Penrith residents vow to fight for their homes

Photo by Melinda Jane: Young girl gets emotional as she fights for her home
Contributed from New South Wales

On Tuesday (24 April), some 80 residents went took off to their local federal member’s office, to show how they felt about their homes being threatened by a new north-south rail link. They are not opposed to rail but insist that it should be built on the already existing corridor, which has been in place since 1951. This would not threaten any homes.

This is was Penrith in outer Sydney, and the member is Emma Husar of the Australian Labor Party. They came to get support. She met and told the residinsist that existing that she would back them.

Serious concern rose, after letters were received from Transport NSW on 26 March, which said that the route of the proposed Bells Line of Road – Castlereagh Corridor, may be shifted and impact on their homes. Properties in Castlereagh, Cranebrook and Llandilo will also be affected, if the corridor shift goes through.

Last week, over 500 concerned residents crowded together in Cranebrook against the proposed move.

Photo by Melinda Jane: A resident speaks out

Distressed by the prospect, neighbours started to talk and come together to raise their voice.

One resident, Patrick Serobian said, “All we’re asking the Government to do is keep their promise and keep the 1951 corridor.”

An emotional Karen Summut recounted buying her home in the area when she was 20-years-old.

“We bought there not to make money, but to get married, have children and raise our children here. We love the lifestyle,” she said through tears.

“To get that letter on March 26, it was like it was pulled out from underneath me.

“Come and live a day in our lives, we still have to get on with our lives day in, day out, and run our businesses with this ticking time bomb.”

Dozens of similar stories of heartbreak and anxiety were shared as the community rallied together and vowed to fight the planned corridor.

“I am sorry for what you’re going through and I want you to know that me and my office are here to support you,” Ms Husar said.

Dozens of similar stories of heartbreak and anxiety were shared as the community rallied together and vowed to fight the planned corridor.

There has been no explanation for the suggested change of route.

Transport NSW has responded however and extended the consultation period.

Photo by Melinda Jane: Vowing to fight the corridor plan.

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