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SSC Newspaper : July 2012
Strathfield Scene 3 NEWS www.ourstrathfield.com.au Businesses in Homebush are paying up to $700 more per quarter for electricity bills and all say they will struggle when the carbon tax is put in place. John, a local butcher on Rochester Street, says the rising cost of electricity has made him switch refrigeration methods to curb the cost of his bills. "We use to have a cool room here but because of the rising cost of our utilities, we had to buy large fridges to store the meat in," he told the Scene. "Many are switching from local butchers to supermarkets because of the cost, but at the same time, we are not willing to compromise on quality. So either way, we lose business. "If an additional tax is put into place, we'll all be out of business." eir comments came as Shadow Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey toured the area and pledged his support to repeal the government's carbon tax. "It is small businesses like this that will be severely a ected," Hockey says. Craig Laundy, the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Reid and a born and bred local said if the price of utilities increases, small businesses in Homebush would be forced to close. " ese businesses are the heart and soul of any community. If you look at this shopping strip in Homebush, this is what keeps the suburb alive," he says. "But if they are unable to pay for the rising cost of electricity as well as the carbon tax, they'll be forced to shut." Other business owners, such as Ronney from the local fruit and vegetable grocer, said business is down due to rising electricity costs. " We're ge ing less [sic] customers because they can't a ord to buy fruit and vegetables," he says. "But it's the cost of running the business which we are worried about as well. Electricity has already gone up and when we get the carbon tax, it'll cost us more to run our businesses. We don't want the carbon tax ." Ronney says in the past 12 months, the cost of his electricity bill has risen around $700 a quarter, a price which is compromising his business. Homebush was the second suburb Hockey has visited over the past few days and he says the consensus among small business owners is they cannot a ord the price of the carbon tax. School students, on their much- needed break, headed down to Strathfield Park for a one-day sporting clinic, Sporting Plus. Kids learnt new skills from experienced sports coaches in mini clinics and played friendly games of Oz tag and soccer. This is the first year Council has held the event, and Sporting Plus saw a great turn-out of excited children. The event was a way for kids to make new friends in their area, but also to keep active during the winter season. Sporting Plus was one of the free events on Council's exciting school holidays program. See page 25 for more events. SEE OUR KIDS HOLIDAY GUIDE ON PAGE 25 HOLIDAY ACTION A SPORTING PLUS Homebush tells Joe: we are hurting By Peter Lynch VOTERS WILL GET the chance to decide if Strath eld should seek city status, it has been decided. e question will be set as part of the poll to vote in the next seven councillors on September 8. It is expected that voters will receive a separate sheet with one simple question asking if they approve or disapprove of the idea of seeking city status. But it is expected Council will mount an information campaign to ensure residents understand the importance of the move. If residents give the move the thumbs up, it will mean the old-fashioned descriptions of the area as a "municipality" will be replaced by "City of Strath eld". e move is believed to be backed by councillors who are convinced it will help underscore Strath eld's status in transport, and as an educational and commercial centre. Cr Keith Kwon told the July council meeting: "My advice is that if we have community support we should poll Strath eld becoming a city in the September elections." To qualify for city status, local government areas have to be home to at least 25,000 people and have been an independent centre of population, not just a suburb. Announcing the move last month, Mayor Cr Paul Barron said: "Strath eld is the envy of many areas due to our numerous strengths, such as our location, accessibility to transport, diverse range of schools, thriving commercial areas and wide selection of parks and open space." " ese range from the major parks like Strath eld Park, Airey Park and Mason Park to small neighbourhood parks. Strath eld appears to qualify. It has a population of approximately 37,000 that is expected to reach 45,855 by 2026 -- meaning it is one of the fastest-growing LGAs in the inner west. Economically, it has a Gross Regional Product of more than $3000 million, one of the largest railway stations in NSW and major state roads running through the area. "On top of this, Strath eld Council is in a strong position, with recent sur vey results indicating a high level of community satisfaction with our ser vices and facilities," the mayor maintained. Strath eld MP, Charles Casuscelli has appealed to the state government to start tolling commuters to fund the M4 East. Casuscelli's suggestion follows the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbo 's pledge of $1.5 billion for the construction of the M4 East, if the Liberal Party wins the next election. "Immediate action must be taken by our State Government to implement more equitable tolling arrangements across our motor way network as well as to introduce time of day tolling on the M4 that will generate funds for completing the M4 East as quickly as possibly," he says. Casuscelli stresses the construction of the M4 East is vital to around 100,000 inner west residents, that it will reduce congestion on major arterial roads and prevent commuter rat-running through Strath eld. "I want planning for the M4 East to proceed as a ma er of urgency and the other competing priorities such as the duplication of the M5 East and the construction of the M2-F3 link be directed to the private sector," he says. But Abbo 's move may put him at loggerheads with the State Government, which is believed to be close to announcing that the roadway will not be at the top of its infrastructure plans. Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey also pledged his support for the M4 East and like Casuscelli, says there needs to be tolling to make the road viable. " ere needs to be tolling to cover the cost of this project and we have to address a major problem in this area -- congestion," he says. " e M4 East will help relieve pressure on local roads." For more on the M4 East, head to the Big Issue on page 11. Strath eld pub family the Laundys have brokered a deal with Woolworths to create a $500 million joint venture of leasing and running pubs. e Laundys family own 19 hotels across NSW, including Homebush's Horse & Jockey pub. Earlier this month, the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH), which is 75 per cent owned by Woolworths, met with the Laundys to se le the sale of the lease for the rst 19 hotels, the rst part of the 30-pub transaction. e Laundy family will remain as freehold property owners, while the ALH will be the leaseholder and operator. Craig Laundy, the eldest of the Laundy heirs, is the Liberal candidate for the seat of Reid and will be running at the next federal election. People to decide on city status MP says: toll the M4 Laundy family makes deal with Woolworths Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey