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PCYC to get ‘modern’ overhaul as part of new Redfern precinct

REDFERN: Basketballers, boxers and gym-goers at the Redfern PCYC have no cause for concern according to Family and Community Services (FACS) after the release of the study requirements for the new potential State Significant Precinct between Elizabeth, Phillip, Walker and Kettle streets and opposite Redfern Oval.

The 1.1hectare lot is vacant except for the PCYC, whose idiosyncratic mural provides a colourful interruption to the otherwise drab strip of waterlogged land opposite Redfern Oval. The PCYC-leased building also houses the South Sydney Aboriginal Corporation Resource Centre (SACRC) and is surrounded by a well-patronised basketball court and children’s play equipment.

FACS has told the SSH the government will work closely with PCYC to ensure minimum disruption to the operations of the PCYC, which will eventually be rehoused in a “modern new facility” on the same site as part of the redevelopment. Study requirements for the redevelopment released in January also put the “expansion” of community and recreational facilities on the site, including the PCYC, as one of the central purposes of the study.

Dominic Teakle, CEO, PCYC NSW, reiterated this and his organisation’s commitment to investigating community needs in a statement to SSH, “PCYC NSW has been working with FACS on the redevelopment of the site under the Communities Plus program and has been assured that we will be part of the facility in the future.

“We expect there will be minimum disruption to PCYC operations during the
transition to a new, state-of-the-art, indoor, active sport and recreational facility which will be developed in consultation with the community and include the investigation of community needs.”

The study also notes that the redevelopment could support the “revitalisation of the Waterloo social housing estate over the next 15 to 20 years”. With the much larger estate just blocks away, with over 2,000 social housing units, this could mean the redeveloped site is used to house a small portion of relocated tenants.

The largely abandoned nature of the site makes it an appealing short-term development objective for FACS. The overall number of new dwellings on the site is not yet determined but estimates by Channel 7 have put it at around 500. This would equate to roughly 150 social housing dwellings, in line with the proportions contained in the government’s Communities Plus policy for redeveloping the state’s social housing stock.

A FACS spokesperson told the SSH the government is looking to appoint a developer consortium through a “Request for Proposal” process by early 2019. The Waterloo social housing estate is following an alternate route to finalising the land use and development controls whereby developers are appointed after an extensive master planning process.

As the local population grows dramatically in the coming decades, places for residents living in high rise apartments to gather and recreate are a growing concern for locals. As part of the rezoning process for the Redfern site, the community will be consulted over what kinds of facilities (including sporting and fitness facilities) the site might contain.

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