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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : May 13th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, May 14, 2009 3 NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Emergency crews respond to the gas leak at the corner of Bland St and Parramatta Rd, Ashfield, last Thursday. Pictures: PHIL BLATCH ~PP276118 Leaks cause havoc FIONA BRADY See more pictures More photographs available at www.innerwestweekly.com.au It does look like the damage was done by a third party, but we don't know who it was' ' Jemena gas company spokesman John Kingsley-Jones TWO separate gas leaks over the past week have caused traffic chaos on Parramatta Rd and forced an evacuation of 250 people from Westfield Burwood. In the first incident, which hap- pened during the morning peak hour on Thursday, Parramatta Rd had to be closed for some time when a leaking gas line was discovered near the corner of Bland St in Ashfield. While citybound lanes were only closed for a short time, westbound lanes were closed until the afternoon to allow crews to carry out temporary repairs, cre- ating huge traffic tailbacks. Jemena gas company spokes- man John Kingsley-Jones said fire crews sprayed water to disperse the gas and no evacuations were required. Crews returned after evening peak hour and had fixed the problem permanently by 11pm, Mr Kingsley-Jones said. ''We do know it is an area where there has been a fair amount of construction work and it does look like the damage was done by a third party, but we don't know who it was,'' he said. But the Inner West's dramas with gas leaks weren't over. At 5pm on Saturday, more than 200 people had to be evacuated from Westfield Burwood when gas, which is believed to have come from outside the shopping centre, was detected on levels one and two of the shopping centre. About 20 people were assessed by paramedics who set up a triage centre at Burwood Park. Two people were taken to Con- cord Hospital suffering shortness of breath and in a serious con- dition, a NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said. A spokesman from the NSW Fire Brigade said the origin of the gas was not known. And there was a leak of a different kind on Friday when a small number of patients were briefly evacuated from Sydney Private Hospital in Ashfield after an oxygen line ruptured. Police described it as a very minor incident. Rate increase flagged for unit owners FIONA BRADY Is the rate rise fair? Tell us at www.innerwestweekly.com.au THE days of low rates for Canada Bay's unit owners may be over. For years, they have enjoyed paying the area's lowest rates but Canada Bay Council is proposing a new formula that will lead to a rates hike. In its draft budget for the next financial year, the council seeks to address an imbalance between house and strata rates. While homeowners pay rates based on the value of their land, unit owners pay rates based on a share of the value of the land the complex is built on. This means they generally pay the lowest rate applicable in Canada Bay, even if it was a luxury apartment. A council spokeswoman said homeowners were being left to ''shoulder more of the burden''. ''The cost to our community infrastructure is the same whether a resident owns a house or an apartment so our rating structure needs to be more reflec- tive of that,'' she said. She said strata-titled properties now accounted for half of rateable homes in the area. But it's not just unit owners in Canada Bay who could be hit by a rate rise. The council wants to apply for a 6 per cent increase on top of the 3.5 per cent rate ceiling to fund infrastructures such as footpaths, seawalls and signage. Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said de- spite the ''challenging economic times'', the long-term needs of the community justified the increase. ''We've reached a crunch point where our income just can't cover the costs of maintaining our com- munity infrastructure to a serviceable level -- these costs are not going to go away and we have to find a way to deal with the backlog,'' he said. The council said it would con- sider hardship cases. Essential works earmarked for the next financial year include road resurfacing and treatment for 31 roads and seawall repair at Battersea Park. The council's draft budget, fees and charges for next financial year is on exhibition until June 9. It will hold public forums on its plans and consider feedback be- fore making a final decision. Strathfield Council is currently completing stage two of the Strathfield Park Environmental Trail located in Council's premier park, for the benefit of recreational users and the environment. The innovative trail is designed to provide a unique environmental learning experience through the use of recently built pathways and future interpretive signage for community members. All trails also provide equal access. The first stage of the project was completed in 2008, and Council is moving forward with the completion of stage two which involves the addition of two north-south pathways linking together with the stage one trail. Additionally the trails include native plants, with themes including a rainforest area, a Jurassic walk, grassland area, flowering gum walk and an indigenous species walk. Delivering for our Community 2132213i iww wk46 STRATHFIELD COUNCIL council chambers: 65 Homebush Rd, Strathfield NSW 2135 e) firstname.lastname@example.org p) 9748 9999 f) 9764 1034 w) www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au business hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday postal address: PO Box 120, Strathfield NSW 2135
May 6th 2009
May 20th 2009