Yesterday the Minister for Housing, Martin Foley, and the local MP for Essendon Danny Pearson visited the Flemington Estate to hear from tenants.
Before the meeting began the Minister and the MP were caught up in an emergency when a passer-by collapsed in front of them. The gentleman started turning blue and 000 was called. The operator instructed Danny Pearson on how to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived.
The patient was revived and taken to hospital and it is hoped that he will be able to make a full recovery.
When the meeting got underway the Minister was able to hear from a room full of residents.
Many issues were raised such as difficulties with the transfer system, maintenance and anti-social behaviour by a small minority of the tenants.
One tenant also raised concerns about media reports about the Waterloo Estate in Sydney. The NSW Government is redeveloping the estate and will demolish the existing buildings, including the high-rise towers. The Government has told all of the residents that they will have to move.
In responding to the issues the Minister recognised the need for more public housing. In particular he acknowledged that many of the concrete walk-up blocks around the State are in poor condition.
The next test of this commitment will be the State Budget in May. The Government have the opportunity then to put in place real measures to grow public housing in Victoria.