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SSC Newspaper : February 2013
At least 22 residents have signed up to speak at the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) hearing into the Australian Catholic University's (ACU) expansion plans later this month. If each takes up their ve-minute slots, that allows almost two hours for residents to hammer home their points against the $55 million expansion plan to Commissioner Gabriel Kibble, former director general of the Department of Urban A airs and Planning. Strath eld MP Charles Casuscelli will be addressing the PAC on behalf of the electorate, outlining aws in the ACU's expansion plans "I'll be standing in front of the PAC and my address will be on the failings of the proponent's information," he said. " ere is also a severe lack of merit in their proposal and I am urging Strath eld Council to stand up at the meeting and do the same." He believes more needs to be done to enforce restrictions, that residents "still need to ght" and that council should be given more powers to reprimand the ACU. e MP added that the department had placed too much reliance on gures presented by the ACU. e move comes a er a bi er blow to protestors when the Department of Planning and Infrastructure recommended approval in December. According to protestors this has led some residents to say they might sell up and move out of Strath eld. But it has not deterred the Residents' Action Group from its ght. It is urging as many as possible to register to speak at the Strath eld Golf Club commission hearing before the cut-o of 1pm, February 15. Group leader Jane Pistolese, who will address the commissioner with Mark Phillips, told the Scene they would be telling the PAC that it will be impossible to police student numbers, that the site in a residential area is too small to accommodate university growth and safety concerns. She added: " e department's own report says 'based on information provided it is not possible to identify with reasonable certainty the transport impact of expansion plans." While the department endorses the university's eventual increase of students to 2,000 on campus at any one time, the director general's environment assessment report says this will not be allowed until the ACU shows "reduced on-street parking". e report also says there will be no increase in student numbers until 371 more car parking spaces are provided. is means the ACU will need to keep student a endance at no more than 750 on campus, as per existing requirements. In an action in the Land and Environment Court NSW, Strath eld Council is claiming the ACU is already exceeding student numbers. e case, expected to be heard on February 19, is now a central part of the debate over who polices numbers. When council engaged McLaren Tra c Engineering to conduct student counts, McLaren observed 1,439 and 1,467 students on campus on May 2 and May 16 of last year. Further, the director general's report states: "sur veys indicate that up to 506 vehicles currently park on-street during peak periods" and "bus patronage ranges from approximately 1,650 students per day to 840 students per day." is could mean more than 2,000 students are already a ending the university in a day. Residents are also opposed to the increased operational hours for university, claiming it would rob residents of their weekend. Councillor Raj Da a is calling for a rally to be organised. "I'm sad to see so many residents totally disregarded by the government. And it's not just residents they are ignoring, but council as well," he said. Deputy Mayor Andrew Soulos has voiced support for the protestors. Mayor Gulian Vaccari and Cr Helen McLucas have con icts of interest and cannot give their views. • What protestors can do: Call 9383 2102 and register to speak. Turn up at 4pm on February 20 at Strath eld Golf Club 84, Centenary Drive, to support the speakers. Last chance to protest ACU plan Strathfield Scene 9 NEWS www.ourstrathfield.com.au "I'll be standing in front of the PAC and my address will be on the failings of the proponent's information." --- Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli is has led some residents to say they might sell up and move out of Strath eld. By Bernadette Chua ST THFIELD RESIDENTS WILL be some of the rst in the Sydney metropolitan area to receive faster internet ser vices. NBN Co installed the rst 1.8km of bre optic cables in Strath eld on February 4, as part of the rollout of the National Broadband Network. e rst of the wiring links Homebush to the rest of the local area and was laid out on the corner of Todman Place and Barker Road in Strath eld. iPrimus has partnered with NBN Co to provide bre to the home services across Australia. iPrimus head of communications Andy Lee said packages o ered to homes already connected to the NBN include 200GB of data, and standard local, national and calls to mobiles for $89. e company also o ers 100GB for $69.95 and 1,000GB for $129.95. "Although the NBN hasn't been switched on in Strath eld yet, we're anticipating similar deals o ered to residents and businesses," he said. NBN Co spokesperson Ian Sco said the bre cable installation in Strath eld marks an important step in the rollout of the NBN in the Sydney region. " e construction here today shows that work is under way to build the network, which will provide super-fast broadband to parts of Strath eld and Homebush from 2013," he said. Councillor Raj Da a said the network would change the way Australians communicate with each other. " e NBN will help initiatives such as eHealth, change the way people do business and it will encourage people to work from home," he said. " is program will change the way we look at the communications ser vice in Australia, which we are currently lacking at the moment. NBN Co aims to complete the local rollout in the next six to seven months. "In this area we're aiming for construction to be completed from mid 2013, which means homes and businesses are expected to be able to connect to services over the NBN shortly," Sco said. "We plan to connect every home, school and workplace in Australia to the NBN within the next decade with a combination of bre, xed wireless and satellite technologies." THE NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure issued its findings late last year on the Australian Catholic University's (ACU) expansion proposals. IT RECOMMENDS: • Increasing the number of students allowed on campus across the day to 2,800 once certain requirements are met. • Restricting the number of students allowed on campus across the day to 750 while a basement car park is built, then increasing it to 1,600. The number will increase to 2,000 students at any one time or 2,800 across the day once the ACU can demonstrate it is on target with reducing traffic and on-street parking. • Increasing the number of teaching staff to 260. • Increasing operating hours to 7am-10pm Monday to Friday and 8am-5pm Saturday and Sundays. • Construction of six new buildings to a maximum height of four storeys. • Construction of basement and ground-level car parking for 717 vehicles to be used by the ACU and 30 spaces to be used by St Patrick's College. • ACU to prepare a Student Travel and Campus Monitoring Plan to monitor student travel and student campus numbers, particularly over peak times of all semesters and should do it for at least 14 consecutive days at any one time. • ACU to disseminate results of the monitoring plan to the Director-General of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, Strathfield Council, students and the wider community including publication on the university website. WHAT THE PLANNERS RECOMMEND NBN BRINGS CHEAP DOWNLOADS Rsident activists Jane Pistolese, le , and erese LeStrange. Cr Raj Da a, second om right, helps lay bre optic cables in Strath eld.
December 2012 SS