Glebe Grapevine May 2017 – survey on Fish Market

GG May 2017

May 2017

What to you want to happen
at the Bays Precinct?

A crowded community meeting on May 3 decided to develop a Community Master Plan for the Bays Market District which covers the Sydney Fish Market, land under the ANZAC Bridge along Bank Street Pyrmont, the first stage of a Bays Waterfront Promenade along Bank Street, and connections to Wentworth Park (see map on page 4).

Please complete the community survey on pages 2 and 3 and return it by Friday 16 June.

The results will be collated and a draft Community Master Plan prepared.

Copies will be available at Jamie Parker’s office  at 112a Glebe Point Road from Monday June 26

Our Community Master Plan will be finalised at a public meeting on Wednesday 12 July at 6pm at the Glebe Youth Service, 84 Glebe Point Road.

 

  COMMUNITY SURVEY

UrbanGrowth NSW, the government’s development agency, wants to redevelop the ‘Bays Market District’, which includes the Sydney Fish Market, land under the ANZAC Bridge along Bank Street in Pyrmont, connections to Wentworth Park and future water uses in Blackwattle Bay. (see map on page 4).

Tell us what you think:

  1. Which of these possible impacts of the new ‘Market District’ are you most concerned about? Circle up to 3.

Cutting down some of the trees that line Wentworth Park

Losing some green space in Wentworth Park

Wentworth Park being shaded by high rise on four sides

Increased risk of pollution into Blackwattle Bay

Problems parking/entering the water/foreshore and other amenities

Threat of fish markets noise/smell entering the school

Traffic and parking / lack of public transport

Other ……………………………………………………….

  1. Would you agree to high rise buildings (retail space below, private units above) on the old fish market site?

Yes / No

Other: ……………………………………………………….

  1. If high rise housing is built at the old Fish Market site, what percentage of affordable and social housing would you like to see included?

[UrbanGrowth wants to build private high rise apartments on the old Fish Market site and had said it will include 5% ‘affordable’ housing. They have no commitment to public housing]

5%              affordable housing                              Yes / No

20%            affordable housing                              Yes / No

5% public housing                                   Yes / No

20% public housing                                Yes / No

Other: (free text)

 

  1. Where would you prefer to see the fish markets moved from its current location?

To the old Bay Power Station (located on Rozelle’s foreshore)

Towards the school (current location of Hanson cement)

Towards the old Glebe Island Bridge

Somewhere else ……………………………………………………………

  1. What do you think should be done with the Hanson cement site?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  1. What do you think about the idea of having a pedestrian bridge connecting Wentworth Park to the foreshore?

[UrbanGrowth talks about ‘connecting Wentworth Park with the new Bays Market District’. A pedestrian bridge over Bridge Road connecting the foreshore to Wentworth Park is one idea.]

I can live with it if it means the park is kept whole

No – don’t close any street near the market

Other ………………………………………………………………

  1. How would you like to see the location of the current Fish Markets and the area along Wentworth Park foreshore developed?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

8           Do you use Wentworth Park now? If so, how much and what for?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Your details

Postcode …………………………………

Optional

Name ………………………………………

Email ……………………………………….

 

 

Tell us what you want

Please fill out the survey on pages 2 and 3 and/or reply on extra pages and return them by Friday June 16.

You can post them to

Jamie Parker MP, 112A Glebe Point Road, Glebe 2037

Hands off Glebe, Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037

You can drop them off at:

Jamie Parker’s office, 112a Glebe Pt Rd

IGA (near Commonwealth Bank) Glebe Point Road

Friendly Grocer (near Wigram Rd) Glebe Point Road

The Little Bottle Shop, cnr Forsyth Street and Glebe Point Road

Have a Chat Cafe, The Old Fire Station, 113 Mitchell Street

 

March 2017 Glebe Grapevine Issue

PUBLIC MEETING

Are you concerned about how the
Bays Precinct development
will affect us in Glebe?

 

Come to a discussion of the issues on

Wednesday May 3

6-8pm

Glebe Youth Service
184 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Our local MP Jamie Parker will open proceedings with an overview, focusing on the Fish Market, Wentworth Park
and public housing

Then participants will have plenty of time for questions
and to present their own ideas

Organised by Hands off Glebe                                                                                                 Entry by donation

The Bays Market District

Did you know that UrbanGrowth NSW has called for urban designers to submit a master plan for the so-called Bays Market District which covers the Sydney Fish Market, land under the ANZAC Bridge along Bank Street Pyrmont, the first stage of a Bays Waterfront Promenade along Bank Street, connections to Went-worth Park and future water uses in Blackwattle Bay.

UrbanGrowth is a NSW Government State Owned Corporation which focusses on “large-scale urban transformation projects” – a developers’ paradise.

Fish Market:  The lease for the concrete plant on Bridge Road ends this year and apparently the Fish Market is to be redeveloped at this site.

There do not appear to be plans for public transport so presumably there will be a large area needed for parking.

With this, the introduction of fresh food sales as well as fish and the need for new wharves, will the new development be multistory? How much of the bay will it need to use for all these facilities?

It is worrying that all the noise and attractions of cafes and so forth will then be right next to the school.

Why not develop a city beach or some other community friendly use?

The old site will be redeveloped for housing but UrbanGrowth does not appear to have any policy on providing public and affordable housing.

Wentworth Park:  The future of our park is not clear. UrbanGrowth talks about “connecting Wentworth Park with the new Bays Market District” and “creating lovely connections from green open space to the new fresh food
marketplace”.

Given that Bridge Road will become even more crowded, does this mean overhead walkways? And if so, how many trees and how much green open space will we lose?

And what will happen to the homeless under the viaduct?

UrbanGrowth says they “could retain the land in public ownership” which means they are also considering privatisation, something we would need to fight so we can keep our park in public hands. Wentworth Park should stay as public land and be managed by the Sydney City Council.

Come to our public meeting on May 3 to discuss all these issues—see page 1 for details

Homes for Older Women

Older women should not be homeless in Australia. They deserve a better deal, one that recognises their contribution and respects their dignity.

It is not acceptable that there is no NSW Government priority to address the housing needs of older women, despite increasing evidence that the numbers who are homeless are growing.

Older women often are too poor to pay a mortgage, to pay market rents or even to find housing that works well for them – one bedroom accessible units close to transport and community facilities.

We want initiatives to help older women to be able to live in homes that are safe, secure and affordable. These include funding for the development of
affordable housing projects for older women and securing the financial
independence of older women.

For more information go to Homelessness NSW at admin@homelessnessnsw.org.au

———————————————————————————-

You can help make Sydney more affordable

The Greater Sydney Commission’s draft plans for Sydney will affect land use and development plans over the next four decades – particularly the chances for public and affordable housing.

We urge you to make a submission now, no matter how brief, at: www.greater.sydney/have-your-say.  Responses close 31 March.

If you want help, go to www.shelternsw.org.au

———————————————————————————-

Please Help

The Glebe Grapevine is the ONLY voice in Glebe consistently speaking out for public housing and against overdevelopment by wealthy, rapacious
developers and local and state government officials who seem to be held in their sway.

The Grapevine needs YOUR HELP to continue to stand against the greed of those who seek to change our suburb for THEIR OWN BENEFIT.

