Activists call on Minns to save public housing in Glebe

May 19, 2023
Public housing action in Glebe. Photo: Coral Wynter

A snap action, organised by Hands off Glebe, demanded the new New South Wales Labor government immediately halt plans to demolish public housing. Around 20 residents and supporters gathered on May 18 outside 82 Wentworth Park Road, Glebe — which is scheduled to be demlished.

The plan, proposed under the previous Coalition government, has been slated to go ahead despite Labor’s promise during the election campaign to freeze privatisation plans.

Denis Doherty from Hands Off Glebe told the protest the sale and demolition of public housing should stop, and more public housing should be built.

“New Housing Minister Rose Jackson claims there is a contract on the building, but we have seen no evidence of any such thing,” he said.

Carolyn Ienna, one of the few remaining residents of the Wentworth Park estate, said: “I've been here 20 years and it’s a perfectly good building. It’s only about 40 years old and not at its ‘end of life’ as they claim.”

Ian Stephenson, from The Glebe Society, said: “This whole project is a clear example of deception and incompetence. These apartments were beautifully designed by the old NSW Housing Commission years ago, and the cost to refurbish them is estimated at [only] $1.4 million.

“On the other hand, the cost of demolishing and rebuilding them is said to be around $22 million! This is a ridiculous waste of public money.

“A development application for the project is now going before the Sydney City Council. We must mobilise to contact councilors to demand the plan be stopped," Stephenson said.

Karyn Brown, from the Waterloo public housing estate, condemned Labor’s proposal to go ahead with the Coalition's plan to demolish and privatise public housing buildings at Waterloo South.

Despite Premier Chris Minn’s saying Labor is freezing the sale of public housing; campaigners know it needs to be defended.

[Get in touch with Action for Public Housing and join the Hands Off Glebe rally on June 8, 5pm, at the corner of Bay Street and Broadway, Glebe.]

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