Sunday, August 10, 2008

Auburn Central investigation

For the many months there have been reports about an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption into Auburn Central. According to the Daily Telegraph on July 31st last year, "developers are taking short cuts" and "creating potential death traps in their race to build apartment blocks, failing to install the most basic fire safety measures," specifically referring to Auburn Central, which was also described as "a serious fire hazard" for its occupants. The Council apparently released a statement at the time saying that all fire safety measures would be fixed within a few days. From the Auburn Council business paper of July 16 this obviously has not yet been completed. Nevertheless, in the most recent Council meeting there was more discussion about who had leaked the confidential report about Auburn Central, than whether or not they were getting it fixed! Added to that is the news that relevant files are missing from Council - an obvious attempt to cover at least one guilty party.
Not only have rate payers lost millions of dollars in this development, without any real services added to the area (no extra community facilities, libraries, parks and gardens or other desperately needed services) but Auburn Central has become a dark and windy eyesore, with little protection from the rain and rubbish floating in the drafty corners on most days. Unsafe, inappropriate - significant questions arise as to who was involved in the approval of this development and whether or not it is being investigated by ICAC. ICAC itself continues to either confirm or deny that Auburn is being investigated, while the local government investigative report has still not yet been released. The Council's attempts to ensure compliance are still progressing with recent action in the L&E underway.
Is this a case of trying to keep the lid on another Wollongong scandal because elections are due shortly??? If not, we should be addressing the issues openly.

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