Ms JODI McKAY ( Strathfield ) ( 17:47 ): As we begin 2018 and the parliamentary year, it is timely to reflect on my community's wishes for the year ahead. Having been the member for Strathfield for three years I can, with certainty, account for how residents in my area feel about decisions made and not made by this Government. Wherever I go there remains an overwhelming sense of a community being impacted by overdevelopment. While some do not want high-rise development at all, others see it as inevitable, particularly where there is ready access to transport. The overriding issue for my community lies in the quality of the development being approved and the continual breaches of the zoning by developers. In Burwood, in particular, we have seen buildings designed and constructed that detract from the amenity of the area.
In all parts of the electorate we are seeing buildings that breach the current zoning—developers buying sites knowing the height allowance and then seeking to increase the number of apartments and, in doing so, the height of the building. When people talk to me about their concerns with overdevelopment they also speak about a lack of infrastructure. I will list briefly some of those infrastructure issues raised with me, and in turn what I see as the priorities for this Government. I will start with Concord Hospital. While I acknowledge the Government has matched Labor's commitment of more than $300 million for improvements, that work is only the first stage of what is required. We have not been given a date for the completion of the works nor when funding for stage 2 will be forthcoming.
Schools are, of course, an issue that is regularly raised with me, including the need for a co-educational high school. I know there are plans for such a facility in Olympic Park, but those plans are far into the future. I thank the Government for its commitment of more than $20 million to upgrade Homebush West Public School and also for the purchase of land nearby owned by the Anglican Church. I also acknowledge that consultation has begun on the upgrade of Croydon Public School and that further work is planned at Marie Bashir Public School. However, there has been no commitment given to Burwood Public School, which, with its older buildings, is in dire need of improvement.
The same can be said of Chalmers Road School in Strathfield. I was there this week to announce $40,000 from the Community Building Partnership program to improve the playground. I see the vast improvements that have been made to Lucas Gardens School in Five Dock and I fervently wish the same commitment could be made to this school. Then there is the school hall problem at Strathfield Girls High School. For a number of years the parents and citizens association and the student body have been campaigning for a hall that meets their needs. Next week the school will hold its 2017 awards day. Yes, it will have its 2017 ceremony in 2018 because the hall it normally shares with four other schools was unavailable last year. The students' exams are regularly impacted by the lack of a meeting place, as is the ability to meet as a school community.
I am thankful for the upgrade of Croydon, Homebush and Flemington train stations. Although the works have progressed at a pitifully slow pace, disability access is being improved. But that is not the case for North Strathfield station. I know the member for Drummoyne shares my concerns about the poor access to that station, which, ironically, is in the area that the Government is targeting for future high-rise development, so I see it as a priority. I believe the hold-up in the upgrade of this station is due largely to the mismanagement of the Parramatta Road renewal plan and also to the backflip by the Government on light rail from Olympic Park to Strathfield ,and the lack of a route for the Sydney Metro West project. Those issues are also impacting Strathfield station and the town centre, which have not progressed at all. To its credit, Strathfield Council developed a vision for the area, but the Government has not progressed with any plans nor has it shown even the slightest interest in revamping this important retail precinct.
I could go on, but I am running out of the time allocated. I will conclude with the privatisation of our buses, announced yesterday by the Minister. My community does not want our buses sold, but the Minister is arrogantly pursuing an ideological agenda that ignores the wishes of my community. There is so much more I could speak about, but, with limited time, I will say that I am hopeful that as we begin the final year of this parliamentary term we will see many of the issues I have raised today resolved. As I mentioned, there has been some progress on some issues, and I am thankful for that, but there is still so much more to do for the people of the Strathfield electorate.