The Scene Debate: How to improve transport

Mark Sharma, Charles Casuscelli, Christine Donayre, Virginia Judge

Mark Sharma,
 Independent candidate 
for Strathfield

“The public transport system has deteriorated a lot under the present Labor Government. The people in the Inner West and especially Strathfield have been the biggest losers of bad Labor policies. Labor blew $150 million on the failed Metro Project and another $150 million on duplication of the Iron Cove Bridge. None of this has produced any improvement whatsoever.

“Over the years the Labor Government has reduced services and wasted money on unnecessary things. Instead of blowing $1 billion on the Pink Batts [roof insulation] program, the Federal Government should have given that money to the NSW Government to buy more trains. Strathfield Station is the most important part of Strathfield but it has been neglected by the Labor Government and the current [local] MP Virginia Judge.

“My focus in Strathfield would be to push the next government for more trains on Sydney’s suburban network. I would push for shorter route trains starting from Strathfield to Wynyard. It would mean Strathfield residents could reach their workplace on time.

“My suggestions are not based on focus groups, but on the experiences of hundreds of passengers like me who go through the public transport horrors of Sydney every day. Virginia Judge has no empathy with us. She has a chauffeur-driven limousine at her disposal to take her to a movie premiere at any time of the day.

“People in Strathfield feel that they have been taken for granted. Instead of improving services, Ms Judge continues to spend more time on spin and public relations. She is treating Strathfield residents with the same contempt that Kevin Rudd did to the whole country. Ms Judge will meet the same political fate as Mr Rudd.”


Charles Casuscelli, 
Liberal candidate 
for Strathfield

“As your local member in a Coalition state government, I will focus on the transport needs of the Strathfield electorate and ensure that every dollar spent achieves real improvements to our transport system.  I believe the single most important transport project that will impact on our community will be building the M4 motorway extension to White Bay. This will remove a substantial amount of traffic from arterial roads that border our community and make local roads far easier to access and bus travel more reliable.

“Congestion on roads such as Parramatta Road, Burwood Road, Centenary Drive, Raw Square and Liverpool Road can be eased with a series of minor projects, including better traffic management arrangements. This will also address the growing problem of weekend traffic congestion around local commercial centres.

“The Auditor General’s Report 2009-2010 reported a decline of 5.2 million bus and rail passenger trips in the Sydney region. With a lack of confidence in the public transport system, more commuters are driving to work and clogging up our roads.

“To encourage greater use of public transport, as Member for Strathfield I will urge a Liberal/National government to give greater priority for commuter parking at Strathfield and other local railway stations. I am mindful that commuters have been forced to pay massive fare increases to a system that continually fails to deliver. I support the [forthcoming] O’Farrell Government’s plan to establish an integrated transport authority to reverse this situation.

“I will apply my substantial transport and roads experience as a senior executive in the NSW Public Service to drive real improvements in transport and roads for our community. Action, not announcements, is what is needed.”


Christine Donayre 
Greens candidate 
for Strathfield

“Parramatta Road needs sustainable renewal. From being a challenge for our community, it should become a model of an efficient, sustainable business and transport corridor.

“Despite consecutive government promises by both of the older parties to fix Parramatta Road, nothing has materialised to reinvigorate the road. Parramatta Road has become synonymous with what is failing with transport planning in Sydney.

“It is not a lack of skills or ideas, but a question of political will to execute long-term planning by both the older parties.

“Another important issue for the community is a need for more feeder services connecting to Strathfield station. The suburbs of South Strathfield and Enfield are under-serviced and need more transport options. This would improve connectivity in our suburbs.

“This would help residents who cannot drive, with transport to school, shopping, work, recreation and to access vital services. And make public transport more attractive to residents, reducing congestion on our streets. The redevelopment of Strathfield Town Centre is another issue that has many residents concerned. There is very little information available publicly.

“Such mega-developments generate huge volumes of traffic on our quiet streets. Strathfield Council needs to release to 
the public the traffic study they have undertaken. As the Greens candidate for Strathfield I will be campaigning on the priorities for Strathfield and bring them front and centre. The next NSW Government will have a huge task ahead of it. It is important that we in Strathfield give voice to the issues that affect us.”


Virginia Judge 
Labor candidate 
for Strathfield

“Local residents need to have reliable, comfortable transport, whether that is trains, buses or well-maintained, thoughtfully designed roads.

“That is why I am fighting for upgrades at Flemington, Croydon and Homebush train stations, following achievement of easy access upgrades for Burwood and Summer Hill. This is particularly important for the elderly, young families and people with disabilities.

“With resident support, we’ve successfully campaigned for a $31 million Homebush rail turnback, which will increase train frequency when it is completed shortly.

“I’m pleased that lobbying for new Metrobuses has resulted in the M41 and M90 services, which provide comfortable, air-conditioned transport for bus commuters.

“A number of local residents are 
concerned about the Strathfield Town Centre. Locals want improvements to traffic management. I believe the current traffic congestion is unacceptable and that there 
is not enough free parking. A state-of-the-art bus transit facility would also be welcomed 
by locals.

“As such, I am writing to the ministers for Transport and Roads, asking them to give serious consideration to suggestions to reduce traffic congestion and improve access to public transport.

“I am concerned that the [Strathfield] Council also intends to increase density in the Town Centre. I believe that this will lead to more traffic and loss of amenity.

“In addition to being a critical transport and shopping hub, the Town Centre needs to be cleaned up and beautified. It should provide a safe and welcoming focal point into a village-type atmosphere which locals can enjoy.”


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