DONATIONS to enable us to keep printing can be sent to P.O. Box 145 Glebe 2037 or direct credit to BSB 659 000, Account no.755116, Account name: HANDS OFF GLEBE- GRAPEVINE

Help us tell these people: HANDS OFF GLEBE

 

Helps us tell these people:  HANDS OFF GLEBE!

 

 

 

WATCH OUT FOR THE IPART RENT REVIEW

The NSW Government has asked the Independent Pricing and Regulatory
Tribunal (IPART) to review  social and affordable housing rent s.

This review is part of the government’s Future Directions policy which stresses the need for public housing tenants to transition to the private rental market, what the government calls “housing independence”. IPART’s review is intended to find changes to rent setting and eligibility criteria for social housing to achieve these objectives.

It is a matter of real concern that IPART will examine models that allow variation according to housing affordability, different social housing tenant households and locational factors. “Locational factors” is code for where people live.

IPART will publish a draft report in March 2017, which will set out draft recommendations and invite comments. Public housing advocates need to be ready to comment on this draft report.

IPART says it will consider the comments before its final report in June 2017.

Are we “elegant” enough for Glebe?

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Domain section on 4 March proclaimed that a new “elegance” is coming to Glebe.

Who are these elegant people? According to Roxy (the developer) and the Domain, they are anyone who can afford to buy an apartment for $730,000 to $2.83 million on the former public housing estate bordered by Wentworth, Cowper and Queen Streets.

The development was called the ‘Glebe Affordable Housing Project’. All the public housing was bulldozed to make way for 25% public, 25% affordable and 50% private housing

The project was begun by an ALP government and has been continued by the O’Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian Liberal Governments.

The location is not far from the tents of the homeless who live in Wentworth Park.  The State Government is not interested in homelessness or housing affordability. Government housing policy is to look concerned about unaffordability and then to fan the housing market.

For a longer article on this issue see the website

 

 

 

March 2017

 

 

 

GG March 2017 corrected

FEDERAL ELECTION 2016 – EXTENDED COMMENTS ON HOUSING

JULY 2 2016 FEDERAL ELECTION

CANDIDATES FOR SEAT OF SYDNEY

 

FALANGA Ula                      Christian Democrats

BERRIMAN Mark                 Animal Justice

SPIKE Chris                         Sustainable Australia Party

WINTERS Geoffrey             Liberals

GEISER Tom                        Science Party

ELLSMORE Sylvie              Greens

BOYLE Peter                        Socialist Alliance

PLIBERSEK Tanya             Labor

LANNING Rebecca             Sex Party

TZORAS Tula                       Online Direct Democracy Party

____________________________________________________________

 

The following candidates were contacted and sent replies which are published in full below

 

WINTERS Geoffrey             Liberals

ELLSMORE Sylvie              Greens

BOYLE Peter                        Socialist Alliance

TZORAS Tula                       Online Direct Democracy Party

 

____________________________________________________________

 

The following candidates were contacted but did not reply

 

FALANGA Ula                      Christian Democrats

PLIBERSEK Tanya             Labor

 

____________________________________________________________

 

The following candidates had not nominated when the Glebe Grapevine sent out the questionnaire and were therefore not invited to respond to the questionnaire

 

BERRIMAN Mark                 Animal Justice

SPIKE Chris                         Sustainable Australia Party

GEISER Tom                        Science Party

LANNING Rebecca             Sex Party


 

Responses

Sylvie Ellsmore    Greens

The 16 year waiting list for public housing in NSW has been caused by under-investment by successive State and Territory Governments, who have not only failed to build sufficient new housing, but failed to maintain existing housing stock, creating a false sense of crisis and is being used as an argument that public housing is too expensive to maintain, and needs to be selectively sold off.

The Greens strongly support greater funding for public housing. Specifically, the Greens will reform negative gearing and removing capital gains tax discounts, and redirect the $6.8 billion estimated cost pa to increasing public housing and homeless services. It is possible to redirect this funding to provide housing for everyone on the public housing waiting list by 2030 – the Greens have costed plans available at http://greens.org.au/

The Glebe Estate has been a vital part of Glebe for generations, and must be protected. The Greens are proud to stand with residents in their campaign to protect against attempts to run down or sell public housing in Glebe. As someone who grew up in Glebe and whose family still lives here, I know first hand the valuable contribution that estate has made to making Glebe a strong community.

  1. It is a national disgrace that in Australia, as one of the richest nations in the world, 105,000 Australians don’t have a place to call home, and that more than a quarter are children under 18. Seventy percent of young people who end up homeless are fleeing domestic violence or family breakdown.

With most crisis refuges reliant on Federal funding, and only 6% of people seeking long term accommodation being housed, a key action to address homelessness is to significantly restore and expand Federal
funding for refuges, including specialist refuges to tailor for key groups at risk at homelessness including woman, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and young people. At the State level the Greens strongly opposed reforms which saw specialist women’s refugees become general services.

In addition to those noted above, federally the Greens housing proposals include:

– Doubling the federal funding for Specialist Homelessness Services under the original National Affordable Housing Agreement (and index the funding by 7%), at a cost of $507 million pa;
– Signing a new ten year National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and double funding under the original agreement, at a cost of $320 million pa; and
-Reversing the cuts to the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which helps people on low incomes afford the extremely high rents in Sydney.

Obviously homelessness is a complex issue, and addressing homelessness also requires ensuring there are other adequate, publicly accessible social services for the inner city.

Also, for those living in housing stress who are at risk of homeless, most of whom are in the private rental market, the Greens support national standards to increase rights for renters, including protection for security of tenure, an end to no fault tenancy terminations and the generally capping of annual rent increases to CPI.

  1. As our city grows, it is important that new housing is built close to transport – which includes increased densities in the inner city. However, this must be sustainable, meaning that new development must be accompanied by infrastructure including new green spaces, child care centres, schools, public transport and other strategies to reduce car dependence.

Crucially, residents must have a genuine say about development in their local area. As a former Marrickville Councillor I was proud to both work to ensuring that new builds included genuine affordable housing where possible, and to stand with residents in campaigns against proposed over-development in the innerwest. Too often exceptions and concessions are given to large developers, with minimal requirements to give back to the community. In Glebe, the Greens were proud to stand with in their community campaign residents to win concessions at Harold Park, but we still have far to go to ensure our laws are guided by community needs and not developer greed.

The lack of ability for local Councils to enforce genuine affordable housing targets in new developments is out of step with other global cities like New York and London, and is helping drive housing unaffordability in Sydney. The Greens support a 30%-50% housing affordability target for large urban growth projects.

  1. I support a vacant property tax. Recent research shows inner city vacancies of rental properties is very high in inner Sydney – up to 14%. Despite a very tight housing market, tax incentives encourage some landlords to leave properties vacant. This must change. As part of our housing policies, the Greens have released a “convert to rent package” which includes incentives for landlords to convert vacant properties to low cost rental.

For more details about the Greens policies please see: http://greens.org.au/ or contact the campaign at sydney@nsw.greens.org.au
PETER BOYLE – SOCIALIST ALLIANCE

  1.      Do you support greater Federal funding for public housing?

 

Yes. The federal government needs to take major responsibility for infrastructure in all major cities because that is where most people live and it has the power to raise revenue though progressive income taxation.

