Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Berowra Electorate: Infrastructure
My first duty in this place is and always will be to advocate for the people of Berowra. It's my job to make my electorate the best it can be, from Wisemans Ferry down to Cheltenham. The best way to achieve a better Berowra is by working with my constituents to create the community we want it to be. That's why every year I send out a community survey in which I invite people to tell me about the issues that matter most to them. Having received over 2,000 responses to my 2018 survey, it's clear the people of Berowra are politically engaged nationally and community focused locally. Their responses help me to shape a vision for the future of Berowra and actively address community concerns.
Overwhelmingly, the most critical of concerns were infrastructure issues. Australia's immigration rate nationally and overdevelopment locally were also raised. My constituents rightly told me that they want more roads, better public transport, proper footpaths, parking-space options and community facilities to keep up with population growth. It's clear that people are spending too much time in traffic and not enough time at home with their families. There was a clear cry for roadworks to help cut congestion, and it's an area where, I'm proud to say, there is relief in sight. The federal government's $412 million NorthConnex investment is a game changer for the worst road in Australia—Pennant Hills Road. Thirty per cent of light vehicles will use NorthConnex to travel between the M1 and the M2, along with 5,000 trucks that will be taken off Pennant Hills Road every day. This returns a critical road in my electorate to the local community, allowing us to reclaim it for our shopping trips and school drop-off runs. NorthConnex will be warmly welcomed by those who raised traffic concerns with me, but I acknowledge that there's more work to be done in other locations. I know and my constituents know that Newline Road needs to be widened. It's a matter I'll keep bringing to my state colleagues as it's a state road.
Another issue is that development needs to be matched by infrastructure investment. While many of these issues fall under state and council jurisdiction, I know how important these concerns are to local residents. Development should never come at the cost of the character of our area. Power prices was another issue raised, and I'm pleased that the National Energy Guarantee will mean that households are on average $300 a year better off. Additionally, many told me that they support the coalition's strong border policy and are keenly awaiting the results of our religious freedom inquiry, conducted by my predecessor. I was pleased that many constituents support our progress in areas like reducing Labor's legacy of debt and deficit, helping small businesses through legislated tax cuts, fully funding the NDIS, boosting education investment through Gonski 2.0 and stopping welfare cheats from gaming the system.
While I've not been able to mention every single issue, I say to the people of Berowra: thank you for sending your feedback to help us shape the future. It's clear there's always more work to be done, but I'm enthusiastic about working hand in hand with my community to realise their vision.