Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Snooping around Lilyfield, cont...

DH managed to speak to about 5 residents while prowling about. With 40 units slated for redevelopment, this in no way implies a valid sample of feeling on the estate as a whole.
However, of those 5, only 1 said they had any particular attachment to the place, or desire to return, and even that person was saying, "unless of course the temporary placement is better".

Housos are as rational as any other punters when it comes to real estate, and quite rightly are jockeying for the best home they can get for themeselves or their families. The others were keen to leave but only because their flats badly need maintenance. In the general climate of mistrust around razor-gang governments, property deals, and bungled policy, it is not surprising that there is a question hanging in the air: "Was the estate deliberately allowed to run down, so that the only option was to send in the bulldozers?". DH is not competent to judge, furthermore she is not lacking in trust, does not belong to that infantile brigade who profess to feel superior to "all pollies" from the comfort of their armchairs while making no attempt to test out their own unimpeachable ideals. ... Now seems like as good time as any to confess that she is a card-carrying member of the ALP, not because she is a true believer in "my party right or wrong" but because democracy relies on the active participation of its citizens.

That said, on with the fait accompli!

It seems that when Cherie Burton sent out her Big Announcement, she omitted to inform either the sitting member, Sandra Nori, or Verity Firth the incumbent candidate for the new seat of Balmain. Another less than impressive act from a Minister who is not making herself popular with her constituents. As a result, Verity Firth has been forced into damage control, door-knocking the distressed residents, doing her best to minimise their anxiety with the news that the Ministers' "oversight" put VF in a good bargaining position to extract a written guarantee that all who wanted to return could do so.

Can we trust her?

The activist brigade say, "Look at Minto. What good were written guarantees there? Dont be too trusting. The devil is in the detail. For instance, in Minto, yes, the stocks will be replenished, but they will be one bedroomers, so families can never return. Look for the hidden traps."


Shameless editorialising follows. Enter at own peril.

DH thinks that is irrelevant. Times are going to get tougher for obvious reasons. Oil, weather, economics, the falling $USD, a horrid climate of resentment and downward envy, fomented by our Crypto-Darwinist-In-Chief, John Howard, who has turned too many of us into a nation of individualists, struggling each against each and devil-take-the-hindmost.

There are no guarantees apart from what tenants can collectively work towards ourselves.

There is only one thing tenants can trust in and that is in building our own strong and trusting communities. By getting involved with the political process, by continuing to inform ourselves and broaden our understanding, in the spirit of "expecting the best and preparing for the worst", we can support our politicians to be the best representatives they can be. This applies to almost everyone. The majority of tenants innately have the intelligence, even if it's buried under years of disempowerment. Give the right seeds, they can lift their game. And most politicians go into the game out of a genuine desire to do good. An active citizenry can help them to keep on track.

In the meantime, as far as DH has been able to find out, while the demolition plans are out, to date no design plan exists for rebuilding...

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