Contact: Ali Martin
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Media Release: Glebe Youth Service closed down: Greens MP calls on Minister to safeguard its future

Greens MP Jamie Parker has called on the Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward to guarantee the future of the Glebe Youth Service following the shock closure of its Glebe Point Road premises due to fire safety concerns.

Mr Parker noted that whilst safety concerns were paramount, the urgent closure pointed to negligence on the part of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation as landlord for the site.

Mr Parker said:

“This closure will have serious impacts on the community, removing vital services without notice or consultation.

“The Minister must guarantee the future of this vital service, which provides invaluable support particularly for the local Aboriginal community through services including a drop in centre, free meals, education programs, crime aversion programs and counselling.

“Whilst safety concerns are paramount, the urgency of this forced closure is due to the negligence of the Land and Housing Corporation, which should have identified any safety issues long ago if it had been properly monitoring the safety of this building.

“If the Land and Housing Corporation had properly maintained this building as an important hub for the Glebe community, there wouldn’t have been the need for such a dramatic closure, with locks changed overnight.   

“I have spoken to the Land and Housing Corporation and urgently requested a copy of the fire safety report as well as evidence of any previous reports, but so far the Corporation has failed to provide these.

“There are strong concerns that this closure will lead to the sale of the building as part of the broader sell off of precious public assets under the Liberal government.

“The former Labor government chronically underfunded public housing maintenance which has paved the way for the current Liberal government to financially justify the privatisation of public assets like this one, with devastating impacts for the community,” Mr Parker said.

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