Meet the candidates - Liberal MP Charles Casuscelli

Charles Casuscelli

Age: 56

Family: wife, two daughters

Lives in: Five Dock

Qualifications: Incumbent MP; formerproject director of the NSW Transport Management Centre, Chair of the Legislative Assembly Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, co-chair of three Ministerial Consultative Committees representing the Korean, Chinese and Russian communities.

Amalgamation

“We have a program of incentivisation and I would like councils to go back to their residents and propose to look at the incentivisation and see if it works for their residents and see if there is a proposal that is better than the existing status quo. “I have no problem with spending for and against amalgamation. If Strathfield Council wants to spend $100,000 to inform the residents about the opportunity available in the current program, then it is money well spent. If the money is to advance a position put forward by councillors with no balance and no discussion, then I find it disingenuous. Everything that I have seen about amalgamation from Strathfield Council [has been] broad sweeping statements and worst-case scenarios being presented with no balance. There are lots of councils that have local identities maintained, for example, Canada Bay which is the size of three councils in my electorate.”

 

Strathfield Town Centre

“It needs to be an integrated component of what UrbanGrowth NSW is doing with the Strathfield triangle… the next step is to do a feasibility/options study based on a collaborative effort between Council and State, and the study will be better informed in light of the leasing of poles and wires that will provide funding for expansion of the Sydney Rapid Transit network to include Strathfield…shared funding for the study that should be led by UrbanGrowth NSW… I am seeking funding for the State component.”

 

Traffic gridlock

“The biggest issue in infrastructure has to be roads. Door knocking tells me that the previous government had four goes at it. In our first term, we announced an $11 billion project. We have invested this money upfront to try and relieve the number one issue for urban renewal. We have WestConnex, we have Flemington Railway Station major upgrade, Croydon Station major upgrade, Strathfield is coming out of a major refurbishment. All in our first term. We are the best placed to put in this infrastructure.”

 

Housing density

“MOUs with councils along the Parramatta Road corridor are in the process of being signed. The mayors have indicated their support for the plan. The processes and the outcome have been agreed between UrbanGrowth NSW and the local mayors. Have they been engaged? Of course they have. Have they been consulted? Multiple times. UrbanGrowth is working with the councils to find out what is an appropriate amount of uplift in some of these areas. “If you have a look at the past 16-20 years and the infrastructure that has been built to cater to this uplift, and then compare it with what has happened over the past three and a half years, well you would have to agree that it’s chalk and cheese. Have a look at the number of schools that have been built. In my electorate, we have two public schools, announced and built in my first term.”

 

Influencing State Government

“It has taken some time but I am seeing increased influence by myself to Ministerial decisions and I have enjoyed privileged access to information and to public servants. I enjoy regular meetings with senior executives of some government agencies that have proven to be most useful in dealing with community concerns. “I don’t think the people of Strathfield are looking for an experienced politician. What they are looking for is people that can deliver outcomes. People that understand and can make the most use of process and government services. I think if you have a look at the record for Strathfield over the last three and a half years, I think it’s clear what type of government delivers outcomes as opposed to producing flashy politicians.

 

My Strathfield

“Strathfield’s identity is not under any threat and in my estimation will develop over time into an even better place to live; it will become an even more vibrant and cosmopolitan place around major transport nodes, with more local employment and community spaces while retaining much of its heritage and traditional character in the more low-density residential areas and local villages. This is about balance and styles of living complementing each other. “I will be pursuing my re-election to the utmost of my ability. I have been successful in securing the necessary funding and commitments, now I want to be there when it is delivered: the Croydon railway station upgrade, Flemington Railway station upgrade, completion of the Strathfield Station refurbishment, freeing up Parramatta Road from traffic congestion on weekends. “The issue that is personal for me is to make sure that the effects on the local community of the construction of the WestConnex are minimised. No one in NSW can ensure this happens other than someone with my experience.”

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