Emotive language on ghettos wrong for Waterloo renewal

Statements by Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, that the proposed renewal of social housing at Waterloo will create ‘ghettos’ is a wrong interpretation of this project says the Urban Taskforce.

“Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has slammed the recent options for the redevelopment of the Waterloo social housing estate as a ‘planning disaster’ that will produce ‘ghettos of the future’”. Says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “Her comments are an emotive exaggeration of the proposals and use negative words that will upset residents in the estate. The comments are part of a growing approach by Sydney politicians to use very negative language about new development so they appear to be championing their voters.”

“The Waterloo redevelopment will provide around 800 people per hectare which is less than the award winning Central Park project on Broadway which has around 1,000 people per hectare. It will certainly not be a ‘ghetto of the future’ as the Lord Mayor has stated. The most dense option with 7,200 apartments has 4 hectares of public park within the 18 hectare site which is a significant size. On top of this the nearby Alexandria Park has another 6 hectares and adjoining parkland to the Waterloo site has another 3 hectares.”

“As well as the extensive amount of parkland on and adjacent to the site there will be a new metro rail station as part of the urban renewal project as well as community facilities and shops and restaurants.”

“The Lord Mayor’s alarmist statements talk about ‘dark’ towers yet they haven’t been designed yet and ‘overshadowed’ parks yet the location of tall buildings has little impact on the public park. Importantly the government’s options allow a diverse mixture of housing from market to affordable and social housing.”

“It is the state government that is funding the metro rail line and who is responsible for the social housing tenants so it is the state government’s role to ensure that an economically viable solution occurs that will bring about real change. The Council of the City of Sydney should get behind the project rather than use exaggerated language to try to derail the project by creating fear in the eyes of the social housing tenants. Governments and councils have talked for decades about the importance of a new character for the Waterloo social housing estate. We now have a number of options that can lead to real outcomes and this needs support rather than attack

Contact Chris Johnson on 0412 258 283

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