This article was originally published on Fairfield Advance on 19th March, 2014.
Members of Cabramatta Business Association (CBA) rallied to unite the local community against Fairfield City Council’s Redevelopment of Dutton Lane Carpark, but, despite the opposition, councillors lodged an application to get approval with JRRP, effectively ignoring the 1085 submissions plus the community’s petition of over 5,000 signatures.
And Mayor Frank Carbone said it would be his legacy before listing the project’s benefits. “If we don’t build this development the community won’t get a 500-square community centre,” he said. “It won’t get new toilets, or a lift in the carpark either, and it also won’t get a community wall recognising all of Cabramatta’s immigrants. I’m passionate about this project.”
The shops in the mall will be owned and managed by council staff and Mr Carbone refuted the assertion government should stay away from the world of business. “This way all of the profits will remain with the residents,” he said before adding he expected the rent from the development to pay back its cost of about $16 million.
To clarify, Cabramatta Business Association president Thomas Diep and Cabramatta-based solicitor Keith Hewlett ‘.. are not objecting to any specific part of the proposal, we only want the council to find a solution to the parking problem in Cabramatta.”
They said if that failed they would take it to the Land and Environment Court. Dr Diep said the project did not include enough carparking and would add to congestion problems.
Fairfield City Council (FCC) has failed Cabramatta people and shoppers in its Dutton Lane at Ground Car Park Redevelopment Project as it will worsen the longstanding parking problem in Cabramatta.
- Severe shortage of car parking spaces has been a recognized major problem for over 15 years. At present there is still in short of 300- 400 car spaces.
- Traffic congestion negatively impacts all visitors and shoppers, taking 1-2 hours to find a car space on weekends
- 275 total car spaces in the new building will replace existing 157 spaces = only 118 new spaces added. However, there will be new business owners, 127 new employees in the new building according to Council’s study, and other new staffs in other new completed development, occupying est. of 190 car spaces.
- FCC has collected 4.7 million dollars in traffic fines in year 2012-2013. Many shoppers complained that they have multiple occasions of traffic infringement and got fines just because of difficulty in finding parking spaces.