Protesters will try to prevent the auction of a Glebe public housing property at 6pm on Wednesday 10 March

“The planned sale of the home at 92 Cowper Street Glebe is the latest example of the NSW Government policy of getting rid of public housing by stealth,” said local resident Emily Vallentine.

“Its totally disgusting that the government is selling off public housing when there are about 50,000 people on the waiting list.

“We’ll be making lots of noise to try to stop the auction.”

“This 3 bedroom family house should have been refurbished and made available for a low income family,” she said.

“Instead of selling off public housing, the government should be building thousands of new public homes each year, providing many urgently needed jobs at the same time.

“Sydney is in the middle of a housing and homelessness crisis. But instead of addressing the causes and effects of this crisis, the government is making it worse by selling off public housing properties like this one,” Ms Valentine concluded.


Save Franklyn St

Berejiklian policies do nothing for homelessness

With 60,000 families, elderly, needy and all, on the waiting list, the Berejiklian Government announced today that it would bulldoze 112 dwellings of a sound, 30 year old complex in Glebe. They promise that the replacement housing – a 30% public, 70% private mix – will be a gain for all. However, this will not be so for those living in the generous, leafy, award winning complex as they are forced out of their homes into temporary accommodation away from their friends, family, doctor, schools, etc.

“As a resident of Franklyn/Glebe/Bay Streets complex, I know there will be a lot of distress caused to very vulnerable people by this cavalier approach to demolishing social housing.  In previous moves like this in Cowper Street, Glebe and Millers Point people have committed suicide, been hospitalised and the stress levels have risen remarkably.” said Ms Emily Bullock.

“Some tenants have lived in this complex since it was built. They know Glebe and love it,” she continued. “Housing NSW must accommodate these families, elderly and needy tenants for up to five years somewhere else, in existing Housing NSW homes, with a promise of return. But those temporary homes could be permanent homes for the people on the waiting list.“

The bulk of the new homes will go to private owners. By selling most of the property into private hands, the Berejiklian Government fails in its duty to care for the needy. Sydney does not need any more privately owned properties. NSW needs more public housing.

“We have been campaigning for the NSW Government to invest real money in social housing and we are not alone,” said Dr Hannah Middleton from the local community group Hands off Glebe Inc.

“The CFMEU and the Master Builders along with dozens of church and other advocates have been petitioning the NSW Government to invest in social housing to help solve unemployment and social disadvantage brought on by the Covid recession.

“Instead the Government is using trickery to pretend it is doing something about housing for the people when it is just handing over profits to developers. This is shameful behaviour!” Hannah Middleton said.

The Berejiklian Government’s policy does not deliver any real increase in investment in desperately needed public housing or any decrease in homelessness.

An open letter to the NSW Premier at the time of the Covid-19 Crisis

Dear all,

please download this letter and send off to the premier or make a version of your own to suit what you want to say.

from the Hands off Glebe Team

To: The Premier

The Hon Ms Gladys Berejiklian

GPO Box 5341



Dear Premier,

Must we burn off all our resources on exorbitant projects?

In view of the multiple crises which have befallen NSW since around September 2019, namely drought, bushfire, flooding and coronavirus (Covid-19), it is time to stop the reckless spending on infrastructure that does not help the ordinary people of NSW but assists the wealthy.  We speak of the massive roads and tunnels in different parts of Sydney, various sporting arenas and other “developments”.  As a basic premise anything that hasn’t started now must be halted and any attempt by private companies to exact penalties to be met with exclusion from further contracts by the NSW Government.  Projects that are nearing completion may proceed if they do not rob the people of NSW much needed resources for sustaining us in the crisis.

As residents of Glebe and the Inner West we point out that the Fish Market can be easily put on hold.  The Prince’s Trust project at the end of Cowper St which was always a ‘dog’s breakfast’ can be stopped completely as it harms social housing tenants, who are most in need of good housing for surviving the pandemic.  The huge flyover at the corner of Minogue Terrace can be dispensed with in relation to the Westconnex.  The Northern Suburbs tunnel opening at White Bay has barely started or hasn’t started and can be stopped.  The savings should be diverted to dealing with the pandemic.

First, our hospitals need extension with demountables as the Chinese have done in Hubei Province to make more beds available.  Health workers in all institutions will need some relief and support.  Every effort must be made to find more health workers and those with some knowledge of first aid to do the basic tests and to triage potential patients.  The list is great of what is needed in our health care system, but the State Government should not be distracted with huge projects that rob our people of needed resources for health and well-being.

The homeless, are less able to practice social distance, need emergency homes as organisations like Homelessness NSW has been calling for again, demountables and a thorough check of what public housing lies vacant could provide answers.

Our workers in State Departments must be sustained/maintained on a living wage to get them through the crisis and to pay bills for rent, food and other necessities.  The state must also devise ways to support those on casual and gig economy jobs to get through this crisis.

Given the task ahead it is important that the State resources are concentrated on providing assistance to NSW to get over the crisis brought on by Covid-19.

Yours sincerely




Name …………………………………………………………..

Address …………………………………………………………………..postcode …………………………..

Princes Trust Development Glebe – Media Release

Media release
21 November 2019

Prince’s Trust Plan for Glebe Rejected

With homelessness up 13% and the waiting list for public housing blown out to 60,000, Hands off Glebe Inc is appalled by an agreement between NSW Land and Housing Corporation and Prince’s Trust Australia to build 75 affordable, social and private homes over two blocks next to Wentworth Park in Glebe.

