House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Constituency Statements

Macarthur Electorate: Community Services

4:12 pm

Photo of Mike FreelanderMike Freelander (Macarthur, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Upon being re-elected to this place as the member for Macarthur earlier this year, I took it upon myself to write to the Prime Minister. I sought to work constructively with the government from the outset of the 46th Parliament to try to secure better outcomes for my community. I'm a big believer in bipartisanship and I think most members of this place would agree with me that some of the best work of this House occurs in a bipartisan fashion. At the previous election, Labor championed a number of exciting policies that were aimed at improving the lives of Macarthur residents. These policies were all fully costed independently. Labor would have been able to deliver them in government, so I see no reason for the coalition government to delay action on these fronts. Obviously, the election result was disappointing for the Labor Party and the thousands of Australians who would have benefited from our policies.

Whilst the coalition was given a mandate to govern, they were also given a mandate to listen to the broader electorate. So I wrote to the Prime Minister and a number of his cabinet colleagues in an effort to work constructively to deliver for my constituents. Macarthur residents voted in favour of my commitment to help establish a Shepherd Centre of excellence in Campbelltown for those children with severe hearing impairment. Labor promised $2.5 million to establish the centre, which would directly benefit and provide essential services to around 200 children who are deaf or hearing impaired. It's worth noting that the Shepherd Centre provides world-leading services in paediatric hearing loss and that presently there is a shortfall of specialist services in this arena.

Macarthur residents also voted overwhelmingly in favour of my commitment to $10 million towards a new paediatric intensive care unit at Campbelltown Hospital. They also voted for funding of $55 million to provide safety for the notoriously dangerous Appin Road. Additionally, millions of dollars were prioritised to ensure that our local train stations would have adequate parking for commuters. Three billion dollars was set aside to ensure that the rail link from Leppington to the new Western Sydney airport would be delivered, and there was also funding for a rail link to the Moorebank intermodal freight service so that freight could be delivered to the new Western Sydney airport.

Unfortunately, I never heard back from the member for Cook. Instead, I received a delayed response from his assistant minister assuring me that he trusted his colleagues would consider my letter and respond accordingly when they had time. Well, Prime Minister, ministers and members of the government, my door is always open to doing constructive things for my constituents in Macarthur. When you're ready to discuss the needs of Macarthur residents, I'll be waiting for you.