Select Quotes from the Select Committee



There is currently underway an inquiry into social, public and affordable housing n New South Wales conducted by the Legislative Council inquiry conducted by the Social, public and affordable housing Committee of the NSW Legislative Council.  The inquiry has attracted over 200 submissions.  Below are some extracts from those submissions.


“Our poor should not be unfairly exiled from the city to make room for the Wealthy..”:

The Factory Community Centre, South Sydney. Submission 43


I ask you to think carefully before allowing these people with dollar signs in their eyes to destroy the very fabric of the Public Housing system in this State. How many people will end up on the streets if this breaking down of the Public Housing systems is allowed to continue? Thisinsistence that elderly people need to live in high rise buildings with lifts is a fallacy. “Vertical Villages” did not work in the UK and will not work here either. Tenants will become isolated and scared.

Ms Marie Sillars, of the Ivanhoe Estate, Ryde.  Submission 37


….When we are forced out will be nothing so I please ask of you all to let the Govt know that it isn’t a good idea to destroy or maybe this Govt thinks of it as gentle genocide (not really destroying whole communities as has been done before in other countries but just removing us to where everthat may be.

Mrs Terry Tooker, Millers Point, Submission 28.


The Community here is so important, especially if you’re older and especially if you’re on your own. The community is what you’ve got. The thought of having to move form her …it’s terrifying. It really is.

“Jill” Millers Point. Submission 243


Millers Point has a proud working class history; this should not be sacrificed to the highest bidder.

Allana Walton, Millers Point.  Submission 243


I cannot imagine living anywhere else as this community has always been like an extended family. We were taught respect and to look out for and help each other.

Glenda Cox, Millers Point.  Submission 243


I have witnessed many changes in the area, but the one thing that has stayed solid is the closeness, support and friendliness of this unique community.

Wendy Ford. Millers Point.  Submission 243


Private home owners attract 6 times more public money than public housing gets through first home owner grants, negative hearing, capital gains tax exemptions and other tax concessions…. the way forward is massive investment in public housing.

Hands Off Glebe, Submission 51.


As a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966 the Australian Government is obliged ot respect, protect and fulfil the rightto adequate housing…. The right to adequate housing … is a right to live in peace, security and dignity.  … The Committee respectfully submits that the Government should be seeking to create a legally enforceable right to adequate housing.

Human Rights Committee,

The Law Society of NSW.  Submission 40.


The plan for those suburbs, and my premise however is that following rebuilding and reconstitution on state housing land blocks, some 70% of the rebuilt units will be sold or disposed of in the property market to private purchases or occupied by private renters in the private rental market (non-public housing tenants).  Only some 30% of current public housing premises will return as public housing dedicated premises under the guise of a new social mix.

Larry Billington, Redfern-Waterloo. Submission 166


As a resident in the west ryde/north ryde area, I am concerned for the wellbeing of the 500 people who would find themselves without accomodation if this plan is to go ahead. To kick these people out with the intent of making a profit from the new real estate is just plain wrong. Please do not allow this construction to go ahead.

Submission 185


We are very privleged to live in this country; a country where we have the ability and resources to help the poor and the needy. Let us use our advantages for all and not only for those who can “afford it.” 

Submission 194


And from “Precinct News”, July 2014:


“First they came in and refurbished the units, with new carpet and flyscreens. And then they started to install lifts and intercom for safety, and I thought, ‘wow!’ It was really terrific,” she says. “And then we hear that they’re going to demolish it. It was such a shock! I just thought ‘If it’s not broken, why fix it?’ They were in good condition.”

Barbara says residents and community groups tried everything to stop the demolition. “I was the last one to leave,” she says. “They wanted me to go to a new place in Lilyfield, but I didn’t want to leave Glebe, my friends and the community.Now it’s been a big hole in the ground for three years.”

Barbara Roberts-Simson was a resident of the former Cowper Street estate for 42 years before its demolition.




July Grapevine read it here


You heard it here!

July 2014

Mixed News in NSW Budget

by Jamie Parker MP

There is mixed news in the NSW Budget for the Glebe community.The good news is that our work to get more money for repairs and upgrades is paying off. The budget for upgrades (on top of repairs) has increased again for our area with $3.410 million being allocated this year.

The sad tale of the housing in Cowper Street continues. Despite allocating over $12 million this year for construction it is still not due for completion until 2017. The plans still include selling off a large section for private housing despite the urgent need for more social and affordable housing.

