For almost three years Campbelltown City Council has been talking the talk of an urban metamorphosis. Called Re-Imagine Campbelltown it has come with great cost to the ratepayers, with hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on consultants so they can tell us how our neck of the woods can be better to live in.
In those three years the council had had a wonderful opportunity to actually make some real progress in Re-imagine Campbelltown by acting decisively on the Panjo saga.
It could have insisted this disastrous building, which had become the home of feral squatters, be demolished.
But the wheels of bureaucracy move ever so slowly and the Panjo folly is still there at the northern gateway to Campbelltown.
That’s the main entrance to the town and where most visitors come through for the first time, and for almost 10 years the first thing they saw was this ugly eyesore of a building.
Doors and windows were boarded up with chipboard panels, while the site was covered in overgrown vegetation and rubbish.
Inside, it was pure filth, so it was just as well our first time visitors could not see that horrible mess.
Thanks to a little pushing and prodding, mainly by this news service, the building was cleaned up and the fencing security ramped up last year.
But it was obviously not enough because two weeks ago it again became a crime scene when police arrived to investigate an explosion in the Panjo.
Last week, council presented a report on Panjo, telling councillors it has written to the owners and is waiting for a response.
Well, maybe the time for waiting is over – it’s been 10 years after all.
Maybe the time has come to re-imagine the northern entrance to Campbelltown.
Let’s re-imagine it with a beautiful new building – a new council administration centre and chamber anyone?
Let’s not pussyfoot any longer with these people.
The owners should be given a timeline to start and finish their redevelopment of Panjo, and if they don’t meet the deadline, order them to demolish it.