 

Federal and state governments have been neglecting public infrastructure for decades because they believed that cutting social spending and increasing corporate handouts would be “good for the economy”. It didn’t work. The rich just got richer while our public services and infrastructure — including public housing stock — were run down and distorted.

 

Now, we have to catch up for these lost decades of privation.

 

A major federal investment in public housing is a key infrastructure need.

 

Sydney’s “housing market” might be producing big profits for developers, real estate agents and speculators, but it is failing to deliver affordable and quality housing.

 

More and more people – especially people with young families – are finding it impossible to afford to rent, let alone buy.

 

At least two generations have been denied the dream of owning their own home, while others have become debt slaves to try to pay off ridiculous mortgages.

 

Less than 1% of rental properties are affordable for low-income families in Sydney and the Illawarra, according to a study by Anglicare Sydney.

 

And the state of the lower-price rental housing on the market is shocking. They are total dumps!

 

There were nearly 60,000 on the waiting list for public housing last year in NSW. The Baird Coalition government has only promised to build 9000 new public housing dwellings over the next 25 years while continuing to sell off existing public housing stock.

 

This is a social disaster that the federal government needs to address.

 

We need to make housing a social right. We could build quality, ecologically sustainable and affordable housing at a fraction of the price that “the market” is demanding.

 

This is also part of the urgently needed infrastructure investment in addressing the climate change emergency.

 

  1.      How would you resolve homelessness in Glebe?

 

The preconditions for addressing homelessness in Glebe – and anywhere else – are: a. More affordable housing; b. More appropriate housing, addressing the special needs of many of the people who are currently homeless; and c. More appropriate social services, including mental health services, which are all currently facing cuts.

 

Once again, federal funding is needed to address these needs for the reasons I cited above.

 

  1.      What is your view on inner city housing density?

 

There is a social and environmental need to have more medium density housing in Sydney. However, under the current rules and regulations, big developers are having a field day and residents and communities are severely disempowered.

 

Driven by sheer greed, developers are trying to squeeze in as much high-rise housing and commercial buildings into inner city along key transport corridors.

 

Mirvac’s high-rise plans for the Pyrmont Shopping Centre re-development and the Central to Eveleigh precinct are examples of this. Another example is Deicorp’s plans for the historic Redfern Block. And who knows what other horrors are planned with the Waterloo public housing redevelopment?

 

The community is never told the full story, and what we are told often comes far too late for effective community response.

 

The rules and regulations favour the big developers and often the community has no real say at all.

 

As a general rule I favour a five-storey limit on all suburban, including inner-Sydney suburban, housing developments. This would cater to social well-being as well as the community’s need to preserve heritage and historical significance.

 

Relatively high housing densities have been reached in cities like Barcelona, with similar restrictions on high-rise building.

 

  1.      Do you agree with a vacant property tax?

 

Yes, a vacant property tax would play a useful role in reducing the high rate of vacant housing in Sydney.

 

According to a recent media report, 90,000 properties are left vacant across greater Sydney, with the vacancy rate as high as one in seven in some parts of the Sydney electorate.

 

This adds to housing shortages and lifts rents. Basically, speculators are “parking” money in vacant buildings and just waiting to rake in capital gains in a skyrocketing property market.

 

 

Biography for Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney

 

I have lived in Sydney’s inner-west for 25 years and have raised two daughters in the area.

 

I have had a long involvement with the Aboriginal rights’ movement, especially in the campaign against deaths in custody and the struggle for land rights.

 

I have also been involved in protests to save public housing in Glebe, Millers Point and in Redfern.

 

I was one of the founding national convenors of the Socialist Alliance and I now co-convene the Sydney Central branch of the Socialist Alliance. I write regularly for the newspaper Green Left Weekly.

Tula Tzoras — Online Direct Democracy

  1. I personally support greater funding for public housing and we offer voters the opportunity to vote online taking the majority vote straight to Parliament.
  2. My view is that no one need be homeless in Australia. The Federal Government should make all property available and cap rental costs. People should not pay more than 30% of their income in rent. I have suffered having to move countless times due to no fault of my own. Housing is vital to one’s safety and wellbeing.
  3. The Sydney electorate is a densely populated area, with Westconnex weather, we can however control our waste and emissions by choosing public transport instead of cars, doing everything we can to keep the air we breathe as clean as possible.
  4. My own opinion is that vacant property should be put to use by housing the homeless. Otherwise yes I do support a vacant property tax. Of course my own views don’t matter as I represent the people.

 

Geoffrey Winters    Liberal Party

The coalition recognizes the shortage of housing in Australia is a serious social issue and the impact it is having, particularly on families and lower income earners.

The Turnbull Government is committed to a strong new economy, with a focus on creating jobs for all Australians.  Having a strong economy will ensure all Australians who can work, can gain employment.

The Turnbull Government provides a strong and targeted safety net to support Australians who are not working, spending $158.6 billion in 2016-17 (35per cent of the total government Budget).  Our safety net provides income support, rent assistance, rent assistance, and employment service support to try and help people back into work as soon as possible.

Labor cut funding for homelessness in their last budget, failing to make any provision for National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness after 30 June 2014.

The Turnbull Government has not only restored this funding, we have extended funding for the NPAH providing $115 million a year to State and Territories for a further two years.

Housing density and property taxes are matters that are responsibility of the state and territory governments.

 

March 2016 Grapevine

 

March 2016

click here for the pdf

GG March 2016

 

Action for Public Housing

 

A new organisation called Action for Public Housing was formed at a meeting in Sydney on Sunday 6 March.

With support from Glebe, Surry Hills, Waterloo, Miller’s Point, Manly, Maroubra, Illawarra, Marsfield, Coogee, and Botany, the meeting agreed there is an urgent need for a group to link all public housing tenants for a unified and strong voice against the proposal to sell public housing estates for private development.

The reality that average Australians — working, unemployed, students, aged, frail and disabled — will not be able to afford to live within 50 kms of Sydney is discrimination. Most have worked until retirement and are contributing as valuable members of the community.

Government has a duty to provide housing for those who cannot and should not have to pay exorbitant private rents, which are more than average Australians can afford. Soon only the extremely wealthy will be able to live in Sydney City and its surrounding suburbs.

It was a robust meeting, with time given to all to have a say. A Charter (email us for a copy—see contact details below) was adopted and the next meeting will plan actions.

Loud Fences in Glebe

Glebe’s Bidura House and Royleston stir up strong feelings.  Decades have passed since they ceased operating as homes for children taken into care by the State, but the hurt continues.

On 12 March, people gathered on the footpath outside Bidura. They tied dozens of bright ribbons on its front fence and signs declaring ‘No More Silence.’ The same was done at Royleston.

This was the Sydney launch of a campaign across cities from Rome to Ballarat, the Loud Fence Campaign in memory of victims and in support of survivors of childhood abuse in institutional care.

Sadly, just two days later, neighbours of Bidura woke to find the signs and ribbons cut down and strewn over the footpath.

Witnesses had seen a man harassing two women at the launch event. Was this his doing? Concerned residents phoned the security firm that patrols Bidura, but were told the firm’s job is to secure the buildings, not the fence.

Family and Community Services lease Bidura House. A spokesperson says they have no means of keeping watch after hours.

You could have heard a pin drop.

