Thursday, 16 August 2007
Dobell Electorate: Services; Crime and Vandalism
I rise today to speak about a couple of important issues in my electorate of Dobell. Local residents have already won a concession from Energy Australia for powerlines to be placed underground from Willoughby Road to Wamberal Cemetery in Wamberal. However, I have recently been inundated with letters from local residents concerned that Energy Australia has not included the northern section of Wamberal from the cemetery, past the Jehovah’s Witnesses church and around the new preschool site, to Wamberal Public School and Wamberal Fire Station. While it is a great concession that Energy Australia has listened to the Wamberal community by conceding to put four kilometres of powerlines underground, parents are anxious about having high-voltage powerlines passing directly in front of Wamberal Public School. Concerned local residents and parents of students have signed a petition calling for this important extension to be made, ensuring that these high-voltage powerlines are all underground. Energy Australia really needs to go that extra step and include the northern part of Wamberal in the underground route. It is the right thing to do.
The installation of these high-voltage powerlines is part of a project that will deliver a bulk electricity supply upgrade to Wamberal, Terrigal, Erina, Erina Heights, Holgate, Matcham, North Avoca and Picketts Valley. The powerlines will link Energy Australia’s bulk supply point in Yates Road, Ourimbah, with a new substation proposed for Willoughby Road, Wamberal. Energy Australia expects construction of these powerlines to begin in September. Placing these high-voltage powerlines underground would remove the fear of them passing in front of more than 300 houses.
As the federal member for our local area, I am committed to protecting our way of life on the Central Coast, and I want to ensure that Energy Australia listens and responds fully to the concerns of the Wamberal community. The health and safety of our children is very important. I intend to meet with Energy Australia management to discuss local residents’ concerns. I congratulate the Wamberal community, led by Mr John Holt, on their win and encourage them to continue lobbying Energy Australia to ensure the job gets done properly.
Another important issue I would like to raise here today on behalf of my constituency is crime on the Central Coast. We have had enough of hoons, vandals and graffiti. It is simply not good enough that the New South Wales government is failing in its responsibility to ensure that our community is adequately protected. People have a right to feel safe in their homes and on their local streets. That is why, as a result of community feedback, I am working to get federal funding for CCTV cameras in The Entrance town centre under the National Community Crime Prevention Program. These cameras would be installed in problem areas and would be monitored around the clock by local police. By identifying repeat offenders, we can help to stop the cycle of crime in The Entrance. This is an initiative which is also being considered by the Toukley Chamber of Commerce to reduce crime in Toukley. I have been fighting hard to ensure funding and support for these projects to help stop crime before it happens.
We have already received $148,000 in federal government funding for Family Child Services Central Coast to support and mentor vulnerable families with the aim of decreasing family violence in our community, and $50,000 has also been secured for Uniting Care Burnside to educate young people on sexual violence. But there is more to be done, and I am committed to continuing to work with our local community because together we can help put a stop to unacceptable behaviour in our local area and make our community safer.