NSW Shadow Treasurer, Mr Ryan Parks, joined Labor’s candidate for Gosford, Ms Liesl Tesch, at Gosford Train Station, on Wednesday, April 5, to condemn the Berejiklian Government’s billion dollar infrastructure budget blowout.
Mr Parks and Ms Tesch both agreed that the Central Coast was starved of infrastructure funding, whilst major Sydney infrastructure projects like the leviathan WestConnex and the Sydney Metro and CBD Light Rail were running over budget.
“Key projects like the much needed Woy Woy underpass have been mothballed because of the blowouts,” Mr Parks said.
“The WestConnex project, for example, has overshot by $6.8 billion, with the latest revised budget coming in at $16.8 billion.
“The Sydney Metro is now $1.5 billion more expensive after the Environmental Impact Statement released last week suggested that the budget would increase from $11 billion to $12.5 billion.
“The purchase of an intercity train fleet will now cost taxpayers an extra $1.1 billion after the budget was increased from $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion.
“Embarrassingly, the cost blowout is necessary because the train carriages ordered by the Government are the wrong size for the station platforms.
“Similarly, the Premier’s chief vanity project, the CBD Light Rail, has blown its budget by $600 million.
“This drain on resources means that the Coast’s $37 million school maintenance budget has also been left unaddressed,” Mr Parks continued.
Ms Tesch mirrored Mr Parks sentiments and said the Gosford electorate was sick of being taken for fools by the Liberal Government.
“There is just an utter lack of respect for the Central Coast region and it is fantastic to see Ryan on the Coast to see what the region needs,” Ms Tesch said.
Ms Tesch said that if elected, she would fight Sydney-centric funding and put Gosford and the Peninsula at the forefront of the infrastructure agenda.
“We must pressure the government to stop delivering to Sydney and ignoring the Coast.
“Even during the By-election campaign, the Premier was promising a Northern Beaches Tunnel project which will solely benefit the two Sydney electorates of North Shore and Manly.
“That will cost a staggering $3 billion, and yet we are being denied the Woy Woy underpass,” Ms Tesch said.
Mr Parks said Ms Tesch has been working night and day to earn the trust and respect of the voters and that he was confident Ms Tesch could bring much needed funding and government focus to the Central Coast region if elected.
“We keep seeing billions blown on projects that benefit only Sydney and it is regional communities like the Central Coast that miss out time and time again.
“Liesl Tesch will fight hard for the community she loves, and if elected, she will continue to fight for what the community expects, and she won’t wait until 2019, she will get on with the job and make sure the government sees the Coast as the important region it is and ensure it is given some priority.
“The Coast needs a local champion like Liesl Tesch to ensure it is not left behind,” Mr Parks concluded.
The By-Election campaign is nearing its climax, but Ms Tesch said that regardless of the result, she felt proud of her efforts and said she loved being out and about in her community seeing and hearing firsthand the trials and tribulations of the electorate.
Apr 5, 2017
Peter Duggan, NSW Labor
Apr 5, 2017
Liesl Tesch, Labor’s candidate for Gosford By-election
Ryan Park, NSW Shadow Treasurer
Dilon Luke, Journalist