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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Chicken shop explosion calls up range of possible motives
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: local news
This story ran recently from inner Sydney, said to be in Ultimo but that's a little deceptive. Here is an image in The Australian  

It's actually the outer edge of the very big Broadway retail shopping precinct including major mall complex. To airbrush that geographical relation sounded curious to us and maybe a bit of corporate spin, so we went down there yesterday to have a sniff around.

We know this area quite well from our years of street press delivery and most recently leafleting for a public meeting at nearby UTS regarding the huge desalination debacle.

In particular we were interested in several coincidences: One is this ugly fire attack in neighbouring Glebe of a Chinese Temple which actually is only about 1 km away and only a week before hand, as per Sydney Morning Herald Jan. 31st reportage (we know this Temple too which is a very nice serene place): 

Burnt out ... fire has damaged Sydney's oldest Chinese temple.

Burnt out ... fire has damaged Sydney's oldest Chinese temple.
Photo: Andrew Meares


"Leichhardt police crime manager Peter Bailey said there was evidence of a forced entry but it was too early to say who might be behind the fire that badly damaged an office." 

No wonder the police are all over the firing of Nandos. We saw Police Rescue and Forensics removing some window frames yesterday maybe for tests, as pictured below.

Ultimo is known as a high Chinese Australian area too.

A completely different angle which might not involve ethnic issues at all in this latest destruction is that the shop was robbed earlier that Sunday night according to Edmund Tadros in this report in the Herald:

Blast shop victim critical - National - smh.com.au

In all the stress of that robbery could someone have forgotten to turn off the gas? That would be a very natural error to make, especially if the robbery involved weapons.

Another curious aspect of the Nandos fire and blast is that only 50 metres away opposite is this scene of destruction from the firing of St Barnabas in May 2006 as reported by the Herald again here:

St Barnabas Church in flames in the early hours. Photo: Sky News

St Barnabas Church in flames in the early hours. Photo: Sky News

We made our own artful photo collage in mid 2007 of 'St Burnabas' (self described):

Monday, 18 June 2007
St Barnabas one year after the big fire
Mood:  spacey
Topic: local news

And yet another curious aspect totally and quite possibly irresponsible speculation is this coincidental (?) state of affairs:

- the Mountain St Quadrangle residential complex over the Nandos is only about 6 or 12 months completed with those 1000 or so resident consumers.

- These 1,000 plus locals would be an important customer base for the fast food chicken retail sector. Nandos intersected the previous pathway of Quadrangle residents to the rival busy Oporto one block closer to Broadway mall complex, which it might be said is looking a little tired. Certainly they will be the retial outlet of choice again now.

We don't say there is any connection at all. But in our cynical mind we do notice the circumstances. We recall a hair dressing competitor who got in the habit of arson attacks by fire on his competitiors:

'Shampoo arsonist' jailed - National - smh.com.au 21 Sept 2007

And yet another potential angle is that chicken shops are fairly notorious for causing smoky fatty emissions (called pyrolysis) onto their closest neighbours - we know this from an Oporto shop dispute, in that case, at North Bondi going some 20 years in our local government days. Here is a sample from SSROC of how neighbours slowly can build up quite a head of steam unless they have really good carbon filtered air scrubbers etc (which cost comes straight off the profit - such that some shops prefer to mostly cook off site and transport in):

[PDF]  Goal To have a healthy community free from the effects of air ...

We took these photographs ourselves yesterday 2 days after the big blast with the acrid smell of fire still quite strong. Windows in the street frontage and Telstra pay phone opposite had already been fixed. Tiny glass fragments still littered the path opposite too:






Posted by editor at 8:07 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008 8:02 PM EADT

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