into the dispute - see ATP Letter to Communters& an ATP Worker Response. There was a lot of interest in the new ATP Sustainability Strategy (3.6MB PDF) which residents hope will help address the level of light pollution from the Global / Channel 7 building. The group can be contacted at AlexandriaResidentsActionGroup@yahoogroups.com.au.
One of the problems facing both Groundswell and Government planners is the relatively low level of responses in public housing to the census held every five years. The census is run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is scheduled for the night of 9th August this year. Census collectors will start delivering the census questions from 29 July 2011. The census is independent of Housing NSW and other state and federal departments. Groundswell encourages all residents both public and private to fill in the census so planning for the future of our area is based on the best possible understanding of our area. You can find out more about the census here.
As usual, on the last Friday of the month, agencies and community groups reps and volunteers are invited to come together for an informal lunch time ‘get -together’ at the Norfolk Hotel – Cleveland Street (Beer Garden if Dry – upstairs if Wet). It is a great chance to take time out of our busy schedules and catch up with each other, sharing news, and information informally. You buy your own refreshments and lunch and can stay a short or as long as time will allow you. For further information contact Mike Shreenan at The Factory.
Utility prices are a significant issue for many people especially those on low incomes. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is holding a workshop on the basics of electricity retail price setting for community workers to assist them in advocating for energy affordability in NSW. The session is free and will be presented by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (IPART) on Monday 18 July 2011 at Redfern Community Centre (29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern) from 10am - 1.30pm Lunch will be provided. Places are limited. RSVP is essential. Please contact Carolyn Hodge at PIAC on email@example.com or (02) 8898 6520.We hope you find the information in this email of interest. If you have any feedback or suggestions please contact us. These Updates are also available as emails. Details about the Redfern Waterloo Issues Update Email list and how to subscribe can be found at:http://lists.redwatch.org.au/mailman/listinfo/update