 

Glebe Residents Recognised

John Dengate, one of Australia’s most important folk singers, longtime Glebe resident, has been recognised posthumously by having a street named after him — Dengate Crescent in the suburb of Moncrieff, ACT.**

Gay Maley, Glebe resident and member of the Hands off Glebe committee is one of the greats of 1978 – the people who withstood massive police brutality at the first Mardi Gras in Sydney. We thank those brave people who withstood massive pressure to teach us a crucial lesson in tolerance.

 

Future Directions

NSW Government War on Public Housing

The NSW Government has announced a new policy on public housing called Future Directions. It is a ten year plan to privatise public property and public land and to allow the government to get rid of its responsibilities for public housing.

It is theft of public property to benefit developers and construction companies which will destroy communities and forcibly relocate public housing tenants.

Under Future Directions public housing estates will be bulldozed and handed over to private developers to rebuild with 70% private tenants and homeowners and 30% social housing tenants.

However the government says it will “aim for a 70:30 ratio of private to social housing”. So housing estates may be bulldozed and rebuilt by a private developer with no public housing at all.

And with only 30% public housing where it was 100% before, how can the government claim it will provide more public housing?

The government will start the process of getting rid of its responsibility to provide public housing by transferring 35% of public housing to community housing providers.

The Baird Government intends to increase private rental subsidies by 60% by 2025. This is intended to undermine public housing by pushing tenants into the insecure and extremely expensive private rental market – which many can’t afford even with a subsidy.

Future Directions introduces a bond of up to $1,400 for new public housing tenants. This can be paid over 3 years but where can most public housing tenants get this kind of money? The proposal will just increase the barriers faced by most disadvantaged families in our community.

 

 

Time for Unity

The Glebe Grapevine and Hands off Glebe Inc work to represent the interests of all of Glebe — not one end or the other but the whole of our suburb.

Glebe is under attack from greed and overdevelopment and the threat comes from the same enemy regardless of whether you live on the Glebe Estate or down at the point.

The beautiful heritage building Bidura was sold for $33 million to a private developer. The Glebe Grapevine objected to the sale and later ran a postcard campaign protesting against the planned overdevelopment overshadowing Bidura and wringing every conceivable dollar out of this precious site to the detriment of its beauty, heritage values, the nearby residents and the district.

Meanwhile, at the other end of Glebe, at Cowper Street public housing was destroyed and public land sold off. Public housing to be built on a small part of the site is largely inappropriate for elderly people who are destined to live in the tower blocks.

Cowper Street is just round the corner from a large number of people sleeping rough. Homelessness is growing yet the Baird Government is hell bent on privatising public housing. This is amazing callousness.

What unites these two issues?

The dominant theme here is that developers matter but residents do not. Money matters but humanity does not.

It is called greed, looking after the Government’s developer mates. It is called neo-liberalism — government hand outs for the wealthy and user pays for everyone else. This monster has a name and its name is Baird and his Liberal Government.

Since there is unity in the attack, our resistance should be united.

Glebe should continue to be for people from all walks of life and not just a few who happen to have huge disposable assets.

Let’s campaign together — owner occupiers, private housing tenants and public housing tenants united.

**

DENGATE CRESCENT, MONCRIEFF, ACT

GUNGAHLIN DISTRICT

The theme for Moncrieff is musicians and those associated with the field of music.

This Determination from Placenames, ACT Govt notifies of the following road names:

Dengate Crescent

Dulcie Holland Crescent

Jimmy Little Street

Schneider Lane

The selected names represent musicians and/or singers who have made a notable contribution to Australia in their respective fields of music.

John Dengate  1938-2013. Traditional folksinger and writer.

Resident of Glebe 1964-2013

For over sixty years, John  Dengate wrote songs and poetry about life in Australia . His performances reflected his deep interest in history, his humanity, his sense of humour and his irreverence. Most of these dealt with the political situation of the day and used the Australian idiom . Many used irony or were in satirical vein. John also wrote songs of deep compassion about his family and everyday Australians who battle through life.  He was best known for the performance of his songs of political comment at Folk Festival or playing traditional Australian tunes around the streets of Sydney. Because of the vast number of songs recorded  for the National Library archives and his contribution to Australian traditional music, John was called a ‘’national treasure’ when being introduced at folk festivals around Australia and even at Old Parliament House, in Canberra.

His books: My Shout and My Shout Again and John Shouts All the Way, sold out and have become collector’s items. His early songs, which were included on recordings with the Bush Music Club and Rebel Chorus and The Follies of Pollies; songs About the Australian Way of Strife and a two volume CD  John Dengate: Australian Son have long sold out, but recently a two volume CD  ‘Light Another Fire’  has been made.

This CD is dedicated to Henry Lawson and John Dengate, by Chloe and Jason Roweth. It  is available for purchase / download online from the Roweth’s website www.rowethmusic.com.au. Cost is $40 plus postage.

Further details:

Master of dissent: the music of John Dengate  by Tony Smith.   ABN: 90136 820 661

 

The Grapevine October 2015

GG October 2015

click here to down load pdf of October Issue

text of  Glebe Grapevine October 2015

You heard it here!

October 2015

 

Privatising

Public Housing

 

Around 460 Ivanhoe public housing residents at Macquarie Park are devastated at the news that they will be moved out to make way for 2,500 apartments in blocks up to 120 metres high on the site.

The plan for a new high rise, high density estate is very similar to the plans we have been fighting for the Cowper Street estate.

Ivanhoe Estate Tenant Group Secretary Marie Sillars said it is unlikely the residents will return and the “community will be finished. It is a beautiful community here and we’re all very sad.”

Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard says the private sector will be engaged to develop the site into a mix of social, affordable and private housing. This is effectively privatising public housing.

This is the State Government’s policy for social housing: sell off more public assets, demolish public housing and hand estates over for redevelopment to the private sector. Communities will be destroyed but private developers will make large profits.

Unelected Bureaucrats

Given Sydney Planning Power

A bunch of unelected technocrats whose jobs don’t depend on your vote could soon decide alter the face of Glebe and other Sydney suburbs. Planning rules for could be radically changed by people who just don’t care what you think.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes has announced a new planning body that will carve metropolitan Sydney into six districts. Called the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), its 13 appointees, including the heads of Treasury, Transport and Planning, will “streamline” the delivery of major government infrastructure, particularly projects such as the WestConnex which extends across multiple council areas. “Our model seeks to depoliticise planning decisions by having a board that does not need to seek re-election,” Mr Stokes said. So much for democracy!

Each of the six districts will be represented by a commissioner chosen by local councils but elected mayors, councillors and MPs will not be eligible. The other seven will be appointed by the State government.

There is a need to co-ordinate future growth but not by 13 people totally unaccountable to the millions of residents whose suburbs will be in the GSC’s sights. These unelected members of the GSC can make major decisions that override the wishes of elected local councils.

Not surprisingly, the big end of town, represented by the Property Council and the Sydney Business Chamber, has welcomed the new commission.

Time to Rethink Housing

We all know about the shortage of affordable housing. A wealthy society like ours must provide adequate housing for all. Renters are mainly on average incomes and from younger and lower incomes groups and renting in the private sector is both unaffordable and insecure. The tax system and government incentives hugely favour home ownership. These measures are inequitable and have not resulted in adequate housing supply.

We propose a new model for housing. Governments must increase the stock of rental housing with security of tenure for renters.

