Inner West Whispers – 306

• Is craft beer in our future? The Labor candidate for mayor of the Inner West has announced a comprehensive plan to make the Inner West the national capital of craft brewing. Launching the Craft Brewers Association this month with local microbreweries, the plans have been set in motion to create a new Inner West Craft Beer Festival as well as overturn the council’s restrictive regulation of craft breweries. The beer plan that puts ale on the agenda also hopes to deliver new rules so it’s easier for residents to taste products at breweries and allow food trucks and community events to be hosted onsite. Hopefully, the bar will be raised!

• The government’s census data has brought in new info on the genetic makeup of our little pocket of Sydney. It seems there are far fewer Italians left in Leichhardt, with a 50 per cent decline since 2001. The Inner West is also in the midst of a man drought, with 23 of its 28 suburbs home to more women than men and a 47:53 ratio in Drummoyne. The most divorcees in the Inner West reside in Balmain, with 9.1 per cent of its residents being divorcees. If you’re hoping for better odds of staying in your marriage, you better move to Strathfield which has the lowest divorce rate in the region at 2 per cent.

• If you’re a fan of strip shows, here’s a potential happy ending — the Petersham Inn is heading to court to extend its trading hours from midnight to 3am on nights when topless women roam the joint. However, residents are fed up, with numerous complaints made to the council and the Liquor and Gaming Authority. Time will tell how this fares for the Inn and its disgruntled neighbours as the matter goes to court in early August.

• Residents have labelled development reforms for a new Strathfield community centre “a shambles” after the second Strathfield Council meeting in five days was canned due to a no show from councillors. Controversial plans for a $20 million Korean Memorial Garden on the fields of Bressington Park and a new major community centre on the parkland at Elliott Reserve were on the agenda for the meeting. The politicking within the council has caused a brouhaha for 28 residents who turned up to listen to the debate. For a meeting to go ahead, four of the six elected council members must be present. Here’s hoping the next meeting is more successful.