Meeting the Minister

Flo closeup

 

The new Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard met Millers Point residents* in Argyle Place a few weeks ago, agreed to meet us again and was quoted in the Herald saying, “I’m not ruling out trying to get more public housing in and around the Millers Point area.” This was very heartening news for the community. A week later, he met Flo and other community members in his offices and listened to some of the ways the grand old houses of Millers Point could be sold but the community left intact, with people moving to the more modest 20th-century flats specifically designed for workers and public housing, and in the short term concentrating on selling the houses already vacant before moving the remaining residents. At the end of that meeting, Minister Brad Hazzard said, “I’m certainly happy to go away and think about those ideas,” and Flo has been quoted responding, “I think he will do the very best he can for us.”

Within a week of meeting with the minister, Flo received a letter from the Millers Point Relocation Team Leader saying her Relocation Officer had tried to get in contact with her but was unable to do so, and without further contact they would proceed with her relocation process after two weeks, relying on the information they had already. Flo thinks they must have phoned her on a day she was out as she has not received a letter, a visit or any other communication. Flo phoned both the Relocation Team Leader and her own Relocation Officer, but neither of their numbers answered. Flo also had a mobile phone number. This was answered and Flo was able to speak to her Relocation Officer and tell her that Housing NSW and the Relocation Team had been advised they should contact the community legal officers to arrange meetings and discussion of how they were planning her relocation. This was checked with the Team Leader (who appears to have been at his desk at the time) and Flo received confirmation that this notification had been received. The Relocation Team has now contacted the community legal officers to proceed with plans for Flo’s relocation.

Representatives of Housing NSW attended the meeting between Brad Hazzard, Flo and other members of the Millers Point community, so it seems surprising that the Relocation Team is moving forward on plans for relocating Flo and other long-term residents while they are waiting to hear back from the minister who is considering alternatives so that they could stay in the Millers Point area.

Both the community and the government appear to be working together in good faith to save Millers Point. There were no protests over the auction of seven vacant Millers Point properties in the past month, and this will remain the same for another three properties currently advertised for sale. The minister should be given ample time to consider the government’s position, and the only request from the community is that there should be a pause in the relocation process while this occurs.

 

*Following advice from media contacts that the Minister was visiting the area, Paddi O’Leary, John Dunn and John McInerney met Brad Hazzard outside 50 Argyle Place on his first visit to Millers Point.

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9 Responses to Meeting the Minister

  1. disgusted 2 June 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Why should taxpayers pay for these people to sit an gossip all day. The homes are a disgrace which is typical public housing banners and graffiti and I do not think they have even paid to have a thing done. Just bludgers. In my opinion they should be charged for the damage and state those homes are in and not entitled to another public house.
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    • JohnD 3 June 2015 at 10:52 am #

      Hello Sue. I am not sure whether or not you are in your eighties like the people we feature most prominently in this website, but let me tell you they are not bludgers. They worked all their working lives, and since retiring they volunteer and continue to contribute to society. When one of them was blind, she cared for a disabled neighbour, and when she was denied the small government carer’s allowance because a bureaucrat decided she was too disabled to care for anyone else, she continued to look after him without this payment. Regarding termite damage, when you first see the damage it is much too late to save the timber. It is the government who should have a system for maintaining this aspect of their properties, not the tenants. There was no graffiti on any of the properties in this story, and I don’t know where you get your idea that everyone in Millers Point spends their days gossiping. The only disgrace I can see is within your opinions. For me, it is surprising how strongly some people oppose keeping our city a diverse community. Perhaps I want to live in a different sort of city to you.

  2. Carlott McIntosh 4 June 2015 at 9:15 am #

    This selloff of public housing in the Rocks without any consideration of local community is outrageous. Granted. Some of the tenants are living in premises far too big for them. Some rationalisation may be necessary. However it is simply cruel to throw them out because the properties are valuable. New public housing must be built. That is the best way to combat rising house prices. Why should rich people with deep pockets be the only ones allowed to live in prime real estate? Come on Mike Baird. It is not only transport that needs repairing but public housing also. Why not offer all public housing tenants the opportunity to buy their houses and use the profit to build new ones.

    • JohnD 4 June 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Let’s hope the government is true to its word and considering alternatives to the eviction of all public housing tenants in Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks.

    • Hayley Lewis 30 October 2015 at 5:25 am #

      A huge contributing factor is that big charities like mission Australia, the Salvation Army, and vinnies Etc make sooooo much money from poverty. The government pays these corporations billions every year to perpetuate poverty. they engeouge themselves on poverty at the expense of everyone instead of the government paying the big billion-dollar corporations they should just bypass them and build social and affordable housing with that money. Mission Australia recently spent $3 million on a new logo, the salvos and vinnies all updated their logos recently also. You never see private corporations re-brand themselves like this it’s a complete waste of money but the big billion-dollar charities have to spend their money on something they’re not allowed to make a profit, and that something is never about resolving the problem of poverty only about perpetuating it and making them billions in the process…..its disgusting anybody who gives money to these big charities are fortyish. people should be questioning why their tax paying dollars are wasted in this manner.

  3. Julie 5 June 2015 at 8:37 am #

    thanks John, barney and all the wonderful networkers and fighters for the people of Millers Point. I want to live and work in a diverse, welcoming and generous city.

  4. Neil Blanch 9 June 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Has anyone taken a look at the demolition by neglect of properties in Glebe? I know of tenants with huge termite mounds in their buildings who cannot get damage fixed or the mounds sprayed and have been told by contractors that the necessary maintenance wouldn’t be done as the government was going to sell the properties as knock downs. Personally I don’t think the new minister can be trusted at all – sure he’s better than Goward but the policy of sell offs remains.

  5. Hayley Lewis 30 October 2015 at 5:32 am #

    What the update on millers point, are their any residence of the community left now? It’s November 2015 I’m looking for an update on the situation and this is the latest article I could find. Did Flo get to stay? Is anyone left. Can something still be done

    • JohnD 31 October 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      We had the art exhibition at Redfern and there is a story on this in the News section, as well as several others. Russell Brand while he was in Australia campaigned for the Millers Point community, and there are links to stories about this on the Facebook page. Flo is still OK. Myra’s recuperating after her fall and is making a submission on elder abuse to the government.

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