Demo Report

Destruction of Glebe Public Housing

By Denis Doherty

On Saturday November 27 the quiet streets of Glebe were rocked by chants of “Hands Off Glebe – Protect Public Housing” and ‘Stop the sell off!’ Local residents from the Hands Off Glebe group took their protest against the demolition of public homes to the office of the local State MP. The demonstration was just one of the many actions that have been undertaken by the action group.

 

The area of the Glebe Public Housing Estate earmarked for ‘development’ is a low rise medium density area with a long established community of 134 homes which are described as “robust and utilitarian”.

 

These are slated to be bulldozed and replaced by a high density development with 250 private units, shops, 80 “affordable” houses (also private) and 154 social housing units to be crowded into ten story tower blocks.

 

Redevelopment of the Cowper, Bay and Wentworth Streets public housing estate will bring smaller homes, over-crowding, more noise and traffic, loss of social networks and other problems – and the Government is going to pay over $100 million for this.

 

The noisy rally heard messages of support from the Millers Point Action Group which running a similar campaign in their suburb. Jack Mundey sent a message which said:

 

What you are doing here in Glebe is not just about saving your homes and your community.

It is also about helping to stop the State Government selling off public homes and public land, increasing profits for developers and pushing public tenants out to the outer suburbs – out of sight out of mind.

In Glebe it is yet another case of private profit winning out over community needs and wishes.

The rally was addressed by local residents and by Jamie Parker, the Mayor of Leichhardt. He promised to approach the NSW Minister for Housing to stop the bulldozers. He also indicated that the Greens Sydney City Councillors have swung their support in behind the protection of the present arrangement rather than supporting the Government’s plans.

 

With a State Government ruled by neo-liberalism so it does not provide services but assists the private sector to make more money, there is a great deal to be done to protect public housing across NSW..