Sep 5, 2014

People don’t matter to the Liberals

Mike Baird is treating public housing tenants at Millers Point with no respect as he proceeds with his plan to sell nearly 300 public housing units for windfall financial gains and evict up to 600 tenants.

Tomorrow I’ll meet elderly female tenants facing eviction under the Baird sell-off plan at a forum at Millers Point organised by the Women in Public Housing committee.

I am told that three out of five of the tenants facing eviction are elderly and that more than half are women.

It is inconceivable to me that the NSW Government is unmoved by pleas that it consider the welfare of these tenants.

I’m also shocked to hear that the NSW Government is not even responding to inquiries on behalf of these residents for more information about the plan.

As someone who grew up in public housing at Camperdown, I understand the importance of community and security to vulnerable public housing tenants.

I oppose the sell-off. A responsible government dealing with a public housing shortage would deliver more housing in addition to the existing stock.

But in selling off the Millers Point properties to his wealthy supporters so he can move public housing tenants out of this historic inner-city precinct, Mr Baird risks creating a Sydney divided by postcodes.

He will create a Sydney where only the wealthy live in the inner city and the disadvantaged are removed from the communities where they have grown up and have links.

The logic of the Baird Government’s position on Millers Point will see public housing in Glebe, Waterloo, Balmain, North Sydney and other inner Sydney communities sold off.

Successful cities are not disconnected enclaves of privilege and disadvantage. They are diverse. Their people come from a mixture of backgrounds.

When Premier Baird and Minister Upton look at Millers Point they see dollar signs.

When I look at Millers Point I see a community made up of people who deserve respect, not contempt.

The forum will be held tomorrow – Saturday September 6 – at midday at Abraham Mott Hall, Argyle Place, Millers Point.