22026Re: DSP racism in Marrickville by-election "analysis"
- Sep 21, 2005Bob, save your outrage about racism for the ALP.
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I didn't want the job anyway - Sartor
By Robert Wainwright, Andrew Clennell and Tim Dick
Sydney Morning Herald, September 22, 2005
The embattled Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, has revealed he does not
even want the job the Government is desperately trying to save him from
relinquishing, presenting the new Premier, Morris Iemma, with his first
real test as leader.
As calls for his resignation grew, a flustered Mr Sartor told an
estimates committee last night that he "did not seek and resisted the
[Redfern-Waterloo] job". His outburst came as members of the Aboriginal
Housing Company accused Mr Sartor of an entrenched pattern of
inappropriate behaviour over Redfern, including bullying and consistent
racist views about black ghettos.
The company's chief executive officer, Mick Mundine, said he had
accepted an apology from Mr Sartor because "it is the Aboriginal thing
to do" after the minister suggested on radio that he get off his
backside and "bring your black arse" in to talk about future of
Aboriginal housing at the Block at Redfern. But Mr Mundine added
yesterday: "It is not one-off. It is a pattern of behaviour in the way
he deals with us, and it is not working. I regard the things he has said
and done as racist."
Housing company executives told of a series of behind-the scenes
incidents in which Mr Sartor allegedly stood over or bullied board members.
The company's board, which will meet today to decide whether to take
action under the Antidiscrimination Act, said the latest gaffe was the
final straw. Its members want Mr Sartor, who denies the allegations,
stood down and are demanding to deal with Mr Iemma over the project's
Local sentiment against Mr Sartor is so strong that the Redfern branch
of the Labor Party passed a motion on Tuesday calling for his sacking.
Details have emerged of a fiery meeting in a Parliament House committee
room in early July during which Mr Sartor allegedly threatened a project
consultant, Peter Valilis, who he believed was accusing him of trying to
clear all Aborigines from Redfern. Mr Valilis and another consultant,
Colin James, an architect, had both responded angrily to a radio
interview with Mr Sartor on June 15 during which he said the "white"
pair had too much influence.
Mr Sartor, who confirmed last night he had sought legal advice over Mr
Valilis's comments, was highly critical of Sydney University project
architects who, he said, he "wouldn't feed".
Aboriginal Housing Company members told of a meeting on February 8 in
which Mr Sartor had insisted there be no Aboriginal housing on the
Block. According to Mr Mundine, who attended the meeting, Mr Sartor
said: "Ideally, I want no Aboriginal housing on the Block [but] if you
push me I'll allow 19."
He had then added that "no good Aboriginal person would want to live on
Mr Sartor denied making the second comment and said his view on the
amount of Aboriginal housing had been misinterpreted.
He had not sought, and had even resisted, the Redfern-Waterloo
portfolio, he told the estimates committee last night.
A spokesman for Mr Iemma said he had made his position clear and stood
by Mr Sartor.
The Aboriginal Land Council added to calls for Mr Sartor to resign from
his Redfern-Waterloo portfolio. The chief executive, William Johnstone,
said: "Premier Iemma may think Mr Sartor's gaffe has been rectified;
many in the Aboriginal community do not."
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