The present buildings are on public land and are neither old nor in complete disrepair.  They already house people and housed even more before the NSW Government gradually cleared them out.

NSW Property Minister Melinda Pavey said the agreement will deliver new housing for the most vulnerable. Apparently, the Prince’s Trust is going to evict vulnerable people from the buildings in order to help other vulnerable people.  The result will be less public housing units than at present.

Cutting public housing and alienating public land in the midst of a housing crisis is a serious breach of the NSW Government’s responsibilities.

The Berejiklian Government claims that the Australian arm of a charity founded by the Prince of Wales aims to create a mixed-income community. However, the area is already mixed as the proposed development is close to Westend, a new development where penthouses are selling for $2 million.

It is clear that mixed-income development is really a code word for gentrification of our suburb or social cleansing.

Hands off Glebe Inc demands that the whole site remains dedicated entirely to the public housing which is so urgently needed.



April 2019 Grapevine – Waterloo model

A better way for Waterloo

The Grapevine enthusiastically supports the Sydney City Council (SCC) alternative proposal for redevelopment of the Waterloo public housing estate. The Council model is a great improvement on the Cowper Street development.

The Government wants to triple the number of apartments on the site at a scale we have not seen before – from 2,012 to 6,800 in towers up to 40 storeys. On the adjoining metro site, they are proposing another 700 homes and towers of 25, 27 and 29 storeys.

The Council plan is for 50% public housing, 20% affordable and 30% private. This compares with the Government’s pitiful proposal of 35% social and affordable housing.

The SCC proposal ensures residents will have access to a community centre and a 2.2 hectare park, drenched in sunshine for most of the day, every day. The park would be surrounded by shops and cafes, the metro station and streets.

The Waterloo Housing Estate is on public land and Sydney Council is demanding that the land be used for public good and that the State retains public ownership of the land rather than selling it off to the highest bidder.

Council is also calling for planning authority of the site to be returned to the City, allowing consultation with residents to ensure any redevelopment responds to community needs.

More details at:


April 2019 Grapevine – Is Glebe Pt Rd dying?

A Renewed Focus on Glebe Point Road

Is Glebe Point Road slowly dying? – Walk its length and you will see over 15% of all shops are closed. The impact of Broadway Shopping Centre, Tramsheds, and the yet to open relocated Fish Markets will only accelerate this demise without community focus and action.

Glebe has been recognised for its vibrant and diverse culture. Without a buzzing and healthy Glebe Point Road, we are at risk of losing the heart and vitality within our community.

There doesn’t seem to be enough currently being done to address this downward trend. The annual Glebe Street Fair has vanished. Excellent positive initiatives such as the recent Vegan Day Out in Glebe are few and far between.

Glebe has a wonderful diversity of residents with incredible skill sets. We are all busy juggling our lives, but if you have ideas and skills that could contribute to driving our community and Glebe Point Road forwards, perhaps it’s time to step up and do something about it.

If you have ideas, get in touch with us.  Lets come together to create something exciting.

Glebe Development a disgrace wrapped in lies and greed 14 June 2015


The Minister for Social Housing’s announcement that half the public land at Cowper Street, Glebe will be sold to private developers is a disgrace. It will do nothing to help solve Sydney’s housing crisis but will steal land belonging to the people and give it to the wealthy.


“The Baird Government should use some of the billions it is raking in from stamp duty and land tax to start a major public housing building program to meet the needs of the 60,000 on the waiting list and the many homeless in our city,” Denis Doherty from Hands off Glebe Inc said in Glebe this morning.

Over the past decade Labor and Liberal governments in NSW have privatised 7,000 public housing properties. The O’Farrell Government cut $37 million from the housing budget in 2013.


“The truth is that the Baird Government wants to get rid of its responsibility for housing its citizens altogether. It is selling public assets on a massive scale, offloading $1 billion worth of property in the past two years alone.


“This is short-term interest being pursued against long-term interest of the people,” Mr Doherty said.


“The Minister should be ashamed of this development. Close to Cowper Street is the Wentworth Park Aqueduct where under each arch four to six people sleep rough each night.  The Government had a chance to build another ‘Common Ground’ establishment on land it owned in a key area yet they passed it up for a quick and shameful profit.


“The Inner City needs affordable homes for essential workers such as nurses, teachers, police and ferry workers yet only a small portion of the development will provide this. Cowper Street is close to three universities and student accommodation is also desperately needed yet there is no provision for this need.




“The Minister is repeating the lies of Housing NSW when they destroyed a thriving community of almost 300 people four years ago. The homes may not have been architectural marvels, but the claim that they had to be demolished because they were ‘old’ is a lie. Some of the 16 low rise buildings had just been renovated including a $4 million for lifts.


“The suggestion that the development will provide ‘mix’ is another lie. Private and public housing will be physically separated by a busy road and his barrier will not be crossed.

“The claim of community consultation is another lie. There is no evidence that the community supports the Cowper Street development.


“Hands off Glebe is a local community group formed to defend public housing which has been campaigning for years to save Cowper Street public housing.


“We have organised postcard and letter writing campaigns, protest rallies at the site and outside Parliament House and much more.


“Recently the Minister cancelled an appointment to see a delegation from Hands off Glebe, saying he would be too busy for a long time to see us.


“It is criminal to privatise the dwindling stock of public housing and public land when there is a housing affordability crisis. A home is a human right, not just another way for the rich to make even more money,” Mr Doherty concluded.


For more information

Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

For Hands off Glebe


visit our website:

or our facebook HandsoffGlebe


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.