12 August 2014
Alex Greenwich, the Independent Member for Sydney, has accused the NSW Government of a "callous cover-up" with documents released under a freedom of information request indicating the Government sought to "sanitise" it's Social Impact Assessment done on Millers Point social and changed the methodology to cut out the community. (Report HERE)
Mr Greenwich said:
"The methodology of the Social Impact Assessment was changed to take out the agreed community oversight and feedback prior to the Government's sales announcement and media spin campaign"
"References to a study indicating serious health risks (including greater risk of death) of relocating elderly residents were downplayed in the final draft compared to earlier versions"
"Regardless of people’s opinion of selling public housing in Millers Point, everyone should be concerned by the government's deceptive handling of this process, which will see a community put at great risk".
"I call on the new Minister to act with her heart and her head, and work with the local community to retain social housing in Millers Point rather than putting lives of elderly residents at risk to make a quick buck. At the very least the Government should let the elderly residents age in place"
Further information (documents available upon request):
1. According to documents released as part of a freedom of information request, the methodology of the Social Impact Assessment of the sale of Millers Point properties was changed. The initial draft, as was agreed with the community, says that community members would be given four weeks to provide comment on the Draft Social Impact Assessment and that this would inform the peer review process. In the final version, no provision was given for community comment and it was released simultaneously with the Government's announcement.
2. References to a longitudinal study in Sweden that warns of serious health impacts of forced relocation particularly for older people was downplayed. The study analysed the effects of forced residential relocation among elderly people in terms of mortality and health service use and shows there is greater risk of death when relocating elderly people as part of area renewal.