Question to the Transport Minister: Tram Stop at Wimbo Park

Today we asked Transport Minister Andrew Constance to consider a tram stop at Wimbo Park in Surry Hills to ensure good accessibility for the community. 


Ms JENNY LEONG ( Newtown ) ( 15:08 :03 ): My question is directed to the Minister for Transport.

Mr Brad Hazzard: The handsome Minister for Transport.

Ms JENNY LEONG: That is the Minister's decision, not mine. Given strong community support and the fact that the CBD and South East Light Rail line has a stop at both the top and the bottom of every hill along the route, except for Surry Hills, will the Minister consider a stop at Wimbo Park, the former Olivia Gardens site, to ensure good accessibility for the community?

The SPEAKER: Order! There is too much audible conversation in the Chamber.

Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE ( Bega—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure) (15:08:46): I thank the member for Newtown for her question. I thank the members for Newtown and Coogee for their advocacy on behalf of their communities on this challenging project. It is a great project and one that the city will be proud of when it is complete. It has posed challenges and I will touch on that briefly. I indicate to the member for Newtown that the advice from Transport at this stage is to not proceed with a stop at Wimbo Park because there is a stop at Ward Park. The advice from Transport relates to the fact that there are a number of other transport options in the area at this time. However, I do not think that it is unreasonable to look at future-proofing. I am not committing to that, but I give that undertaking to her today. It is a beneficial project for the Surry Hills community and for those who live in South-Eastern Sydney. This week I have been concerned about some of the conduct that has surrounded the project. Earlier this week we had to remove a number of big fig trees to facilitate the trams—

Mr Michael Daley: You are concerned about people's conduct? You're kidding.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Maroubra will cease interjecting.

Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE: Let us think about the spike that was put into trees earlier this week that could have resulted in someone being killed. Member opposite and the Leader of the Opposition want to incite people over infrastructure projects, then interject in this House. I am not going to cop it. It is somewhat interesting to note that a press conference was called on trees and that the Leader of the Opposition stood next to a tree that is not being removed. In the two weeks leading up to a Labor Party press conference someone hammered nails with ribbons attached into trees that will not be removed. It seems a little circumstantial. My warning is that in this State—

Ms Jodi McKay: Point of order—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Minister will resume his seat.

Ms Anna Watson: Sit down.

The SPEAKER: Order! I do not require the assistance of the member for Shellharbour.

Ms Jodi McKay: The Minister is making an accusation in this House. He should spell it out so we can answer it.

The SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

Ms Jodi McKay: What are you saying?

Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE: Lights, camera, no action. Labor holds press conferences that incite protest action on trees that are not being removed. This Government is going to plant 1,800 trees. The point is that these fig trees must be removed in order to facilitate light rail to Kensington. Full stop. I make the point that this Government is planting 1,800 trees. I have said previously that it is unfortunate that we have to remove trees to build a project.

The SPEAKER: Order! I remind the member for Newtown that this not an argument or debate.

Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE: The point I make is this, we are concerned that spikes have been put into trees endangering people working on the site. That is not an unreasonable position. It is a shameful act. I say to those opposite: You run your scare campaign saying we are clear-felling Moore Park when we are not, and you do not like it.

Mr Michael Daley: Point of order: My point of order is taken under Standing Order 73.

Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE: While you are up, why don't you tell everyone that you are asking me to build it to Maroubra?

The SPEAKER: Order! The Minister will resume his seat so that I can hear the point of order.

Mr Michael Daley: There is a clear imputation that we are inciting.

The SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. No individual member has been impugned.

Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE: We are continuing to work with the project team to make sure the project is a success.

The SPEAKER: The time for questions has expired.


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