Woolloomooloo Social Housing Meeting

(11am, Wednesday 27 February 2013, Juanita Neilsen Centre)

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.

COMMUNITY SAFETY AUDIT

In 2012, the City - in partnership with residents, Kings Cross Police, Housing NSW and other local agencies, led a safety audit covering public housing precincts in Woolloomooloo. The final audit was distributed last December.

Bruce Woodhouse, our acting social housing liaison officer, has helped the audit team to prepare an implementation plan to deal with the following issues:

  • General maintenance
  • Lighting
  • Signage
  • Trees
  • Car parking and
  • Waste and graffiti

The City will be fitting all the black metal light poles in Woolloomooloo with new LED technology to make them more efficient and sustainable. At the same time, we'll be giving them a fresh coat of paint, to improve the look and feel of these spaces. This program will be rolled out through this year.

The Safety Audit team is also looking at the idea of the City resuming responsibility for waste collection and full ranger services for the area owned by the Land & Housing Corporation. This would get over the problem of the two levels of service local residents now have, particularly regarding waste and graffiti removal, illegal parking problems and general cleansing. The department's own contractor have the contract until June 2014 but there is a possibility that council may be able to contract for the work after that date.

ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS

The City is working with Housing NSW to improve alcohol management for public places in Woolloomooloo managed by Housing. We want to complement the existing alcohol-free zones established by the City.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Our MoU with Housing NSW has been simplified so that meetings are now focussed on getting results. They include regular contact with the Land & Housing Corporation, both in terms of day-to-day operations and in longer-term planning. This change reflects the fact that assets and tenancy functions in social housing management have now been separated. In many suburbs, the meetings will discuss waste-management contracts, anti-social behaviour, poor pet control, illegal parking and dumped cars, tree and ground maintenance, vandalism and future asset planning. Any issues you want to have discussed can be easily tabled at the Neighbourhood Advisory Board or through our social housing liaison officer - and Dominic Grenot returns on March 20.

HOMELESSNESS

Our Public Space Liaison officers are spending three mornings a week in Woolloomooloo, ensuring rough sleepers help look after public space. They arrange clean-ups, liaise with homelessness services and the police, and also talk to local residents. Our Waste and Cleansing Unit continues its daily clean-ups here, including on land owned by Housing NSW.

PROGRAMS

We are working on strengthening and supporting existing local youth services. Last year, some very successful programs were held at the PCYC. One of these is a girls' program on Wednesday afternoons and the other is a Friday afternoon basketball program. Participation in both these programs is increasing and young people have asked us to continue them this year.

Walla Mulla has been asking for a Friday night or Saturday program, and we'll discuss that in partnership with PCYC. Programming has continued here at Juanita Nielsen Centre once a week for the younger age group. The 2012-13 summer school holiday program saw a big increase in numbers compared to more recent programs.

There was also an increase in newcomers who'd never before been to some of these programs, and it was really encouraging to see them attend almost every activity, especially those at the youth centre. Some of the highlights were a trip to Jamberoo, trapeze, kayaking at Rose Bay and snorkelling at Clovelly beach.

The Term 1 program is available now, and includes a mural project, cooking, a girl's program, outreach and basketball. We'e still waiting on Leighton for the next step in our planned art program. We have artists, young people and designs ready to go, hopefully in April.

Youth Week this year is April 5-14, with lots of opportunities for young people from 12-24 to share ideas, attend live events and have fun! Details will be distributed shortly.

OVER 55's

We run free and affordable programs in and around the City. At Kings Cross Library and Neighbourhood Services Centre, the Reg Murphy Centre in Greenknowe Avenue, and the Rex Centre. If you use the City's Community Bus service, you can also get a copy of the program from the driver.

You can still get the services and lunches at the Reg Murphy Centre, Kings Cross.

A community bus picks up from the stop nearest the centre Monday to Friday at 11am, in front of the Bourke Street Park. A return trip is provided at 1pm. Services and facilities at Reg Murphy include a community worker who can help with information and referral to home support and other services; affordable lunches; a pool table; computers; bus trips, including fishing trips; bingo; an acting class; transport to aqua classes at Cook & Phillip Park on Friday mornings and transport to a weekly, low-cost podiatry service at the Ron Williams Centre in Redfern. If you want transport to one of these activities, call Diane Giles, the community worker at Reg Murphy, on 8374 6310.

There are also a number of low-cost exercise classes at the Rex Centre, including creative movement, gentle yoga, tai chi and feldenkrais. Our Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals - call them on 8512 4230.

For more information about services, call Natalie Wright on 9265 9489 between 8.30 and 4pm, Monday to Friday. In the longer term, we're planning to incorporate a new Over 55s facility in our redevelopment of this centre.

JUANITA NIELSEN CENTRE

The upgrade is progressing well with Council endorsing a report for the design of the refurbishment. Now we'll consult with you and members of the Centre to develop a detailed design.

There was a community consultation held on February 9 and for anyone who wasn't there, Beth Jewell on 9288 5521 can give you more information.