The Liberal Government is continuing the Labor policy of selling houses to meet budget shortfalls. In the same way we stopped the sale of Glebe Youth Service we need to oppose the selling of public housing, maintain homes properly and ensure tenants are respected and valued.



Barney Gardiner of Millers Pt explains issues to the Public Meeting organised by Hands off Glebe.

Glebe residents met with Millers Point residents to combat the latest attacks on public housing.

Homes considered to be slums in the last century are now a property developer’s dream and the NSW Government wants to sell, sell, sell.

The previous and current NSW Governments between them have notched up over 200 relocations from Glebe and 500 from Millers Point public housing properties.

These relocations are usually made with the threat of tenancies being terminated if the offers are not accepted.

Hands Off Glebe is speaking to politicians from all parties about the future of public housing in this suburb. When they come doorknocking, ask them:

Does your party support ‘social cleansing’ of the city?

What will your party do to retain public housing in the city?

Does your party support the sale of public housing in Glebe?

Will your party properly maintain public housing in Glebe?

Will your party retain Cowper Street for public housing?

Who is spreading fear in the community?

Many Glebe public housing tenants fear what is going to happen to them. As a result some become immobilized and stay silent. Hands off Glebe is telling tenants the truth and is trying to help the community find its voice in opposition to these cruel and unjust policies.  This is a time to fight back, not a time for fear and silence.


Spotless has the contract for maintenance of public housing. We hear many complaints that Spotless takes ages to get anything done and that the work is often substandard and requires many call backs to fix the mess.

In May Spotless was launched on the stock exchange and the private shareholders raked in almost $1 billion for half their shares. The CEO made a cool $23 million on the deal.

The new Minister for Family and Community Services, Gabrielle Upton, claims her department is spending an extra $1.5 million on upgrading works in Glebe, including a large re-roofing program.As far as we can see, the results have been hit and miss, with a surprising number of homes by-passed altogether.

We think a better approach would be to get rid of Spotless and set up a local maintenance team of electricians, plumbers, carpenters, roofers and builders, who can take on and train locals.

In the meantime, if you need work done on your home and don’t have a spare lifetime to spend trying to get through on the maintenance line, call the Team Leader at Housing NSW’s Strawberry Hills Office on 9268 3480, or send a letter to:
Housing NSW, Strawberry Hills Office
219 – 241 Cleveland Street, Redfern NSW 2016


Australia’s first women’s refuge, Elsie, was established in Glebe in 1974. Last week manager Tanya Smith learned the service was to be taken over by St Vincent de Paul.

Under the NSW Government’s Going Home Staying Home program, 336 individual services have been consolidated into 149 packages operated by 69 non-government organisations.

Under the changes, women-only services will no longer exist as they do today and women dealing with trauma and sexual abuse may be offered counselling participation in residential programs with men. For women who have experienced domestic violence, such options are unacceptable and will therefore not provide them with practical assistance.

‘‘We don’t actually know what will happen with the service until they make some kind of announcement about the direction they want to take,’’ Tanya Smith said. ‘‘We hope it would still be kept as Elsie and as a domestic violence service for women and children.’’

Write to the Minister for Family and Community Services, Gabrielle Upton, asking her to reconsider the Going Home Staying Home program because of the impact it will have on services offered by Elsie to vulnerable women and children in inner Sydney.

That Leak — What Next?

 that leak2


The leak behind Mitchell Street has been fixed.  This is the culmination of a 12 month campaign by Hands of Glebe. After a lot of buck passing between Housing NSW, Sydney Water and Sydney City Council, Housing NSW finally fixed their part of the problem. However, there is still storm water which is a Sydney City Council responsibility.

Hands off Glebe has asked Councillor Irene Doutney to get Council to replace the parking signs in the lane so it can be cleaned efficiently without parked cars getting in the way. We have also asked that the gutters be reconstructed to facilitate easy draining of any storm water overflows.




Raffle results

First prize          Joyce
Second prizes Glebe Grapevine Bags       Kate, Maurice

Hands off Glebe Inc thanks ESCA  for donating the raffle prize.

ESCA restaurant 333B Glebe Point Road Glebe NSW 2037

Garden notes

Mulberry trees fruit in September, We will be looking for good fruiting trees so we can make jam to raise funds for our work. Can anyone help us on this?


As always we provide free worm liquid fertilizer and castings to interested people around Glebe.  Contact us if you can use some of this material.