The Abdallah family – whose four children died in a tragic crash in Oatlands – has been dealt another blow in their fight for a memorial garden at a golf club.
Siblings Antony, 13, Angelina, 12, Sienna, eight, and their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, died in February 2020 after being struck by a ute as they walked on the footpath on their way to get ice cream.
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The crash occurred at the perimeter of the Oatlands Golf Club.
The kids’ parents Danny and Leila have been fighting for a memorial garden at the golf club for months.
Two memorial designs have been knocked back based on their size and scale and discussions over the proposal for a memorial ended in July.
The family questioned if development was on the cards.
Now, it’s been revealed the golf club is proposing to build 193 apartments at the property, 200m away from where the family wants the tribute.
“I’m shocked, surprised and I’m pretty disappointed,” Danny told 7NEWS.
“I think that’s the reason why they didn’t want the memorial.”
Local MP Geoff Lee said the move demonstrated the golf club was “cold-hearted”.
PM weighs in
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also weighed in on the issue, saying he is “very distressed” over news about the proposed development.
“I would certainly hope that a fair outcome can be achieved here for them,” Morrison said.
“I think their simple, honest, humble request, that they should be able to memorialise their children that were taken from them…is entirely reasonable.”
Morrison added he has consulted with NSW Premier Dominic Perrotte about the issue.
“We were texting this morning and I know (he) is working with them to hopefully achieve something positive here,” he said.
NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns also addressed the issue on Monday afternoon, urging the club to “show some compassion” for the family who had acted with grace and determination in remembering their loved ones.
“Some things are more important than money and this is one of them,” Minns said.
“I’m hoping that common sense prevails and the golf course changes course.”
The golf club wouldn’t comment on the issue on Monday but on December 8, members are set to vote on whether the development proposal should move forward.
The driver who killed the children was sentenced to at least 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of manslaughter, among other charges.
An appeal of that sentence is scheduled to be heard next year.
– with AAP