DOZENS gathered at East Albury on Tuesday to voice their opposition to a social housing project in the pipeline but all were convinced their protests would fall on deaf ears.
"It's a vicious circle - they haven't bothered to engage us - they've given us a fait accompli," one resident who didn't want to be named said.
"It's quite a significant problem. If we have our faces in the paper, we'll have our houses torched, we'll be afraid to walk on the street after dark," said another.
Supermarket owner Bob Mathews said he understood why people were terrified to speak their minds.
"I can understand why people are afraid," Mr Mathews said. "People come to see me in the supermarket - I'm there on the corner nearby and we have issues already, we have thefts in the supermarket.
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"The government just runs roughshod all over people. They can now argue that they've had a public meeting but I think it's been done and dusted."
Resident Allan Black, who owns a block next to the proposed project, said the idea to help needy people was good in principle but problems would lie ahead for residents.
NSW MP Justin Clancy said the project was in its initial stages of consultation but, while he conceded there were challenges to be overcome, he stood by the project as a sensible use of available space.
"If you drive past that precinct at the moment there are boarded-up houses - we have a challenge to provide social housing and we need to respond to that," he said.
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