Casuscelli claims Burwood Mayor has "started his State election campaign"

Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli claims Burwood Mayor John Faker has finally revealed he is a state election candidate.

But in a continuation of the guessing game The Labor Party is playing over a candidate for the seat, the man himself continued his stance of " no comment" when asked if he was going to make a tilt at State Parliament.

Mr Faker has been meeting commuters and claiming the State Government has not made enough safety upgrades to the Strathfield Station underpass amid speculation he will stand against Mr Casuscelli in the State election next March. 

Mr Casuscelli maintained Mr Faker has begun his election campaign after he was seen speaking to commuters in the underpass last week. 

“Mr Faker has decided to run against me and is concerning himself with State Government issues and neglecting his own local issues.

“Why would a mayor concern himself with issues that he has no jurisdiction over? This area is State Government property.”

Mr Faker spoke to commuters in the Strathfield Station underpass, trying to get their support to petition the State Government for the better facilities. 

“The lighting is poor and there are no cameras and giving it a lick of paint is not the solution,” he told the Inner West Courier. 

“There are lots of school students, parents with young children and seniors who are concerned with the underpass, and it’s too unsafe for them to use it.”

But Mr Casuscelli said that he is currently working on a risk assessment of the CCTV system and expects to get the support from the police at Burwood LAC.

“We have done the upgrades and now there is work being done to get the CCTV system installed. We are trying to remove advertising posters from the walls in the underpass to discourage graffiti and more bill posters,” said Mr Casuscelli. 

“The only single poster left affecting the security of the underpass is the advertising sign approved by Burwood Council on the southern entrance to the underpass. So I suggest that if the good mayor wants to help he can start by removing the advertising sign that provides cover for vandals and increases the danger to pedestrians.” 

Mr Faker told The Strathfield Scene he was merely speaking to residents about their safety concerns. He advised Mr Casuscelli  to “focus on local issues”.

“I was not campaigning and I am not making any apologies for speaking to concerned commuters. People don’t feel safe in this underpass. I have had parents call me and tell me they are scared to let their children walk to and from that underpass because of the state of it. “This is not the first occasion that I have spoken to residents and commuters about this issue.” 

Mr Faker said Burwood Council had been approached by the State Government to install CCTV cameras in the underpass, but said his ratepayers shouldn’t bear the costs. “It’s not fair for local government and the ratepayers to cover the costs of the underpass. Like Mr Casuscelli said, it is a State Government issue, therefore I believe the State Government should pay for the maintenance and running costs,” he said. “We were approached some time back by the State Government about the idea CCTV cameras but since then we haven’t hear anything more from them about the details of the project.”


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