Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill, has called on the Government to come clean about their budget, which is built upon the sell-off of billions of dollars of publicly owned assets and record stamp duty revenues.
The Budget ignores key community infrastructure in the inner west, with only one local school receiving badly-needed classrooms and little support for residents on housing affordability, transport, or child-care.
The Government has failed to fund the Western Metro project but delivers $3.2 billion to WestConnex, a polluting toll-road tearing apart inner west communities.
Inner west schools left bursting at the seams
Despite pumping thousands of new apartments across the inner west, there is little money for schools in the Summer Hill electorate, including for Petersham Public School which is already at full capacity.
Four new classrooms at Ashbury Public school is a drop in the ocean for the Summer Hill electorate – where we know over 75% of our schools are at or nearing capacity.
While they are providing four classrooms in the inner west, the Budget locks in further density including the Parramatta Road revitalisation plan, which will bring 27,000 apartments along the corridor, including to Petersham and Lewisham.
Meanwhile, the Budget funds 77 school projects in Government-held electorates and only 39 in seats held by the Labor Opposition. 7,500 classrooms are needed across the State and only 1,500 are promised in this Budget.
Local schools left to crumble
The Budget fails to invest in desperately needed maintenance at our local schools.
Documents recently obtained by the Opposition show that schools in the Summer Hill electorate need a whopping total of $6,870,097 to bring classrooms and playgrounds up to scratch.
There are seven local schools with an individual maintenance backlog in excess of $500,000. Everything from toilet block upgrades, carpet replacements, fixing damaged roofs, to replacing windows has been put on hold.
The relocation of the Open High School from Randwick to the old Crystal Street Petersham site has also been allocated further funding, however, the project has reportedly been significantly delayed, with classes now not due to start at the new location until late next year.
WestConnex wins over Western Metro
The Government’s priorities are clear: they will continue with a polluting toll-road at any cost, and in the face of fierce public opposition.
The Budget announces a further $3.2 billion for WestConnex, a project that is destroying inner west communities from Haberfield to St Peters and Alexandria to Rozelle.
No funding has been provided for local regional roads, despite the incredible imposition of traffic from WestConnex. We know that this cost will run into the billions and will be borne by local ratepayers and communities through their councils.
At the same time, the Government is selling off public buses in the inner west and has disgracefully delayed vital upgrades at Lewisham and Petersham stations.
The Western Metro doesn’t receive a cent of funding.
The feted cycling Longport connection under Parramatta Road as part of the GreenWay is actually a re-announcement from last year’s budget and there is very little in the way of spending on cycling infrastructure.
Government pumps in more apartments to Parramatta Road, ignoring public transport and open space needs
The Government is yet again refusing to listen to the community on this important revitalisation project.
The Budget fails to commit to rapid transit along the corridor and there is no commitment to additional open space for our kids to play.
The Budget provides $123 million funding for the strategy, including for a “new pocket park” in Petersham Street, which appears to be an expansion of the existing Quinn Park playground.
Meanwhile, local schools are not being allocated additional classrooms.
Housing affordability measures bypass locals and renters
This Budget fails young people, first home buyers, those looking to downsize, renters and those in insecurity housing in the inner west. The Premier doesn’t understand that building more $1 million apartments in the inner west will not fix housing affordability.
The Government’s first home-buyers concessions for homes below $650,000 will not assist those struggling to save for a home in the inner west when standard two bedroom units cost in excess of $800,000.
There is no commitment to assist renters; nor a commitment around negative gearing or capital gains tax.
The Premier came to power promising to act on housing affordability and the Budget confirms she is pursuing a narrow focus on house prices as a way to fix it.
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill
“This Budget fails the people of the inner west.
“It is built upon a false promise of future growth from the sell-off of our publicly owned assets.
They just continue to put private interests ahead of the immediate needs of our inner west community– just flogging off more and more of our public assets and services.
“They’re delivering surpluses from the sell-off of assets like our public buses, Sydney Motorway Corporation, and the Land and Properties Register, but at the same time, the infrastructure local families rely on is being left to wrack and ruin.
“The Government’s commitment of four new classrooms in the inner west is an insulting drop in the bucket.
“The Government’s stamp duty concessions will do nothing to help inner west buyers, who are fighting for unaffordable million dollar apartments just to get their foot in the door.
“The failure to fund improvements to regional roads in our local area shows just how little they understand the impact of rat running and extra traffic from WestConnex.”
“If residents had any doubt that the Government doesn’t care about the inner west, they don’t have to look further than this Budget.”