I'll turn my house into a mosque, threatens Auburn mayor Ronney Oueik | thetelegraph.com.au
AUBURN mayor Ronney Oueik has issued an ultimatum to his neighbours: let me tear down my house or I'll turn it into a mosque.
Mr Oueik wants to bulldoze the heritage-listed home he bought in 2009 in Homebush and build a new one.
His original application to demolish the historic Camden Lodge in Burlington Rd was unanimously rejected by Strathfield Council in 2010, but now he is trying again.
His new application comes after a fire ripped through the residence in January. The blaze is being investigated by police. Mr Oueik denies any involvement with the fire.
Neighbours said Mr Oueik had held public meetings with them in a bid to remove any objections to his plans, and had threatened to turn the building into a Muslim prayer hall if he didn't get his way.
Marlene Doran, who has lived in Homebush for 60 years and is the archivist for the heritage society, said the threat to sell the house to turn it into a Muslim prayer hall was disgraceful. "This is a threat to get the neighbours onside so he can demolish," she said. "It's disgusting. He's done nothing whatsoever with the house. It's demolition by neglect."