House debates

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Constituency Statements

Hughes Electorate: Australia Day Awards, Hughes Electorate: Roads

4:06 pm

Photo of Jenny WareJenny Ware (Hughes, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's a privilege for me to rise to congratulate all of those in my electorate of Hughes who were honoured in the Australia Day honours list this year. They are: Ms Sheree Bourke OAM, of Bonnet Bay, for service to education, including as a science teacher at Menai High School and relieving principal at Tempe High School as well as for her work with the school district displays competition and awards at the Sydney Royal Easter Show; and Mrs Rita Taylor OAM, of Heathcote, for service to surf lifesaving. Mrs Taylor is a club historian and life member of Garie Surf Life Saving Club, having been involved in the club since 1956.

There are Ms Rebecca Rowan ACM, of Engadine, in recognition of distinguished service by an operational member of a civilian corrections service; Ms Rosemary Bourke PSM, of Sutherland, for outstanding public service in the implementation and running of the COVID-19 vaccination program and special health accommodation pharmacy support for the NSW Department of Health; and Mr Graeme Loy PSM, of Oyster Bay, for outstanding public service to healthcare, particularly the delivery of COVID-19 related services and including as Chief Executive of Western Sydney Local Health District.

Congratulations to all of you. You have all made significant contributions to our community in your individual areas of expertise. While I know that you do not seek recognition, I am delighted to be able to provide that in this place.

I turn now to another major issue in my electorate: the state of Heathcote Road and the decision by the federal government and the federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government to dump coalition plans to commence the feasibility and planning studies for its duplication. Heathcote Road is 24 kilometres in length. It's a major Sydney artery in the south, connecting Western Sydney to the Sutherland Shire and the Illawarra. Thirty-six thousand people travel on this road every day, going to work, taking children to school and moving building materials to construction sites. For the most part it's a single-lane road. People across the electorate continually raise with me Heathcote Road's safety and congestion. Hundreds have signed my online petition. In the lead-up to the 2022 election, I helped secure $17.5 million to commence the planning work for the duplication in its entirety. That funding has now been cancelled by Labor, cancelled by the infrastructure minister, with no rational reason why.

I also thank Chris O'Keefe from radio station 2GB for helping me champion the cause for my local community, many of whom are his listeners. I call upon the Albanese Labor government and federal Infrastructure Minister King to stop playing politics with the lives of those in the shire, Sydney's south and the south-west. Restore funding for the duplication of Heathcote Road.