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SSC Newspaper : March 2012
8 Strathfield Scene news march 2012 news Food outlets hit back over shame list By Sarah Macklin Hindu worshippers hope to begin building a new temple dedicated to elephant god Ganesh in Homebush towards the end of the year. They have received approval from Strathfield Council to demolish their existing meeting room at 123 The Crescent and replace it with a main temple and five smaller shrines surrounding an open courtyard. The new Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Temple, costing $950,000, has been designed in accordance with ancient architectural techniques by renowned Indian architects Vivek Vedic, according to the temple’s spokesman Vithya Sarma. “Now we hope to start building towards the end of the year, and work will probably take six to nine months,” he said. “The design is based on ancient traditions and the architects have won many awards. We were disappointed at the delay but have now resolved the issues through negotiations.” A petition with 42 local residents’ signatures initially objected to the application, along with 217 letters of support. Up to 30 people are expected at the daily prayer sessions called pooja, with a maximum of 50 expected on Friday and Saturday evenings. These are mainly quiet affairs with no recorded music, as priest Sivasri Ragunatha Kurukkal chants and rings a small bell. Ceremonies are also held to mark the birth of children, weddings, and to gain blessings when people move into new homes or offices. The temple will be open from 7am to 1pm and 4.15pm to 9pm, with services typically around 20 minutes long. Planning officers concluded that the temple’s services are unlikely to be noisy enough to affect nearby residents. Signs will also be installed reminding devotees to leave quietly. Incense will be burnt only within the main temple and not in the courtyard areas, avoiding any odours for neighbours. Eight parking bays will be built underground, and a small kitchen at the rear of the site will distribute traditional sweets brought as offerings by the congregation. Most temple-goers speak the Tamil language and are Hindus from South India or Sri Lanka. The temple was established in 2003 as Sydney’s first dedicated to Ganesh, the god of wisdom. Colours on the new temple will blend in with the surrounding area, with the main shrine being built in imported Indian black stone. Secondary shrines around the courtyard will be finished in ash grey, while the main entrance gate will be painted cream. The Taj of Homebush Food INSPECToRS have put 20 Strathfield restaurants on their “name and shame” list in the past year for dirty premises. The NSW Food Authority imposed fines on the offending restaurants totalling more than $30,000 for breaches of food hygiene regulations. The worst of these is six-time repeat offender Pho Saigon in The Crescent, Homebush West. Last year it was found guilty of having live cockroaches, food stored in ways that invite contamination and a dirty kitchen. Wen Ut Nguyen, owner of Pho Saigon, argued that it’s not easy complying with the hygiene regulations. “There are a lot of things you need to do. You can’t put this here and you need to have this there. It’s hard. “ The building is very old. Just yesterday it was raining and we found a leak in the roof. I needtofixitandIhavetopayfor maintenance fees and council fees. I have to pay for everything.” And the authority’s fines amounting to $2,640 did his budget no favours. But he claimed he has now cleaned up his act. “Last time they (food inspectors) came, they said everything is okay. I’m ready for next time they come. They come about every six months. “I’m careful, I do everything they told me to,” added Nguyen. Pho Saigon was not a standalone offender in the area. Nineteen other restaurants in the Strathfield local government area featured on the list and food inspectors found live cockroaches in half of them. Na Ju Gom Tang Korean restaurant in Albert Road was found with live cockroaches just this year. The authority also found uncovered meat defrosting in a bowl on the floor during their visit. It’s not just restaurants which are found to be filthy. Food inspectors found traces of rodent activity in Yuen Fong Grocery Store in Homebush West. And Pyramid Video and Spice in Homebush was caught with traces of rodents and live cockroaches in November. other infractions include incorrect labelling, failure to store soap and single-use hand towels or other means of drying hands effectively near hand basins, and general dirt, grease and food waste on the walls, floors and fridges of food outlets. To find out more about the “name and shame” list, visit www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au Priest Sivasri Ragunatha Kurukkal launched his Homebush temple in 2003. named and fined Bonfect Snack Foods Crystal Seafood Doori Restaurant Hoang Gia Restaurant Huang Won Restaurant Janani Restaurant KFC Enfield Na Ju Gom Tang Pho 97 Pho Saigon Plaza Noodle Pyramid Video and Spice Qiao Tai Ram’s Sir Lankan Indian Food Saigon Bowl Sri Lankan Food Bar Strathfield Food World Sun Sun Kitchen Wei Kee Chinese Restaurant Yuen Fong Grocery Store