Western Sydney Transport and Infrastructure

30 March 2022

Public Interest Debate

That this House:

(1) Notes western Sydney has some of Sydney's worst public transport access and the Perrottet Government has flagged the cancellation of transport projects in western Sydney.

(2) Calls on the Premier to explain why he is not delivering the infrastructure needed for the 1.4 million people who will move into western Sydney over the next 20 years.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields) (17:12): I am delighted to support the public interest debate brought by the Member for Londonderry about western Sydney's infrastructure needs, given the enormous population growth in south-west and western Sydney.

I know what our communities need, the Member for Londonderry knows what our communities need and every Labor MP knows what western Sydney needs.

The only people who do not know what our communities need are the members of this tired, more than 10‑year‑old Coalition Government that no longer listens, no longer cares and no longer understands the needs of western Sydney.

Last night my humble working-class economist series returned for 2022 to factually analyse the failures of this Liberal Government on its infrastructure delivery.

I introduced the concept of moral hazard and used this growing list of infrastructure failures, which I will go through.

There was a $2.2 billion overspend on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest; $1.7 billion on the CBD light rail; $3 billion on the Metro West; $1.4 billion on the M6 Stage 1, WestConnex Rozelle Interchange and Sydney Gateway road projects; $1 billion on the new intercity train fleet; $1.1 billion on the suburban fleet; $6.8 billion on WestConnex; and the list goes on.

This growing list of billion-dollar budget blowouts is symptomatic of the incompetence and mismanagement sub variant virus spreading through this Government when it comes to its procurement and contract management processes. How is it that when a construction company miscalculates its risks or wrongly prices its tender, this Government pulls out the public credit card and whacks a few billion dollars on top of the $100 billion of debt it has already racked up?

There are so many infrastructure budget blowouts that this list looks like a puffed-up peacock ready to be plucked. There are so many to choose from to demonstrate this Government's failures.

The population growth in west and south‑west Sydney is quite significant: in Blacktown, 200,000 people; in Liverpool, 190,000; in Camden, 180,000; in Parramatta, 140,000; and in Penrith, 140,000.

That is not including my local government area [LGA] of Campbelltown. Tens of thousands of people are moving to the south, which the good Member [for Campbelltown] knows well.

It amazes me that, despite creating the population growth, the Liberal Government does not think those families need a school.

What do you mean tens of thousands of people moving in do not need a school? Where did that idea come from? Look at Edmondson Park in my electorate, or even Leppington. Many thousands have moved in, yet there is no primary school for their kids. They have been waiting and waiting. I have raised this issue time and time again.

I do not understand why this concept is so hard: Increasing population growth means increasing social and infrastructure needs. At this rate, the primary school age kids of Edmondson Park will be in the adult workforce before a sod is turned.

Despite this list of failures, the Government continues to spin its lines of making progress. If only it knew which direction it was going in—the wrong direction!

I note that yesterday the Government Whip moved his public interest debate motion. I note that the Member for Camden is in the Chamber. He moved a public interest debate motion about infrastructure delivery.

If only the Member for Wollondilly had been given some facts, rather than being sent out like a battering ram with the usual press releases and rehearsed lines.

Let me tell the House the facts about how his community and others in western Sydney fare when it comes to public infrastructure. The McKell Institute released a report titled "Funding the Infrastructure of Tomorrow", which is the same report that the Minister for Western Sydney so proudly boasted about in question time earlier today. If it is good enough for the Liberals to talk about in question time, it is good enough to talk about now.

I turn to table eight on page 21. Of the eight LGAs in western Sydney, not one was categorised in the upper or middle tertile for public transport access.

To add to that list, I turn to the appendix and the public transport accessibility level index. Let me tell the House some western Sydney LGA scores. Camden had a score of six. Liverpool had a score of 10. Guess which LGA came last? It was Wollondilly, with a score of two.

Yesterday the Government Whip talked about Wollondilly, and he does not even know that his LGA came last.

Rather than use their time to stand up for their local communities, Government members regurgitate robotic, rehearsed lines. They never waste an opportunity to waste an opportunity.

Every sitting week there must be some sort of bacchanalian Liberal Party festivities. They are all inebriated on press releases and, frankly, I think they are all getting maggoted on spin.