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Mayor Steve Christou’s Weekly Message

An insight into what's happening around our local community.

18 June 2021


Desperate fight to keep the Two Blues in the comp

I was disgusted to hear of the attempts to force a merger of our local Two Blues Rugby team with another club. It’s been orchestrated in secret by the elitist eastern suburbs and north shore clubs, just as council is finishing a new $13.5 million stadium and international standard rugby field at Granville Park for the Two Blues. The disappearance of the Two Blues will reduce sporting pathways and development opportunities for our young people – many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s typical of the wealthier clubs in wealthier suburbs to dismiss the western suburbs clubs who have worked so hard to build the sport to provide opportunities for young people from lower socio-economic communities.

Those hostile clubs, namely Eastern Suburbs, Gordon, Manly, Northern Suburbs, Eastwood and the University of Sydney, met to conspire to end the Two Blues, mainly so they could poach their players and extend their own catchment areas into the western suburbs. This behaviour will not be tolerated and the Two Blues will be heavily supported with every resource available to us.

The hostile clubs have made a list of financial requirements to continue to be in the Shute Shield competition, knowing they could already meet those standards, but that Two Blues would take several years to meet them. This includes employing a full time coach, having a minimum of seven grades, having a doctor at each game and minimum level of revenue. Setting these standards behind closed doors without any consultation with Two Blues is an arrogant and patronising move from the clubs. They should be banding together to build their sport, rather than dividing it.

While there are some wider systemic issues at play which need urgent attention by Rugby NSW and Rugby Australia, this attack on a local club smacks of jealousy and elitism. I’ll fight to keep the Two Blues in this new facility. I know they’ll rise to be worthy of these international standard facilities. I congratulate the Two Blues junior teams who were successful in the state championships last week. It’s a club that’s going places and has the potential to create world-class athletes.

The Two Blues have a strong board and leadership team. The Two Blues general manager Craig Morgan is urgently seeking extra sponsorship and drumming up support. If you’re interested in supporting the Two Blues, contact Mr Morgan via craig.morgan@twobluesrugby.com.au

At The Eric Tweedale Stadium, Mayor Steve Christou with, from left, Merrylands RSL CEO Bryn Miller, Two Blues General Manager Craig Morgan and Merrylands RSL President Ron Hand. Merrylands RSL are throwing their sponsorship support behind the Two Blues.

Supporting local business

One of the things I enjoy most as Mayor is supporting small and local business. They give Cumberland City its character and make it a great place to live.

I recently visited Nepalese restaurant, Sambandha located in Auburn Central (cnr Queen St and Park Rd). Renowned for their authentic Nepalese cuisine and for serving the delicious traditional delicacies in the heart of Auburn, I encourage anyone seeking a Nepalese treat to give them a visit.

Mayor Steve Christou with owner Meera Gurung.

ePetition: Sign now

Help us lobby the NSW State Government for the additional Service NSW Centre they promised in 2019. Councillor Joseph Rahme and I have been advocating for almost two years. It’s about time we heard a positive message from the state government outlining in concrete when they will return the Service NSW they ripped out from Merrylands over 4 years ago.

We should be able to access a Service NSW Centre for basic requests like re-registering a car or renewing a drivers licence, without having to drive 20-30 minutes to reach the nearest centre. Our local state members need to remain present and in their electorates and be a strong unrelenting voice on this issue. At a minimum, our residents deserve that level of service. The ePetition will be open until 5 July. A copy will be provided to the NSW Premier and relevant members of Parliament.

Scan the QR code or visit haveyoursay.cumberland.nsw.gov.au to sign the petition now.

mayor petition qr code service nsw merrylands

Mayor Steve Christou, right, with Councillor Joseph Rahme in front of the old RMS building, now a furniture shop.

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