Monday 29 April 2013

Mascot RSL Anzac Day March

Ron Hoenig MP & Micael Daley MP laying wreaths
Cr Brian Troy, Ron Hoenig MP & Paul Graham Mascot RSL President
Botany Road, Mascot was closed to traffic for the Mascot RSL Annual Anzac Day march last week. Lead by the Military Bagpipe Band, Flag bearers and Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Dennis Taylor our local returned service men and women marched along Botany Road to Mascot Memorial Park. Returned "diggers" were joined by local member for Heffron, Ron Hoenig MP, Michael Daley MP Member for Maroubra, Acting Mayor George Glinatsis, Botany Bay councillors, RSL members, children from Mascot Primary School, St Therese Catholic School, Kingsford-Smith Scouts and many of the family of the fallen. It was a privilege to stand with the men and women who gave us our nation .. our freedom .. to  honour the memory of those who paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom. Lest we forget.
Ron Hoenig MP, Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Dennis Taylor & Michael Daley MP

Mascot RSL members with Ron Hoenig MP

Parish of St Spyridon Anzac Day Service

Ron Hoenig MP laying a wreath in honour of the fallen
St Spyridons War Memorial Church last week held its Annual Anzac Day Memorial Service.The service was attended by the Greek Sub-branch of the RSL, regimental, political and community representatives and a considerable number of parishioners. A moving Anzac Day Sermon was given by Father Steven Scoutas and a flag ceremony was conducted by senior prefects of St Spyridon College. 

I was honoured to attend such a moving service and lay a wreath where there was prayer for "the souls of all men, women and children who died for Australia in the Two World Wars and in other Conflicts around the world."

New report confirms electricity privatisation will send bills soaring

A new report released by The Australia Institute today has confirmed selling off the State’s poles and wires would likely send electricity bills soaring even higher for NSW families.

The Consumers Pay for Power Privatisation report released today confirms electricity privatisation has dramatically increased energy prices in Victoria, and failed to improve efficiency in the sector.

Since Victoria privatised electricity, energy prices have risen by a whopping 170 per cent.

Opposition Leader John Robertson said the report confirmed yet again that selling the State’s poles and wires would send prices soaring for families – and Premier O’Farrell should rule it out today.

“We know that selling off the State’s poles and wires will send electricity bills skyrocketing for NSW families, and that’s why Barry O’Farrell needs to rule it out today,” Mr Robertson said. 

“In Victoria, electricity privatisation saw energy bills increase by 170 per cent. NSW families simply can’t afford to have the same huge price hikes here. 

“Since Barry O’Farrell came to office, electricity prices have increased by as much as $750 for the average NSW household.

“If the Premier and Treasurer have any understanding of the pressure rising electricity bills are having on NSW families, they will categorically rule out selling the poles and wires today.”

The O'Farrell Government's willingness to increase electricity bills for families already struggling with the rising cost of living shows they just don't understand the pressure NSW households are already under. If Barry O’Farrell privatises the State’s electricity assets it would spell disaster for families across the State, who just can’t afford more energy price hikes.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Mini Campbell Newmans coming to Sydney in local council mergers and your rates go up

In a move designed to create mini 'Campbell Newmans' in Sydney an Independent Local Government Review panel chaired by Prof Graham Sansom has recommended the creation of "super councils"  with populations of more than 800,000 people.

Campbell Newman was the powerful Brisbane Lord Mayor that was elected from outside the parliament to become Queensland Premier.

Offering financial incentives to councils to voluntarily merge  - by allowing uncapped increases in council rates - demonstrates to me the absolute naivety of having an academic like Prof Sansom involved in looking for practical solutions in restructuring councils in NSW.

If anyone thinks that councillors in NSW will be induced to voluntarily amalgamate for the right to jack up council rates then they are as naive as Prof Sansom.

The Minister for Local Government Don Page should hang his head in shame at spending more than $2 million to have an academic with no practical experience as an elected person in the field provide blueprints for communities for the future. The Local Government Review panel think that creating super councils will result in councils involving themselves in building light rail systems. If local government is not financially viable now, how is it going to fund light rail. The NSW government struggles to do that with its taxing power now.

Relying on financial assessments of councils by T Corp, which is an organ of the NSW Treasury is itself bizarre. Everybody will remember that it was only earlier this year that the NSW Treasury's inability to add up correctly was exposed when  the Auditor General found an extra $1 billion in the budget. This demonstrates the complete lack of confidence that local government should have of T Corp, the organisation making financial assessments of NSW councils.

Local Government in case nobody has worked it out yet is "local". It is the government of local communities. It is democratically elected. It is the third tier of government. It is our voluntary Councillors who understand their local community. If they fail to do so they are voted out.

