SOS and council speak up for Strathfield at public inquiry

Save Our Strathfield and Strathfield Council both gave strong performances at today's special public inquiry into council amalgamations.

The group, which has been in the vanguard of the fight against amalgamation, urgws residents to attend the public inquiry held at The Canada Bay Club, in William Street, Five Dock from 1pm until 5pm, and from 7pm until 10pm.

But the group was concerned about how much time Strathfield people will be allocated.

Co-chair Nella Gaughan said: “We have been sent an email by the delegate advising that the time allowed for speaking is dependent on the number of people at the meeting.

“How can this possibly be fair for residents when they are being told they may have one minute or three minutes. We take our community being destroyed very seriously and it is more deserving that one or three minutes.”

Ms Gaughan also said no transport was being made available for Strathfield residents to attend the two meetings in the afternoon and early evening at Five Dock.

“Strathfield residents have been among the most outspoken against their LGA being amalgamated  - and yet the residents are asked to travel to Five Dock, when there is no public transport from Strathfield to Five Dock.

“Please advise what assistance the government is providing for residents without transport.”

She added: “In order to place some integrity into this process we ask that another meeting be held in Strathfield, where public transport is easily accessible to the residents.

“Is this what residents can expect in a merger? To travel outside of their local community with no public transport to their council representatives.”

Meanwhile, dozens attended a special meeting at Strathfield Town Hall at the weekend to voice their concerns about merger proposals.

Some even travelled from as far as the Central Coast to speak to politicians and anti-amalgamation advocators like Greens MLC David Shoebridge, Labor MLC Peter Primrose, Christian Democrat leader Reverand Fred Nile, Graeme Kelly from the United Services Union as well Save Our Strathfield co-chair Nella Gaughan.

The panel, which was there to answer and concerns and issues raised by the residents about the looming threat of amalgamation.

Mr Shoebridge encouraged all residents to make a submission online or to speak at the public inquiries which start next week.

"We need the public inquiries because it empowers the people to be able to voice their concerns about amalgamation. This is an undemocratic and unfair thing that is happening to the residents."

Mrs Gaughan reminded the crowd that the previous Strathfield Liberal MP lost his seat due to his support of amalgamation.

"We had a Liberal MP before the Labor MP Jodi McKay who is against forced amalgamation. Amalgamation was a big issue during the last election and the Liberal MP lost his seat. So let me remind you that the Liberal MPs will lose their seat because of this."

Reid MP Craig Laundy attended the meeting as a born and bred Strathfield resident and the Scenethat Mr Laundy would be putting in a submission opposing the state government's plans to amalgamate Strathfield with Burwood and Canada Bay.

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