With a large enough stock of rental properties administered by housing co-operatives or government, revenue from those who can afford market rent can help subsidise renters on lower incomes.

Time to Rethink Housing

Continued from page 2

Once a large enough stock of rental only housing of this type is created it would be largely self funding with governments co-ordinating the raising of finance with guarantees to lenders and providing administration directly or through co-operatives and making sure social housing supply kept up with demand. We’ll post more detail on our website about our model soon.

 

Grateful thanks

Hands off Glebe, publishers of the Glebe Grapevine, are really grateful to three tenants in Mitchell Street. They heard we needed money to get this issue printed. To say thanks for the help we gave them with maintenance problems, they clubbed together and donated $60. We are really touched by their gesture. Many thanks.

Thanks for community action on Cowper Street

The Glebe Grapevine has circulated a protest letter about the selloff of public land at the Cowper Street development. In a great response about 200 letters have been signed and sent to the Minister and no doubt more were sent in without our knowledge. Contact us if you would like some copies to sign and send in.

We have also had a good response to a protest letter about traffic flows on the Glebe Estate. The danger is that traffic from Bay Street and the new development on Cowper will greatly increase traffic within the Glebe estate. We are contacting nearby residents to gauge opinion about this. Sign our petition when we call if you are concerned.

Glebe Grapevine Appeal

The Glebe Grapevine reports on development in Glebe, advocates for public housing, supports the heritage and village character of Glebe … and much more

It is your local newsletter and it needs your help

It costs us $500 to print 5,000 copies every second month.

We need your donations to make sure we can pay the printing costs

Please send your cheque or money order to P.O. Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037

or make a direct transfer to

Bank: G & C Mutual Bank. BSB: 659-000. Account number: 755116.

Account name: Hands off Glebe – Grapevine

THANKYOU

Hands off Glebe chalks up successes

Hands off Glebe and Glebe Estate tenants have combined to act on long standing maintenance issues. We have had good results for tenants in Phillips, Mitchell and Catherine Streets and Wentworth Park Road.

We sometimes expand our reach. For example, with a water leak we write to Sydney Water and the relevant Minister. We even contacted the Ombudsman once!

Usually, a tenant approaches us and Denis Doherty from HoG then visits the house in question to list of the repairs needed. This is then sent with a letter to the Minister, local MP Jamie Parker, and the Land and Housing Assets Manager.

In early August, Hands off Glebe met the Regional Asset Director – South East Region from the NSW Land & Housing Corporation (LAHC). At that time we agreed that we would send any complaints directly to him and that he had two weeks for some action. If nothing had been done by that deadline, Hands off Glebe would send the complaint to the Minister and the MP again.

Following our maintenance complaints, the following steps have been taken (A fuller report is on our website):

2 Derwent Street – a sewer choke caused by tree roots has been cleared.

A longstanding stormwater leak at 105 Glebe Street/ 67 Mitchell Street. Currently Housing and Council are consulting to resolve the issue. We will stay on the case until it’s fixed.

Franklyn Street, Units 25-28 common area – Peter Wright from Hands off Glebe sent photos to Housing of damage including wall and pavement damage, and water damage in common areas. Repair work is proceeding and the target date for completion is 30 September.

Derwent Street – work initiated by resident Adam Bower to respond to vegetation management continuing; to be completed by 30 November 2015.

Joanna O’Dea complex in Camperdown – paint peeling in a common area laundry and exhaust fan broken. Resident Michael Reeves reports these as now fixed. Michael has been an advocate for his fellow tenants at Joanna O’Dea.

We believe that no Glebe tenants should be driven out
of their homes by poor maintenance.

 

 

Grapevine April 2015

download April Grapevine

April 2015 Grapevine

 

April 2015

Four more years of attacks on public housing

Since its re-election the Baird Government has offered no solutions to high house prices, high rents, and public housing sell offs. In Sydney, growth in rents is outstripping growth in income. Only the wealthy are able to afford decent housing.

The new Minister with responsibility for housing, Brad Hazzard, was previously the Minister for Planning, We hope to meet with him soon.

Jamie Parker, our local MP, has been re-elected and will be joined by new Green member Jenny Leong (Newtown). We look forward to working with the Greens, the Independent for Sydney Alex Greenwich, and the ALP.

The housing crisis will not go away. It is time the NSW Government took action to alleviate the plight of hundreds of thousands of people in NSW faced with inadequate or overpriced housing.

Hands off Glebe and the Glebe Grapevine promise that we will continue to fight for the rights of public housing tenants and will campaign for a massive increase in public housing to ensure that everyone has an affordable, secure and decent home.

Under the Arches

The Grapevine visited Wentworth Park to talk to people who have made their homes under the arches of the rail viaduct. The residents include people who have been homeless for many years. Some struggle with mental health and addiction problems. One is in full time work but does not earn enough to pay rent.

We were told that nearby residents treat “the Archers” in a friendly way, and give them food and blankets. Services such as Mission Australia visit and assist where they can.

Sydney City Council told residents that Sydney Trains, which owns the land under the arches, had complained about their camp. They were evicted, their tents and other belongings were taken away. Council has since apologized, and offered to store the residents’ property until accommodation can be arranged..

Council has also organized services to speak to the residents about alternative accommodation. The campers have been promised accommodation in the future, but this will mean a long wait.

When the Grapevine visited, the first cool winds of the coming winter were blowing through the arches in the late afternoon of an otherwise gloriously mild day. The rough sleepers had erected wind breaks, and were confident that Council services and the locals will provide enough blankets for the colder months.

Sydney City Council still insists that no structures can be erected and that only swags are allowed. Tents and mattresses are not permitted.

Residents said Council had been helpful in some ways. They promised not to confiscate people’s’ possessions again, and not to hassle residents who complied with Council rules. Council also provides a rubbish collection every two weeks.

Several campers expressed concern about street kids who also live in Wentworth Park. They asked: “Why aren’t there people caring for these young kids?”

Problems of homelessness in Sydney can only be solved by the State Government spending some of the billions of dollars they collect in property taxes to build more homes.

In a rich country we should not have people sleeping in parks and under arches. A decent home is a human right.

Thanks to Richard, Teddy, Nick and Paul.

BIDURA SOLD!

Bidura, the heritage house at 357 Glebe Point Road, and the Children’s Court behind it, have been sold by the NSW Government for $33 million.

There was no community consultation.

The site was advertised as having a 27 metre height limit, and was said to be suitable for residential development of up to 100 units.

Bidura Children’s Court was one of only 3 dedicated Children’s Courts in the Sydney metropolitan area. Others are at Parramatta and Campbelltown.

A spokesperson for the Department for Justice said that “the Department has two years to identify a new courthouse site and relocate staff”.

One option under consideration is reopening the antiquated Metropolitan Children’s Court in Albion Street, Surry Hills which was closed in 1983.

HANDS OFF GLEBE CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT
TO STOP THE SELL OFF

GIVE BIDURA BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

Pay up, Mr Baird!

The Baird Government has more than enough money to pay for a massive increase in public housing and full and proper maintenance of existing homes.

The surging Sydney property market continues to deliver a stamp duty bonanza to the NSW government, giving it a record take of more than $1 billion in January and February alone.

