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SSC Newspaper : July 2012
WHERE DO YOU OR THE PARTY STAND ON AMALGAMATION? WHERE DO YOU OR THE PARTY STAND ON THE BALANCE BETWEEN AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS AND HERITAGE? WHERE DO YOU OR THE PARTY STAND ON THE TRANSPORT? WHERE DO YOU OR THE PARTY STAND ON CRIME AND A STRATHFIELD POLICE STATION? WHERE DO YOU OR THE PARTY STAND ON THE AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY EXPANSION? Strathfield Scene 9 www.ourstrathfield.com.au POLITICS The residents of Strathfield will suffer if amalgamation goes ahead. Higher rates, poorer service delivery and no voice on Council. Developers will have free reign to do whatever they like and residents won't be able to do a single thing to stop them. We would oppose any amalgamation if it becomes an issue, full stop. To the best of our knowledge this is a non-issue and people who have nothing else to stand on are trying to project this non-issue as an issue. Mayor Paul Baron is the group's spokesperson for the ACU issue and he has clearly stated that this expansion is an over-development of the site and he is working with stakeholders to ensure a suitable solution that does not compromise residents' amenity. We support the residents and share their concerns. At an early stage we publicly expressed our opposition to this expansion. We understand that lately the State Member has gone on record suggesting that he has also changed his mind and is now supportive of the residents. We are happy to know of this change of his heart. This balance is catered for in Council's LEP. There will be affordable housing in the areas closest to the rail corridor for easy access to transport. The LEP process took into account Strathfield's growth over the next 10 years so height restrictions in the LEP are appropriate. Heritage must be protected. What has happened to Camden Lodge is a disgrace. Strathfield has its own character and the residents of Strathfield love it. As residents of Strathfield we have a responsibility to ensure that this character is maintained. Helen and Paul are currently working with the State Government through the town centre plan to address Strathfield's transport issues such as commuter parking and overcrowding on trains and buses at peak hour. We are not proud of our first place ranking in the state on the crime -spots list for stealing from a person, with 45 per cent of these incidents in the inner west happening in Strathfield. We have installed CCTV cameras, improved lighting, implemented a community awareness campaign, launched self-defence classes and have new transport police targeting the station area as of May 2012. The traffic around Strathfield is shocking. We think there is a crying need for improved transport infrastructure, and many people have talked about these things but not delivered. Now is the time for delivering on promises. We have received many complaints about vandalism, shoplifting and break- ins. There seems to a serious sense of insecurity, not only in Strathfield town centre but around the local suburbs. Some shopkeepers have complained about shoplifting by young people and feel nothing is being done. There are a number of options to address these issues. We are in the process of examining the issues to devise the possible solution/s that would be acceptable to the community. Definitely NO AMALGAMATION with any other council. Support local community on the ACU issue. Assist in finding a solution which incorporates the residents' concerns around amenity, congestion, over- development and parking. Effect of the Federal Government's carbon tax on council in trying to maintain services to residents while maintaining a balanced budget. Parking and congestion issues around the town centre and other shopping precincts. Initiatives for the Parramatta Rd corridor, in conjunction with improved infrastructure such as roads. Conduct crime and safety audits to identify problems. Work closely with Burwood and Auburn Local Area Commands to ensure appropriate police presence within Strathfield. Work with local member to ensure legislation gets through state parliament to ramp up penalties for graffiti and vandalism. "I have never, ever met John Faker or spoken to him. ere is no in uence from the Labor Party in Bur wood on the Liberal party ticket." Vaccari, who is "100 per cent against" amalgamation, wasn't the only one caught up in the hunt for Faker links. It was also suggested some Labor candidates had worked alongside Faker. So Labor's number one ticket holder Raj Da a told the Scene any suggestions of Faker in uence were "impossible". Cr McLucas, a former Liberal councillor who quit the party to make her stand against council amalgamations, declared she was "uncomfortable" about the in uence of the neighbouring municipality's leader on Strath eld's politics. She circulated documents from the Federal Government's Lobbyist Register, which appeared to show that a company listing John Faker as a director worked with another lobby group run by Liberal party o cial Joe Tannous, brother of Liberal candidate Pierre Tannous. "I am very ner vous about Mr Faker," Cr McLucas says. "I know that Joe Tannous has strong links to the Liberal ticket. And John Faker has strong links to the Labor ticket. I am not happy at the in uence John Faker has on the election." Why is this important? Strath eld First is strongly against council amalgamation, and they claim Bur wood and its mayor are keen proponents, casting greedy eyes over Strath eld's available development land and well-managed budget. e man himself responded by saying he had "laughed it o " when he heard of the claims he could be capable of manipulating both sides of politics in Strath eld. "I have had no involvement in what's happening in Strath eld," Cr Faker says. " I'm a bit shocked by these claims that I am trying to force amalgamation, when I only want co-operation. It's nonsense." He had worked for the Joe Tannous company, he says, but only on one project in South Sydney two years ago. He did not know Pierre Tannous, and had not spoken to the Strath eld Labor team about preselection. Strath eld Council will see major changes a er the poll, with Labor's Keith Kwon and Hope Bre -Bowen and former Liberal mayors Bill Carney and Tony Maroun bowing out. POLL A THREE WAY FIGHT "Right now our stand as a State Government is that we are not proposing forced amalgamation" --- Charles Casuscelli MP, Member for Strathfield YOU CAN FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN, READ THE PARTY'S ANSWERS TO OUR QUESTIONS IN FULL AND GIVE YOUR COMMENTS AT OURSTRATHFIELD.COM.AU "I have never, ever met John Faker or spoken to him. ere is no in uence om the Labor party in Burwood on the Liberal party ticket" -- Gulian Vaccari