24 February, 2014. 15:48
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
AUSTRALIANS HAVE FLOCKED to the streets of Lakemba to protest after the City of Canterbury Council approved plans to build a Catholic Young Men’s Society club in the predominantly Islamic suburb.
There were ugly scenes outside the council offices before the meeting with more than a dozen police officers on hand to keep protesters in check.
Despite strong community protest from some residents, Canterbury City Council voted in favour of the Catholic community centre in Lakemba 8 votes to 5.
A Catholic church was recently approved in the area this month to serve the region’s growing Christian community.
Locals have expressed their seething anger at the Council, saying that they don’t want Catholics living in their suburb.
“I don’t want these wine-sipping child-molesting sickos living near me or my family,” says one Haldon Street business owner.
“Catholics fail to assimilate into other cultures. They form ghettos and build their own clubs like this f**king CYMS bulls**t.”
Saint Patrick’s Welfare Association Inc secretary Paul-Martin O’Leary addressed the council meeting on behalf of the applicants said he was disappointed to see the scenes outside upon arriving.
“I was sad that when I arrived here tonight to see what I did outside,” Mr O’Leary said.
“Catholic people are doctors, nurses, engineers, they work in the public and private sectors,”
“Please do consider that we don’t want to disturb your way of life. This Catholic hall is a multicultural example of Australia,”
“This country is our home, and we’re exactly like you.”
The Catholic Young Men’s Society on Haldon Street is expected to be constructed in two stages with the first stage of the development including the construction of 400sq m hall that will include a kitchen, toilets and other amenities.