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22026Re: DSP racism in Marrickville by-election "analysis"

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  • Pip Hinman & Peter Boyle
    Sep 21, 2005
      Bob, save your outrage about racism for the ALP.

      Pip Hinman

      * * *

      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
      the Block".

      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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