March 2017 Glebe Grapevine Issue


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


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

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


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:  Responses close 31 March.

If you want help, go to


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!





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

Get your submissions in on Cowper/Elger Sts Jan 2016

ggalert January 2016

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

Urgent Urgent send off to the council by Jan 15 2016

Here is the text of our emergency alert

Glebe Grapevine Alert





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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

All of the site was formerly occupied by public housing.

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



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

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


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










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.




South Sydney Herald article on the film and Song date June 2013

by Denis Doherty

A song and a community newsletter have helped challenge Housing NSW’s widespread and shameful neglect of public housing in Glebe, particularly the broken down fences in many streets.

Residents have come up with ingenious ways to hold up their fences but many have lost the battle and whole sections of fences have fallen over.

The back fence of an elderly woman’s property collapsed. She did not feel safe in her own backyard and the garden chairs she used to sit in the sun were stolen.

Residents are afraid to go into their yards after dark, while others can’t hang out washing due to lack of privacy and security.

They complain that Housing NSW’s usual response is to send a ‘tech officer’ to take a photo and then nothing happens.

Hands off Glebe, a group dedicated to improving the quality of life for local residents, produces a community newsletter called The Glebe Grapevine .

An article in first issue, entitled “Residents left de-fence-less”, exposed one fence that had been lying broken for months. The article was accompanied by the photo (see below).

A song called 50 Ways To Hold Your Fence Up (based on song by Paul Simon) was written, recorded and combined with pictures of Glebe’s fallen fences released on you tube. The chorus goes:

Just prop up the gate, Kate

Use an old rope, Hope

You can even use string, Bing

Just listen to me.

……Keep livin’ in Glebe



In a victory for the community and for The Glebe Grapevine, this fence is now in the process of being replaced and a whole row of picket fences in another street has also been replaced.

However, much more still needs to be done and not just mending fences.

Housing NSW has a massive backlog of maintenance needs in Glebe public housing as the process continues of demolition by neglect to drive tenants onto the private market.

And its not just Glebe. There is an avalanche of maintenance needs in public housing across the state.

Hands off Glebe is fighting for social housing tenants rights, for more social housing, to stop privatisation of public land, and to prevent over development of sites like Bay Street and Cowper Street.

Contact us at

Current Campaign

Housing Crisis – Action Needed Now
Dear Premier Barry O’Farrell,
Re: The Cowper Street Development (The Glebe Affordable Housing Project)
The depths of the Housing Crisis have been revealed by an Anglicare Report released 13th April, here are the sobering statistics:
1. 600,000 Australian families are in rental stress paying more than 30% of income on rent.
2. 200,000 Affordable Housing units were needed nationwide
3. OF THE 9400 properties advertised for rent in the Sydney region on a weekend this month only 72 were affordable for people on the age or disability pension or the single-parent payment.
4. NOT ONEwas available for someone on a newstart allowance, even if they were prepared to share and move to the Blue Mountains, Gosford or Ulladulla.
5. The NSW Government is getting out of housing and transferring its responsibilities to a number of charitable organizations of questionable ability.
Given these startling statistics
We ask:
Why are the dwellings of 289 people being bulldozed in Cowper Street?
With the outlay of a few hundred thousand dollars these dwellings could be made livable for the long term resolution of the housing crisis.
We want:
· No demolition without building DA’s to quickly replace housing lost.
· Immediate investment of a few hundred thousand dollars into the housing needs now
· A guarantee that any development at Cowper/Wentworth/Elger Streets be made available for 100% public housing and affordable housing.
· No privatization of public land!