Push for equal­ity


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los

PEN­RITH Coun­cil wants ded­i­cated in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing – and a rail line link­ing ma­jor western Syd­ney hubs – from the Fed­eral Govern­ment to help cope with the re­gion’s rapid growth.

The coun­cil has banded to­gether with Black­town, Camp­bell­town and Wol­londilly coun­cils and the Na­tional Growth Ar­eas Al­liance (NGAA) to launch the Fund Our Fu­ture cam­paign, which is de­mand­ing ur­gent up­grades to roads, trans­port and health ser­vices for their fast-grow­ing cities.

NGAA chair­man Glenn Docherty said $5 bil­lion had to be spent each year in the boom­ing outer ar­eas for the next 15 years to catch up on the in­fra­struc­ture back­log.

“Na­tion­ally, $73 bil­lion needs to be spent on in­fra­struc­ture,” Mr Docherty said, adding that NSW needed $19 bil­lion. “We need to fu­ture-proof as (th­ese ar­eas) con­tinue to grow and have 7.5 mil­lion Aus­tralians by 2030.”

Pen­rith Mayor Karen McKe­own said it was time for the re­gion to take a stand and push for equal­ity.

“We are get­ting less per capita in western Syd­ney in in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing than what they are in other cities and it’s not fair,” she said.

“(Re­gional cities) are ex­pected to bear the bur­den and have th­ese tar­gets in terms of pop­u­la­tion growth, and grow­ing the econ­omy of the state and na­tion, yet we are not get­ting the much­needed in­fra­struc­ture that comes along with that – the schools, hospi­tals, roads and specif­i­cally the rail net­work.”

Con­nect­ing Pen­rith via rail link to grow­ing northwest ar­eas and the south­west was top of the pri­or­ity list, Cr McKe­own said.

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