Redfern Social Housing Meeting

(11am, Wednesday 22 May 2013, Redfern Oval Grandstand Meeting Room)

Hello, everyone, welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

REDFERN SAFETY AUDIT

Housing NSW has allocated $400,000 to be spent by the end of this financial year. Priority has been given to fencing, lighting and tree pruning, in line with the Safety Audit recommendations.

ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS

The Alcohol Prohibited Areas on Waterloo Green are currently under review, as there have been calls to extend them to Housing NSW public areas on Morehead Street.

HOUSING NSW

The City, Redfern Police ad Housing NSW meet each month with tenants and local NGOs to collaborate on a range of issues including community safety, crime prevention, alcohol management, improvements to parks and public spaces, better waste and recycling and better communication between all parties.

The Waterloo Green Neighbour Project has been running for over two years now. The three elements of this project have been security, repairs and a concierge in each of the six high-rise buildings. The University of NSW has evaluated the project to date and the community is awaiting the outcome of that report. Funding for the project ends in June and local groups have been calling for it to be continued and extended to the high-rise in Morehead Street.

I've written a letter of support to Housing NSW asking for the Housing Community Program to be continued. This runs out of The Factory and supports all the events and activities mentioned earlier today that occur across Redfern and Waterloo. At present, the funding for this program will end in June.

PARTNERSHIPS

A new monthly service co-ordination meeting has been introduced to look at a range of issues in Redfern and Waterloo. They are led by Police and Health but also include Housing and the City.

COMMUNITY SHARPS

Following the Redfern and Waterloo Safety Audits, and the very successful bins at Northcott in Surry Hills, which have been in place for nearly two years, many people have asked for sharps bins on Housing land in Redfern and Waterloo.

The City is continuing discussions about bin locations with Health, Housing NSW and the Land & Housing Corporation.

The Automated Dispensing Machine in Redfern started operations last month after much discussion and delay. There is a sharps bin in Redfern Park toilets, and City staff continue to monitor it.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

A new edition of Growing Older and Living Dangerously is available. The Centre in Kepos Street provides a great range of activities and information, and Waterloo Library is also a great community resource.

LIFT REDFERN CAMPAIGN

The campaigners handed over 11,000 signatures to generate a debate in Parliament in August last year. The debate failed to give a definite time-frame for an upgrade of the train station, so phase two of the campaign has started.

This is asking for lifts to be installed immediately on platforms 11 and 12 as an interim measure, and for the Government to provide a time-frame for the full station upgrade.

An on-line petition to the Minister for Transport was launched in March, and phase 2 will include fresh and creative projects in partnership with the University of Sydney engineering students and the Sydney Story Factory.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

The Redwater Markets - held on the third Saturday of every month in Redfern Park - are a big success. They've reached their capacity with a total of 50 stalls, offering all sorts of clothing, books, bric-a-brac and other items, so I urge you all to check out the next Markets which will be on Saturday, June 15.

The Waterloo Recycling Workshop meets every Friday morning from 8.30am at Waterloo Green, selling recycled household and furniture items at very reasonable prices - though it doesn't sell white goods or electrical items.

The Cycle Re-cycle Club meets twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 5-8.30pm at their workshop under the Turanga Building at 1 Phillip Street Waterloo. It's in the garage below the Turanga Building.

The first Playgroups in the Park for 2013 was held on April 9. Unfortunately, the day poured with rain but 400 families still came out for a family fun day in Redfern Park, so it shows how much people enjoy the event.

Family and Culture Days have now moved from The Block to Waterloo Green and are held every second month. This alcohol and drug-free day has lots for children, families and all members of the community. The next will be on Saturday June 29.

The annual Volunteer Awards, organised by the Redfern and Waterloo NAB Events Group was held during Volunteers' Week on May 15. Over 140 local volunteers and volunteer groups were celebrated.

Redfern CADRE Project, led by St Vincent's Hospital, acts as a Mental Health Neighbourhood Watch and is now providing training to local residents and workers over three Tuesdays in May at Redfern Town Hall. When the project was run previously in Waterloo it was very successful.

Series 2 of the fabulous Redfern Now is underway and casting sessions were held at the Community Centre on April 23, looking for local indigenous people of all ages to appear in the new series.

South Sydney Community Aid runs its outreach program every week in Our Place at Poet's Corner, offering education and social activities including bingo and a fantastic art group. Last year, the art group exhibited their works in the Damien Minton Gallery in Great Buckingham Street.

A new psychology service has started at the Factory Community Centre. It's there every Wednesday and appointments can be made either directly or through your GP. Contact the Factory for more information.

Redfern Neighbourhood Day was a great success in November. Local tenants had fun dunking Council and Housing NSW staff, with the officials that participated raising $1,700 between them which goes back to fund community events in Redfern and Waterloo. So thank you to everyone who took part in that.