Firstly, may I say thank you for your support at the recent local government elections. I always thought being elected to The Hills Shire Council for the first time would be the greatest honour of my life, but being elected for a second term is a much greater honour, particularly given the method of my return.
I must pay tribute to the community groups and members of The Liberal Party for making my re-election possible. In particular, I would like to say a special thank you to my campaign team – Danica Zegarac, Michael Stubley, Andrew Kennedy, David Faulkner-Dick and my fiancée Nicole Anderson.
The future of The Hills district seems to be at a crossroads. The feedback I consistently receive from the community is that the essence of the garden shire is in danger of being lost, choked with inadequate infrastructure and overdevelopment. I want to assure community members that having lived on acreage almost my entire life, I too share the desire for The Hills to retain its unique character.
One of the issues is that the policies of the State Government such as the Towards our Greater Sydney Plan, the Draft District Plan and North West Rail Link Corridor Strategy are clearly forcing greater population on our area whether we like it or not, even though our Council is already exceeding our population targets.
The latest flash point is the so-called Priority Precincts at Kellyville, Bella Vista
and Showground stations. Our Council was promised that the focus of these precincts would be better planning, but it looks likely that instead we will get even higher densities than the already lifted North West Rail Link Corridor Strategy numbers.
Whether in the priority precincts or elsewhere in the shire, when population goes up, the additional schools, parks, playing fields and roads are needed to match. I will be watching the release of these precincts and the additional infrastructure planning with great interest.