Don't demolish public housing, residents say

Wiradjuri hip-hop artist Carolyn Ienna addressing the protest on September 17. Photo: Andrew Chuter

“Housing is a human right” was the rallying cry for residents and advocates at Wentworth Park on September 17, who gathered to protest the state government’s proposal to demolish the Wentworth Park Road public housing estate.

The New South Wales Land and Housing Corporation announced in August that the 17 public housing units at 82 Wentworth Park Road would be demolished, forcing tenants to move. It has not yet publicised its plans for the site.

Carolyn Ienna, who has lived at the site for 30 years, said the development would cause “disruption and heartache” for residents.

Wiradjuri hip-hop artist Ienna performed a song including with the lyrics: “Government says they are building more housing or shelters, what they really do is selling to private developers.”

After enjoying a free barbeque, John Engeler from Shelter New South Wales, Ian Stephenson from the Glebe Society, Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong and Dennis Doherty from Hands off Glebe and Action for Public Housing spoke.

They called for existing public housing estates to be upgraded and repaired and agreed that public housing tenants in Glebe and Waterloo needed to unite to force the government to build more public housing.

Protesters said the Minister for Planning and Homes Anthony Roberts must reverse the demolition decision and meet with residents. They also want the federal housing minister Julie Collins to pressure the NSW government to stop “cannibalising” public housing and stop the “spiraling homelessness crisis”.

[Sign the petition to stop the demolition of 82 Wentworth Park Road in Glebe.]