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SSC Newspaper : June 2010
.au Strathfeld Scene 9 "Australian Catholic University congratulates Strathfeld on its 125th aniversary. We look forward to many more years of connection” – Professor Greg Craven THE BIG ISSUE ADVERTISE Reach 30,000 customers -- contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org infrastructure. We need roads and car parks to cope with the increased tra c." And while the community lobbies for e cient transport and a sustainable future, developers are falling behind targets set by the State Government and claiming levies are too high to deliver a ordable housing. e chief executive of the developer-funded Urban Taskforce, Aaron Gadiel, said: "Levies force the price up to the point where the project is unfeasible. "If the private sector is going to deliver on these homes set by the Metro Strategy, it has to make commercial sense." Part of the nancial burden of increased infrastructure, he says, would then be passed on to the community through higher rates. As Strath eld celebrates its 125th birthday, the question remains: will the municipality we leave to future generations maintain its unique characteristics? Manoj Kondapalli, 22, came from southern India to Australia over a year ago to study for a master's degree in computing and to "experience a beautiful country that has lots of nature". "When I rst arrived I had a lot of problems nding a home," Kondapalli says. "I didn't have pay slips and I couldn't lease a property. I had to wait for six months until I could lease a place in my own name. I felt very insecure." He found a home in the outer west but yearned for the convenience of Strath eld life. "Strath eld is central to everywhere," he says. "Many other students live here and it's a good life, even be er than India." Kondapalli found a part- time job at a hospital and started paying o the loans he had accrued he arrived, then began sur ng the internet for accommodation. Four months ago he found a two-bedroom apartment. "I pay $460 a week in rent, but I rent out the other room to other students," he says. "It's expensive, you pay a li le more to live here, but rent anywhere in Sydney is expensive." But apart from some housing stress "I like it, because I feel safe here and it's a friendly country". Sam Bechara and his family have built in and around Strath eld for decades. He's dealt with 30 councils around Sydney and says calls to reduce levies miss the main point. Developers are restricted from meeting population growth targets through rezoning and other delays in the development application (DA) process. " e developer contributions are reasonable at Strath eld Council," he says. " ey're in line with other councils and they're justi ed. e money builds new projects for the community. " e problem is zoning. Developers are like bees to owers. If you give them land to build on, they will follow." Bechara says that irrespective of government policy, other forces dictate whether projects are successful. "I'm more concerned that the market is good. Right now, it's good for apartments, and that means projects will proceed," he says. "What also ma ers is the time it takes to process a DA. For a four- or ve-storey block of apartments, this shouldn't take longer than three months and the absolute maximum should be six months. Delayed DAs mean we're coughing up money and that cost will be passed on to the customers." RENTER DEVELOPER too many people, not enough room "It's expensive but I like it" Homes will follow zoning THE NEW Federal Minister for Population, Tony Burke, took part in what may well have been his rst election campaign while still a Strath eld schoolboy. As vice captain of St Patrick's College in 1987, perhaps his best-known achievement was when he orchestrated a campaign, "Target Ten ousand", to raise money for a children's charity. Morris Iemma, the former NSW Premier, signed him to the Labor Party. Burke went on to work for Graham Richardson, former federal minister and powerbroker. In April he was elevated to the new and controversial portfolio, a post he holds in conjunction with his Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry duties. Asked why he was chosen, Burke told journalists: "Because I grew up in our biggest city and have spent the past two-and-a-half years in country and remote Australia." Whether his knowledge of Strath eld will a ect the way he views the growth of Australia's population, only time will tell. He lives with his wife and three daughters in the Watson electorate just south of Strath eld. e Scene asked his o ce for comment, but at the time of going to press had not received a reply. Burke's job is to try to balance the growth of Australia's population with resources -- a dilemma only too familiar to Strath eld planners. His appointment has been questioned by political opponents. Opposition Leader Tony Abbo said the logical man for the job would have been Immigration Minister Chris Evans. Present immigration policies are also under a ack. e Opposition's spokesman on immigration, Sco Morrison, has been quoted as saying the annual intake of 300,000 is too high. A Lowy Institute poll reported that 69 per cent of Australians would prefer a population of 30 million or less, as opposed to the Federal Treasury projection of a population of about 36 million by 2050. Burke says that Australians need to accept that the population will grow, and his position was not one of counting people. Burke concedes that his main challenge is equipping particular regions, such as Strath eld, with the infrastructure necessary to cope with the projected boom in numbers. Strath eld's Population Minister IntroducIng the people of StrathfIeld *ABS = Australian Bureau of Statistics POPULATION GROWTH 2004: 31,470 (*ABS) 2008: 35,124 (ABS) 2011: 36,200 (projected) 2021: 41,600 (projected) 2036: 50,100 (projected) AGE GROUP OF POPULATION (ABS 2006) 0-14: 16.8% 15-24: 17.6% 25-34: 17.8% 35-44: 13.5% 45-54: 13.5% 55-64: 9.1% 65-74: 5.7% 75-84: 4.1% 85+: 1.8% LANGUAGE SPOKEN AT HOME (ABS 2006) 61.1% of the population speak a language other than English at home HOUSEHOLDS (ABS 2006) 32% couples with children 21% lone households 19% childless couples 17% single parents 9% group homes WHO LIVES WHERE (ABS 2006) 37% renting 36% own outright 23% purchaser BORN OVERSEAS (ABS 2006) 54.6% born overseas www.ourstrathfeld.com