NSW Labor’s great strength has always come from its local MPs. Labor MPs are at the coalface of reform; often national policies into practical initiatives that benefit local communities. Ahead of next year’s Federal Election, Voice checked in with five Labor MPs.
How would you describe
Bradbury: The Penrith region boasts an incredible natural landscape with a stunning river and mountain views, as well as access to some of the highest quality educational, health and sporting facilities.
Our greatest asset, however, is our people.
We have a diverse community with a large proportion of families. Communities like Lindsay, in outer suburban areas, rely on Government to deliver a strong economy, access to jobs and opportunities, as well as providing assistance to families and those who need it most.
Elliot: The Richmond electorate is on the Far North Coast of NSW and includes towns such as Tweed Heads, Banora Point, Murwillumbah, Brunswick Heads, Nimbin, Byron Bay and Lennox Head. There are many coastal villages, rural towns
and modern urban centres.
The region boasts stunning beaches, rivers and incredible world heritage listed rainforests. We have a very strong sense of community and we work hard to keep our area special. We strive to get the balance right between development and job creation and preserving our unique environment.
As the local MP I’ve been privileged to work with many individuals and organisations on the issues that are important to us like job creation, better educational and health facilities and more infrastructure for our area. The North Coast is a great place to raise a family as there’s a strong sense of community and a very strong commitment to making the area an even better place to live.
Kelly: Eden-Monaro has always been regarded as the bell-wether seat. That’s pretty much because we have a good cross section of all parts of Australian life, so in this electorate you get a good feeling for every issue, and you have to be across every issue.
The most important issues for Eden-Monaro are the future of our farming industry, particularly the dairy and grazing industries; the roll-out of the bio-marine plan; and issues to do with cost of living pressures.
The cost of living pressures mean our household assistance package is going to be very important to low and middle income earners. However, I’m disgusted that the NSW Coalition Government is seeking to take away that assistance from pensioners.
On one hand the Coalition likes to complain about cost of living pressures, and the other hand they try to take away the assistance that Labor provides to help people.
O’Neill: The Central Coast is the most beautiful area in Australia. We are blessed with beautiful beaches, bushland and waterways, but we are a region that needs the Labor Party to deliver jobs and investment for local people.
Demographically, we have the wisdom of the aged, and the hopes and dreams of young people. So many Coasties give back to the community and sacrifice their time to volunteer and care for those around them. We are proud of our region, and that shows.
We are however, often overlooked as just somewhere between Sydney and Newcastle, but we are growing in our own right. With the delivery of the National Broadband Network, we will have new economic and social drivers to set us apart from Sydney and will supercharge small business opportunities.
Finally, locals will be able to have the opportunity to live where they work, without having to make the two hours commute to Sydney or Newcastle.
Rowland: The electorate of Greenway has a wide range of people and place, of both well-established suburbs and those at the urban fringe—from the old southerly suburbs like Lalor Park, Pendle Hill and Toongabbie, to the middle band of newer suburbs in Glenwood, Quakers Hill and Acacia Gardens, to the acreages of Riverstone and Schofields in the north.
Those same pastures are in a state of immense change as they are transformed into new suburbs - such as Stanhope Gardens, The Ponds and Kellyville Ridge – where one can stand in the street and literally see the edge of metropolitan Sydney under
The most important issue for our community is ensuring we have the infrastructure and services to meet the needs of our growing population. Local residents deserve world-class health and education facilities, as well as better public transport and
What Are Your Proudest Achievements for your community So Far?
Bradbury: Federal Labor has made health services in Western Sydney a priority. In Lindsay, we have invested $96.4 million in the redevelopment of Nepean Hospital, which is the biggest investment the Federal Government has made in Nepean Hospital
in its history. This is on top of a $17.2 million investment in the new Nepean Clinical School.
These projects will help ensure local residents have access to the health care services and the highly skilled clinical workforce we will need into the future.
