As a member of the Committee on Community Services, I make a brief contribution to debate on our report regarding access to transport for seniors and disadvantaged people in rural and regional New South Wales.
I thank my committee colleagues and express my appreciation to Dora Oravecz and the team of excellent staff who worked ably with us to gather stories and to hear the concerns of people across our State.
We formed a productive group who listened to an array of concerns and solutions. Access to transport for seniors and disadvantaged people in rural and regional New South Wales is a critical issue. I was pleased to have the opportunity to hear a range of community members inform the inquiry about their issues. Many people who are impacted by a lack of transport access were desperate to share their ideas for improving transport connections.
Our 19 recommendations deserve serious consideration by the Government. I urge it to focus particularly on finding 1 and recommendation 4 about transport connections and timetabling. A lack of connections in rural and regional areas substantially affects people's ability to move around.
Also, people with disabilities, older residents and parents with prams struggle from a lack of easy access train stations. Our committee listened to people speak about all those issues and staff were given the respect they deserve. People rely on us to come together to inform good public policy. It is therefore incumbent upon reports such as this to make useful and necessary contributions.
Some stories remain with me. I particularly remember the people from Armidale who spoke about accessing transport when you have a profound disability. Those people shed tears while telling us their stories. I thank them for being so frank and heartfelt in their contributions.
Every week the Woodford Railway Action Group in the Blue Mountains desperately seeks signatures on a petition for an easy access station upgrade that will benefit a large number of people with disabilities.
I thank everyone who came together in a respectful manner. I look forward to the Government's response to our report.