Private Members' Statement
Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields) (13:06): FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a common acronym on social media. There is no fear of missing out for the people in my electorate—just the reality that we have been missing out for years.
This Liberal Government blatantly ignores the basic infrastructure needs of my local community.
I will give a few examples of the issues local residents continue to raise with me.
This morning thousands of commuters woke up wondering whether they would get a parking spot at the station. They worried whether they would be forced to risk an infringement notice just to park and get to their train on time. This nightmare scenario is not happening at just one station in my electorate; it is happening at all of them. Parking lots at Leumeah, Minto, Ingleburn, Macquarie Fields, Glenfield and Edmondson Park stations are at capacity, all because this Government has failed to provide adequate commuter parking in one of the fastest growing areas of Sydney.
If commuters do manage to find a parking spot, they then need to cram into overcrowded trains or change stations up to three times just to get to work, all because the Government implemented an unfair train timetable that has disadvantaged my constituents.
Parents in my electorate are worried about schooling. Some parents know that their kids will be left to swelter in hot classrooms because this Government refuses to provide air conditioning.
The parents at Bardia Public School raised $20,000 to install new air conditioners, only for this Liberal Government to rip them out as part of a refurbishment. Meanwhile, other parents are moving into Edmondson Park only to find that there is no school for their kids at all.
The Government has found billions of dollars to spend on upgrading stadiums—that do not need upgrading—and has spent hundreds of millions more in transport budget blowouts, but it has nothing for schools for our local kids.
My constituents are sick and tired of the Liberal Federal and State governments' ongoing lack of commitment to address the infrastructure deficit. The recent Western Sydney City Deal is a prime example of the fundamental needs of our growing area being deliberately and blatantly ignored. Where is our billion-dollar rail link connecting the Western Sydney Airport to Macarthur and Leppington? Community members in my electorate will not be fooled into believing this is a good deal for our area because the city deal does nothing to accommodate the explosive growth and ease congestion. They are smart, hardworking, decent people who are not naive or gullible. They will not swallow the political spin or glossy publications designed to dupe them.
The facts are clear. The Macarthur region and south-west Sydney have been short-changed and denied the public investment they deserve under this city deal. It is a terrible shame that the people of my electorate are used to being given a raw deal by this Liberal Government. They fought tooth and nail to stop the closure of the Roads and Traffic Authority [RTA] office at Ingleburn. The Liberal Government ignored them.
Now local residents, including many pensioners, must drive almost 40 minutes or sit on public transport for more than an hour to get to the nearest Service NSW centre. Just last week the finance Minister announced a new Service NSW centre for Toronto after a community campaign following the closure of the RTA office in that area. My question to the Minister is: What about us? Members of my community have been fighting for years too. My community needs convenient access to essential government services too. But, once again, our needs are being ignored. Where is our fair share?
The budget is due to be delivered in a few weeks. I wonder whether this year will be any different from the previous three? I doubt it very much.
For the record, the needs of my electorate are simple: increased infrastructure investment; adequate parking at our stations; reliable and fair train services; air conditioning in our schools; a conveniently located Service NSW centre; schools for our newest suburbs; a lift at Macquarie Fields station; protection of our green space; and the Government to stop turning my electorate into a developers' dumping ground.
I know this coming budget will be a huge disappointment, yet again, for the residents of Macquarie Fields.
But let me make one thing clear to the Premier and her Government: My constituents do not deserve to miss out.
We are a growing community.
We are hardworking and pay our way.
All we want is our fair share.
The only way to deliver that is through a Labor Government.