Sunday, August 10, 2008

Clean-Up Auburn Campaign

Today I launched my Clean up Auburn campaign in Auburn Central. With today's pictures of rubbish in and around Auburn, I am hoping to get the support of locals in fixing some of the problems that exist around Auburn. I want to see a cleaner and more presentable Auburn. This may require more education programs, more fines being issues, more pressure placed on locals not to spit in the road or drop their rubbish. It can be done through our local schools, through rewards for the cleanest streets or areas and through fines being issued to those who don't comply. Above all we must have better developments as Auburn is a growing vibrant area - if developments are unsightly, dark and windy and without any attractive areas, it is more likely that residents will not feel any incentive to look after and respect the way the area looks.

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.

Standing for Auburn Council

Once again it is time for elections, and again I am standing - this time as an independent. Over the past few years I have become increasingly aware of the problems in the Auburn area and its enormous potential. The Auburn Council area is one of the most multicultural areas in Australia with one of the highest rates of growth in Western Sydney (16.4% in the last census). Most of the suburbs within Auburn have seen significant redevelopments - including Newington, Botanica, Auburn Central and Homebush Bay. Population increase is expected to continue with an increasing number of young people, due to the high birth rates and the settlement of refugees.
In 2004 Auburn Council was declared a Refugee Welcome zone to recognise the large number of refugees that have chosen to live in Auburn. The support for such refugees however, has not matched the rate of settlement with reports indicating that those in need have to wait up to 7 months for assistance from the local Migrant Resource Centre.
Auburn residents are hard-working with many of the local businesses having been established for between 10 and 30 years. Unfortunately, in the process of approving new developments, Council often appears not to consider their effect on these long established, hard working Auburn business people. Reduced parking availability, an increase in similar types of competitive business and loss of amenity for shoppers means that these long term Auburn proprietors are losing out.
Watch this space for more information about my campaign as get ready to run for AUBURN COUNCIL.