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Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Page: 43


Ms ROWLAND (Greenway) (13:30): I rise to raise an issue of great concern to my community at the moment. It is a bad proposal and bad public policy. It comes hot on the heels of this government's abolition of Saturday opening hours for Blacktown Medicare. The issue is its proposal to move the Blacktown Medicare office from its current location in Westpoint Shopping Centre into the Centrelink office on First Avenue Blacktown.

The clear message from my constituents is that this relocation will negatively impact on the community. I make it clear that I oppose this. I would oppose this irrespective of any government which proposed it. The residents of Greenway need accessibility. They need to have opportunities to access these services. As an example, I quote to you from a constituent writing in the Blacktown Advocate:

I AGREE with Michelle Rowland.

… … …

I recently took a family member to the Centrelink office on First Ave, Blacktown.

The only parking is street parking and there's not much of that as it's not a very wide shopfront at Centrelink.

You can try the railway commuter parking or the open carpark, but as Michelle states, these are full very early in the morning.

I don't understand why Centrelink did not think of the parking problem and provide parking.

It is a long way from the station and bus stops for older people and those with poor mobility.

Westpoint, on the other hand, has ample parking, a bus stop and a shorter distance to walk from the station.

How true that is. The current location of Medicare at Westpoint makes sense. There is plenty of parking. It is close to public transport, the medical centre and the offices of private health funds. I strongly oppose this move and my community does as well.