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SSC Newspaper : August 2012
Strathfield Scene 9 www.ourstrathfield.com.au battle for Strathfield will form council? Labor candidates running for Strathfield Council in 2012 (from left): Vasantha Puvanendiranathan; Raj Datta; Dr Susan Smythe; Daniel Bott; Quang Lam; John Townsend. Single iSSueS are the driving force behind independent candidates running for a place on Strathfield Council. in the 2008 Council elections, around 20 independent candidates ran for a place. The incumbent Mayor Cr Paul Barron and resident Danny lim (who was later forced to resign in disgrace) were the only two independents to win seats. in 2012, there are only five independent candidates who have said they will be standing – President of the Strathfield Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Soulos and residents Anna edwards, John Krebs, louis Bechara and edward Crematy. Soulos, a chemist, was elected as the president of the Chamber of Commerce last year. The Soulos family own the Strathfield Private Hotel which sits directly opposite the Town Centre. He is strongly opposed to the reclassification of the Town Centre from community to operational land in the council’s draft local environmental Plan. “Council can benefit heavily from an upgrade of the Town Centre and get a good stream of revenue, especially if they lease the land out,” he said at an extraordinary council meeting. “By improving the shops and businesses in the area, we can really rejuvenate the area. The Town Centre is an important part of our community.” Both Krebs, a director of an iT company, and Crematy, a retired doctor, are part of the Strathfield Residents Action group that are fighting against the Australian Catholic university ’s expansion plans. They are using the issue as their main platform to run at the council elections. “i am directly affected by the proposed ACu expansion,” says Krebs. “ There is always rubbish outside my house and visitors to my home can never find parking during university hours. “i want to ensure a sustainable solution for the community is established in relation to the ACu.” Crematy was originally running with the anti-ACu group led by Jane Pistolese, but the party disbanded earlier this year. “in the first instance, i believe we should address reviewing of the ACu’s Amended Concept Plan in a coordinated way by requesting council to have the consultants who prepared its submission to the original plan instructed to critically review the revised plan and report on same at a residents’ meeting as soon as possible,” he says. edwards says her main issue is to unite Strathfield South with the municipality, an area which she says has been abandoned. Some of her main campaign promises also include better maintenance of roads and footpaths as well as the establishment of a Residents Parking Scheme. “i want to unite Strathfield,” she says. “Residents on the south side of liverpool Road have been forgotten for far too long. i am putting myself forward as a true voice for Strathfield South. i am just a local resident that wants to give something back and represent the community that i have lived in for so long.” Though the independents have stances on the Town Centre, the leP, crime and safety, traffic congestion, transport and amalgamation, it appears that it is the single-issues which are the driving force behind them all. Single-minded independents stand firm “Council can benefit heavily from an upgrade of the Town Centre and get a good stream of revenue, especially if they lease the land out.” Andrew Soulos, President of the Strathfield Chamber of Commerce