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13 February 2017

5

A Star News Group Publication

Young criminals living in ‘fantasy gangster world’

SPORT

Covering Endeavour Hills, Doveton & Hallam

George is running towards a Spartathlon in style

■ Council’s massive U-turn over forced home take-over ...

King of his castle By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Not many six-year-olds save $2000, let alone crowdfund and donate the money to help the homeless. Rebekah, now 7, pictured, had her conscience sparked after hearing about homelessness on the car radio last year. “I wanted to help people who don’t have shelter,” she said. The Berwick year two student’s donation has purchased about 20 purpose-built swags to distribute at Casey North Community Information and Support Service in Narre Warren. Her next fundraising effort will involve selling bath bombs.

Rebekah with a BackpackBed swag for the homeless. 164475 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

BERWICK Dr Mike Inskip Dr Ankur Bansal Dr Nisha James DR SAHAR SHIRKHANLOO

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48 Van der Haar Avenue, Berwick, Vic 3806

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EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF SKIN CANCER IS THE KEY

BRING IN YOUR HOUSE PLANS

NO REFERRAL FROM GP IS NECESSARY WWW.SUNPATROLSCC.COM.AU

Blinds & Curtains

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PH 97056366

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SKIN CANCER CLINIC

Swags for the street scene

12325562-HM41-16

John Foy’s home remains his castle after Casey Council sensationally dropped plans to compulsorily acquire his Narre Warren North property. Supporters cheered from the council’s public gallery on Tuesday 7 February as Mayor Sam Aziz announced the council would “forever” abandon plans to convert the 78-year-old widower’s house, gardens and habitat wetland into soccer fields. In a nod to the stress caused to Mr Foy, Casey Council will pay for a replacement hot water system at his 34-acre home at 191-195 BelgraveHallam Road. A stunned Mr Foy had been reluctant to replace the recently-broken system, given his possible expulsion in the near future. He credited the outcome to a 9000-plus signature online petition and viral social media in recent days fuelled by a TV news report on 5 February. “I think all the electronic devices got to them,” said Mr Foy - who doesn’t have a Facebook account himself. “I’d just like to thank everybody,” he said as his supporters hugged and kissed him. “It’s starting to get to me,” he added, grasping a DVD of the Australian classic film The Castle. As Cr Aziz shook his hand, Mr Foy said it had been a “bit of a battle” since Casey first inquired about his land in 2002. During that time, he’d knocked back a council offer of $1.45 million for his land, insisting on protection of his pet dog cemetery and “all the little critters” inhabiting the wildlife lake and gardens he created over the past 35 years. “Hopefully the nightmare goes away tonight,” Cr Aziz told Mr Foy. Peterine Smulders, a neighbour of Mr Foy, held a rolled-up protest banner and tearfully declared it was a “miracle”. Another neighbour Marlene Kane - who fought the David-and-Goliath contest for several months - said: “I didn’t think it was going to happen.” Mr Foy’s daughter Cindy said her father would be greatly relieved. “It’s been a bit of a toll on the whole family. “He will be giving a big sigh.” Cr Aziz told the meeting that councillors had to “act with compassion” but insisted he did not bow to political pressure or the “insulting remarks” on Facebook. Cr Aziz declared it would be a “cold day in hell under my mayoralty” before the council overrode the needs of Mr Foy and his “sentimental” attachment to his property. “If you were my father or grandfather, I certainly wouldn’t want you to be in this position. Continued on page 6

Journal News - 13th February 2017  
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