‘I used to work at Metcalf Bond for the MSB. I started there over sixty years ago and that’s when I moved to Millers Point. The whole sixty years have been great.
‘If you’re in trouble, there is always someone to look out for you. Sometimes walking up Kent Street I have to stop and sit on the wall for a bit. People come out to check but I let them know I am just having a breather.
‘In all the years I’ve been here I can’t remember having a real argument. There’s never been a falling out with anyone. That’s the sort of place this is.’
Last week Kevin had a fall in Kent Street. Luckily he only bruised badly, nothing broken. He said half a dozen people came out of surrounding houses, and he was taken to the hospital where he checked out OK. He was to appear in a story on The Project but he was in too much pain and unable to move.
Kevin has been determined to remain a member of the Millers Point community, but he feels his Relocation Officer is putting more pressure on him to move following this incident. If he wavers at all, it is likely his Relocation Officer will become a more regular visitor. Relocation Officers are not meant to visit tenants without an appointment and not without the tenants having a witness for support, but in cases like this, often they begin to drop by, just a casual visit, because they are concerned about the well being of the people they are charged with relocating.
The State Government does not have to move Kevin and other vulnerable people away from Millers Point. It owns hundreds of empty properties in Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks, and has no prospect of selling them within the next twelve months, which is what it announced it would do a year ago.
The Millers Point community is full of people who have contributed to our society for all of their lives, and they deserve better than to be tossed aside when they are old. Kevin worked all of his life until he reached retirement age. He paid full market rent for his home. If he is moved from his home and it becomes another empty property for years to come, it will stand as another monument to this government’s inability to make appropriate planning decisions.
Sad news for Kevin in the following update…
DECEMBER 2015 UPDATE
Kevin’s Relocation Officer visited him night and day after his fall, and eventually Kevin said he could no longer take the pressure and agreed to move. He has returned regularly to Millers Point, just to see people he knows and sit and talk. He was sitting outside the Post Office talking to a friend the day Brad Hazzard visited Millers Point. When Brad Hazzard heard Kevin had been moved to Erskineville, he asked him, ‘Is it a nice place?’ Kevin answered, ‘Yes, thank you very much.’ When Brad Hazzard asked him if was happy with the move, Kevin answered, ‘Yes, thank you very much.’ Kevin is not a person who would complain about the way he was treated. Wonder what he really thought.
One week after the December update was posted on the Save Millers Point Facebook page, Central magazine published a feature article on Kevin and his relocation (16 December 2015). If there are places in Millers Point soon to be available for social housing residents, people like Kevin, who was forced to leave by the Relocation Team, should be allowed to to move into one of these places. Sixty years living in Millers Point should count for something when you are 86.