Bid to keep our Wanderers from wandering
In a sweetener to keep the beloved Wanderers in Parramatta the council has pitched in $3 million to bump the Parramatta Stadium upgrade kitty to $29 million. The upgrade will increase seating to 24,000, revamp the eastern stand, build a new concourse and boost the players' facilities.
Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid said it would ensure the Parramatta Eels and Western Sydney Wanderers continue to play their home games in the city. "It's important to retain our status as the sport capital of western Sydney," he told the council meeting on Monday night. "These clubs are iconic and contribute to the city brand."
The Wanderers' home games injected a whopping $17 million into the local economy during their inaugural season, with the Eels generating $10 million.
The Wanderers have committed to playing home games in Parramatta until 2014.
The federal government committed $20 million to the upgrade in July and the state government, which owns the stadium, has contributed $6 million.
At the council meeting, Crs Andrew Wilson and Lorraine Wearne were concerned about injecting $3 million into infrastructure that the council did not control. "How will we show [ratepayers] their money was well spent?" Cr Wilson asked at the meeting.
He believed the state government should contribute more to the upgrade.
The money will come from the council's developer-contribution fund which is used to build public amenities.
Family biathlon fun for dad
Forget breakfast in bed or another pair of socks for dad. Local fathers can take on a family fun biathlon this Father’s Day. Four heats with age-appropriate distances from one to four kilometres and 100- to 400-metre swims will start at 9am. The run will start at Parramatta Pool and then wind its way to Parramatta Park. The registration session will be held at Parramatta Pool on O’Connell Street at Parramatta on Sunday, September1. Cost: $5.
Two new centres for water babies
Water babies will be able to splash around in two aquatic playgrounds which are going to be constructed at Parramatta and Merrylands. The two playgrounds — at James Ruse Reserve at Parramatta and Granville Park at Merrylands — will cost $1.2million to build and $120,000 to maintain. The locations were picked because they were central to their regions, there was available space and public amenities and they were close to public transport.
Bill posters will be disappointed
Council rangers will continue to remove election posters from telegraph poles after it generated a feisty debate at Monday’s council meeting.
The practice is traditionally frowned on by Parramatta Council in the past and seen council rangers routinely remove material that is posted.
Cr Steven Issa called for a draft policy to be drawn up for the council to endorse regarding election posters on telegraph poles — which other councillors supported — before he added the posters be left where they were until a policy was officially endorsed.
Cr Issa told the meeting the council had no legal standing to remove the posters without such a policy.
But Cr Paul Garrard, who brought in two offending posters, thought identified posters should be removed immediately.
‘‘This is nothing more than vandalism of property — you don’t do it on public property,’’ Cr Garrard told the meeting. ‘‘At end of the day you have to have a conscience — this hasn’t been done in the past and it shouldn’t be allowed now.’’
Councillors will vote on an official policy to be brought to a future council meeting but posters will continue to be removed from power poles in the interim.
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That’s a $200,000 relief!
Final details of the light-rail network to Castle Hill and Macquarie Park reveal the first stage will likely cost $200,000 less than expected. The second part of the council’s feasibility study into the network’s first stage has revised the estimated cost to $1.5b for 30km of track. It identified possible stops and routes. Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid said they were calling on NSW and federal governments to invest $10m to $20m for public consultation and a business case