The government’s last budget update in December revealed a surplus $272 million thanks largely to the stamp duty windfall. The latest revenue figures suggest that the surplus will swell further.

Residential sales alone delivered $465 million in stamp duty in January and $396 million last month.

The record receipts for the first two months of the year show NSW is on track to exceed the estimates in the 2014-15 budget papers. These forecast a stamp duty take of $6.1 billion.

SAVE THE POWERHOUSE MUSEUM
If you want to help to save the Powerhouse, visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/savethepowerhouse for campaign updates, or contact savethepowerhouse@gmail.com to join the mailing list.”

 

Cowper Street developments

You have probably noticed that work has begun on the Cowper Street site, after it lay idle for four years.

Civil works (sewage pipes etc) are being done in preparation for the subdivision of the site into five lots. There will be one lot for affordable housing, two lots for social housing and two lots which the government intends to sell off for private housing.

Earth works are supposed to be completed by Christmas. The contractors are permitted to work each day from 7am to 6pm, and to 1pm on Saturdays. They have been asked to control dust on the site which was covered in fill containing asbestos, most of which was removed after demolition of public housing homes four years ago.

If you notice dust coming from the site, or contractors working outside approved hours, call Paul Hunt, the Development Director, on 8753 9083.

Once the subdivision is complete, building plans will be submitted to Sydney City Council. Council will assess the plans and prepare a report for the Central Sydney Planning Authority (CSPA) which is the “consent authority” for projects worth more than $50 million.

The CSPA comprises four people appointed by the Minister for Planning. Until 17 April 2014, that was Brad Hazzard. He is now the Minister with responsibility for housing. The other three members are Lord Mayor Clover Moore and two other Councillors. The CSPA is required to take residents’ objections into account.

Hands off Glebe oppose the scheme. We say:

All the land should be retained for public and affordable housing, not sold to developers;

High rise, high density development has no place in Glebe. It will destroy the character and the amenity of Glebe.

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 rich developers to make even more money.

 

 

 

 

The Glebe Grapevine Feb 2015

You heard it here!

 

February 2015

ELECTION ISSUE

On Saturday 28 March NSW will go to the polls to elect a new State Government. Hands Off Glebe asked the candidates for the seat of Balmain — Jamie Parker (Greens), Verity Firth (ALP) and Lyndon Gannon (Liberal) — 9 questions about the future of public housing in Glebe.  Here are their replies.

JAMIE PARKER v VERITY FIRTH

  1. What should happen to the vacant land in Cowper Street?

Jamie – I will continue to advocate for public housing to be built – and soon – on the vacant land in Cowper Street.

Verity – We cannot allow this rare opportunity to expand affordable housing options in the Inner West to be stalled any longer or lost altogether. It is time to get on with the job of redeveloping the site for the purpose that was intended for it. While I believe a mixture of private, affordable and public dwellings is the right approach and would produce the best social outcomes, the priority of any proposed development must be the provision of accommodation for low income and disadvantaged individuals and families.

  1. Should any of the Cowper Street land be sold to private interests?

Jamie – No, I do not support any part of this land being sold to private interests.

Verity – I would support a development application for the site that provided a greater proportion of the housing mix for affordable housing and public housing.

Our comment: At a rally on 25 November 2014, Verity said there should be 100% public and affordable housing on the site. What has caused her to change her mind?

  1. How many units would your party, if elected, build on the Cowper Street site?

Jamie – The scale and density of development should be compatible with existing development in Glebe. This would mean no more than about 250 units on the site.

Verity – The final design, scale and height of the development must be subjected to extensive consultation with the local community and in keeping with the suburb’s heritage and character.

Our comment – Hands off Glebe has extensively consulted with the community since 2008 when the Cowper Street project was first mooted. There is very little support for high rise high density development in Glebe.

  1. Would all those units be retained as public housing? if some other arrangement is planned would you please outline it to us?

Jamie – Yes, with a mix of affordable and social housing.

Verity – Verity did not answer this question. See her response to questions 1 & 2, which suggests she supports some development on the site being in private hands.

  1. Would your party build units on the Cowper Street land more than 4 storeys high?

Jamie – No, this would be out of character with other development in Glebe.

Verity – Verity did not answer this question, and has not ruled out high rise development. See question 3.

  1. Does your party support the “social cleansing” of the city by moving public housing tenants out of areas such as Glebe, Millers Point, Redfern-Waterloo and Surry Hills?

Jamie – Absolutely not. The sell-off of public housing in Millers Point is a disgrace, and a betrayal of the community who lives there. Many families in Millers Point have lived there for generations. All “high value” homes are these days a potential target for evictions and sales. The Liberal government is continuing the former Labor government program which has seen the sale of so much public housing in Glebe. Their approach is an attack on the most vulnerable members of our community, and a threat to diversity and social inclusion.

Verity – NSW Labor opposes the social dislocation now being inflicted on the tenants of Millers Point by the current government and if elected, will put a stop to any further sell off of these properties. Labor is committed to the retention of the Glebe estate. Labor has also demonstrated that it is prepared to invest in the maintenance of these heritage homes. Labor’s approach is at complete odds with the Liberal government’s current policy of simply selling heritage homes and cruelly evicting tenants.

7…If not, what does your party propose to do to retain public housing neighbourhoods in the city area?

Jamie – The Greens will continue to oppose the sell-off and will call for increased expenditure on public housing. The Greens are opposed to massive subsidisation of private investors in the housing market, as this serves to skew the housing market without necessarily providing affordable, secure and decent housing for those in need.

Verity – Verity did not answer this question. See question 6.

  1. Does your party support the sale of public housing homes in Glebe and, if so, to what extent?

Jamie – No. There is no lack of demand for housing in Glebe and all public housing properties should be retained.

Verity – Verity did not answer this question. See question 6.

  1. Is your party committed to the proper maintenance of public housing homes in Glebe?

Jamie – Yes. There is a need for greater expenditure on public housing maintenance to address the $300M backlog. As well, the Greens have called upon the NSW Government to review its existing arrangements with maintenance contractor Spotless as service delivery has been very poor.

Verity – In the last term of the Federal and State Labor governments over $9.2 million was devoted to maintenance work for inner city public housing. In this tranche of the federal government’s stimulus program, $2.5 million was spent on maintenance work for 724 homes in Glebe. This expenditure was on top of the state Labor government’s existing maintenance budget.

———————————————

LIBERAL PARTY RESPONSE

Lyndon Gannon, Liberal candidate for Balmain, did not answer our questions but instead chose to send us a general statement.

The NSW Government inherited a social housing system that was unfair and unsustainable.

Since 2011, the NSW Government has worked hard to make the social housing system stronger, fairer and better.

We have made waiting lists transparent to help people make better decisions, run amnesties to crack down on those rorting the system, introduced measures so more people can access social housing and made decisions like Millers Point which will mean money for new homes and maintenance. However, there is more to do. The social housing discussion continues to face significant challenges.

That is why the NSW Government has released the Social Housing Discussion Paper which will guide future reforms. The Discussion Paper is based on three pillars: a social housing system that provides opportunity and pathways for client independence, a social housing system that is fair and a social housing system that is sustainable.

Our comment – Lyndon says nothing about injecting more money into housing. New housing is to be built by selling off homes in the inner city, cracking down on “rorters”, and promoting “independence.” A talkfest is not going to solve the massive shortage of affordable housing.

