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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : October 1 2008
6 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, October 2, 2008 MB NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Parking on the agenda SHIREEN KHALIL BURWOOD Council's efforts to create parking spaces to improve the parking situation in front of a mechanics shop in Croydon will be approved at the next council meeting, a council spokesman says. Marrano Mechanics co-owners Soner Duran and Murat Haraman have been complaining about the lack of parking spaces since the council erected seven bollards on the footpath early September. ''Council has been trying to accommodate the workshop's needs by creating two new park- ing spots on Post Office Lane, and by proposing two brand new spots in Malvern Ave, right opposite their business,'' the spokesman said. ''Council replaced a No Stop- ping area on Post Office Lane with two spots (1 hour), specifically to allow the garage's clients and delivery vehicles to park close to the business. ''Also, at the last council traffic committee, it was decided to cre- ate two additional parking spaces on the opposite side of the garage (15 minutes limited parking) on Malvern Ave. This arrangement will be approved by the newly- elected council at the first official meeting,'' he said. Last week the Inner-West Weekly inadvertently referred to a sign opposite Marrano Mech- anics as saying: ''This business is under 24 hour surveillance'', when in fact it says: ''This build- ing is under 24 hour surveil- lance''. 'Political ban' concern SHIREEN KHALIL Falun Gong practitioner Lucy Zhao was barred from opening a stall at Burwood Festival. Picture: Phil Blatch ~PP197669 A FALUN Gong practitioner was refused a stand at Burwood Festi- val on political grounds and is concerned there is discrimination against the group. Followers say Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice founded in China in 1992 and based on meditation. Practitioner Lucy Zhao has been trying since 2005 to have a stall at Burwood Festival but has been refused each time. A spokesman said the council has a policy banning political organisations from council-run events. Ms Zhao said: ''Since 2005, we have also been trying to apply to have a Falun Gong event at Burwood Park, an information day, with free exercise/meditation teaching but we have been con- stantly rejected for the same reason.'' She claims the female organiser of this year's festival told her she had no problem with their partici- pation but knew the council had concerns. Ms Zhao said she received a letter from council general man- ager Pat Romano stating: ''As council has advised your organis- ation by correspondence on many occasions, council is an apolitical organisation and, as such, we do not allow political groups to par- ticipate in any of our events. ''We note that your group advo- cates that you are primarily in- volved in meditation, however, it is council's belief that the Falun Dafa Association of NSW is also campaigning against human rights issues in China and, thus, are political in nature,'' it said. Ms Zhao said Mr Romano never explained how Falun Gong was political in nature. She said she felt the council was discriminating against her group. ''My friends and I feel that we are unfairly excluded and treated as unwelcome residents by the council simply because of our practice of Falun Gong,'' she said. ''One important reason we moved from China to Australia is because we are proud of the freedom, fairness and equality that this country vows to defend for everyone to enjoy.'' However, the council has not always had a policy to reject the group. In November 2000, it ap- proved the use of Burwood Park for a Falun Dafa Day. At the time Mayor Joseph Tannous welcomed the group to the park. A council spokesman said this was before the 2004 council policy which prohibited the distribution of political material by any politi- cal organisation or individual at any Burwood Council-related event. ''Council prohibits all political parties from obtaining stalls, or other paid or unpaid space for the purpose of promoting political views at these events,'' he said. Ms Zhao said Falun Gong prac- titioners had been participating in local festivals and community events in many suburbs around Sydney. 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October 8 2008
September 24 2008