July 22, 2003


Diversity is cool! And homeless people are cute! Sydney Greens politician Silvia Hale wants to keep the cute homeless folks in Darlinghurst, because that’s what people want. She’s arguing here with Stateline reporter Janice Petersen and St John’s church rector Greg Thompson, who plans to build apartment blocks on church land:

SILVIA HALE: They will do nothing to add to the diversity and they will certainly do everything to drive out the homeless from this community.

GREG THOMPSON: You have never been interested in this church until this. It's all about your political aspirations on the back of homeless people, and you are prepared to align yourself with wealthy people who do not care for our work.

JANICE PETERSEN: St John's has allowed development to happen before. In the 1960s, its school was demolished and the land leased. But what does the local community want?

SILVIA HALE: They want the park, they want open space, they want homeless people, they want community facilities. What they don't want is 6-storey high-rise apartments that cater only for the wealthy, and that's what you're proposing here.

JANICE PETERSEN: Local resident Jo Holder agrees and says the development also threatens the characteristic diversity of the neighbourhood.

JO HOLDER, DARLINGHURST RESIDENT: This is designed to be an ecclesiastical -- essentially a 12th century monastic estate. They're really turning it into a sort of 2000 equivalent of a Westfield shopping mall.

Jo Holder isn’t just a “local resident”. She’s an anti-development activist who has organised protests against the proposed apartments. The ABC forgot to mention this.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 22, 2003 04:07 AM

Interesting to read how the 'activist' is partly being funded (story about selling art). I've often wondered, apart from being wealthy, how the various 'activists' world wide support themselves.

It must be expensive being an 'activist' today. Not only do you have your day to day food, housing, etc. but you have transportation costs if you attend the various global demonstrations.

If I wanted to be an 'activist' I wouldn't have the time. Job, kids, elderly parents all take up time and not much left for anything else.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at July 22, 2003 at 05:16 AM

And once again, I become confused. I thought it said the church owned the land.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 22, 2003 at 06:22 AM

They can have our homeless.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at July 22, 2003 at 07:16 AM

What they are scared of is that a whole lot of nice people might move in and stop the area from being a haven for criminals and prostitutes. Also the nice people might not vote for the ALP or greens. This of course would improve the local community no end.

Posted by: Toryhere at July 22, 2003 at 08:40 AM

Having lived in the area many years ago, I was fortunate to have witnessed this wonderful diversity, and can understand why the Greens wish to preserve it.

When walking in the neighbourhood with the family we experienced some of this first hand; sometimes so much that you'd feel the need to shepherd the kids across the road. Also best avoided were some parks that provided perhaps a little too much diversity for boring middle-class Anglo kids.

In fact some of the characters and the artefacts strewn in the area were so diverse they could cause personal injury. Now that's diverse alright!

And those lovely old hobos around Woolloomooloo and Darlinghurst really added to the rich atmosphere, hurling colourful abuse at passing females. And their attempts at physical contact, impaired only by their inebriation, were really quite charming.

Without all that diversity we'd have to hire someone to dump dirty needles and smashed bottles; and probably a large team of volunteers to urinate and defecate on public facilities.

And what would become of the Green vote in the area?

Posted by: The at July 22, 2003 at 08:50 AM


Posted by: Parabellum at July 22, 2003 at 10:57 AM

What with Bob Carr sliding his tongue down the most feral trousers to try to pick up the green vote, and a new mayor in sydney who just happens to be the wife of Malcolm "point me whichever way the wind is blowing" Turnbull, i would say the outcome will be: pleasant safe unit block- lost
haven for deranged, drunk and drug addled degenerates: won.
I wasn't aware that winos were a powerful voting bloc until now.

Posted by: Paul Bickford at July 22, 2003 at 11:39 AM

We in the deep north are also having a camp-out this friday night to raise funds for the homeless- a chance to reflect on their lifestyle etc. The promoters are yabbering about "pillowfights" etc, but have failed to mention fighting with invisible adversaries, speaking in tongues and rolling around in one's own filth to make it really authentic.
Because someone is sleeping in a ban, does it help in any way to do likewise when you are wealthy enough to afford shelter?
I reckon give money to "Beer For The Homeless" rather than this bollocks- give the buggers what they want. They don't want a clean shelter, want they want is booze; direct charity at work.

Posted by: Paul Bickford at July 22, 2003 at 11:44 AM

should be "sleeping in a BIN, not ban"

Posted by: Paul Bickford at July 22, 2003 at 11:45 AM

From PJ O'Rourke:

Right-wing guy one: Why is it that the minute something upsets the left they can organise protests with printed banners, thousands of marchers and celebrity speakers; yet when something bothers the right we never organise anything?

Right-wing guy two: We have jobs.

Posted by: PK at July 22, 2003 at 04:13 PM

"They want homeless people"

HALE has to be a new addition for Marrs fuckwit file!

Posted by: Gilly at July 22, 2003 at 06:49 PM

I probably need to get a life, but I can't get over that people want homeless people comment.

I wonder what homeless people would think of Hales comment? She seems to be suggesting that they are some kind of shared community amenity.

"They want the park, they want open space, they want homeless people, they want community facilities"

Is she going to provide them for all Australian's or are they just for the lucky inner city dwellers?

Governments always seem to be hounded by the left to give more money to the homeless. ACOSS and St Vincent De Paul are always screaming about the poor getting poorer and the government being 'mean'. It appears Hale is happy with that. If we solved the problems of homelessness, poverty and drug addication it would rob her suburb of 'colour'

Have the homeless been listed as protected - is that what has sparked HALES interest?

Who the hell votes for these morons?

Posted by: Gilly at July 22, 2003 at 10:03 PM

From Paul Bickford: "I wasn't aware that winos were a powerful voting bloc until now"

Yes they are. That's why the Democrats (the American ones) were busing them in and giving them booze and cigarettes to vote in the 2000 election.

And of course the lefties want homeless people. Their policies are directed at making more of them.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 23, 2003 at 12:53 AM

What is really offensive is , the project is not another socialisto `solution ' by big nanny government , it is private . The worst offence of all, really gets up communistos' nostrils. There are a few good clerics about for otherwise. there the churches are dominated by communistos for whom the way to a better world is to bring on socialist nirvana.

Yup, let the tramps enjoy the streets. And don't forget to drop them a few pennies for their favourite tipple.

Posted by: d at July 23, 2003 at 09:46 AM

That's the great thing about Sydney Anglican clergy -- they don't care about political correctness (of either the Left or the Right; c/f how Peter Jensen, upon being elected Archbishop, promptly denounced a couple of Howard/ Liberal policies -- and the Phillip Adamses/ Barney Zwartzes of the commentariat simply COULD NOT COMPUTE how this could possibly be so. After all, the guy believes in God -- so therefore he MUST be a foaming, Aborigine-hating, refugee-shooting troglodyte...)

For anyone interested, US blogger Clayton Cramer has a very interesting article posted today about the rights of mentally-ill homeless people -- go to URL http:// www.claytoncramer.com/ mental.htm, use SEARCH to find the word "ACLU". [remove spaces before slashes, which I had to put in so the URL wouldn't vanish]

Posted by: Uncle Milk at July 23, 2003 at 03:01 PM