Redfern Public Housing Meeting

(Redfern Centre)

Good morning, everyone, welcome to this meeting. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.

Since our meeting last November, the third edition of our fantastic Growing Older Living Dangerous program for Over 55s has been introduced. It includes a range of free and low-cost activities ranging from martial arts to Zumba dancing, from the Philosopher's Café to sustainable eating, a movie club and aerial circus skills among them.

Our Centre in Kepos Street continues to provide other activities for the Over 55s including a daily nutritious lunch, table tennis, bingo, walking and exercise groups, computers, karaoke, a subsidised podiatry clinic and free Wifi.

The Centre also has a community worker who can help you with information and referral to support services including Meals on Wheels, community transport and shopping.

We hope you were able to get to our latest round of Good Neighbourhood barbecues in Redfern, Waterloo and Darlington. They provide a great opportunity for people to meet neighbours, meet local police and Safe City staff, to get information on safety and security, and to enjoy the live music, children's activities and free barbecue. The next round will be held towards the end of the year.

You will have seen work is continuing at Prince Alfred Park, where the improvements include new paths, furniture and lighting. As well as a new exercise area, the basketball courts, tennis courts and a new pool and playground will make this fantastic open space a great sporting and recreational hub for people in this area.

Redfern Park continues as a time-sharing park, where dogs can be let off-leash between 4.30pm and 9.30am, seven days a week. At all other times, dogs must be kept on leash, and they are not allowed into the Oval.

Don't forget that Waterloo and Surry Hills libraries have a wonderful range of information services.

Youth Week is in full swing and tonight at Redfern Town Hall the Betty Makin Youth Awards will be on at 6 pm. The awards celebrate the achievements of young people and projects in the community and offer scholarships and awards.

The Redwater Markets, coordinated by the Factory Community Centre, are held in Redfern Park on the third Saturday of the month, so the next is on April 16.

The Bicycle Recycle Group continues to meet every Monday evening at Waterloo Green. It's always well attended on on average, it results in four people a week having a bike that can use.

The Recycling Workshop, funded by the City and Housing NSW, also goes from strength to strength. Local tenants can buy household items at low princes and, in the longer term, the workshop will generate income to put back into your community.

The Redfern Neighbourhood Advisory Board meets every two months to solve housing problems. It includes tenant representatives, Housing NSW, Police, the City and other agencies, and it is being effective.

The Built Environment Plan 2 was released in January for consultation, which concluded on February 28. The Redfern Waterloo Authority and Housing NSW held 36 consultation sessions across the area, involving 750 people. Bilingual community educators were available at most sessions, and four sessions for Aboriginal residents were also held.

Housing says that feedback on the plan has been overwhelmingly positive, with most people saying it will be good for the area. People are broadly comfortable with the proposed densities, and the objective of achieving a social mix. The main concerns include the amount of open space, the provision of community facilities and parking and safety.

Aspects of last year's Redfern Safety Audit continue to be implemented, and Housing NSW is continuing to work on a masterplan, while the City and the department meet each month to discuss issues concerning Redfern residents including waste and recycling matters, rats, companion animals and graffiti.

I'd like to remind you that we'll be celebrating National Volunteering week in the second week of May, to acknowledge all that volunteers contributes to their communities. From May 9 to 15, the Factory Community Centre will co-ordinate Local Volunteer Awards celebrations.

Thank you all for coming here today.