NSW Labor must not privatise half of new homes in Eveleigh and Camperdown

Kobi Shetty MP  -  Media Release  -  02, July 2024

1 July 2024 

The Greens welcome today’s announcement that the NSW Labor Government will develop public land at the Carriageworks precinct in Eveleigh to build 500 new homes, of which 250 will be social and affordable housing, and deliver 100 homes on a former WestConnex dive site in Camperdown. 

With median rent in NSW soaring to $700 a week and the national rental vacancy rate hovering at 1.3%, the need for public, social, and genuinely affordable housing is greater than ever. Our communities desperately need alternatives to a private rental market that is failing catastrophically. 

Today's announcement is a step in the right direction, but more ambition is needed to meet growing community need. NSW Labor must maintain all homes built on these public sites in public ownership, rather than privatising some – or up to half, in the Eveleigh project – and handing them over to private developers. 

Greens spokesperson for Housing & Homelessness and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP said: 

“We welcome the announcement that the NSW Government will build 500 new homes on public land in Redfern, in the heart of the Newtown electorate. Rather than privatising half of these, the government should ensure all 500 remain in public hands. 

“In the Inner City alone, over 700 approved applicants face wait times of up to 10 years for social housing – committing all 500 of the new homes to be built at Redfern as public and social housing would house everyone on the priority housing list in this area, and then some. 

“Under the former NSW Coalition government’s ‘Communities Plus’ model, public housing estates were demolished and redeveloped to deliver only marginal increases in social housing. This announcement proves what the Greens have said all along: that is a broken model, and it is possible to build new public and social housing without demolishing existing public homes and evicting tenants. 

“The current NSW Labor Government were elected on an anti-privatisation agenda and the Greens are committed to holding them to this promise - it’s unacceptable that they are now moving to privatise 50% of these new developments on public land.” 

Greens Member for Balmain, Kobi Shetty MP said: 

“Today’s announcement that the old WestConnex dive site in Camperdown will be re-purposed and used to build more than 100 new homes is an incredibly welcome step. This is exactly the type of site that we have been calling on the government to use for more housing. It’s a well-connected spot, currently sitting unused and the construction of 100+ new homes is much neede

“That said, I remain concerned about the Labor Government's plans to partner with the private sector for this development. The government needs to prioritise the construction of public housing on public land.  

“The public housing waitlist is already far too long. Just today I’ve heard from a young mum who is couch-surfing with her three-year-old child while stuck on the priority housing waitlist. Failing to use this site for public housing would be a missed opportunity to help those most in need of housing in our community.”