3 January, 2016 10:35
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The 4,000 tenants living in the iconic public housing commission (commonly known as The Towers) in the Redfern/Waterloo area of inner Sydney have been promised by Premier Mike Baird that will have the opportunity to remain in the suburb when their entire community is knocked down and rebuilt as part of plans for a new metro station in the suburb.
As a result of being pushed out of the media scrum by former Sydney University front-rowers who now work for NewsCorp, The Betoota Advocate was able to photograph NSW Premier Mike Baird from behind as he assured that residents would be guaranteed a place in the new buildings.
“Those that remain in public housing, if they want to come back to a new dwelling, they would be given that opportunity” said the young reganist as he our photographers snapped his sun-kissed office-boy fingers sternly crossed behind his back.
To cross one’s fingers is a hand gesture commonly used by mildly religious white-collar politicians. Occasionally it is interpreted as an attempt to implore God for protection. However, many Jesuits also use the gesture to excuse their telling of a white lie. By extension, a similar belief is that crossing one’s fingers invalidates a promise being made
The New South Wales Government has chosen Waterloo as the 31st Sydney metro station – an area that has famously hosted a large majority of the city’s public housing residents who face financial hardship and other socio-economic issues.
The Towers are set to be rebuilt across 17 hectares of government-owned land, which will be re-zoned and redeveloped over the next 15 to 20 years, starting in mid-2017.
With his fingers still firmly crossed, Premier Mike Baird went on to explain that tenants would be accommodated wherever possible during the transition, between nervous bursts of laughter.
“I can genuinely tell you that as we sat and looked at this, the most compelling thing for all of us was that we have an opportunity to help them,” Mr Baird said.
“I have always believed that council housing looks the same wherever you are… But it is far cheaper for us if you are in Mt Druitt [laughter],”
“But, yes… If the underclass of South Sydney insist on staying in the area purely because they want to be close to the community services that have been built around them over the last century… I guess we will look at that more closely three premiers down the track,”
“Their biggest concern, I believe, is that the residents of The Towers want to remain close to their family and the community they have grown up with,”
“If need be, we can move the lot of them out west… ”
“They can drink and yell at police offers all they like out there, no need for the elevators,”
“I don’t think any Rhode Scholars have come out of The Towers… Let alone anyone I would have met before. But if they insist then, yeah… Maybe”