With the WestConnex project, guarantees were given by the former roads minister, Duncan Gay, and by the people in charge of the WestConnex project, that there would be no clearways on King Street. Clearways on King Street, Newtown, would destroy the fabric and vibrancy of that community for people who live in Newtown and for people who visit Newtown, whether they be from other parts of Sydney or from other parts of Australia and the world.
There has been, once again, concern expressed by the community that that commitment would be breached. I have had constructive discussions with the roads minister of New South Wales, Melinda Pavey, and have facilitated discussions to take place between Minister Pavey and the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown. The Newtown chamber represents those vibrant small businesses, and they’re absolutely determined to ensure that the no-clearways policy on King Street is maintained. It is a pity that the state member for Newtown seems incapable of making any representations about practical issues confronting the relationship between the community that she represents as a Greens MP and the state government. But the local businesses—as happens in lots of local communities—are coming to me to make those representations to the state government, and I am pleased to step into the void that has been created. But, given that the state member for Newtown said that WestConnex had been stopped with her election, it is not surprising that you don’t have that practical outcome. I look forward to Minister Pavey recommitting to former Minister Gay’s commitment that there will be no clearways on King Street.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.