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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : April 22nd 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, April 23, 2009 5 NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au SHIREEN KHALIL GM vows to fight claims BURWOOD Council's general manager Pat Romano says the allegations against him are part of a smear campaign aimed at stop- ping council reforms being im- plemented. A story that appeared in a daily newspaper recently alleged Mr Romano (pictured) used Burwood Council staff and resources to renovate his two properties -- a driveway in his Russell Lea home and a block of six flats owned by his wife and the wives of the council's principal architect, Albert Becerra, and Canada Bay councillor Tony Fasanella. In a statement issued last Wednesday, Mr Romano said he had been targeted by a number of disgruntled current and former employees unhappy with changes making council operations more transparent and accountable. ''This is an appalling smear campaign against me . . . I won't be intimidated into backing down,'' Mr Romano said. In the statement Mr Romano said the ''smear campaign'' fol- lowed the installation of CCTV cameras at council facilities to stop inappropriate use of council equipment, new reporting ar- rangements to improve trans- parency and accountability of council purchasing procedures, and changes to overtime ap- proval pro- cedures. Mr Romano continues to deny the alle- gations and said the emails that were leaked a few weeks ago to the newspaper were taken out of con- text. ''There is absolutely no basis to these allegations,'' Mr Romano said. ''Any claims that I have used my position at council for self-gain are outrageous and untrue. ''My message to those who are trying to stop these reforms is clear -- I won't be backing down.'' The Independent Commission Against Corruption will under- take an investigation into the claims and has requested Burwood Council defer its code of conduct review investigation to avoid duplication. Burwood Mayor Lesley Furneaux-Cook said the council would back the investigation. ''Burwood Council will fully support the investigation by mak- ing resources available as appro- priate in order to resolve this matter as quickly as possible on behalf of the community,'' Cr Furneaux-Cook said. They still want to ad something SHIREEN KHALIL The Meta St railway bridge at Croydon will get a mural, but there is debate over whether the advertising space will remain. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~P0636935 IF BURWOOD Council gets its way, graffiti, bill posters and spray-paint on the Meta St railway bridge at Croydon's The Strand will be a thing of the past. Transport Minister David Campbell has granted Burwood Council permission to create a historical mural on either side of the bridge, but the 10m advertising space has to remain. A visual upgrade of the railway bridge is something for which both residents and the council have campaigned over several years. Although Burwood Mayor Lesley Furneaux-Cook is delighted they have been given the green light to create the mural, she believes that the presence of the advertising space will still invite vandalism. ''The council previously spent about $1 million in refurbishing The Strand,'' Cr Furneaux-Cook said. Cr Furneaux-Cook said The Strand, which is the oldest shopping precinct in NSW, had always been a victim of graffiti. ''Murals lessen the impact because it doesn't provide a blank canvas for graffiti and they (RailCorp) wouldn't have people continually repainting the wall, as the council has offered to do this,'' she said. ''The ideal solution would be for the community to enjoy an artwork created by a local artist with the help of local schools.'' Mr Campbell confirmed that RailCorp acknowledged the heritage value of the railway bridge but use of the site for advertising had been approved by the Heritage Council of NSW. But the mayor said the council would still push to have the remaining 20 per cent of the bridge, currently used for advertising, included as part of the mural. *Offer excludes samples. *While stocks last. SUMMER CLEARANCE NOW ON UP TO 50% OFF SELECTED STOCK* LIDCOMBE Factory Outlet adidas Factory Outlet 55-59 Parramatta Road Lidcombe 2141 Phone 9748 0577 Miss Italia Nel Mondo 2009 The search is on once again for the next "Miss Italia Nel Mondo" (Miss Italy in the World) Do you have what it takes? You must be of Italian origin and between the ages of 17-26. The Australian National Final will be held in Melbourne on Saturday 16th May 2009. For selection criteria and competition conditions, contact the: Italo-Australian Welfare & Cultural Centre Inc. Tel: (08) 9228 2220 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) Registrations close on Friday 1st May. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org STRATHFIELD COUNCIL
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