by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
SSC Newspaper : October 2010
Strathfield Scene 7 "I don't play politics. I do what is right for the community.” -- Cr Hope Brett-Bowen. COUNCIL NEWS www.ourstrathfield.com.au New mayor "A man on a mission" By Natalie O'Brien and Peter Lynch Tony Maroun's proudest boast about his year at the head of Strath eld Council is that he has brought unity a er the acrimony that surrounded the council's rst year in power. Cr Maroun says that councillors now share dinner at the close of each council meeting, where they discuss upcoming issues rather than try to resolve them in heated debate in the chamber. It has also been a year -- Strath eld's 125th as a municipality -- which has seen a number of great achievements. e Local Environment Plan is now with the State Government awaiting approval before going on public exhibition -- a plan from which a detailed blueprint to deal with population growth and infrastructure will come. e town square project is a racting interest, and will create a massive change to the architectural shape of the city centre should it win investment and nal approval. e new plan removes tra c from the centre and instead produces a pedestrian-friendly retail and food precinct. ese two proposals alone will present Strath eld with enormous potential. But it has also been a year which has seen the homes of some councillors bugged and one councillor resign. e upcoming year may also be tumultuous. NSW goes into a state election in March, and more imminently a new councillor to replace Danny Lim will soon be elected which may change the complexion of the council. Cr Maroun defeated Councillor Paul Barron to become Mayor in 2009. is year, there were again two candidates for the position: Cr Maroun and former Deputy Mayor Keith Kwon. e mayor and his former deputy are now at loggerheads. But the new deputy, Hope Bre -Bowen, has pledged support for Cr Maroun. So what kind of man is Cr Maroun, whose re-election appears to have surprised many in Strath eld and its surrounds? " e best way to summarise me is that I am the anti-hero. I am shy, that is why I don't like to say too much about myself," says the father- of-three who was rst elected to Strath eld Council two years ago. It was not his rst term on a council. Cr Maroun is something of a local government veteran. Previously, he has been on Burwood Council for nine years -- also ser ving as Mayor from 1998 to 1999. Despite maintaining that he is a shy man, there is li le doubting this man of Lebanese heritage can be a tough politician. He fronts many Strath eld events and has won awards for his community work -- he proudly shows the Scene one he keeps in his o ce from the Lebanese Community Council of NSW. He has toughed out a acks on everything from his car to the fact that he is currently not living in Strath eld -- although he has had strong links to the area for more than 45 years and was "business endorsed" to run for the council. ere is a human story behind his decision to relocate, but Cr Maroun would prefer not to reveal the reasons behind the decision, saying that he does not want to involve his family in public a airs. ose who criticise his current address are clearly hi ing a raw ner ve. Cr Maroun is more comfortable speaking about the job at hand -- reunifying the council a er the split over the mayoral vote. He says that the events of the last few months have made him even more determined to remain as mayor. So what drives him? "I am on a mission I am going to ser ve the community," he says. "I want to build on what I have already achieved which is unity and stability. at is what we are here for. We are elected as community representatives. We are the closest level of representation to the community, and I want to continue that and engage with the community and work with them on community- based issues." Cr Maroun says the big issue for the year ahead will be dealing with Strath eld's ever increasing population. "Strath eld is a beautiful area," he says. "But where do we put the new people coming to Strath eld? We have been having forums and asking people to write in to give us their views. It's a challenge for every council. So that will be a big issue." Cr Maroun says the council is looking to strike a balance between the demands of a rising population and the need to maintain the beautiful character that exists in Strath eld. "Strath eld is the jewel of the inner-west and I intend to keep it that way," he says. "It is one of the fastest growing populations in NSW and we hope this LEP will cater for that demand." Cr Maroun says while there is a growing demand for housing there are also heritage issues to consider: "What we are trying to achieve is to cater for both of these demands." Cr Maroun claims he "doesn't care" who is elected at the by- election due to be held later this month, as long as "they work with us to keep the council moving in the right direction and for the common good". He says the council already has a good team -- he particularly values the support of the Cr Bre -Bowen. Ultimately, Cr Maroun would like to put politics aside and work for the community. He wants to steer clear of being labeled a "liberal Mayor ". "You have to be neutral," he says. Back to business ..... Deputy Mayor Hope Bre -Bowen and Mayor Tony Maroun. STRATHFIELD'S new deputy mayor is a scooter-riding, Tigers-supporting, no-nonsense lawyer with a social conscience. In her newly elevated position, Councillor Hope Brett-Bowen won a review of the council's current asbestos policies. The council also agreed to give $3000 towards research conducted by the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia. "This is something I am very passionate about," she told council. "We need to change the state and federal laws in regards to asbestos policies." It is the second time Cr Hope Brett-Bowen has been elected deputy mayor -- and she is keen to get on with the job. "I don't play politics, I do what is right for the community." Cr Brett-Bowen told the Scene that among the issues she is keen to tackle over the next year is the question of heritage. "I am in favour of conserving our heritage because that is what makes our area unique." Cr Brett-Bowen is also keen to keep pushing the town square project. When she is not at the council the newly-married councillor is a lawyer at Turner Freeman, but is currently working as a project officer with the Abestos Diseases Foundation. "The work I do is supporting victims and their families, education and raising awareness about the disease." DEPUTY'S PERSONAL PLEA WINS ASBESTOS REVIEW