This Council cycle my Notice of Motion will call on new Minister for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard, to meet with Millers Point residents and place their health ahead of the Government’s asset sales. Recent comments by the new Minister indicate that he is willing to consider the human impact of this sale. I remain hopeful that the Minister will recognise the strong case presented by the residents and find a way to compromise on the remaining homes.
Around half of the residents have been moved out in the last year. The psychological strain placed on these vulnerable residents, both those who have already moved and those who are fighting to remain in place, has been immeasurable. It is vital that we seize the opportunity to establish a working relationship with the new Minister.
Aside from this my notice of motion also calls on the Minister to make public the Government’s detailed plan for how the money from the property sale will be spent. To date $27 million has been raised.
Last week it was announced that some of the money has been used to finance new public housing units in Lurnea. Moving inner city public housing tenants to the fringes of the metropolitan area isn’t the answer.
While I support the creation of new public housing stock the Government needs to create more right across Sydney, especially in inner-city areas where there is better public transport, health services and employment access. The Macquarie Fields riots of 2005 sent a strong message that moving large public housing estates on the suburban fringes is poor social policy. Ten years on the Government needs to understand that location and design play a strong element in the social outcomes of public housing estates.
Sydney is a city of strong socio-economic divides. If we are going to meet the challenges of the future it is critical that place diversity at the front and centre of all our communities.
You can read my notice of motion here.