Surry Hills Social Housing Meeting

(11am, Wednesday 13 February 2013, Northcott Estate)

Hello, everyone, welcome to our meeting. 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 call our city home.

I also welcome here today, Alex Greenwich, your local Member; Superintendant Anthony Crandell, Surry Hills Police Local Area Command; Clive Bradshaw, Housing NSW and Bruce Woodhouse, Acting Housing Social Liaison Officer City of Sydney.

There have been a number of developments to report to you since our last meeting in June of last year.


The alcohol-free zone has been introduced and is being monitored for its effects on anti-social behaviour by Council staff and Surry Hills Police. It's always better to manage such issues lightly wherever possible and the feedback we're getting is that the space continues to be well-loved and meets the recreation needs of a broad range of people.

In response to a resident request, a sign banning alcohol will shortly be installed by the children's play area. Please contact Surry Hills Police on 9265 4144 to report any incidents.


The pedestrian crossing at Belvoir Street is being upgraded to improve safety for seniors with the addition of two metal railings to support people. This is in response to a suggestion from the NAB which our City engineers agreed with.


The safety audit lists a number of actions for 2013 that will be worked on over the year. The key issues are trip hazards; lighting; overgrown vegetation, malicious damage, waste and sharps and anti-social or threatening behaviour.

The safety committee meets monthly and includes representation from the Public Tenants' Association, Police, Housing NSW, NSW Health and the City. Tenants are invited to attend on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 2pm at the Northcott Community Centre. The next meeting is on Tuesday March 12.


Work to update the recycling bay areas has begun, with new stickers and bin lids. This will make it even simpler for residents to separate their recyclable materials. Work is also under way to rationalise the skip bin collection, and also improve the presentation of the skips to residents.

Thank you to those residents who continue to encourage neighbours to sort their waste and use the recycling bays.

I'm pleased to report that the Northcott Sharps Management Project is being used as a best-practice model in extending the collection service into other suburbs. The safe collection and disposal of sharps away from the general waste stream is a significant improvement. About two-thirds of those collected are medical sharps, used by people with medical conditions requiring syringes. New collection bins are being planned for installation in Redfern and Waterloo this year.


The Surry Hills Library and Neighbourhood Centre have a terrific range of resources for local residents, including access to computers and the internet. The Neighbourhood Centre is upstairs from the Library if you haven't already found it. Activities include the monthly markets, regular community meetings, the annual Surry Hills Festival, the monthly Surry Hills Community Drug Action Team, as well as programs for the community.


I'm pleased to welcome Kira Weiss, the new worker, who has been actively engaged with local residents since she began here last October. She is tackling a number of issues identified by residents across the suburb, and her enthusiasm is great appreciated.

Kira works from the Pottery and can be contact on 9319 9322.


The Northcott renumbering project will be rolled out this year. It is a complex job, and residents will be supported to ensure a smooth roll-out. A range of signage improvements will accompany the renumbering to improve the look and feel of the site. It has taken a while to be realised, but it is a large-scale project that needs to be managed carefully to minimise any confusion for residents.


This year, a revamped Advisory meeting structure will be introduced that will better reflect the new role of the Land and Housing corporation as asset manager for the State government. The corporation, the City and Housing NSW meet regularly to deal with issues ranging from crime prevention and community safety to long-term asset planning, high-rise living and companion animals.

The new structure will help us deal more efficiently with these issues.


The Inner City Mental Health Recovery Working Group meets each month with representatives from St Vincent's Mental Health, Police, Housing NSW, the City, service providers and residents, as it has for the last five years.

The CADRE pilot project will be completed in 2013 and be evaluated. CADRE aims to help local residents support people living with mental health problems. There are likely to be five groups run in total and the working group is carefully planning and monitoring the implementation.


The Tenants' Association continues to meet regularly under the chairmanship of Colleen Hepburn. It's a proactive group that represents residents and it's the reason the Northcott Community Centre is open throughout the week, successfully operated by volunteers. Any offer of help will be gladly received and colleen is happy to meet any interested people at the end of this meeting.

So once again, thank you all for coming here this morning, and I'll now hand over to Alex Greenwich.