Rebuilding Macquarie Fields

Infamous: This picture taken during the 2005 Macquarie Riots was a far cry from what the suburb was like in 2017, Campbelltown councillor Ben Gilholme said.

Infamous: This picture taken during the 2005 Macquarie Riots was a far cry from what the suburb was like in 2017, Campbelltown councillor Ben Gilholme said.

The renewal of Minto transformed the suburb from an area crowded with rundown housing commission properties, into a hot destination for home buyers.

Similar plans to demolish a large portion of public housing homes and replace them with new, private homes are also under way in Claymore and Airds.

While pleased with the revamp of the three suburbs, Campbelltown councillor Ben Gilholme said it was time all parties worked together to help continue the renewal of another suburb in the LGA.

Cr Gilholme – who grew up in public housing – said he’d noticed complexes in Macquarie Fields had been demolished but there no replacement buildings had been constructed.

“At the moment there is some great stuff happening in Macquarie Fields with some of the housing being revitalised – but there is still more to do,” he said.

“There are a few streets where buildings have been knocked down but there are no houses there.

“Macquarie Fields hasn’t been forgotten but we (all stakeholders) need to work together to rebuild it.”

Cr Gilholme lived on Eucalyptus Drive from 2007 until late last year, when he relocated to Ingleburn.

Two years before he arrived the street made headlines following a series of riots.

However, Cr Gilholme said that image plastered on television screens and in newspapers in 2005 was not an accurate reflection of the suburb in 2017.

“There is a lot of positiveness in the community,” he said.

As a former public housing tenant, Cr Gilholme believed the changes in Minto, Airds and Claymore – which saw a focus on providing a mix of private and public housing – had been a step in the right direction for the suburbs.

“I definitely agree with what happened in Minto, Airds and Claymore,” he said.

“Those past stereotypes have been broken and the areas are getting life back into them.

“In Macquarie Fields there has also been a shift. It’s not just made up of people down on their luck, there are also people there who are rebuilding their lives.”

Campbelltown councillor Ben Gilholme. Picture: Simon Bennett

Campbelltown councillor Ben Gilholme. Picture: Simon Bennett

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