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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : January 14th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, January 15, 2009 7 NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Walking on wild side FIONA BRADY Would you pay higher rates to fix local roads? Tell us why online www.innerwestweekly.com.au Mayor Ted Cassidy wants Ashfield Council to fix the footpaths in Dudley St, Haberfield. Picture: PHIL BLATCH The extent of these works is far in excess of council's ability to pay for using ratepayer funds' ' ASHFIELD COUNCIL SPOKESWOMAN RESIDENTS of a Haberfield street could be heading for a fall, the local mayor has warned. Cr Ted Cassidy says perilous pavements and potholes and trees uplifting the bitumen have turned Dudley St into a tripping hazard. Yet despite the shoddy streetscape, Dudley St is not scheduled for a council upgrade until the 2010/11 financial year. Cr Cassidy estimated that Dudley St had not been treated in more than 60 years and said it made a nonsense of the nickname, ''heritage Haberfield''. ''It's so precious that we don't even repair the streets,'' he said. Ashfield Council has admitted that two-thirds of its streets needed resurfacing but it doesn't have the money to carry out the work. A council spokeswoman said the council's limited budget of $800,000 only allowed it to resurface the equivalent of 10 streets annually. Dudley St resident Cheryl Sullivan said her young sons aged four and one had tripped on the broken paving ''a few times''. ''Do they (the council) want to pay a lawsuit when someone breaks a leg?'' she said. The young mum was one of many local residents who signed a petition asking the council to repair the street. Cr Cassidy said he had given the petition to council staff shortly before the local government elec- tions in September. ''This was not prompted by me. It was self-generated by resi- dents,'' he said. An Ashfield council spokes- woman said the council had re- cently carried out work to allevi- ate the worst problems on Dudley St, but was prevented from doing more due to limited budget. ''The estimated cost of works to deal with the issues in Dudley St is in excess of $1 million which means the works will need to be staged over several years to fit within the budget while council continues to address needs in other streets,'' she said. ''Council is intending to start the first stage of Dudley St in the next financial year (2010/11), and residents of the street will be consulted on the works, including street tree management, later in 2009.'' She said many of the council's road pavements and kerbs needed repair and or replacement. ''The extent of these works is far in excess of council's ability to pay for using ratepayer funds,'' she said. Councils hit as new home fees halved FEES for building new houses will be halved and council levies capped at $20,000 under a State Government plan to stimulate the construction industry. But councils have complained that capping their levies on developers, which are used to build infrastructure, will leave communities with sub-standard services. Roads, footpaths, parks, play- grounds, libraries and sporting facilities will all suffer if councils cut back their development levies, the Local Government and Shires Association said. ''As we have seen before on the fringes of Sydney, cuts to com- munity infrastructure often lead to a host of social problems,'' Local Government Association president Genia McCaffery said. ''You only have to look at parts of Sydney at the time before councils could charge developer contributions, where we saw young families with no parks, no sporting fields, kids with nothing to do and nowhere to go.'' Cr McCaffery warned that council rates might have to rise to cope with the added burden, poss- ibly up to 20 per cent. Premier Nathan Rees indicated in October that the government might lift the cap on council rates. He said the changes, which also abolish water levies worth $15,000 per lot, would kickstart the ailing housing industry and add to the state's additional $3000 grant for first home or new home buyers. Meet World Superbike Champion, Warwick Nowland Indigenous Welcome Ceremony Citizenship Ceremony Wild Aussies Show Free Sausage Sizzle Free Activities & Entertainment For more information please visit Council's website www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au or contact Council on PH: 9748 9999 celebrate... 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January 7th 2009
January 21st 2009