OUR VERDICT—In the race to provide a good policy on public housing, the clear winner is Jamie Parker. Verity Firth comes second and Lyndon Gannon last.

RAFFLE

The winners were:

First prize        J. Simpson, Glebe;       2nd prize       I. Kirby, Glebe
3rd       donated to Centipede;           4th         A. Yates, Stanmore

Hands off Glebe expresses its appreciation and thanks to
the local businesses which donated the raffle prizes.

            Alfie and Hetty restaurant            Mr Falcon’s

            Galuzzo’s                                                      GleeBooks

 

NEW AT THE WEBSITE

Read the Hands off Glebe submission to the NSW Government’s Discussion Paper on Social Housing at www.handsoffglebe.org/category/submissions

Read the Hands off Glebe leaflet protesting against the sale of Bidura at http://www.handsoffglebe.org/category/savebidura/

NEW—WE ARE ON FACEBOOK!

Like us on Facebook — find us at handsoffglebe

Grapevine December 14 2014 issue

GLEBE GRAPEVINE DECEMBER ISSUE

You heard it here!

The Grapevine wishes all our readers a happy
Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year
in a secure, decent and affordable home.

December 2014

Bays Precinct: Democracy or Profit?

Despite denials, it is clear the Baird Government is determined to ignore the community and international experts, and hand over our precious public harbour lands to private developers motivated only by profit. The community has developed Public Interest Principles which call on the NSW Government to:ensure that the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project follows a democratic and open process; enables public and private interests to come together creatively and imaginatively; ensures that the outcome will be a worthy of the site and of Sydney’s status as a global city; and properly protects the public interest.

Program for housing reform

In our next edition, the Grapevine will publish the responses of candidates for the 2015 State Election to our questions about housing. On page 2 of this issue, we set out the Hands off Glebe  program for housing reform.

The Mezzo—half baked

Developers of the site at the corner of Bay Street and Wentworth Park Road have lodged a DA with Sydney City Council. They want to build 213 units plus 4720m2 of commercial and retail space, in a 33 metre high development plus 2 levels of basement parking. If approved, it will be the densest development in Glebe. The site is particularly ill suited for such intense development because of noise and flooding. Undeterred by practicalities, the developers have been flogging unit sales for months. There are also serious fire risks in the current design.

PUTTING THE PUBLIC BACK INTO HOUSING

The Grapevine marks the death of Gough Whitlam. Among his achievements, he, and Tom Uren, gave us the Glebe Estate. At the time of the Whitlam Government, Liberals and Labor alike supported public housing. Like clean water and public education, access to decent housing was a cornerstone of a fairer society, where opportunity was not just squandered on the rich. Secure, affordable housing improves access to education and employment, and lessens dependence on health and welfare services.

Hands off Glebe’s  program for housing reform includes:

  • Public housing should be available to all who need it, who earn less than $90,000 per annum, and should consume no more than 25% of income.
  • Stop knocking down and selling off our homes. Housing is more than bricks and mortar. It is community, diversity and heritage.
  • Stop selling public land, including the 80 hectare Bays Precinct.
  • Recognize tenants’ rights to stay in their homes, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Catch up with the maintenance backlog, with local maintenance teams employed by local housing offices.
  • Treat public housing tenants with respect.
  • Stop wasting public money on privately owned affordable housing schemes which benefit only the developers.
  • End negative gearing, which pushes up the price of housing by subsidizing speculation and tax avoidance.
  • The NSW Government reaps enormous and increasing revenues from housing by way of stamp duty and land tax. This year the budget is in surplus by $1.2 billion. Dedicate the income stream from these property taxes to build tens of thousands of new homes in New South Wales, thereby:

î  Providing homes to those on the waiting list.
î  Introducing real competition into the housing market. At present, developers build what they want, and charge what they like.
î  Creating jobs.

  • Recognise social housing as part of the whole housing sector, not part of the shrinking welfare system.

When affordable doesn’t mean affordable

What do you think when you hear the government talk about “affordable housing”? Inexpensive? Reasonably priced? Cheap enough for everyone to afford?

A rough estimation of affordability is 30% of gross income. This should leave enough to pay tax and other expenses like food, clothing, utilities, transport and medical costs.

In Australia there are a number of ‘affordable’ housing programs but the most common funding models are:

  1. a) a market rent reduction. This model is generally used by private developers who get a planning concession (for example more floors, smaller units) or a subsidy of up to $100,000 in return for providing some ‘affordable’ units generally for a limited period of time (often 10 years). The tenant in this model will pay 75% to 80% of the market rent.
  2. b) an income based model. This model is sometimes be used by government funded community housing providers. Some of the units are offered to a mix of people on very low and low to moderate incomes.

What do these two models mean in practice for someone living and working in Sydney?

Statistics kept by the NSW Government show that in the June quarter of 2014 the average market rent for a one bedroom unit in inner Sydney is $500 per week.  75% to 80% of the market rent means the tenant pays $375 to $400 per week. Using the 30% rule that person will need to earn $69,333 per year which is just under the median Sydney income. So a single person with an income of less $69,000 is unlikely to qualify for one of these units.

What about the second model? In the second model the landlord provides a mix of housing for people on very low to moderate incomes.  Only a small number of the units will be made available for those on very low incomes (defined as less than 50% of the median income $37,544). The remainder will be given to single people who earn between 51% (37,544) to 120% of median income ($90,105).

In addition because landlords usually want to maximise their income it is in their financial interests to house those households with an income as close as possible to the income limit. Again this means that those on an aged pension or on the minimum annual wage of $31,512 are unlikely to get access to this housing.

So next time someone tells you they are building affordable housing, ask how the rent will be calculated and  how many single people on a pension or on a minimum wage may be allocated one of those units.

You may be surprised how hard it is to get a direct answer.

What’s the difference?

Since Hands Off Glebe has been actively working in Glebe there have been many small victories and changes.

Hands off Glebe has been constant in keeping this and similar issues in the public eye through postcard and letter writing campaigns, petitions and protest gatherings and rallies in Glebe and outside Parliament House where we have twice met with Parliamentarians from different parties.

Hands off Glebe has been active in making submissions to enquiries into public housing, City of Sydney development proposals and letter writing to politicians.

Hands off Glebe members have attended a large number of public meetings focussing on public housing.

We aim to speak in the interests of public housing tenants and pushed for government commitment to the maintenance of public housing. We have joined with the tenants in Miller’s Point and formed links with other tenants groups in Sydney.

We  produce this newsletter, the Glebe Grapevine. Every second month a wonderful team of volunteers letterboxes over 5,000 copies across Glebe.

On the local front we have acted as advocates for a number of tenants on the Glebe Estate, Our campaign to Fix the Fences which involved a You Tube clip, meetings with FACS and letters to the Minister has resulted in a large number of fences being repaired and restored.

Some of this may have been “programmed maintenance” but  any of the fences we featured on social media were fixed within weeks, after years of tenants making complaints.

Hands Off Glebe has been busy making a difference.

Authorised by Denis Doherty. PO Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037

The Glebe Grapevine is a publication of Hands Off Glebe Inc.

Contact: P.O. Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037.

