Strathfield Life - The sum of us

 

Strathfield’s fight for its very existence has turned the spotlight on the unsung heroes who perform all the essential services you don’t even notice… until they are gone.

In the words of Helen McLucas, the councillor who has been heading up the campaign to stop amalgamation: “It’s the little things we’ll lose if Strathfield is taken over by a mega council…”

On paper, Strathfield Council is responsible for the three Rs – roads, rates and rubbish.

But in reality, it does far more than that. The council sets the agenda for the lives of almost every resident – from tiny tots to the elderly.

It manages a budget of more than $32 million a year, and employs some 150 people.

There are 39,000 residents, many of them young families, living in almost 15,000 houses.

There are more than 60 parks for children to play in, and for parents to enjoy picnics and take exercise.
The council runs school holiday programs and meetings, and last year opened its first community garden. It also provides a wide range of services for the elderly and disabled.

But above all, the staff put a local face on services. Many of those who man the customer service desk are known to their clients by their Christian names – a world away from outsourced call centres.

The State Government has proposed that Strathfield be merged with Ashfield, Burwood, Leichhardt,
Canada Bay and potentially Marrickville councils, creating a population close to 350,000, all run from a central point.

Many of the people featured on these pages have worked for this community for a lifetime. And what they want more than anything else is to go on giving.

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