Jo Haylen, the Member for Summer Hill, has called on the Baird Government to invest in services crucial to the inner west, rather than throwing good money after bad to prop up key vanity projects.
Today’s NSW Budget fails to deliver much needed community infrastructure for the inner west, with no information about an upgrade of Lewisham Station and only $200,000 for design of the GreenWay cycleway.
While money is thrown at Westconnex, the Government closes TAFE campuses, Concord Hospital is left in the cold and Inner West schools continue to burst at the seams whilst suffering from crumbling maintenance backlogs.
Despite a strong community campaign, the Minister for Transport has refused to confirm whether an accessibility upgrade at Lewisham Station will be funded.
“The Government failed to confirm any of the rail upgrades for the Inner West or for Light Rail services in the Inner West,” said Ms Haylen.
“While the Government twiddles its thumbs, elderly commuters and commuters with a disability will continue to miss out.”
“I won’t give up, though, as upgrading Lewisham is a key priority if we’re to have truly accessible transport here in the Inner West.”
Most disappointingly, the Transport Minister has also failed to fulfil his promise to Inner West MPs to fund the Greenway Project, providing only $200,000 to fund the design of the project.
MPs were promised up to $4 million towards the project at a meeting in April.
“After killing off the GreenWay when they came into Government, the Premier has again let people down and only allocating $200,000 for design. There is nothing for construction, disregarding the fact that this project is shovel ready,” said Ms Haylen.
“This was not the undertaking made to Inner West MPs back in April.”
“The best hope for the GreenWay now is the election of a Shorten Government, after Anthony Albanese promised $7.25 million to actually build it.”
The Budget papers also confirm that Petersham West St TAFE campus is to be closed, ending months of speculation.
“Like many in the Inner West, I’m appalled by this Government’s destruction of TAFE across NSW and this Budget is yet another example of how little the Baird Government thinks of public education,” said Ms Haylen.
“The Government won’t confirm the cost of consolidating the campuses, whether jobs will be lost, or what is next for the campus.”
The State Budget held little else for Inner West residents, with grants to local councils to fund minor road works, routine maintenance costs for rail lines and Frontline System Support for the Department of Family and Community Services.
Additional money has been granted to the Office of Heritage, which Jo Haylen hopes will increase the capacity of the Heritage Department to put Haberfield on the Heritage Register.
“What remains of Haberfield after Westconnex is too important to lose. Using this additional funding to put Haberfield on the State Heritage Register is the least this Government can do."
Additional Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill
“While the Government crows about budget surpluses, services and assets in the Inner West continue to crack and crumble.”
“Our schools are at bursting point, upgrades for train stations are up in the air, and our TAFE campuses are being closed to prop up the Government’s failures in vocational training.”
“Meanwhile the Government continues on with Westconnex against the will of Inner West residents.
“This Budget shows Baird’s priorities and the Inner West isn’t one of them.”