Oatley Railway Station Upgrade

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I note the wording of this motion that the good member for Oatley has proposed. He is right to be pleased with his Government's pork-barrelling in his electorate. He is the beneficiary of the stamp duty bonanza that underpins the Baird Government's budget surplus at the expense of Sydney housing affordability.

While Mike Baird has been looking after his own supporters in safe Liberal seats, elsewhere in the state the Premier is missing in action. 

Public transport is the primary method of transport for many residents in my electorate of the Blue Mountains.

I have reflected in the past in this Chamber on the considerable distances that are often overlooked by people when thinking about Blue Mountains villages and the electorate as a whole.

We are spread out across more than 60 kilometres of highway and railway along a ridgeline that runs through the middle of my electorate.

This means that commuting for work, doing the shopping or visiting friends or family in neighbouring villages is almost impossible by foot.

The Government and the Opposition must focus policy attention on alternative transport infrastructure projects. For example, there is no continuous footpath or cycleway linking all of the villages and towns in the Blue Mountains.

This makes it impossible to travel through my electorate without a car or without relying on one of Minister Constance's unreliable, antique trains.


Mr Mark Coure: Point of order: Relevance—

Ms Noreen Hay: What is the number?

Mr Mark Coure: It is Standing Order 76.

TEMPORARY SPEAKER (Mr Lee Evans): Order! I uphold the point of order. The motion is specifically about Oatley railway station.

Ms TRISH DOYLE: We are talking about railway stations. People in my electorate have to rely on Minister Constance's antique trains, which have fewer carriages every year.

For the working poor, pensioners, the disabled and young people, as the member for Oatley knows, transport over these long distances by private motor vehicle is beyond their means or is impractical.

This means that reliable, accessible and affordable public transport services are absolutely essential for people in my electorate. Depending on which station a person is near, accessing the station can be impossible if one is in need of a wheelchair, has a disability, is using a bicycle, has luggage or is using a pram.

A number of our most popular train stations are accessible only via a long set of steps. When one makes it onto the train, a general problem for most passengers is the lack of storage and space. Access to the main carriage from the platform is also a problem. 

After five years, this is an area that the Baird Government must address quickly.

The Government has promised upgrades for Wentworth Falls and Leura stations, and for that we are thankful, but these projects are progressing slowly and when finished will leave the upper mountains with three accessible stations in a row and no accessible stations in the mid mountains.

The Woodford Railway Access Action Group has been doing excellent work to draw the attention of the Government to the plight of residents in Woodford who experience difficulty accessing their train station.

Not only are residents faced with a train station with no disabled access, they are faced with timetable cuts, unreliable trains and no Opal top-up facilities to be seen for miles.

The member for Oatley might boast of his own electorate's shiny new facilities, but the Government has made it quite clear that it does not care about the transport needs of the working poor or the elderly elsewhere in this State and is leaving vast areas of my electorate to deal with inadequate, archaic transport infrastructure.

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