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SSC Newspaper : December 2013
It’s where their twin boys took their first steps. And it’s where they were hoping to grow old. But now Jeremy and Aurelia Roper-Tyler are concerned they may be forced to sell their dream home as a result of the WestConnex project. They’ve lived in their home on Underwood Road for more than nine years with their seven-year-old sons, and although they’re not among the property owners to receive a compulsory acquisition letter, Jeremy says he was told by the WestConnex hotline that he would be “right next door to construction” . They live around the corner from their boys’ school, down the road from the grocery store, and next door to their dearest friends. It’s convenient and exactly the type of home and neighbourhood they pictured raising their children in. However, Jeremy says environmental and safety impacts during the construction period, could force them out of their home. “ Our house isn’t on the list to be acquired yet, but we’re in the firing zone, ” he explained. “ We’ll be impacted because there’ll be a lot of dust during construction, which is going to take years. ” Jeremy says his children can now ride around on their bikes freely with neighbours their age. This would all change with a highway right next door. “At the end of the day if we’re going to be that close to a major highway, it’s not going to be doing us any favours, ” he added. “There will bealot of pollution and it’s not a good environment for the children.” Jeremy says even if the family was offered a buyout by the government, no amount of money could replace the relationships and the memories made in their Underwood home. “At the end of the day it isn’t about the money, ” he added. “ We love this place. The neighbours are beautiful people, we love the area and we don’t want to lose our home. ” The entire WestConnex motorway project is expected to be complete by 2023, and according to the WestConnex website, will almost halve the time buses take to commute from Burwood to the city. family of five – including a 13-year-old with a learning disability – have lived for seven years, there was confusion when the Scene visited. Their immediate neighbour is convinced the house will be acquired. But no-one has told the family. Amal Osman and her daughter Randa Osman, 17, said they loved the house and the area and would hate to move. “ We were in Liverpool before we moved here, but we definitely prefer Homebush,” Randa explained. “It’s close to everything.” Randa said moving would disrupt routine set up for her 13-year-old younger sister, who suffers from a By Nahrain John Councillors are furious that they ’ve been kept in the dark over how the government plans to acquire homes to make way for the $11.5 billion WestConnex project. Strathfield Council issued a statement saying: “No specific details have been provided to council.” Leichardt and Ashfield also expressed disappointment at the lack of information. And Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli, due to receive a special briefing this week, said he was “miffed” that residents had been approached before he was told what was happening. “I have had residents come to me and ask if they are losing their home, and I didn’t know what to tell them,” he told the Scene. Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced that up to 100 properties would be targeted for compulsory acquisition. Among them are homes and businesses on Underwood Road, Homebush. The properties would need to be bulldozed to make way for the first phase of the project, which is expected to begin in early 2015 with the widening of the M4 from Parramatta to Strathfield. WestConnex Delivery Authority delivered letters to affected property owners late last month and is arranging individual meetings. Homes will be evaluated and a purchase price that reflects the current market value of the property will be offered. But problems arose as neighbourhoods heard stories of who might be affected, and tried to get information from the WestConnex helpline. Many could not find out for sure, and tried to contact councillors and Mr Casuscelli. At 88 Underwood Road, where a DECEMBER 2013 NEWS 4 Strathfield Scene FAMILIES FEAR HOMES ARE IN DANGER FROM WESTCONNEX I will fight, says new MP The new Federal member for Reid, Craig Laundy, has made his maiden speech in Canberra, telling MPs of the many lessons he learned in Strathfield that will stand him in good stead during a political career. In what Prime Minister Tony Abbott described as a “ very warm, genial and generous maiden speech”, Mr Laundy, the first Liberal MP to win the seat, praised his predecessor John Murphy as “a good man with a good heart”. Mr Laundy pledged support for the WestConnex road project, English language teaching for migrant children and community members suffering from disability and mental illnesses. “Over the past 35 years, I have seen first hand the workings of our mental health system and I will be a passionate advocate about the need for us as a government and a society to do more,” he said. He pledged: “I can assure the people of Reid that the blood of my grandfather, who left an orphanage at 15 with nothing and rose to the heights of business success, runs strongly through my veins. “ That same spirit will be shown as I fight for the people of Reid.” See Mr Laundy’s speech at ourstrathfield.com .au learning disability. “Someone comes to the house everyday and helps her with her schooling,” she said. “ Other properties also affected include Concord Road at Concord, Parramatta Road at Ashfield and the City West Link at Haberfield. Strathfield Mayor Daniel Bott said the council had not been updated on any of the plans. Additionally, the council suspects the State Government could be taking money from local residents to fund the project. He said the government had indicated that it might use Section 94 contributions, which were made by residents submitting development applications. Charles Casusc elli RFD MP During the Christmas and New Year period, the Strathfield Electorate Office will be closed from Tuesday the 24th of December 2013 and will re-open on Monday the 6th of January 2014. Address: Shop 1, 54 Burwood Road, Burwood NSW 2134 | Phone: (02) 9747 1711 | Fax: (02) 9747 6054 Email: email@example.com | Web: charlescasuscelli.com.au | Facebook: facebook.com/CharlesCasuscelliMP Authorised by Charles Casuscelli RFD MP. This advertisement was produced using parliamentary entitlements. ADVERTISEMENT “C C Îi s ¬e yC be s N Yêr 2014.” The Roper-Tylers fear they could lose their home The funds are generally used by the council to provide infrastructure for the people in the area. “If this is true, it is completely unacceptable,” said Cr Bott. “Strathfield residents should not be the fall guys for the WestConnex motorway, but with the project barely underway, it seems that we are going to be unfairly burdened for the ‘greater good’.” Cr Helen McLucas told this month’s council meeting the government could take as much as 50 per cent of the money. “ We will not be able to maintain parks or provide for increased density,” she said. “This is appalling.” MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION 2014: I want to stop smoking. I’ve been doing it for around five years and I smoke a pack a day. I spend nearly $25 a day on cigarettes. — Troy Shumack, 21