19 March 2014
(Motion Accorded Priority, 4.40pm 19 March 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
in reply: I apologise to residents of Millers Point who are seated in the gallery for having to listen to Government members playing silly buggers while we are determining the fate of their neighbourhood. It was appalling. I acknowledge that the Hon. Sophie Cotsis was also in the Chamber to listen to the debate. The member for Canterbury asked me to express concern on her behalf to ensure that the funds raised by the sale are reinvested in public housing. I undertake to keep a close watch on that. She also is concerned that the big end of town has won. The member for Canterbury wants me to reiterate her commitment to fighting these sales—a commitment that I know is shared by the Hon. Sophie Cotsis.
I have had a chance to review the Millers Point social impact assessment study which makes a clear recommendation that the elderly should be able to stay in the community—the only community they know—close to friends, services and social bonds. We hear a lot about the problems of elderly people living in isolation. Today the Government announced that it is moving the elderly people of Millers Point into isolation. The Government has bent over backwards to give a billionaire a casino, yet today it decided to turf out vulnerable and elderly people under a mask of misinformation about some of the houses in Millers Point. A limited sale of some vacant heritage properties could have eased the burden left to the Government by Labor but a sale of the entire area sounds like social cleansing to me. Let me assure the Government that the cruelty of its announcement today will be matched by the passion and commitment of Millers Point residents to keep their community together. I commend the motion to the House.
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