City News

State to sell Millers Point property

The state government will sell almost 300 public housing properties at Millers Point, it has announced, just two days after the City of Sydney called on the government not to proceed before issuing a social impact statement.

Long-standing terraces and the Sirius apartment block are among the buildings to be sold, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday. The community services minister Pru Goward said money spent on maintaining the buildings would be better invested in social housing elsewhere.

Cr Moore expressed concerns about the residents’ future at Monday’s council meeting.

“I am extremely concerned about the distress being caused by the NSW government’s failure to inform Millers Point public housing tenants about the future of their homes,” Cr Moore said.

At a press conference at Millers Point yesterday, the Lord Mayor warned all public housing tenants their property is at risk if Macquarie Street deems their land value is too high.

“As we speak, people are going from door-to-door in Millers Point telling people they’re going to have to leave their homes,” she said.

On Monday, Cr Moore recommended to council that it call on the NSW government to honour it’s commitment to release a social impact assessment, and commit to re-house any tenants displaced by any sales in the Millers Point neighbourhood and re-invest funds from divested properties in renewing inner-city social housing estates.

Ms Goward told the Herald that relocation will occur with the help of specialist teams.

Independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, yesterday accused the government of breaking a promise on the social impact statement.

“Millers Point is one of the oldest and strongest communities in Sydney, and we can’t underestimate the health and mental costs, and impact on residents of [this] cruel announcement,” he said.

At Monday’s meeting, Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis agreed that this is an “appalling state of affairs and we need to act in order to protect the tenants” of Millers Point.

Labor councillor Linda Scott wanted the City of Sydney to put its opposition to the sale on the record. Liberal councillor Christine Forster said she believed the government would honour its commitments and said the mayor’s motion would “do nothing but inflame the fears of residents”.

It is now clear those fears were well founded. Cr Moore said the government’s decision has been driven by the adjacent Barangaroo development, but Ms Goward has previously denied this.

When nearby properties were last sold they fetched an average of $1.3 million, the Herald reported.

With Michael Koziol

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