Monday, 22 February 2021
Statements by Members
Chifley Electorate: Doonside Railway Station
I'm sick and tired of Liberal governments at a federal and state level making infrastructure decisions prioritising their political need above community demand. What has triggered my comments is seeing, last week in the newspapers, Matt Kean, a Liberal minister in New South Wales, at the opening of an accessibility upgrade, worth $10 million, to the Hawkesbury River Station—a station in a Liberal electorate, with less than 3,000 patrons a week.
In my electorate, Doonside station has nearly 10 times that patronage. We have pleaded, begged, campaigned and petitioned to get an upgrade so that elderly and disabled people in our area get a lift at their local railway station, and we've been denied that. We've had to take the step of lodging the biggest application to the Australian Human Rights Commission, basically saying that the way that the Liberal state government had made decisions was discriminating against people in our electorate, because they'd had sheets that had ranked the station on the basis of need and they'd continually prioritised stations in Liberal marginal seats to get those upgrades. It is simply unacceptable for disabled people in my area to be denied this upgrade because they're not Liberal voters. This is the wrong way to make decisions, and we will continue to fight to make sure that upgrade, a lift, is given effect in our area.