SPEECH - BLACKTOWN CITY - MONDAY, 17 AUGUST 2015

Deputy Speaker, I’m proud to say I was born in Blacktown.

I’m proud to say I live in the City of Blacktown.

My time as a Councillor and Deputy Mayor gave me a deep appreciation for the institution of Local Government, and the importance of client service in public office.

So rather than this perennial and ridiculous notion about changing the name of our city, it would be refreshing if the Liberals on Blacktown Council were instead focused on providing some semblance of service to the priorities of their ratepayers.

Where were they when their Federal counterparts cut $6.7 million in Federal Assistance Grants to Blacktown Council?

How about Blacktown Community Aid, shut down after 41 years because it was de-funded under the Abbott Government?

Or the $9.5 million in funds under Labor towards Blacktown’s regional tennis facility, now gone under this Government?

What’s the suburb worst hit by the combined impact of this Government’s 2 Budgets?  It’s Mt Druitt – in Blacktown City, where households are set for an average household loss of $1,066.

I note this directionless Abbott Government wants to try and re-focus on a jobs narrative.

Well in Blacktown, the youth unemployment rate for July was 19.1%.  That’s 6% above the national average.

Where were the Liberal Councillors protesting the abolition by this Government of successful local employment services transitioning young people to work, including the School Business Community Partnership program?

The Liberals on Blacktown Council are lions when it comes to changing the city’s name, but lambs when it comes to sticking up for ratepayers.

I call on the 330,000 residents of Blacktown:  contact your Liberal Ward Councillors and tell them it’s not on.