Shalvey's sad state reflects stagnation

Obstacle course: Shalvey Community Centre development worker Carol Dwyer and volunteer Alison Evans in the laneway that backs onto Tandara Reserve. The laneway was supposed to be part of Housing NSW's renewal plans for the suburb. It says Blacktown Council is responsible for the reserve and laneway. Picture: Gary Warrick

Obstacle course: Shalvey Community Centre development worker Carol Dwyer and volunteer Alison Evans in the laneway that backs onto Tandara Reserve. The laneway was supposed to be part of Housing NSW's renewal plans for the suburb. It says Blacktown Council is responsible for the reserve and laneway. Picture: Gary Warrick

PROMISES were made to revive Shalvey as a thriving social and economic centre.

Three years on, residents believe Housing NSW has done little to improve the suburb through the Shalvey hub precinct regeneration project.

The strategy, announced in 2011, aimed to provide a mix of social and private housing by giving people on low-to-moderate incomes an opportunity to buy land lots and redevelop outdated housing properties.

Many Shalvey public housing tenants were relocated because of the plans.

A masterplan set out improvements to open space and the Shalvey Community Centre.

Today, Tandarra Reserve consists of two old swings and is a dumping ground for old televisions, shopping trolleys and garden waste, as well as broken glass and syringes.

"I've seen maintenance workers mow over the rubbish," community worker Carol Dwyer said.

"Leaving it there just encourages vandalism. Housing NSW were required to make minor embellishments to the park as part of its renewal plans. Two swings aren't enough for a community of kids here."

Blocks of land where public housing tenants once lived have remained wastelands since homes were demolished.

"The suburb looks uninviting," Mrs Dwyer said.

"The residents here don't deserve this.

"Why isn't the job being completed?

"Residents ask me at the centre what is going on but I can't tell them because we don't know anything either."

The project scope has been adjusted because $4.3 million was allocated by the previous government to the Shalvey program, significantly less than the estimated project cost of $9.3 million, said a Community Services spokesman.

"The current program includes works to improve electrical and plumbing infrastructure, exterior painting, updating the aspect of some dwellings and installing new carports and driveways, fencing and letterboxes where required," the spokesman said.

"This is targeted for completion by the end of July 2014. Land and Housing Corporation has an ongoing program to strategically review its portfolio to guide decisions about the locations of housing to meet the needs of the community.

"The future of the vacant lots will be evaluated as part of this process."

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