House debates

Monday, 2 May 2016

Statements by Members

New South Wales Government: Environment

1:42 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

Yesterday I joined thousands of Sydneysiders who came together at Moore Park in a last-ditch effort to rally to save Sydney's historic Anzac Parade trees. The community is justifiably outraged that the New South Wales Liberal government is removing century-old fig trees that line Anzac Parade in Sydney—a beautiful boulevard named in honour of those who marched down that road in 1914 to board ships at Circular Quay to travel to serve our nation in the Great War. This Liberal government is completely destroying the character of that road named in their honour.

Despite community outrage, the New South Wales government simply will not listen. Sadly, literally as I speak the chainsaws are being cranked up and these trees are now being taken down and removed. This is needless environmental vandalism. It did not need to occur. We can have Sydney's light rail project and we can preserve these historic trees. Because of the Liberal's mismanagement of this project, because of cost blow-outs, they have refused to countenance alternatives.

These trees are in the electorate of Wentworth, the seat of the Prime Minister. I once again call on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene and stop the destruction of Sydney's historic trees. It does not need to be this way. We can have light rail and we can save these trees.