Hey ARCCO, don't evict the Bower!
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The Bower is being evicted from the iconic straw bale building they have operated from for 20 years. This morning, the Bower’s staff came to work to find the locks had been changed, and the future of the organisation is suddenly in danger.
The Bower's flagship reuse and repair centre has diverted tens of thousands of tonnes of reusable goods from landfill, helped thousands of people to repair their goods for free, and is the headquarters where staff work from, delivering programs to reduce waste and support survivors of domestic abuse and refugees.
Sadly the Bower's landlord, the Addison Road Community Centre Organisation (ARCCO), is determined to remove the reuse and repair sector from the centre. Both the Bower and Reverse Garbage have been the targets of a sustained campaign to remove them, and over the years ARCCO has tried various tactics to undermine their operations and achieve this.
Five years ago, ARCCO tried to change the Bower’s lease without their knowledge, altering the term from five years to two years.
Two years ago, ARCCO raised the rent of the Bower and Reverse Garbage by 250% - the only organisations in the centre to receive this astronomical increase.
ARCCO is today evicting the Bower based on a compliance order issued by the Inner West Council. The order says that parts of the Bower’s building must be demolished, and the Bower is happy to comply, but cannot meet the unrealistic deadline imposed by ARCCO. The Bower has submitted plans to demolish the relevant parts of its building before the end of the calendar year.
We can flood ARCCO with calls demanding a solution on 9569 7633.
The Inner West Council, who issued the compliance order, do not want their order to be the basis for the Bower’s eviction. The Mayor, Darcy Byrne, has indicated that the process the Bower has outlined to resolve the compliance issues is completely in line with Council's normal practice.
The Mayor has also offered mediation to resolve the issues between ARCCO and the Bower, but to date ARCCO have not responded to this offer.
ARCCO need to come to the negotiating table. This situation can be easily resolved, without a pioneering environmental charity being evicted from the building they have served the community from for 20 years.
We are friends of the Bower, staff and former staff, workshop teachers, community volunteers and the people who've been picking up bargains at the Bower for years. We are people who believe in reuse and repair and don't want one of best examples of circular economy in Sydney to disappear.
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