Residents in the area around Tradies at Gymea have expressed their anger over development applications for a childcare centre and an affordable housing complex in streets adjoining the club.
What was envisaged as a photo of a small protest group became at short notice a gathering of more than 80 people, eager for the chance to make a statement.
“To say we are gutted by both developments, and the impact they will have on traffic, our property values and lifestyle, is an understatement,” said Vanessa Dadley, who, along with Joanne and John Hunter, led the way in speaking out and raising public awareness.
The residents’ campaign suffered a major blow when Labor members of Sutherland Shire Council advised they could not object to, or vote on, the development applications (DAs) because of a conflict of interest.
The club, with its trade union movement roots, is the unofficial headquarters of the Labor Party in the shire, and supports candidates in election campaigns.
Residents have been invited to a meeting at the council on January 25, and a two-week extension was given for comment on the childcare centre application after complaints there was insufficient time because of the approach of Christmas.
Tanya Zarb, who lives on the corner of Marion Street and Manchester Road, opposite the proposed vehicle entrance to the childcare centre, is among residents who say they will boycott the club.
Ms Zarb said there were already numerous accidents at or near the intersection.
Sandra Moseley, whose townhouse is next to the childcare centre site, said she would be looking at a nine metre high wall.
Ms Moseley said she had gone to the club “seven or eight times” asking their intentions for the site but had been told nothing until after the DA was lodged.
”Because of family circumstances, I am looking at selling this year, and my property value has just dropped $100,000,” she said.
Vanessa Dadley said another concern was the 16 boarding house rooms in the affordable housing development, which could house, among others, “people in drug rehabilitation or just out of prison”.
“It seems inappropriate to have this next to a childcare centre and a club that is open almost all night, with alcohol and gambling,” she said.
Another resident said traffic studies for the two developments, included in the DAs, did not take into account the cumulative impact, and a new study looking at the impact of both projects was necessary.