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Calm overnight in Redfern

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 17 February 2004


It has been calm overnight in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern after Sunday night's violent riot.

Aboriginal elders spent the night with other members of the community at the area known as "the Block" to prevent any further flare-ups.

Police have kept a close watch on the gathering from the nearby Redfern railway station, which was damaged during the riot.

The New South Wales Government has responded to Opposition calls to demolish the Block area by saying plans to do so are already well underway.

State Opposition leader John Brogden yesterday inspected the site of the riot and accused the Government of taking a hands-off approach in dealing with social problems in the area.

"I'd bring the bulldozers in because I think allowing this to happen every couple of years - which is what's going to happen - will never fix the problem," Mr Brogden said.

But the Premier says around 70 of the 90 houses on the block have been demolished over the past seven years.

He says of the three remaining houses in Everleigh Street only one is lived in and when the resident moves in a month, all three will be ripped down.

Another 20 houses on Lewis, Carlyn and Vine Streets will be bulldozed next year.

The Government says design plans for the Block's redevelopment should be completed within the next few weeks.


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