House debates

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Statements by Members

Western Sydney

4:01 pm

Photo of Ed HusicEd Husic (Chifley, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I grew up and continue to live in Sydney's western suburbs. Through the years of growing up and chasing work, I, like many Western Sydney residents, have had to endure that regular exodus from the west to the east and the east back to the west every single day, either through crowded trains or packed motorways. We often would think, 'What is the best way to break that link?' We certainly had thought for quite some time that one of the ways to do it is obviously to look at the areas where we expect population growth to occur and to support development in that area.

Last year, for example, I got up and I indicated that the site of the next major CBD within Sydney should be located in south-west Sydney. At that point in time it was derided by one of the critics as 'one of the stupidest ideas ever heard'. I was thinking of that quote today when I got to see the paper of choice for announcing new things—and here it is, The Daily Telegraph. '"Aero" city set to soar'. Here it is. It just happens to be in the same place that I referred to last year, where I believed we needed to be able to capitalise on the fact that for quite some time the south-west growth centres had been earmarked for growth—nearly 300,000 people going in there—and the north-west centres earmarked for growth as well, which are actually, coincidentally, used as the platform for that story.

It is championed by none other than Chris Brown. Chris Brown has become a voice of Western Sydney. He loves Western Sydney; he just does not want to live there. He champions our region from Balmain, and why wouldn't he when he gets to support organisations that actually make a quid off that. For example, through the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, if you pay $400 to an organisation he supports you will get to hear about what is happening with Sydney's second airport. He is also supported by David Borger—David Borger, who believes that Western Sydney starts and ends at Parramatta and that its jobs plan revolves purely around Sydney's second airport. Both of these people talk about Western Sydney. They never champion better schools, they never champion better hospitals; all they do is champion the dedication of funds into a particular pet project, which in some cases they think they can make some money off.

I end on this point: last year when I referred to the fact that we should use the south-west growth centre to create a second CBD, I was labelled as putting forward an idea that was 'the stupidest idea I've ever heard'. And the person who owned that quote? Sydney Business Chamber's David Borger. Wow! Twelve months and everything changes, but you can still make a quid off making those types of statements. Congratulations on today's TheDaily Telegraph piece.