Governments push a “big is best” mantra because it is easier for them to administer and potentially less costly. At the other extreme is the often under-resourced yet “small is beautiful” experience of many NGOs.
The proposed sale of the NSW Home Care Service to a single buyer is an example of “big is best” for government. The Aboriginal community is concerned about the implications for the clients of the Aboriginal Home Care Service which is included as part of the sale – see Not so Aboriginal Home Care? There are a number of issues: the profit motive may impact on the quality of service delivery for some of the most marginalised people in the state; there was no opportunity for the service to be split off and become Aboriginal run and controlled; and if the service delivery is sub-standard it may not respond to pressure from local elected representatives like a government service.
At the other extreme, In All things – great and small we look at the benefits of small organisations. In My choice matters Ellie Roberston discusses the benefit she has experienced by being able to manage her own care package. Both stories challenge the “big is best” mantra and invite us to look for the best outcomes for service users and communities. In The case for case management in the community we cover a different aspect – people with complex needs who need individual advocacy and case management in order to manage their disparate supports.
Urban renewal is another area where “big is best” is being rolled out as the global city. Citizens’ rights to the global city explores the relationship between a global city and its citizens who want a say in what happens. The Bays Precinct people’s campaign, has gone on the offensive listing out the principles that they want guiding any redevelopment by UrbanGrowth.
In Millers Point and the Rocks: An alternative way forward, consultants SGS found that mixed communities, that include public and affordable housing, deliver better economic outcomes than the proposed sale of public housing. In announcing The Friends of Millers Point formed we cover their initial campaigns to save Darling House and the Sirius building, which are targeted for sale in the governments public housing sell off.
Property development is happening all around us but how much do we actually know about it? An overview of property development provides an insight into what makes developers tick. In addition we also have an article on the hot button issue of Car parking and inner city planning.
In other articles we look at the NSW election boundary changes and at alcohol advertising in Alcohol in our community. One from the vault – Airport Battle acknowledges 40 years of campaigning around aircraft noise and a second airport for Sydney.
As we went to print the NSW Government released a discussion paper on social housing so we have given notice of a Community forum on the Social Housing in NSW Discussion Paper. You can find out more in Chris Martin’s Social Housing in NSW discussion paper… What is not up for discussion?
Charmaine Jones & Geoff Turnbull
Co-editors Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development