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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : April 8th 2009
4 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, April 9, 2009 MB NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Robbers on the rampage The Palace Hotel. FOUR armed robbers subjected staff and patrons at a Mortlake hotel to a terrifying ordeal in the early hours of Friday. The thieves, who had their faces disguised and were carrying fire- arms, ordered about 10 people at the Palace Hotel on Tennyson Rd to lie on the ground. One man was struck on the face and suffered a minor cut to his chin during the robbery, which happened about 12.45am. The gunmen stole money from the cash registers, safe and poker machines. They left a short time later in a white sedan with a rear spoiler. Burwood police and officers from the Forensic Armed Robbery Unit established a crime scene and spoke to staff and patrons. The injured man was treated on the scene by ambulance workers. Burwood crime manager Det- Chief Insp Glen Fitzgerald is ap- pealing for anyone with any infor- mation to come forward. He said police would investigate any po- tential links to other robberies. If you can help the investi- gation, phone Burwood police on 9745 8499 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. GM denies allegations SHIREEN KHALIL BURWOOD Council's general manager Pat Romano has denied allegations that he used council staff to renovate his properties. Last Saturday a daily news- paper reported allegations that Mr Romano (pictured), the council's principal architect Albert Becerra and Canada Bay councillor Tony Fasanella used Burwood Council staff to work on a block of six flats owned by their wives. It was also alleged that the council staff did work on Mr Romano's driveway at his Russell Lea home in September 2007. But Mr Romano, who has been Burwood Council's general man- ager for seven years, said the allegations were false. ''I refute the claims being made, and intend to defend myself against them,'' Mr Romano said in a press release. ''I will challenge these outrage- ous allegations and show them to be false so that my name is cleared as soon as possible.'' Mr Becerra also denied the allegations. ''I refute and will be defending the false and baseless allegations as they relate to me,'' Mr Becerra said. ''Under legal advice I will not be making any further comment.'' Mr Fasanella wished not to comment. Burwood Mayor Lesley Furneaux- Cook said Burwood Council would not release further comments until the outcome of the assessment was made pub- lic.A spokesperson for the Depart- ment of Local Government said: ''The Minister for Local Govern- ment (Barbara Perry) has directed the department to undertake im- mediate enquiries with council into these serious allegations. ''The mayor of Burwood has been asked to attend an urgent meeting with the department to discuss what steps council has taken in responding to these alle- gations.'' Former Burwood independent councillor David Weiley, who sup- ported Pat Romano to be the general manager, said he was ''absolutely shocked'' by the alle- gations. ''I really don't think Pat is capable of this and I was absol- utely shocked and I had no know- ledge of it prior to Saturday's paper,'' Mr Weiley said. The council was due to have an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday night, in closed session, to discuss the allegations. 'Bring back trams' MARIE SANSOM Public transport activists demonstrate outside Sydney Museum on Tuesday at the opening of Shooting Through: Sydney By Tram. Picture: DANNY AARONS ~PP263639 LIGHT-RAIL supporters picketed the Museum of Sydney's new exhibition on the golden age of Sydney's tram network on Tuesday morning. About 50 protesters gathered for the official opening of Shooting Through: Sydney By Tram to ask the State Government to put their money on the line and show some commitment to light rail. Protesters called on Premier Nathan Rees to fund the $150 million light rail extension from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill and Balmain and to instigate a moratorium on motorway building. The exhibition was opened by former premier Bob Carr, in lieu of State Transport Minister David Campbell. Gavin Gatenby from EcoTransit, who spoke at the rally, said the exhibition showed how Sydney's tram system used to be the envy of the world but it had now all but vanished. ''It was the second largest in the British empire, after central London, 300km at its height in the 1950s, and it was all destroyed in two or three years when they made the decision to go with buses,'' Mr Gatenby said. He wanted people to go to the exhibition, which runs until October 18. ''People should definitely go and see what Sydney lost,'' he said. ''All of the major cities now are reintroducing light rail as fast as they can go in -- Belgium, France, Portugal, America -- (everywhere) except in Sydney.'' 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