Does there need to be change to in Local  Government? 

The answer is yes.  The first step should be to remove all the ridiculous provisions and restrictions that NSW governments have imposed upon local councils making their ability to discharge their elected responsibility almost impossible.

If anyone truly thinks that creating local government areas with larger population bases is the solution to making it more efficient and financially sustainable then perhaps there should be a merger of states.

We could make a case to merge South Australia and Victoria therefore giving it a bigger revenue base. Or perhaps merge Tasmania with Victoria. I know you think that that is nonsense but it is no different to merging democratically elected councils.

Councils have always been different. Population figures for each LGA area have always varied. That is because population densities have increased more in some area than in others. What is not understood is that councils adjust their policies over a period of time to cope. These adjustments occur incrementally, and the councils plan for those increased densities. Councils are successful at doing it because Councillors are local and personally experience the pressures. Their decisions are not academic. And they are democratically answerable for their decisions.

If Barry O'Farrell and the Liberals really want to restructure local government to better service the people then they need a review panel comprising of people who are actually  elected council representatives, or former elected representatives, and who can provide practical advice based on experience and a working knowledge of this level of government.

Only recently during a debate in Parliament on Local Government reform I commented that the Government had manyl former Councillors including the Member for Drummoyne and the Member for Kiama who could have been part of the review on Local Government. They are the people who could have provided real insight and practical advice.

If the NSW government wants to achieve a biased political solution at least use your own liberal MP's who have experience and won't dish up this nonsense.

There should be community consultation in respect of these merger proposals.  I strongly suggest all councils in Sydney should hold constitutional referendums and that way the people of Sydney can decide.That will give Prof Samson the opportunity of testing his views in a democratic environment.  And after the people overwhelmingly reject those views, Prof Sansom can then return back to academia knowing that in NSW democracy is alive and well and his views might be better received in nations were democracy does not exist. Cities like Beijing and Hanoi for example. 

Wednesday 24 April 2013

New pedestrian crossing and traffic lights in Mascot Shops

Ron Hoenig MP at the new Mascot lights
New pedestrian traffic lights and a new pedestrian crossing at Mascot Shops in Botany Road at High Street were turned on by NSW Roads and Martime Services (RMS) today. 

This will be welcome news to Mascot shoppers who have been inconvenienced for several years by a pedestrian safety fence constructed across the traffic median of Botany Road, Mascot.

Following calls by Mascot shopkeepers to install this pedestrian crossing at the High Street intersection, something I supported, Roads Minister Duncan Gay after meeting with shopkeepers agreed. The pedestrian traffic lights will benefit both shopkeepers and Mascot shoppers.

On behalf of the Mascot community I thank the RMS for being so responsive to the Mascot community needs.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Families may forfeit Electricity Rebate Due to the O'Farrell government incompetence

Families risk missing out on a $75 electricity bill rebate because the O’Farrell Government has failed to publicise the scheme – one of its key promises at the 2011 election.

Opposition Leader John Robertson today strongly urged NSW residents to get their application in before the June 14 deadline:

Mr Robertson said: “Mr O’Farrell promised families a $75 electricity bill rebate – but two years later, households in NSW are yet to receive a single cent.

“The O’Farrell Government should really be automatically issuing this rebate to households – we know it has access to the information of eligible families.

“However, if the Government won’t listen – I’m determined to ensure no family in NSW misses out because of the O’Farrell Government’s mismanagement.

“My advice to residents – don’t delay. Get your application in. Your family is entitled to this assistance.”

The revelations about the botched program follow a Freedom of Information request by the State Labor Opposition. It showed the O’Farrell Government is yet to approve any applicant for the rebate. Just 664 NSW families know about the rebate and have applied for it.

This is a monumental stuff up by Mr O’Farrell. At a time when electricity costs are soaring, people don’t even know about the rebate’s existence. Families in my electorate are already struggling with energy bills that have risen by more than 40 per cent since Mr O’Farrell came to office.

The worst possible outcome would be if financial assistance for families went unclaimed.

With winter around the corner, electricity bills are only going to keep rising.

I urge families to claim what Mr O’Farrell promised them.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

The Westconnex Lemon - The sunken road sinking

In October last year I described the Westconnex as a “$10 billion lemon”.

I also observed in February this year that the O’Farrell Liberal government is a "lazy government that does not have the intellectual ability to govern NSW or solve the serious infrastructure problems that this state has."

As a Labor frontbencher my comments were dismissed as “sour grapes”.

Now, this week, the Sydney Morning Herald’s respected Transport Reporter, Jacob Saulwick in his article “Sunken Highway plan hits roadblock” proves my point.

