Wallsend in Parliament: November 2013

This is the first post in what will be a monthly summary of the work of Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery in the NSW Parliament. The post is separated into the different types of parliamentary activity and sub-sorted by date – Most recent activity first.

COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENTS

WALLSEND SPORTIES
20 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia acknowledged the sporting achievements of the Wallsend Sporties Bowling Club and the service of its members.

CRS - Wallsend Sporties

TRIBUTE TO BARRY TWOMEY
20 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia congratulated Vietnam Veteran Barry Twomey on receiving a life membership of the Wallsend Diggers Club.

CRS - Tribute to Barry Twomey

TRIATHLETE AARON ROYLE
13 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia congratulated Maryland triathlete Aaron Royle on his win at the Noosa Triathlon.

CRS - Aaron Royle

HUNTER MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
13 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia thanked Professor Phil Hansbro for his work developing treatments for asthma.

CRS - HMRI

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

RURAL AND REGIONAL JOBS
13 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia asked the following question:

 “My question is directed to the Deputy Premier. In the last three weeks almost 1,000 jobs have been lost in the Central West. Yesterday another 80 industrial workers, including 16 apprentices, were sacked in the Hunter. Will the Minister take action to address the jobs crisis in rural and regional New South Wales?”

Excerpt of Andrew Stoner’s response:

 “Once again, hypocrisy, thy name is Labor. The Liberal-Nationals Government is working hard to assist industry with a number of industry action plans, which are available on the website. Members opposite should read about what the Government is doing in partnership with industry to grow the economy and employment in this State.”

PRIVATE MEMBERS STATEMENTS

HUNTER JOBS
19  November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia stood up for the manufacturing industry in her electorate of Wallsend and for the Hunter in general. She called on the Government to provide greater support and protection for jobs in the Hunter.

Excerpt:

“Hunter skilled workers are feeling the squeeze, with jobs in the manufacturing industry drying up. On many occasions the O’Farrell Government and the Premier have been made aware that a number of industries in the Hunter are shedding workers, particularly in the last two years. This really hit home for the Wallsend community last week when, leading up to Christmas, 43 workers were sacked from UGL, on top of jobs being slashed at Volgren and EDI, and WesTrac also shedding jobs locally.”

 

SPEECHES

NEWCASTLE RAIL LINE
Discussion on Petition Signed by 10,000 or More Persons
21 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia spoke in strong support of the retention of the Newcastle heavy rail line.

Excerpt:

 “The retention of the existing rail line to Newcastle is essential for the future business prospects of our growing city. Population projections suggest growth of about 150,000 residents over the next 20 years. According to the Bureau of Transport Statistics, employment growth by 2046 is expected to bring 75,000 jobs to the region, and 20,000 of those will be in the inner city. Public funding is scarce. Ripping up existing rail infrastructure would be a huge waste and should be the subject of an inquiry.”

REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Motion Accorded Priority
20 November 2013
(Full text here)

regional infrastructure

Sonia spoke against the motion, highlighting the failings of the NSW Government to support and protect manufacturing jobs in the Hunter.

Excerpt:

 “The Port of Newcastle is being sold off for one-tenth of its worth and only a fraction of that funding will be returned to Newcastle and the Hunter. Forty-three workers have been sacked from UGL in Broadmeadow, and jobs are being slashed at Volgren and EDI in the Hunter. Caterpillar distributor WesTrac has decided to shed 200 jobs and dozens of jobs have gone from the Tomago plant in the Port Stephens electorate. Why did 16 of those 80 jobs lost in the Hunter belong to apprentices? This indicates a failure by the Government to create a climate for investment and jobs growth in not only the Hunter but also regional New South Wales.”

NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME (NSW ENABLING) BILL 2013
Second Reading
20 November 2013
(Full text here)

Sonia spoke in support of the Bill as a starting point to initiate the launch of the NDIS in NSW. She did, however, highlight a number of concerns she holds concerning the privatisation of the public disability sector which is legislated in the bill.

Excerpt:

“The quality of care provided at the Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra centres is second to none. Their highly qualified staff are kind and respectful. I am very proud that in the Hunter community, and in my Wallsend electorate, we have the calibre of the staff who work at the Stockton Centre—from the plumbers to the general service support staff, nurses and other clinicians. I take my hat off to you all.”

GLENDALE TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE
14 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia spoke in support of her motion urging the Government to complete stage 2 of the Glendale road/rail interchange and build a train station at Glendale.

SPEECH - Glendale Transport Interchange

Excerpt:

 “Of equal importance and in equal need of funding is stage 2 of the project: building a railway station for what the Government calls “a major emerging regional centre” not only to serve the public transport needs of the area’s growing population but also to allow pedestrian access across the rail line from Glendale to the Cardiff industrial estate. We all know that rail is the lifeblood of a city. If this Government were serious about supporting regional New South Wales and the growth of the Hunter region it would commit to funding the construction of a station at Glendale.”

PRIVATE MEMBERS BILLS

FERNLEIGH TRACK CONSERVATION AREA PROTECTION BILL 2013
14 November 2013
(Full transcript here)

Sonia introduced her Bill to protect ecologically sensitive area around the Fernleigh track from harmful development.

Excerpt:

“One has to wonder what the local member for Charlestown, Andrew Cornwell, was doing to look after his constituents while his colleagues in Government were busy planning a fire sale not just of residential land but also of conservation land adjoining the Fernleigh Track. Ironically, over 50 years ago the land that now makes up the Fernleigh Track was originally slated for development for the East Charlestown bypass project, but the project was dumped as the land was deemed too environmentally significant to develop. This point seems to have been lost on the O’Farrell Government and local Liberal members.”

All in all, a busy and productive month in Parliament for Sonia, and a good end to the year. Sonia, the office staff and I are looking forward to a Christmas break, but even more to getting started again in 2014.

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