Thank you to all the Mackellar residents who attended my first community forum in Belrose. Although we did not see eye to eye on every topic, having these discussions is important. The decisions that are made in Canberra affect you, so I am always looking for feedback.
If you couldn't make it, I have synthesised the three main issues raised below, and hope you can make it to the next one (check out my future events). You can also watch my inaugural speech to Parliament to find out what my vision for our area is.
This is a complex issue, which needs to be addressed by all levels of Government working together.
Local Government implementing appropriate planning controls and zoning.
State Government reforming planning laws, releasing more land, building appropriate road and public transport networks, and looking at how State taxes can be reformed to assist housing affordability.
Federal Government looking at what policies in can implement to help this issue. Stay tuned for some more news on this in the Federal budget in May.
Roads, rail and public transport
More needs to be done to improve roads, bring a form of rail to the Northern Beaches and invest more in public transport.
While these are State Government issues, I will continue to advocate for funding for better roads, for new rail and better bus services (from The Forest area to Chatswood) and for improved public transport across the board. The State Government is investing over a billion dollars on roads and public transport on the Northern Beaches, including $500 million on roadworks around the new Frenchs Forest hospital, $500 million on a North to South B-Line.
This is the beginning, not the end. I have only been in the job for eight months, but I will keep arguing for more funding to improve our transport on the Northern beaches.
Reducing Government expenditure
We need to get the budget back to balance by reducing expenditure. The Government is making progress on this. Growth in government expenditure is just under 2 per cent. When we came to Government in 2013, it was over 3.5 per cent. The rate of growth in debt when we came to office was around 34 per cent. We have reduced that by two-thirds. So, we are getting expenditure under control and getting on track to surplus.
A great frustration in this process is the Senate. For example, the Government’s enterprise tax plan which the Turnbull Government took to the 2016 election, if implemented in full, would have grown the economy in a way which would have more than paid for the cost of reduced corporate tax takings.
More needs to be done in reducing Government expenditure, so watch this space for more news in the Federal budget in May.
I am always looking for volunteers who can help me reach out to our community. Every hour helps, and it's a great way to meet like minded people.