Friday, January 23, 2009

Dubbo: When the natives get restless

How heartbreaking to see the ABC doco When the natives get restless about the impact of the Housing Minister, Cherie Burton's 2006 decision to raze Dubbo's Gordon Estate.

Excerpts from Hansard 11 May 2006, the day of the announcement:

Miss CHERIE BURTON: ... The cost of maintaining properties on the estate is 300 per cent higher than the cost of maintenance on any other estate in western New South Wales. Since 1995, 46 properties on the estate have been destroyed by fire.... all 278 Department of Housing properties to be sold.... the community will be consulted every step of the way...

Mr Andrew Stoner [Nats]: ... [The Minister has not answered] where these tenants are going. Where is she sending the tenants?

Miss CHERIE BURTON: ... [Tenants] will be found appropriate housing in an area appropriate to their needs and the needs of the community ....

Mr Andrew Stoner: You just send them somewhere else...

The doco now shows us the exactly where the "appropriate accommodation" turned out to be, in the case of one woman with 7 children, whose 4 bedroom place was replaced by a caravan in Wagga. The children were torn away from their grandparents who remained in Dubbo. So much for building stronger communities.

The grandfather soon died in Dubbo. There was a chilling scene where the children were entertained by a new "uncle" in the caravan park, a lugubrious, blood-curdling maniac who would have defied belief even as a cartoon character.

Was this a family of "troublemakers" who deserved their fate? There was no trial, and we will probably never know. But all the children looked under 13.

Well, that was Cherie Burton's watch. Now let's see how new Minister, David Borger manages with Rosemeadow (below) ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What happened at Rosemeadow is not a one off event
There are many such gettos throughout NSW that are simmering and will given time erupt
The idea of putting so many townhouses together is a receipe for disaster You would think HNSW would realise their mistake and rectify this and also stop putting people with problems all in the one area