Leong sets out her priorities (Inner West Courier)


Published in the Inner West Courier - 12 May 2015

by Sarah Sharples

WHEN Jenny Leong first moved to Newtown aged 19, the area and people she met influenced her into becoming an activist, the new MP said in her inaugural speech in Parliament last week.

Despite being the smallest electorate in NSW, the Newtown state Greens MP said people who lived in the area were welcoming of difference and diversity. During her speech, Ms Leong spoke about Newtown’s political history such as state Labor MP Lillian Fowler (elected 1944-1950) and her focus on the ultimate good for all.

“The main issues on her agenda were proposed changes to electricity delivery, local government amalgamations… along with housing, rents and accessible public transport. It seems some things will always stay the same,” she said.

Ms Leong also spoke about her life partner, Kristian, who she has been with for 19 years.

“We declined to have our wedding recognised in law. One day, when the institution of marriage is no longer tainted by discrimination, we will get legally married; until then, we will continue to live in sin.”

She also warned those who planned to build West- Connex, overdevelop around Petersham Park, sell off the Australian Technology Park site or fill the Central to Eveleigh corridor with unaffordable housing – that she would stand with the community to campaign against it.

“Also, it seems appropriate for me to encourage any potential investors in WestConnex to look closely at the resolve of the good people of Newtown when preparing to borrow or to lend to this unwanted project,” she said.

Ms Leong will hold the portfolios of Creative Industries/Arts, Human Rights, Sexuality and Gender Identity, WestConnex and Tenancy, Rental Housing and Strata for the Greens Party.

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Watch and read the full speech here.

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