It has been another big year for Fairfield with many exciting projects taking shape.
The Champion caught up with Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone to reflect on 2018 and look ahead to what is shaping up to be another bumper year.
How do you look back on 2018?
It has been a long year.
Council has been working really hard on improving key elements of people’s lives and that is about the quality of life and making sure life is affordable.
Ultimately we’re a council and we can only do so much but there is a lot of infrastructure happening across Fairfield.
We want our city to be a wonderful place for families – we’re not shy to say that – and we’re putting the infrastructure in to do that.
What were some of your highlights?
Obviously winning the AR Bluett Memorial Award for the most progressive metropolitan council in NSW.
It was wonderful for our residents and it shows we are putting in infrastructure and policy that will make a difference to our local community.
What are you looking forward to in 2019?
I am really excited about the Fairfield Showground. Why some people see it is just a football field, I see it as a place where people can come together for an event, sport or movie. Every city deserves a heart and the Showground will be the Centennial Park of our city.
It will be where people come together as one to celebrate, kick a football and be a genuine community.
The Showground is being built for big and small events. We want to be the epicentre when it comes to big events and give our residents a place to go and a place to celebrate and have fun.
We don’t want people travelling hours to be able to go and enjoy great facilities or be part of a great celebration. We can do it here. We know we are great in Fairfield – we have been doing it for years – and we will be even better when the Showground is finished.
What are some other things planned for 2019?
It’s important to do the big projects but it’s also important to do the little things right. We don’t walk away from the most important things: roads, footpaths and waste.
We’re looking at introducing a new pick-up waste service so residents have flexibility to get on the phone to get a waste pick up when they want it.
There will also be an announcement about the Adventure Park.
There is a new park in Carramar and we’re looking at building a new library in Fairfield which has been overdue for some time.
You have been quite vocal in advocating to state and federal governments regarding infrastructure for refugees. Is this something you will continue?
I feel our city has been let down in some way. Our city has done an immense job in resettling 10,000 refugees. But they need to put in the infrastructure. So I will continue on making sure the voice of our community is heard to make the state and federal governments put in the infrastructure so the lifestyle of Fairfield residents is maintained. I want to make sure our hospital gets upgraded and all the key services get upgraded so we can all live a good quality life.
They can’t forget that Fairfield has done the heavy lifting and in doing that heavy lifting we shouldn’t be taken for granted. We’re proud as residents of Fairfield. We are welcoming, we open our doors to people but you know what – we have done a great service to the nation and the federal and state government should not forget about that and that’s why I want our hospitals and schools improved.
There are big changes proposed for the rural areas of the community. What is your message to those residents?
We’ve consulted with residents and made some changes and we will continue to make changes until the residents are happy. That’s what councils are about. You can’t get criticised for continuing to have a discussion with your residents about what you want to see in the future. A lot of this is down the track, but we have to have a look at we can do to take advantage of an airport in our backyard including employment and transport. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get to the city in 20 minutes?