ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A section of council housing in the French Quarter that was earmarked for redevelopment will now be sold by the Shire after the development application was opposed almost unanimously by local residents.
The denizens of Rue de Putain and Jardins du Branlette successfully argued that making more affordable housing available in the area will lead to more interactions with poor people who haven’t worked as hard as them.
One resident explained that people in affordable housing often have mental health problems, which make can lead to the area being unsafe for her children.
The Advocate spoke to Danny Solander and Maggie Green, who together run “Keep The Frenchie Weird”, an anti-development group that was the driving force being the opposition.
Danny explained he had a working-class background, without being asked, and that he wanted to protect the French Quarter’s history. Even if it comes at the expense of people who don’t have as much money as him.
“I grew up working class,” he said again.
“It was only during the property boom that my parents became millionaires. They owned their home outright, they worked hard for it. Because it was their primary home, they didn’t have to pay capital gains on it when they sold it. So they were able to help Maggie and I into a house in the French Quarter, despite the both of us spending our 20s and 30s doing everything but working and saving,”
“I’m still working-class, which is why I find it hard to oppose something like public housing. But I just don’t think bringing poor people or “New Australians” into my heritage listed suburb is the right thing to do, with respect to heritage and history.”
“I think they’d be better off in their established communities, out in Betoota Ponds. We go out there sometimes and visit the restaurants, their food is so nice. But I think their kids should go to school with other kids that don’t speak English at home. For heritage reasons,” she said.
“We’re working class people. We adhere to rockabilly culture. Danny smokes his own meat at home. Middle-class people go to a BBQ restaurant and pay $50 a head for it,”
“Make sure you put in the article that we’re working class.”
More to come.