Government infrastructure

I am delighted to lead for the Opposition in this important debate and add the dignity and respect that this issue deserves. The only thing that I agree with the member for Wollondilly on—and I appreciate him acknowledging it—is the great work that the former Labor government did on Picton Road in connecting the two great regions of the Illawarra and Macarthur, which is the gateway to south-western Sydney, as members on this side of the House understand and appreciate. The member mentioned the word "managed". The only thing this Government has managed to do since 2011 is disengage western and south-western Sydney. This motion was labelled "Achievement and vision", but we know it highlights the blind and tired outlook of this Government and the contempt with which it has treated western and south‑western Sydney.

The reality is that local families, businesses, ratepayers and stakeholders lose out across the west and south‑west every day because of the failures of this Government and its policies. We have not seen adequate new roads. We have seen more tolls on old roads. We have seen one standard for the west and a whole different standard for the rest of Sydney. It is a symbolic representation of a government that is out of touch and that does not get western and south-western Sydney. Sydney's east gets public transport, and the rest in the west get tolls. There are no alternative road routes for many residents across western and south-western Sydney. We have seen increasing tolls and, as I mentioned before, new tolls on old roads. Why should the people of the west pay for a toll on a road that is not going to provide them with the access they need? I will come to the population later in my contribution.

This Government's priorities are all wrong. As Labor leader, the member for Kogarah, pointed out on Monday, we need new schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, roads and public transport links to open up the economic potential in the west and south-west and provide the connectivity that local families and businesses need. That is our agenda on this side of the House. We hear the rhetoric from the other side, but everyone knows that it is nothing short of spin. I reaffirm that Labor will scrap the northern beaches link, which is a $10 billion project with limited economic benefits, and direct infrastructure spending to where it is needed more—in the west and south‑west. We know that because we are out in the west and the south-west, and we are with the people. When we look at population growth, we see that over 200,000 people will be going to Blacktown, 190,000 people to Liverpool, 180,000 people to Camden, just under 140,000 people to Parramatta, just under 140,000 people to Penrith and around 120,000 people to Canterbury-Bankstown. That is just to name a few.

By comparison, bring in the Government's billion‑dollar investment in the wrong priorities. There will be 27,000 more people on the Northern Beaches and 999 in Mosman, and the Government is going to invest $10 billion. Meanwhile, people in western and south‑western Sydney get up every day, looking forward to sitting on a congested road, sitting on a new toll road or parking in a commuter car park that they do not have, waiting for a train that is either not coming or is late. I urge members opposite to get their priorities right. Public transports and roads in the west and the south‑west have been ignored by the Government, and that is very clear. Government members may not know it, but we in the west and south‑west live it every single day. The Government has the wrong priorities and the McKell report points that out very clearly. I thank the House.

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