Over 3000 Waterloo residents left confused over government’s mixed messaging

Over 3000 Waterloo residents left confused over government’s mixed messaging
Image: Photo: Jim Anderson


Occupants of the Waterloo South public housing estate remain concerned and confused as the Minns government has repeatedly given them conflicting messages about the future of their homes.

Over 3000 residents have been subjected to a turbulent period of false promises and impending realities as plans for redevelopment in the area have been frequently canceled and reconfirmed.

Norrie May-Welby, one such resident, tells CityHub of the situation, describing the New South Wales government’s shifting attitudes pre- and post-election.

“They were unambiguously opposed to the Waterloo demolition project before the election,” she said.

“That the tune changes the moment they are in power is just crushingly disappointing to anyone not sensibly cynical about politicians.”

Communication Concerns

Indeed, prior to appointment significant portions of NSW labour discussed both preserving public housing and ending its privatisation.

May-Welby points out that these were points communicated to residents and the public through letters, text, and social media, creating an air of confidence in their vote.

“The local member Ron Hoenig (ALP) tweeted on the eve of the state election that only Labor would save the Waterloo Public Housing Estate. Chris Minns said Labor would freeze the sale of public housing. Linda Scott (City of Sydney Councillor, ALP) said the same,” she said.

“These were all written messages, texted, tweeted, or posted on their official social media pages, prior to the election.”

She continues, discussing how she and other residents only became aware of ongoing plans for Waterloo’s redevelopment through government reports and media articles.

“We find out from Hansard [that] Minns says the Waterloo wrecking ball will be good to go. And from the Guardian we read the state Labour government is gung-ho on continuing the demolition plans of the previous Liberal/National government,” May-Welby said.

Plans Ongoing

Amidst resident concerns, the government now appears firm in its intention to move forward with redevelopment.

NSW State Minister for Water, Housing, and Homelessness, Rose Jackson, assured The Guardian that residents will be considered, stating that they “would be rehoused within the suburb and offered spots back in the complex when the development is completed.”

“I totally understand the frustration and confusion surrounding Waterloo South for residents – there are timeframes that are out of our control but we are working hard to resolve our plan as quickly as possible,” she said.

Looking to an uncertain future, May-Welby and her fellow residents are resigned – with no choice but to wait out the situation to its end.

“This too will pass,” she concludes.

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