Fairfield temple gets green light for worship

by Melanie Darmody, Fairfield Advance, 28 Oct 2010

Fairfield, Australia -- A FAIRFIELD Heights residential site that was found to be operating illegally as a place of worship will now be allowed to be used as a Buddhist temple.

In 2008, the premises at The Boulevarde, owned by the Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Canberra, was inspected by Fairfield Council staff and found to be operating as a place of worship without consent.

They also found a number of structures had been built without approval.

The council issued fines and orders to the congregation, who have since addressed the concerns of the council and residents which included parking and noise.

The council has now agreed to allow the site as a place of worship or a trial period of one year.

Residents complaints included noise, cars parked over driveways and being harassed by followers.

Labor’s Cr Lawrence White told the council the only time the council would not give support was when conditions of consent had not been adhered to.

“We have more Buddhists than any other council in Australia,” he said. “We have been very tolerant and very respectful. But they did not respect their neighbours and did not respect council conditions.

“They went four years without coming to council for an application. If they respect conditions I am sure it will not be a problem for the council.”