Ring Denis on 0418 290 663

 

Grapevine Oct 2014

October 2014

Government must invest in public housing

Recent comments by NSW housing Minister Gabrielle Upton are revealing as to the thinking of the NSW Liberal government. Ms Upton said that public housing properties at The Rocks, which her department is in the process of selling off, were “not suitable for public housing” even though many tenants had spent a lifetime there. What she really meant was that, in her eyes, unless you can afford a multi-million dollar mortgage or pay thousands a week in rent, you don’t deserve to live in a nice house in a pleasant area.  Ms Upton it seems would rather move such people far from where many of them were born and had built communities and raised families. It also suits the NSW government agenda because the Abbott government has promised a 15 per cent bonus to the states for privatising public assets.

Upton claims that “it is simply not fair” to those on the social housing waiting list for the government to maintain these properties. If so, the question arises – why were these properties allowed to decay over the decades under both Liberal and Labor and why are the most vulnerable expected to pay the bill? It is also strange that these and other inner city properties were suitable for low income people when they were regarded as “slums”. The fact is spending on housing by governments has been falling for decades even though the private market in places where jobs are available is increasingly failing to provide sufficient housing stock at affordable prices.  That’s partly because high density housing has a bad name after some monstrous public housing blocks in places like Waterloo and the failure of successive governments to create an efficient public transport network.

But it is also because there are no votes in public housing. That view has to change. There is no economic reason why governments cannot build attractive, affordable housing that can be rented out to those on moderate incomes.

This problem is not confined to Australia, and stems from the philosophy that everything can be provided by the private sector and that anything governments do is “useless” or, if not, unaffordable. It’s a view that refuses to tax those who can afford it the most, including big business. Why? Because big business centred propaganda backed up by right-wing media have captured government policy through political donations, threats or outright bribery.

Bureau of Statistics figures show that back in 1983/84 state and federal governments contributed over 10% of total dwellings approved that year (Source ABS 8731.0). By 2013/14 that contribution had fallen to 1.5%. And while the population had increased by 33% over that time, the total number of all dwellings, both private and public being approved each year had increased by only 21%, despite massive subsidisation of property investors, through negative gearing and depreciation allowances. If government had continued to make the same percentage contribution it made in 1984 there would be another half million dwellings in Australia.

Government assistance for housing has been either ineffective or has arguably made the problem worse. Rental assistance, while essential for individuals, only increases the demand for limited rental accommodation and first home owner assistance just raises home prices if not enough homes are being built. The real answer is to increase housing stock and governments must play a greater part.

———————————–————————

Bays Precinct — another Barangaroo?

On August 4 a packed meeting heard that community representatives on the Bays Precinct Taskforce had been pushed aside as the Baird Government declared full steam ahead with its Bays Precinct plans. The Bays Precinct consists of 80 hectares of public land including the heritage listed White Bay Power Station, Glebe Island, White Bay, Rozelle Bay, Rozelle Rail Yards, Blackwattle Bay and the Sydney Fish Market.

The development will be directed by UrbanGrowth NSW, a government body made up of business, real estate, media and Liberal Party representatives.

The main theme to emerge from the meeting is that consultation in Sydney is a farce. It is just an information session and then the developers, the State Government and the City Council do what they like.

The meeting was united on the need to mobilise our combined frustrations into a coherent rejection of what is proposed. Unless there is significant resistance to the Baird Government’s proposals, Glebe and the other suburbs surrounding the Bays Precinct will swamped by high rise, increased traffic and a loss of quality of life. Barangaroo again!

The Glebe Grapevine suggests the Bays Precinct development should focus on at least 70 per cent social and affordable housing, parks and job creation through a working harbour. We do not need another private residential development with the cheapest home at over $875,000,. We need homes for people on low incomes.

Public housing inquiry finds major problems

The release of the report from the NSW parliamentary inquiry into social, public and affordable housing, initiated by The Greens, has recommended key areas for reform tothe housing crisis. The report vindicates the views of tenants and their supporters that the current system is unsustainable, needs tenant involvement and lacks investment.

The inquiry recommends the State consider appointing a dedicated Housing Minister and establishing an advisory council. It also highlights the government’s failure to deliver policies for the future of social and affordable housing. So no strategy, no planning, so investment. Just more sell-offs and more frustration for public housing residents and those on the ever-increasing waiting lists

It found a great deal of secrecy around the widely condemned sell-off of public housing in Millers Point. It also found the sale of public housing started under Labor will continue under the Liberal government. Rather than providing more desperately-needed housing, the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by these sales will  be quickly swallowed up by the bureaucracy and the massive maintenance deficit that the previous Labor government allowed to blow-out. There is no commitment for new investment in new housing from these and other housing sales.

There is currently a waiting list for housing of 58,000 households. In the next two years, an extra 28,000 households are expected to join that queue.

The findings of the inquiry should be adopted by the government as a start to address the housing crisis.

We need to work together to pressure the government to support public housing tenants, stop the sell off and build more urgently needed houses.

 

Cowper Street Postcards

Hands off Glebe has launched Cowper Street postcards calling on the government to use the whole site for public and affordable housing. The postcards are in Glebe shops or text Cowper Street to 0418 290 663 to sign a card and get your friends and family to do the same.

Democracy denied

Thanks to the support of the New South Wales government and Fred Nile, the Shooters and Fishers Party’s plan to remove the long-standing democratic principle of one-vote-one value from local government elections became a reality when legislation was passed on 17 September.

In a blatant attempt to gerrymander the system, business will now have two votes in City of Sydney elections while residents will have only one. The compulsory double business vote is clearly intended to give power to the Liberals and developers and to defeat Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s team

Premier Baird has taken us back over 100 years!  We need to resist these new voting rules. Send us your views to glebegrapevine@gmail.com or mail us at the address below.

Glebe Community Development Project Funding Cut

The Glebe Community Development Project (GCDP) has been told by Housing NSW that its funding ($35,000 pa) will cease from December 2014. GCDP work increases residents’ participation in a range of community activities, reduces social isolation and makes a significant contribution to the social well-being of the community. Support Sydney Council request to the NSW Government to continue funding the project.

Spotless Campaign Rolls On

We have received a lengthy but unsatisfactory reply from the corporate regulator ASIC and nothing from the NSW Government except to say they are considering a reply to our letters. Federal Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann has not replied at all to our letter sent in July.

We ask public housing tenants to send us details of the time taken for repairs to be done, how many times they had to come back and finish the job. We need a dossier on Spotless. Help us build it. Your details will not be made public. Contact us at the address below.

Support our Local Historian

Max Solling, Glebe’s great local historian, has just published a new book on the history of the Manning area (Taree, Wingham, etc). Max originally came from Taree but their loss is our gain!  Buy his book Town and Countryfrom Gleebooks.  In this month when the NRL has held their Grand Final Max’s other book An Act of Bastardry about how the Glebe Rugby League Club was axed by NSWRL is very timely.

 

Remember

Glebe Street Fair—Sunday 16 November

 

The Glebe Grapevine is a publication of Hands Off Glebe Inc.

Contact: P.O. Box 145, Glebe NSW 2037.

Ring Denis on 0418 290 663 or Julie on 0426 503 351

E: glebegrapevine@gmail.com   www.handsoffglebe.org

 

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.

MILLERS POINT COMES TO GLEBE

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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 MAINTENANCE? NO WAY!

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
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SAVE ELSIE

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
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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.

 

 

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