Elliot: I’m proud to have delivered more than $1 billion for local roads, schools, healthcare and community resources. This includes $357 million for the Sexton Hill Pacific Highway upgrade, $566 million for the Tintenbar to Ewinsgdale Pacific
Highway upgrade, $115 million for upgrades to 90 local school, $9.5 million for the Byron Sports Centre, $7 million for the Tweed GP Super Clinic, $2.7 million for the Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre, $2 million for the Murwillumbah
Community Centre, $1.8 million for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour and $2 million for the world’s first High Performance Surfing Centre at Casuarina.
Kelly: I’m proud of delivering all my election commitments. Initiatives like the Bega Bypass and the Madura Parkway are important for ensuring the seamless linkage of our road network and for the potential development of the Eden Port.
With Labor’s investments in infrastructure, we are seeing confidence in major companies looking to invest in our region. This has lead to us having an unemployment rate of only 2.8 per cent in Eden-Monaro.
We have had $100 million come into our schools which has transformed our educational landscape. Our kids are now getting the same quality of education as kids in the city through new technology that will be further enhanced through the roll-out of the NBN.
The $332 million that has come into for our region for healthcare is very important. I’m proud of the role I played in delivering our new regional hospital; right down to negotiating with the land owner and the NSW Health Department, putting a high-quality application in and advocating strongly for the proposal to make sure we got it over the line. I’ve also worked hard to attract private investment to our region to create local jobs for local people. I have negotiated to attract renewable energy
companies to the region. We have seen over $1 billion invested in those sorts of projects. I’m proud to have facilitated private investment in other industries. For example, the Donwha Tesco investment in the Bombala Timber precinct, which the Federal Government invested $4.7 million in to make happen.
O’Neill: Securing the National Broadband Network was a major milestone in building the future of the Coast and I look forward to that rolling out in the years to come.
For me, the standout achievement is the Building the Education Revolution. As a former teacher, visiting dozens of schools in my electorate and seeing the transformative power of the BER was second to none. Only Labor had the vision and the plan to keep locals working and bring every primary school in the country into the 21st century with new facilities for learning and growth.
Health services are always a vital issue on the Coast and thanks to this Labor Government we will soon have a GP Super Clinic to expand medical and allied health opportunities locally;and the establishment of a Medicare Local to help coordinate
and grow support in Robertson.
Rowland: As a new mother, I know that nothing is more important than the health of our loved ones.
That is why I have been fighting for important upgrades to local health services, including $15 million for the Blacktown GP Super Clinic and $20.6 million for the Blacktown Hospital Clinical Education School. These investments will take the pressure off our local hospitals and allow local residents to access quality health care when they need it.
Parents rightly demand the best educational opportunities for their children. As someone who was born in Blacktown and whose parents selflessly pursued that goal for me, I have always believed in education as the great enabler. It is the key to fulfilling employment and economic opportunity. That is why I am proud of the investments Federal Labor has made in local schools, delivering new classrooms, halls and libraries as part of the largest school modernisation program in our history. For many local schools, these investments were the first major upgrades in more than 50 years.
What are the most important achievements of the Federal Labor Government to date?
Bradbury: Since Labor took office, more than 750,000 jobs have been created, in contrast to the 27 million jobs that have been lost across the world as a result of the global financial crisis. Interest rates are now lower than at any time under the previous Government, and a family on a $300,000 mortgage is now paying around $3,500 a year less in repayments.
A single pensioner is now $4,000 per year better off under Labor. By introducing a carbon price we are preparing our economy for a clean energy future and by introducing a mining tax we are spreading the benefits of the mining boom to all Australians.
Elliot: One of the most important achievements of the Federal Labor Government has been the management of our economy during the global financial crisis. On the North Coast it was our Economic Stimulus Plan that protected many local jobs and provided much needed infrastructure improvements.
Many other Labor reforms have also greatly benefited the people of the North Coast, reforms like increasing the age pension, removing Workchoices, and the Building the Education Revolution.
Our recent Federal Budget also confirmed our strong economic management, with a return to surplus whilst still delivering important reforms like the first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
We have delivered for families with tax cuts and our Schoolkids Bonus. We’ve also taken action on climate change by placing a price on carbon. As our country’s mineral wealth belongs to us all, we are spreading the benefits of mining boom through our
Kelly: The most import achievement of this government was the incredible success we have had in managing the economy through the most difficult international circumstances we have experienced since the great depression.