Baird’s Privatisation of Public Housing labelled a disgrace! jan 24 2016

Baird’s Privatisation of Public Housing labelled a disgrace!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The ten year framework on public housing released today is a recipe for more disadvantage and more unaffordability in the housing market.  The Hands off Glebe group a public housing advocate group situated in the suburb of Glebe but with links to many other groups across NSW condemns the outright theft of public property to aid the developer, the construction companies and NOT the people who need a home.

“Covered by smooth words and a few tidbits of genuine progressive ideas is the bare faced theft  of the property of the people and bestowed on the rich, a move taken straight from the neo liberal manual of less government and socialism for the wealthy.”  Said Denis Doherty of the Hands off Glebe group.

“The private sector cannot solve the housing crisis neither can ‘Housing providers’, the framework is a con designed to obscure theft and leave unaffordability a more entrenched problem for the years to come.

“Framework contains phrases such as ‘community housing providers would do a great job’, long on wishful thinking and low on reality.  It is obvious that ‘community housing providers’ have to run on a profit to enable them to grow and maintain the maintenance costs.  Like private hospitals, difficult clients and the most expensive are left to the public sector to fix while the best or most able to pay rent are taken by the private sector.

“$2 million on childcare is ‘chicken feed’ compared to the support services needed.  $2 million would only build one or two childcare centres.  The TAFE system has been run down so comprehensively by this Government yet it is expected to give damaged people the ability to lift themselves up by the bootlaces.  Wishful thinking at best and at worst according the well-worn practice of past housing ministers in this liberal NSW Government weasel words.  Shameful!

“‘Mix’ is another weasel word which in reality means nothing.  Wherever private housing is next to social housing, the private owners team up to build a fence to make the separation real between them and those in social housing.

“Old stock contains some of the most important heritage cottages and architectural icons of the past century and the bulldozing of them will not please anyone let alone those among the population who value our urban heritage.

“The stock is in a shocking state we agree but we add that is because past State and Federal Governments have allowed the stock to deteriorate, the auditor General said two years ago that the present Government was $300 million behind in its maintenance tasks.  Despite earning nearly $1 billion a month during the housing boom the Baird Government cynically refused to invest in public housing and maintenance.  Instead they spent it or are spending it on ‘white elephants’ such as the ‘Westconnex’.

We call on the Baird Government to think again about public housing and its objectionable ‘ten year framework’ which will usher in an even more disadvantaged underclass in this state than we have at present!

We call on the Baird Government to first of all set about housing those on the waiting list, the homeless, and to invest in maintenance of the present stock of social housing.  When this is nearing completion it will be time to think of a fair and just ten year scheme for public housing.

A British commentator speaking of the housing crisis in the UK made a comment that can equally be applied here:  “We are in a housing crisis that extends from the homeless on the street well into the middle class.  We have couples deciding not to have children because they do not have the space to house them.  We have people paying extortionate rents,  Yet ministers just sit there like gouty old men in the 19th hole.

Nick Cohen Spectator.  (UK)

For more information:  contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663 or Julie Brackenreg 0401 516 482

Visit our website:

Or our Facebook page:  hands off glebe

Get your submissions in on Cowper/Elger Sts Jan 2016

ggalert January 2016

click on this link to get a pdf of our submission aid for Social Housing at Cowper/Elger Sts Glebe.

Urgent Urgent send off to the council by Jan 15 2016

Here is the text of our emergency alert

Glebe Grapevine Alert





The NSW Government has lodged a development application for a new high rise public housing development in Elger and Bay Streets to coincide with the holiday break.

Over 110 mostly one bedroom units will tower up to 9 storeys against 19th Century dwellings along the rear of Queen Street, Glebe with another 48 in Elger Street, showing little concern for existing residents and future tenants.

The apartments will be little more than cells for the many aged and disabled residents expected to live there.

There will be no parking for residents, their carers, service providers or visitors. The City of Sydney’s new “scratchies” visitor parking permits will further isolate residents.


Most of the bedrooms in this development will have no direct light. Those with windows will look south into the flats and backyards of houses along Queen Street. Most units will have no sunlight, even in their living areas.

Units fronting Bay Street will be subject to noise levels in their rooms equal to a vacuum cleaner operating, even with windows closed. These noise levels are known to cause serious ill health and breach the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy for residential development adjoining busy roads.

Traffic will be allowed to flow from Bay Street into the development and then on to the rest of the Glebe Estate, nullifying the traffic plan devised for the Broadway development and endangering young and older residents particularly.

The proportion of two bedroom to one bedroom units is very small. The lack of family units means that families with school aged children that used to live on this site will be absent.

The bathrooms are exceptionally small and are not suited for the elderly, especially those who may need Community Care help to shower.

The kitchens are really kitchenettes and it is not clear how much storage space will be accessible to elderly residents. The lack of any living space that is screened from the kitchen area is also a problem.

There do not appear to be any laundries or any open drying areas around the buildings. There is no provision for each unit to have their own washing machine – the bathrooms and kitchens are too small. Communal laundries are a common cause of conflict among residents.


The total lack of car spaces is scandalous. There needs to be far more space for visitors parking – health and community care workers need immediate access. There should be provision for underground parking, Council would not approve any other development of this size without this provision.

The State government and the City of Sydney (which has promoted this development from the start) have demonstrated once again their contempt for the existing and future residents.

Perfectly sound and suitable public housing was demolished to be replaced by cramped sunless boxes. There is very little open space.

And that’s just the start. Private developers will add many more high rise units on the land sold off. It’s just another example of dollars before people.


The sale will do nothing to address the housing shortage in Sydney. The NSW Government has privatised over 50 per cent of the Cowper/Elger Street site by selling to a Singaporean developer, Roxy Pacific.

Most units are expected to be sold to overseas investors and are likely to lead to an increase in short-term leasing.

This certainly won’t create a sense of community within the area.

All of the site was formerly occupied by public housing.

The new public housing is to be crammed into about one quarter of the site (see above).



If you feel as we do about this new blot on the Glebe landscape, sign the objection below and post it to the City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney 2001.

Your objection should be lodged by 15 January. If you are late, lodge it anyway. Please feel free to add you own comments.


I/We, the undersigned, object to the new development (D/2015/1794) at Elger Street, Glebe. We agree with the view attached to this objection (see above) and would like to add: