Fiona Campbell was born in 1979 in Melbourne and purchased her house in Millers Point in 2003. In her interview she discusses the social makeup of the area, getting to know the locals, changes in use of historical buildings and her membership of the local community action group.
Interviewed in 2005, Fiona talks about the then anticipated changes to Millers Point, especially former industrial harbourfront land then called East Darling Harbour (now a major commercial and residential development under construction called Barangaroo). In the excerpt below Fiona discusses the effect of uncertainty about the future on public housing tenants.
This interview is part of Housing NSW’s 2005 Millers Point Oral History Project. The City of Sydney acknowledges the State Library of New South Wales as the archival custodian of the project and digital preserver of the masters.
The other thing that will influence the future here is what happens with the Department of Housing and I think that is another mystery. Since living here it has astounded me that nobody seems to know anything about what is happening and for me it doesn’t really matter so much because I own my house and nothing is really going to change that, but I feel for the majority of people that live here and hear all these rumours and most of them turn out not to be true – but it must be terrible to have lived somewhere for twenty years and hear a rumour that you are going to be thrown out and have to go out and find out whether it is true or not. They seem to happen quite regularly, these sort of rumours that go around, but the Department of Housing needs to do something around here, I think. Just walking around the streets and seeing the beautiful old houses that are not falling down, but certainly not looking their best, the peeling paint and the graffiti on the walls, rusted balconies and pipes that are broken – it doesn’t look good.
The tourist industry around here, there’s a lot of people getting probably a not very good impression of Sydney from walking around and seeing some of that, so I think they need to spend a lot of money. Probably to make a lot of money they are probably going to end up selling some of the real estate around here I imagine, hopefully not all of it or not much of it.