Waterloo Social Housing Tenants Meeting

(10.30am, Wednesday 3 April 2013, The Factory Community Centre, Waterloo)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to our meeting. I'd 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.

This is our first meeting for 2013, so there's quite a bit to report.

EVENTS:

The Redwater Markets remain a popular success. They're held on the third Saturday of each month in Redfern Park, so the next one is on Saturday April 20. There are up to 50 stalls, which is capacity, and you'll find all sorts of bargains from clothes to plants to books and CDs - and of course there's food.

The Waterloo Recycling Workshop meets every Friday from 8.30am at Waterloo Green. You can buy recycled household goods and furniture at reasonable prices, though there are no white good or electrical items sold.

The Cycle Recycle Club meets twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesday, from 5pm-8.30pm. Their workshop is in the under-cover area between the Marton building and Turanga 1 Phillip Street.

Family & Culture Day events have moved from The Block to Waterloo Green, held every second month. This is an alcohol and drug-free day with lots of fun for children and families, and indeed for all members of the community. The next is on Saturday April 27.

The last in the current series of Good Neighbourhood barbecues is on next Wednesday, April 10, at Crown Park, on the corner of Crystal and Broome Streets in Waterloo. There are flyers at the back.

The annual Volunteer Awards organised by the Redfern and Waterloo NAB Events Group to celebrate local heroes will be held in May, during Volunteers' Week.

WATERLOO SAFETY AUDIT:

A Safety Audit of Waterloo was carried out in April and May last year. It was jointly conducted by the City, Housing NSW, Redfern Police, and tenants. The Waterloo Well-being & Safety Action Group is now discussing recommendations and implementation.

The audit covered all the public housing areas in Waterloo as well as many streets and parks. Issues that emerged included waste and recycling, sharps management, fencing, trees, security, lighting and cleansing.

Copies of the report are available here at The Factory.

The Well-being & Safety Group meets here, on the second Wednesday of each month, with the next meeting being on April 10.

ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS:

The City approved some new restrictions on alcohol in Waterloo last June. They included Bakery Reserve, Lenton Parade, Waterloo Green and Redfern Park. The restrictions give police the right to monitor drinking in these areas and confiscate alcohol if people are being antisocial or disruptive in their behaviour.

REDFERN STREET AUTOMATED DISPENSING MACHINE:

A working group including residents, local business people, Jarjum College, the Sydney Local Health District, the NSW Users and AIDS Association and the Aboriginal Medical Service is meeting monthly to discuss issues including discarded sharps and associated litters.

The City will talk to local residents about a proposed new sharps bin and its location in Redfern Park. This was requested by the South Sydney Business Chamber from the Health Minister and Drug Health Services have postponed the ADM operations until a community consultation about the Redfern Park bin can be held.

We're also working with the Local Health district and Housing NSW to get a more effective service from the Needle Clean Up Hotline to get coverage of all local areas. Once that is in place, we'll redistribute the Clean Up Hotline number to the community.

Meanwhile, please contact Kate Reakes, who is the new manager of Harm Minimisation Services, if you have any issues about the ADM or needle clean-up.

We're working with Housing NSW on proposed sharps bins for Redfern and Waterloo and we'll shortly be talking to the local community about this.

BEYOND WALLS:

The Beyond Walls Outreach program ended in January this year. But there are discussions under way to look for further funding, and the outreach workers will still be at Waterloo Green on Thursday mornings, delivering health education programs.

The evaluation of the 18-month program is now available.

The program was managed by The Factory and succeeded in giving street drinkers safe gathering places, helping to develop cooking skills and take part in arts programs. It also linked them to services and referrals.

LIFT REDFERN CAMPAIGN:

Phase 2 of the Lift Redfern campaign is now under way, after 11,000 signatures were gathered to generate a debate in Parliament, which took place last August. Unfortunately, it hasn't given the community a definite time-frame for the station upgrade.

The campaign is now looking to have lifts installed immediately on platforms 11 & 12 as an interim measure, and for the Government to provide a time-frame for a full station upgrade.

An on-line petition to the Minister for Transport was launched in March.

In phase 2, partnerships with the University of Sydney engineering students and the Sydney Story Factory will see some fresh and creative projects happening to boost the campaign.

HOUSING NSW:

The Waterloo Green Neighbourhood Project has been running for a little over two and a half of the planned three years.

The three components of the program have been a concierge in each of the six high-rise buildings, security and repairs. An evaluation of the project so far has been carried out by the University of NSW, but no information is yet available.

The City, Housing NSW and the Land and Housing Corporation are meeting in a more integrated way to deal with the changed ownership of HNSW assets.

There will be operational meetings to deal with issues such as community safety, crime prevention, alcohol management, improvements to parks and public spaces, and to waste and recycling.

There will also be three meetings with Land & Housing to discuss asset sales, management, maintenance contracts, community facilities and longer term asset commitments.

OVER 55s:

A new edition of Growing Older, Living Dangerously is available. And there's still a great range of activities and information available at the Ron Williams Centre in Kepos Street. Waterloo Library is also a great resource for the community.

We've just concluded a very successful Seniors' Week and I hope you all got to at least some of the activities and events.

They are a great way to help build a sense of belonging, especially for newer residents - as well as being good fun for everyone!

So thank you all again for coming here today.