Save Waterloo public housing from demolition and privatisation!

August 26, 2023

A speak-out for public housing in Redfern on August 25 was called to protest the Chris Minns Labor government implementing the former Coalition government’s plan to start demolishing and privatising the Waterloo Estate, the biggest public housing estate in New South Wales.

The snap action was organised by Action for Public Housing. One of its lead activists, Rachel Evans, explained that the Minns government was about to evict more than 1000 public housing residents and demolish 749 homes.

NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong told the speak-out that the plan was to demolish the existing public housing and hand the land over to developers to build 300% higher density building with a mix of expensive private units as well as some "affordable" and "social housing". None of the new housing will be public housing.

"This idea of 'social housing' is a dead-set fucking con," Paul Keating, Sydney branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, told the gathering.

"You see this in the propaganda by [Labor PM Anthony] Albanese about 1.2 million homes [he is promising to build]. But not one of them is going to be public housing."

"I was born in housing commission," he said. "Working-class communities fought for the right to live in dignity, including the right to a decent home, a home we could stay in for our whole lives and a home in which our families could flourish."

He said that the neoliberal agenda over the past 30 years had eroded public housing, reducing it from 20% of all housing to just 2% today.

"After 12 years of that rotten Liberal-National government, we've got a new government that is not doing any different," Keating concluded.

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