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Stop Millers Point public housing sell-off - Senate backs Greens motion

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 16 Jul 2014

The Australian Senate has passed a Greens' motion calling on the NSW government to cease selling public housing in the historic inner Sydney suburb of Millers Point.

"This is a small but important victory for the Miller Points residents and their supporters who have been campaigning to save 293 public housing properties and to stop the eviction of 400 tenants from their homes slated for private sale," Greens NSW Senator said.

"The Greens put this motion before the Senate to win federal support for this important campaign.

"A mighty community campaign saved Millers Point public housing in the 1970s when a Green Ban was imposed by the NSW Builders Labourers Federation.

"The community is again rallying against another Coalition government that is too close to developers.

"Millers Point is of enormous historical significance and public housing in this area is a rich part of the city's heritage. The working class here is part of the character and soul of the city.

"Moves to sell off public housing are part of a long standing attempt by successive NSW Labor and Coalition government's to assist their developer buddies to profit from ‘upmarketing' Sydney.

"Though the NSW Liberal government has been harassing residents and trying to pressure them into accepting relocation to other suburbs, the community and their friends are putting up an inspiring and courageous fight.

"This Greens initiated Senate motion should serve as a message to the NSW Premier Mike Baird that support is growing for this community and their call to stop the selloff of Millers Point public housing," Senator Rhiannon said.


347 Senator Rhiannon: To move-That the Senate-
(a) notes that:
(i) the New South Wales Coalition Government has:
(A) announced the sale of 293 public housing properties at Millers Point and The Rocks in Sydney, with the move expected to displace more than 400 public housing tenants,
(B) made the announcement without notifying the tenants first,
(C) left residents without answers about the disruption to their community and their lives,
(D) failed to undertake a complete assessment of the housing stock in question, and
(E) failed to require provision of any serious amounts of affordable housing units in the state‘s largest construction site at Barangaroo, adjacent to The Rocks;
(ii) the 1970s Green Bans organised by local residents and the Builders Labourers Federation won protection for the low cost and public housing in the Millers Point and The Rocks area, and
(iii) affordable and appropriate housing is a basic human right and there is already too little social housing stock within Sydney‘s CBD and surrounds; and
(b) calls on:
(a) the New South Wales Government to cease selling public housing in Millers Point, and
(b) the Federal Government to increase funding for affordable public housing.


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