South West Sydney Infrastructure

13 March 2024

Mrs JUDY HANNAN: I move:

That this house:

(1)Recognises past Labor and Coalition governments have missed opportunities in south-west Sydney.

(2)Calls on all parties to provide infrastructure along with approved growth.

(3)Calls on the New South Wales Government to recognise the need for investment in south-west Sydney.

(4)Calls on the Government to recognise the future growth and population needs by reviewing previous studies and business cases and undertaking further investigations into the Maldon Dombarton railway line.

Mr NATHAN HAGARTY: In supporting the motion, I will inject some objectivity and some facts into the debate after the contribution of the member for Oatley. I thank the member for Wollondilly for bringing forward her motion. She was elected just under 12 months ago, as I was. Along with her election as the member for Wollondilly and mine as the member for Leppington came a wave of change across south-western Sydney, not because we were new MPs but because we brought a new attitude of working together constructively despite politics, personalities and factions to bring about the best results for south-western Sydney. There is no better example of that than the fantastic motion before the House. I make special mention of the member for Campbelltown, who is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Western Sydney. He has been a strong advocate for Appin Road, for which he has been fighting for 10 years. Action is happening on that after 12 years of neglect by those opposite.

The member for Camden is another newbie who has hit the ground running, working constructively to clean up the mess left by the previous Liberal member. She is working hard to provide express buses to the airport, and we are also working on a business case to establish a train to the airport. I mention the airport because it is an important catalyst. Despite the argy-bargy, I think we can agree on one thing: The airport in Western Sydney is a project of immense national importance, and the Government will be happy to cut the ribbon on it at the end of 2026. But the key to an airport and an aerotropolis is having those important transport links, and that is what we are talking about today.

I will mention a few other members from south-west Sydney. The member for Cabramatta, who is behind me, has been working hard to ensure that we fix the mess caused by the train timetable of the previous Government—which slashed buses—as have the member for Liverpool and my good friend the member for Fairfield, who is advocating to ensure that the Transport Access Program is again based on priority and not on shoring up marginal Coalition seats. We have already had wins—the member for Macquarie Fields finally has a lift at Macquarie Fields station. Within 12 short months we are delivering lifts, schools and upgrades to roads.

That is just transport infrastructure, but let us talk about health and education. We have already started putting money towards an upgrade to Fairfield Hospital, which is very close to my heart. It is where my two children were born and I have visited on a number of occasions after some accidents—sprains, breaks and cracks. It has not had any attention for many years, but we are changing that. We are also looking at a site for a new hospital out at the aerotropolis, and we are making strides in health and education. The member for Oatley gave a bit of a spiel about education but—and I have said this many times—despite all the growth in my electorate around the suburbs of Austral, Leppington and Denham Court, the previous Government built not a single public high school. It stands condemned for that.

But I am happy to announce that we are building a new school, which will open in 2027. The people of Leppington and the south-west will be very happy to see that. The Government is also investing in plenty of other schools, not just in Leppington but right across the area—because this debate is not about Leppington but about south‑west Sydney—including Camden, another area that was neglected. Kids there had to go to school in demountables that were slapped together a couple of years before an election. I thank the member for Wollondilly. This is the start of a very constructive relationship. Let us keep fixing the mess caused by the previous Government.