DevelopmentHousingNewsWaterloo redevelopment

Get involved, have your say

It has been a month since Waterloo Estate was named a State Significant Precinct and the process of master planning officially commenced. Since the announcement, technical consultants have been working across the estate, assessing everything from traffic to trees, to develop a comprehensive understanding of the places and spaces of Waterloo Estate. For the majority of residents, the initiation of master planning has mostly likely had little if any direct impact on daily life, as the studies so far have focused on the built and natural environment.

This however is all about to change.

In the coming weeks Land and Housing Corporation will be running a series of workshops across the estate focusing on the future vision of Waterloo. These workshops, facilitated by specialist engagement consultants, will provide residents opportunities to have input into what they would like to see during the redevelopment process as well as into the ultimate future vision for the estate.

To ensure residents have the necessary skills, information and confidence to actively participate in these workshops, Thomas Chailloux from Inner Sydney Voice has been coordinating a number of capacity building workshops, discussing urban design concepts including principles of master planning, living in densely populated areas, and visioning through nostalgia. Many residents who have attended report a greater understanding of planning concepts as well as increased confidence that attending the upcoming master planning consultations will help the community. While we appreciate the risk of “workshop fatigue”, we continue to encourage residents to get involved in the various independent capacity building workshops as well as numerous community led projects running across the estate.

Recently, there have been some enquiries into the legitimacy of Thomas’ and my roles, specifically regarding the genuineness of our independence. We respect this reaction and appreciate that people may question our funding; however, it is important to emphasise that we both work independently for community organisations that have continuously acted on behalf of the community for decades, despite being government funded in some capacity. As the independent community workers for the Waterloo redevelopment, we continue to advocate for the voices of Waterloo residents to not only be heard, but to have direct impact on the decisions being made about their community and their future.

If you are reading this thinking you would like participate in the master planning process but you’re not really sure how to go about it … fear not! Keep an eye out for upcoming workshops advertised across the estate, talk to your Waterloo NAB representative to provide feedback on community engagement strategies, drop by the newly opened WPHAG Future Planning Centre (Wellington Street, opposite the IGA), or come and see me at The Factory to find out what is going on.

Now is the time to get involved, have your say and be a part of the future vision for Waterloo.

Kira Osborne is Waterloo Redevelopment Community Development Officer with Counterpoint: email wrcd@counterpoint.org.au; phone 9698 9569 ext 6.

Thomas Chailloux is Capacity Building Project Worker with Inner Sydney Voice: email cb@innersydneyvoice.org.au; mobile 0490 030 809. Thomas works Monday to Thursday.

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