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Monday, 16 September 2019
Page: 3141


Dr FREELANDER (Macarthur) (17:44): I move:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges:

   (a) south-western Sydney as one of the key growth areas of Australia; and

(b) south-western Sydney’s cultural and economic contribution to the country; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

   (a) ensure south-western Sydney is adequately resourced in terms of vital infrastructure projects and inter-connectivity of the region;

   (b) ensure that major infrastructure projects, such as Western Sydney International Airport, do not isolate business centres such as Campbelltown and Liverpool from the public transport network;

(c) adequately fund public transport links between the Western Sydney Airport, Western Sydney Aerotropolis, and south-western Sydney growth centres to ensure realisation of the economic benefits of the airport for the local community; and

(d) build a:

   (i) south-west rail line extension from Leppington through to Western Sydney Airport;

   (ii) a north-south rail link from Western Sydney Airport to Macarthur; and

   (iii) a rapid transit link along 15th Avenue from the Liverpool CBD to Western Sydney Airport.

It's my pleasure to move this private member's motion and to be able to speak on it today. I also wish to extend my thanks to my friend and colleague the member for Werriwa, Ms Anne Stanley, for seconding this motion and bringing this matter before the House. After all, the member for Werriwa knows all too well the difficulties that we face in south-west Sydney. Many of the issues Macarthur residents face in terms of lack of access to adequate infrastructure are faced by the residents in the member for Werriwa's electorate. Both the member for Werriwa and I have raised these issues concerning a lack of infrastructure being provided for south-west Sydney in this parliament numerous times, and matters are only getting worse.

My electorate of Macarthur is experiencing exponential population growth and development, yet infrastructure is not being provided at a rate commensurate with its growth. In fact, our region is quite simply bursting at the seams. Our roads are overly congested, our hospitals are above capacity and our schools are overcrowded. The new suburbs in my electorate, particularly within the Camden local government area, are virtually inaccessible by public transport, and yet the state and federal Liberal-National governments are content with continually allowing development to occur. Ridiculously, some suburbs in my electorate cannot have garbage collections because their streets are too narrow for the trucks to go down. What a joke! In fact, by 2031, it's projected that the Camden LGA will experience growth of around 130 per cent, with a further 30 per cent of population growth in Campbelltown and 40 per cent in Wollondilly. This growth has been predicted for some time, and yet those opposite are content with ignoring the present and future needs in infrastructure of the south-west and its residents.

Members of this House will be well aware of a number of vital infrastructure projects that are needed in Macarthur and south-west Sydney, particularly with the development of Western Sydney Airport. The member for Werriwa and I raise these concerns with the government on an almost daily basis. The rail link to the Western Sydney Airport from the south, particularly the Leppington line, is vital not only to provide a transport link for Macarthur residents to the airport but to connect both the major Sydney airports—Western Sydney Airport and Kingsford Smith airport—together so that people can join connecting flights by public transport. We also need a link from the Moorebank intermodal, which is being put in to bring goods from all over the state to Moorebank and then transport them to other areas. We vitally need a rail link from the intermodal to Western Sydney Airport, through Leppington. If you ask every expert and stakeholder, you will see that there's consensus on this front. Everyone is united behind the fact that the new airport must be connected via rail link to Leppington, Macarthur and Moorebank. Not only will this ensure that commuters are able to access this new airport; a rail link will be essential in ensuring that our already congested roads are not further overburdened with freight.

Shockingly, the government appears content with allowing development to proceed while neglecting to invest in a rail corridor that is already preserved, and is fairly short, to be completed from Leppington to Western Sydney Airport. What is worse, it is one standard for the north-west, where the infrastructure has been put in at a rapid pace, and another standard for the south-west, where population is being put in but no transport infrastructure.

One only has to look at the coalition's highly politicised City Deals stunts to see their failures in the infrastructure system. Local councils have been strongarmed into signing onto a deal with little detail provided on content. Campbelltown, for example, will get a billabong where there's already a fully functional Olympic-sized swimming pool, and transport is left high and dry. In fact, in the City Deals, Blacktown City was left out altogether. The rail link and rapid transit link, among other key projects, should have featured front and centre in this deal. But, for political reasons, they didn't. We in the south-west were neglected once again.

I have grave fears for the future of our community should we continue to be treated as second-class citizens. The city of Sydney is a planner's worst nightmare, the interconnectivity of communities and infrastructure not given a second thought over the last 200-odd years. Now, in 2019, at a time when we see urban sprawl at an all-time high, massive population growth in our outer metropolitan regions and hectares of farmland turning into new suburbs at the blink of an eye, the government seems unwilling to learn from the mistakes of the past. Infrastructure can't be retrofitted easily, and it's irresponsible for the Morrison and Berejiklian governments to continue to allow massive development without investing in proper infrastructure and services that our residents so desperately need.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr McVeigh ): The motion now needs to be seconded.

Ms Stanley: I second the motion and reserve my right to speak.