Unanderra residents upwardly mobile

Lea and Max Armour could soon be making a move to a swankier suburb without having to lift a finger or spend a cent.

They are among 97 Unanderra property owners who could be reclassified as Figtree residents in the new year if a proposal gets the nod to simplify an existing scrappy boundary line on either side of Cordeaux Rd.

It is a move said to eliminate confusion over addresses but a welcome spin-off is that it would push up property values significantly with a difference of nearly $100,000 in median house prices between the two suburbs.

"I tried to do this nearly 30 years ago but it never got anywhere," Mrs Armour said.

"It was mainly to eliminate [the] confusion these boundaries create with visitors, posties, taxi drivers and couriers.

"The way it deviates from the Mount Kembla railway line along this stretch also creates wacky situations like the unit block at the end of our street which is in Figtree, while its rear entrance is in Unanderra," she said.

Mrs Armour said the prospect of a property value rise under the new address was an appealing aspect of the pro-change argument.

"We don't plan on selling, but a Figtree address would be an advantage if we ever do," Mrs Armour said.

Australian Property Monitor figures show the median house price in Figtree is $438,000 while Unanderra sits at $340,000.

The Armours are in Rachel Crescent, one of four streets which will be affected if the boundary is changed.

The move to revisit the debate was initiated by a Wade Street resident but she declined to talk to the Mercury.

A number of the residents spoken to said they bought their properties believing they were in Figtree.

"I bought my house in the 80s and it was advertised as Figtree," said one Rachel Crescent resident.

"It was only in recent years I discovered I was actually living in Unanderra.

"It would be good to have uniformity because half my mail is addressed to Figtree and half to Unanderra."

It is understood a minority of residents are against the change, mainly for the perceived inconvenience it would cause.

Buddy Rogers from Wade Street said he had mixed views about the proposal.

"My family has five properties in the affected zone and although it means a rise in property prices, it could also mean a rise in the cost of insurance and rates," he said.

"I checked on my car the other day and found the insurance for Figtree was $130 higher than if I was insuring in Unanderra."

Wollongong City Council is exhibiting the boundary change proposal until December 20, and will notify residents early next year if it is approved.

If the proposal is supported by the council, it would then be sent to the Geographical Names Board NSW for final approval.

If it reaches that stage, agencies including Australian Post, ambulance, police, rural fire and the Valuer-General's Office would be notified.


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