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SSC Newspaper : June 2011
Events put Strathfield on the map STRATHFIELD attracting visitors for far and wide and spreading the word that Strathfield is the place for entertainment, food and fun. “It’s also a celebration of our multicultural communities. But there is a much more serious side – such a major event is extremely important for our business community and will attract investors. “ We expect a big boost to Strathfield’s economic wellbeing as a result of this initiative – the first of a series of new events which will reinvigorate the locality and give Strathfield a reputation for successful events.” Council staff are working on expanding the events calendar. The October Food Festival is also to be upgraded, bringing the event to the Town Square with the participation of top local chefs and restaurants. The Strathfield Food Guide, which first appeared in 2010, will again be published by the Strathfield Scene, this time increasing its circulation to surrounding areas and allowing for upgraded listings and online ratings. Strathfield Scene 3 “I can’t walk down a supermarket aisle without someone raising an issue,” – Strathfield Councillor Paul Barron news www.ourstrathfield.com.au By Peter Lynch Strathfield’s spring fair will become a two-day extravaganza of food, film, sport and fun under plans council unveiled this week. The new-look event will be called The Strathfield Spring Festival – and organisers are confidently expecting the festivities to attract 50,000 visitors on September 10-11. It will now be a two-day event. It’s anticipated that the large number of visitors coming to Strathfield for the two-day festival will be a huge boost to the local business community. A Chinese kite festival, a Korean Lantern display and Bollywood dancers will showcase the area’s myriad cultures. A huge fireworks display and a movie under the stars will be a fittingly grand finale. Day Two will focus on food. Tastes Of Asia And European Food Experiences will give visitors a sample of the many culinary creations of local chefs and restaurants. The municipality’s sporting prowess will also be on show with a 3-on- 3 basketball competition will run throughout the day. The event has the support of the council andlocalbusiness communities Strathfield Mayor, Cr Tony Maroun, described the preparations as “nothing short of amazing”. He said: “This will be a showcase [for our municipality], “We expect a big boost to Strathfield’s economic wellbeing as a result” meet our young achiever 2011 Meet Benjamin Saruofim, the Strathfield schoolboy with a heart of gold. In just six months he raised more than $600 for special needs school Lucas Gardens, earning him the council’s Youth Achievement Award. See how he did it Page 16 By Peter Lynch and Mark Chipperfield How much is a councillor worth? Perhaps surprisingly, it proved contentious when members discussed their fees at a meeting in June. Not because they wanted more, but because one wanted less. Mayor Cr Tony Maroun, who’s been paid the minimum for two years, was awarded a fee rise to $52,960 – $16,640 as a councillor and $36,320 in his role as Mayor. “Ask any mayor and they’ll tell you that this is a full-time job. The community expects nothing less,” he said. “Since I was elected in 2009 to the mayoralty, I have received the minimum fee, despite the workload increasing substantially compared to when I was a councillor. While I’m not complaining, because holding the office of Mayor is a great honour, this has been at a great personal sacrifice.” The controversy arose when Cr Keith Kwon suggested he and his colleagues refuse a 4.2 per cent rise. It was Kwon who decided the mayor’s office should accept the minimum when he was the incumbent two years ago. To rally support for his argument that councillors reject a rise, Kwon had done the maths – it amounted to $12 a week. “I was suggesting we forgo $12 a week to show we are happy to serve the community,” he said. Cr Helen McLucas said: “I’d applaud if it was for us. But with the 2012 elections coming up, we need to create opportunities for the broader community,” adding that for many potential councillors, the real cost of attending functions and meetings was more than the allowance. For a single mum, say, there’s the cost of babysitters, transport or petrol. In the end, council voted in favour of the rise by five to one, giving councillors $16,640 a year in fees. Section 248 of the Local Government Act 1993 provides that every councillor in NSW must be paid an annual fee – with an additional fee payable to mayors under Section 249. The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal recommended a rise of 4.2 per cent for councillors and mayors across the state for the financial year 2011/12. Apart from Cr Keth Kwon, all Strathfield mayors have claimed the maximum or near-maximum mayoral allowance. “Being a councillor is a full-time job – I can’t walk down a supermarket aisle without someone raising an issue,” Cr Paul Barron said. All that, say the Remuneration Tribunal, for $320 a week. Councillors question fees as Mayor gets a rise in Brief positive sign Points to a win for Homebush The Homebush business community has welcomed the news the RTA has agreed to put up a directional sign to Homebush village on Parramatta Road. It follows vigorous lobbying by the Mainstreet Committee, Strathfield Council, MP Charles Casuscelli and the Scene. The sign, on the corner of Parramatta Road and Bridge Street, will read “Homebush Shopping Village” and be visible from eastern and western approaches. maritime muddle Landlubber buys marina A Strathfield real estate agent has been named as part owner of one of the Eastern suburbs’ landmarks - the Elizabeth Bay Marina. A report in The Sydney Morning Herald last month said Joseph Georges had acquired a 50 per cent stake in the Elizabeth Bay Marina from Labor MP and party powerbroker Eddie Obeid. According to the SMH the other 50 per cent is owned by businessman Michael Dalah, who has plans to develop the small marina into a modern $10 million boating facility accommodating up to 40 vessels. These plans have been opposed by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who wants to preserve the marina in its current state. The City of Sydney has planning control over the marina. When the Scene called the prominent Strathfield real estate agent to discuss his purchase , Georges maintained it was private. “I’m focused on my business which is selling real estate,” he said. “ What I do outside the [Strathfield] area is no-one’s business but my own.” Georges did reveal that he didn’t own a boat to park at the marina, which stands next to Sydney landmark property Boomerang, owned by Lindsay Fox. art in the right place Judge collects her portraits Former Strathfield Labor MP Virginia Judge has collected the two portraits of herself left at her Burwood office. The portraits were found by Liberal MP Charles Casuscelli when he reopened the constituency office. At the time he suggested he might auction them for charity on eBay. Strathfield: $52, 960 Bankstown: $77,420 North Sydney City: $77,420 Parramatta City: $97,670 Blacktown City: $97,670 Sydney City: $215,880 What mayors are paid