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SSC Newspaper : May 2012
By Bernadette Chua T he Australian Catholic Uni- versity (ACU) has thumbed its nose at Strathfield Council’s demand to see doc- uments showing how many students are enrolled. Strathfield Council had asked to see them after a row over how many stu- dents are on campus at any one time. The council told the Strathfield Scene that the ACU had not given them any documents relating to student numbers, but sent a letter reiterating the university 's position that it was not breaching any planning agreement. An ACU spokesperson declined to comment. The council said the ACU was given consent for no more than 1,100 students on the main Strathfield campus by day and 700 at night. It alleges the university has exceeded these numbers. The Mayor, Cr Paul Barron, says council has no choice but to push the matter forward. “ We demand transparency and access to the university’s records which will once and for all lay the facts out in the open,” he said. The ACU has developed a $55 million plan to build six additional buildings and a carpark for an extra 1,200 students. That application is now being determined by NSW state planners. Adding to the tension, the ACU also lodged a development application to council for the underground carpark. “ The university’s development application is very provocative in the current climate,” said Cr Barron. “The requested increase in car spaces would be vastly insuffient in resolving the issue.” may 2012 news 10 Strathfield Scene ACU defies council request Residents appeal to students Residents living around the Australian Catholic University have made a plea to students, saying they were not against students or staff but did object to the campus’s excessive growth. Three residents handed out flyers at the main gates and the Wilson Street entrance, while another spoke with students at Strathfield Station. Resident Mark Phillips said only one student declined to accept the leaflet but he says people are worried after signs opposing the ACU were torn down from properties on Albert Road. “ We honestly don’t oppose the students and we’ve had no trouble with them,” said Phillips. “But we need to get the message over to them that the university’s expansion is destroying our lives. There have been signs that have been ripped down, which were on private land.” The ACU wants to expand its campus and build an underground carpark on site. About 2,500 leaflets were printed to be handed out to students. Residents hand out flyers to ACU stuents.