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May 15 – Strathfield Mayor and Strathfield MP find peace-making alternative to ACU debacle

15 May 2012
Strathfield Mayor Paul Barron and Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli have joined forces in calling for a new site for the Australian Catholic University in response to its $55 million redevelopment plan.

According to Strathfield Council, which deemed the university’s concept plan intolerable due to the unsustainable impact it would have on local traffic, parking, and the heritage landscape and character of the area, the only workable solution is for the ACU to find a new site.

“We’re proud to be host one of NSW’s best and biggest training facilities of arts and education students. However, this must be done at a level of student numbers that is practical and sustainable for the local community,” Cr Barron said.
“Not only is the current level not sustainable, but the university’s concept plan includes a further increase in numbers which would be intolerable to the community. Therefore the only practical solution to allow for the university’s growth is to allocate a new site.
“For example, Sydney Olympic Park has great access to public transport, sporting facilities and ample land and buildings to accommodate a university. It would be the perfect alternative,” he added.
Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli joined Cr Barron in calling for a new site to be identified.
“What we’re looking for are options that can be considered for meeting the needs of the university without creating major disruptions to local communities,” he said.
“The ACU would have the space and facilities to expand and Strathfield residents would keep their safe and peaceful residential area.”
Representing Strathfield Residents Action Group, Vas Kolesnikoff said residents are in favour of an alternative site.
“The proposed developments are simply not acceptable for a quiet residential area. The streets were not built to sustain this amount of traffic, which is already becoming increasingly dangerous particularly for children and elderly people,” Kolesnikoff said.
“The university must look for a different site if it wants to accommodate for growth. It’s the only alternative,” he said.
Council has requested that the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard, hold a public hearing in regards to the redevelopment plan, which would ensure that views of the community are properly heard and discussed.