(6.30pm 22 November 2011, Redfern Community Centre)
Hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to the Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who live in our City.
I thank Mick Mundine and the Aboriginal Housing Company for inviting us to this meeting.
It's a welcome opportunity for the community to find out more about this important project. It's been so long coming and it's wonderful to know that it is finally going to happen.
However, some residents have spoken to council about their concerns - especially regarding the transfer of land.
Briefly, the situation is that the City of Sydney was preparing to transfer Eveleigh Lane, the eastern part of Caroline Lane, and seven pockets of land on Eveleigh Street to enable the development to take place.
This is a project of the Aboriginal Housing Company and it will be assessed by the State government and not Council. Council is involved because the development site includes part of our land.
There's now a well-developed proposal which will create new affordable housing for Aboriginal families and provide other uses, such as child care, student accommodation, shops and a gallery, to create an active and vibrant area.
Our agreement to transfer the land for a token sum of $20 is a sign of our support for a project we believe will revitalise this community and restore its Aboriginal presence.
When we leafleted the community about the transfer of land, a number of long-term residents expressed some concerns, and felt that they were not fully informed of the AHC's plans. Some were concerned that Caroline Lane would be closed to through traffic.
The AHC are here this evening to explain the plans in more detail and Michael Leyland from the City will talk about the transfer of land and Caroline Lane.
There are issues that we're still working through with the AHC, but this is an important project, not only for the Aboriginal community, but for all the local community, and for Redfern as a whole.
We hope it will be completed to the benefit of everyone in this part of our City and we will continue to work with the AHC to get the best development possible.
City staff have been reviewing the comments we received about the transfer of land and are working towards a report to the Council meeting next Monday.
If you give your details to someone from Council tonight we can send you an email to let you know if the report will go to that meeting.
So thank you for coming here this evening.