The Carr-Iemma-Rees-Keneally Labor Governments initiated the process of privatising key public assets, cutting public services and approving large, unsustainable developments while ignoring community concerns, and the O’Farrell government is following in their footsteps.
There has been a strong community backlash to the recent cuts to public school funding, particularly as they hit the neediest children hardest. For a small saving in the overall State budget, programs that provide additional speech therapy and other support services for students with disabilities are being slashed. Alexandria Park Public School, which is in the electorate, will lose $74,000 a year.
The Greens is the only party that supports injecting the $5 billion proposed by the Gonski Review to better fund education, and the only party which supports restoring special needs funding.
I have campaigned with residents who are tired of waiting as both Labor and Liberals have unnecessarily delayed on upgrades to local train stations, such as Redfern, to provide mobility access. If elected I will fight for an immediate upgrade to Redfern station and improved bus services in Heffron.
Governments of all stripes have steamrolled the rights of residents in favour of big developers. The Greens support appropriate development in appropriate locations, which means transport and other infrastructure needs to be upgraded to match population increases.
More needs to be done for young workers and families to ensure that they can reside in a liveable and affordable community. The planned sale of public housing in Redfern will be extended further south into Erskineville or Daceyville. It’s outrageous that a Labor Government instigated this process.
It will be a tough campaign but my job is to convince the voters of Heffron that the Greens are the only party with a positive vision for a livable, affordable and diverse local community.