Citizen jury in ac­tion

NEW COM­MU­NITY PANEL WILL HAVE ITS SAY IN AREA’S FU­TURE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

RE­JU­VE­NAT­ING Queen St, gen­er­at­ing em­ploy­ment and the sec­ond Syd­ney air­port are on the agenda for Pen­rith Coun­cil’s new com­mu­nity panel.

The citizen jury, which met for the first time re­cently, has been es­tab­lished to help form the area’s fu­ture and trial a new ap­proach to com­mu­nity con­sul-

tation. In­stead of com­plain­ing, St Clair res­i­dent Aaron (sur­names have been omit­ted to pro­tect pri­vacy) de­cided to be a part of the process.

“We all like to have a go at peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly the coun­cil, so I just thought in­stead of com­plain­ing, I’d get in­volved,” he said.

Af­ter liv­ing in the area for 15 years and with a back­ground in con­struc­tion, the car­pen­ter said he had a lot to say as one of the 34 panel mem­bers who have been in­vited to take part in the coun­cil pro­ject.

“St Marys on a whole needs to be cleaned up to make it more pre­sentable to

peo­ple and busi­nesses want­ing to move in,” Aaron said.

Mean­while, St Clair univer­sity stu­dent Deena hopes her ex­pe­ri­ence as a panel mem­ber will com­ple­ment her stud­ies in ur­ban de­sign.

“I’d like to see more jobs cre­ated in the area, and I’d like to see the area near the Ne­pean River come alive

with more fes­ti­vals and events,” Deena said.

St Marys res­i­dent Aje­wal moved from Fiji to Aus­tralia 20 years ago and has called St Marys home ever since.

He said he hoped to help con­trib­ute to the ar­eas over­all “liv­abil­ity”.

He pointed to St Marys be­com­ing a ghost town in

the af­ter­noons and the lack of park­ing on the whole for the Pen­rith area.

Rec­om­men­da­tions made by the panel will be pre­sented to coun­cil­lors who will then vote on whether to ac­cept, mod­ify or re­ject the pro­pos­als.

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