Private Members' Statement
Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields) (12:16): Let me paint a picture of what my electorate was like when I was growing up. Imagine rolling hills and wide open spaces; imagine green paddocks covered with trees.
Let us fast‑forward to today. Imagine those same hills full of rooftops; imagine the paddocks and trees all gone.
Over the past two decades I have seen the slow creep of development change the face of our local suburbs. Sadly, in the past few years that slow creep has morphed into a stampede that is now out of control.
Recently I announced the result of my Stop the Squeeze survey. Every household in my electorate received a survey and the response was overwhelming and emphatic:
- 98 per cent of residents said they had had enough of development in their suburbs;
- 95 per cent of residents did not support more development, such as high-rise flats, in their suburbs;
- 98 per cent of people said it is important to retain our areas of green open space and suburban charm;
- 96 per cent of people think developers have too much power in the planning system;
- 88 per cent of respondents think that this Liberal Government will not listen to their concerns.
- Residents listed the loss of green open space, traffic jams and general overcrowding as their top three concerns about overdevelopment.
Here we have overwhelming evidence that the people of south-west Sydney feel the brunt of overdevelopment, yet we have a Minister for Planning who had the hide to say in the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend that overdevelopment does not exist.
This Liberal Government is completely out of touch, does not listen and simply does not care about overdevelopment.
My constituents are angry. They know that our area is bearing the brunt of overdevelopment and they want their community to have time to breathe.
Residents in my electorate are fed up with the threat of high-rise monstrosities and the obliteration of our green open spaces. They are also sick and tired of infrastructure failing to keep pace with development. They lament the Federal and State Liberal governments' lack of commitment to address the infrastructure deficit.
The recent Western Sydney City Deal is a prime example of where the fundamental needs of our growing area were ignored. The people of Macquarie Fields and south-west Sydney were short-changed in the city deal. Where was our crucial billion‑dollar rail link connecting the Western Sydney Airport to Macarthur and Leppington?
My local community will not be fooled into believing this was a good deal for our area because the Western Sydney City Deal did nothing to accommodate the explosive growth and to ease congestion.
My motivation behind the Stop the Squeeze survey was to give a voice to my constituents, who have been overlooked by the Liberal Government's out-of-touch planning agenda.
The Minister cannot hide from the results of this survey, as they provide facts and evidence.
The people of my electorate have rejected this Government's plans to turn our area into a developers' dumping zone. They have said no to congestion, more high‑rise buildings and more urban splatter at the expense of our community's character.
My constituents want to see firm action on infrastructure before more people move into their local suburbs.
The Liberal Government's scars from its poor and inappropriate planning agenda include more stifling congestion, jam-packed trains, overcrowded schools, roads choked by traffic jams, enormous pressure on our hospitals, and more housing developments that squeeze people in while squeezing out the suburban backyard and green open space.
People are feeling disenfranchised knowing that the system is stacked against them and they have little or no say on planning decisions.
My Stop the Squeeze campaign provides indisputable evidence that the Liberal Government has got it wrong.
The Government needs to stop its unfair planning agenda which unreasonably targets south‑west Sydney.
Where is the uncapped high-rise in Wollstonecraft and Roseville? Those areas have maximum height limits of 12 metres or less. Both those suburbs are much closer to the central business district via train but they happen to be Liberal‑held seats so they are not subjected to the high-rise monstrosities that my electorate will be subjected to under this Government's Planned Precincts.
Stop the Squeeze sends an undeniable message that we will not pander to the Liberal Government's love affair with greedy developers and its poor planning decisions that have been made to the detriment of our community. It really is time to stop the squeeze.