With great media fanfare, Premier O’Farrell announced Westconnex in October last year. Westconnex was the solution to Sydney's major infrastructure backlog he claimed.

Westconnex was the answer to Sydney’s traffic gridlock. It was the solution to address the chaos clogging Australia's major seaport and airport.

PLUS he said the sunken motorway would create boulevards to rival those in Paris or Barcelona.

Westconnex – all problems solved.

In the latest embarrassment to the intellectually challenged O’Farrell Liberal government, the boulevard reminiscent of Paris or Barcelona has been shelved.

According to Jacob Saulwick’s article, it would be too expensive to build the boulevard because “the government would have had to buy up and tear down large amounts of property for about five kilometres on either side of Parramatta Road west of Taverners Hill, near Petersham.”

“It would also,” he added, “have to remove utilities, such as water and sewerage underneath Parramatta Road, and spend years managing the traffic during construction. The extra costs would outweigh any price benefit from cutting a motorway in the ground rather than drilling a tunnel.”

Does anyone think this government would have actually known what it was doing when it committed to this project? These people were in opposition for 16 years might you think that they had some plan?

After two years in government, they have done nothing in relation to easing congestion other than drawing a Westconnex line on a map.

No modeling, no costing, no planning and no consultation.

At some point the community will work Barry O'Farrell out. The O’Farrell government is not about governing, finding workable solutions, and providing leadership to our state. It is all about just presiding, releasing press releases and promising the blue out of the sky. The people of New South Wales were expecting real change two years ago.

Sadly, like the Westconnex, all they got was a lemon.

Monday 15 April 2013

Is Elmer Fudd or the Game Council fit to administer hunting in National Parks or the shooting of ducks?

Elmer "O'Farrell" Fudd
In a real embarrassment to Mr O'Farrell and the NSW Government two Game Council representatives have been arrested for  alleged illegal hunting activity.

Having the Game Council controlling hunting in national parks, to coin a phrase, is having "Dracula in charge of the blood bank".  It seems our Game Council Draculas'  stand accused of helping themselves to the supplies.

The two Game Council representatives – an executive and a volunteer – are alleged to have committed offences including entry onto land without permission, hunting without permission, firing a firearm onto inclosed lands and possessing a prohibited weapon in a nature reserve. The matter is scheduled for Cobar Local Court on May 16. Labor's Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley MLC said this should kill off the O'Farrell Government's plans to allow hunting in NSW national parks once and for all. 

The Game Council has a legitimate role representing recreational hunters – but it should never have any oversight role in the State's national parks. 

"Our national parks exist to protect our native plants and animals. They allow members of the public to engage in quiet contemplation and enjoyment of nature. They are not places for amateur hunters"; Luke Foley said.

Last year Mr O'Farrell announced 79 national parks and reserves would be opened to amateur hunting of feral animals – flouting his own Department's risk assessment which warned of a high risk of humans being injured or killed. This week, a Nielsen poll found overwhelming public opposition to hunting in national parks.

Why wouldn't the public be so opposed to the O'Farrell Liberal government stupid decision. Not only did they allow hunting in national parks, they also passed laws to permit duck hunting, something that was banned in 1987. It is the "Elmer Fudds" dictating the governments agenda, as they are let loose to roam free with their loaded firearms. Barry is no Wyatt Earp.

Below is what I told parliament on the 22 November 2012 about allowing the Game Council to administer duck shooting.

Mr RON HOENIG (Heffron) [2.10 p.m.]: The Opposition is opposed to this poor piece of legislation. The Game and Feral Animal Control Further Amendment Bill 2012 was prepared by the Executive government not because of an analysis of duck shooting or any failure in legislation. It is not designed to protect bird species. It is part of a grubby deal negotiated by two members of the upper House to ensure the sale of the ports assets. Whenever public policy is based on a grubby deal and not intellect, it takes this State back to Neanderthal times, to before the intervention of the 1980s when the Elmer Fudds could run around public landholdings shooting anything in sight.

Mr Nathan Rees: Barry's Bronze Age.

Mr RON HOENIG: Indeed. I remind the House that in 1987 the then Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Janice Crosio, wanted open duck hunting banned. The member for Ku-ring-gai was opposed to it. It was a time when hunters ran around with their popguns and their shotguns, shooting anything that flew. An examination undertaken to gauge the impact upon bird species found that the recreational shooting of ducks in Australia caused suffering to countless numbers of native water birds. It found that birds suffer pain and stress when they are wounded by shotgun pellets. Computer simulation estimates and the observations of rescuers on the wetlands indicated that duck shooters wounded at least as many birds as they killed outright.

In 1987, at the instigation of the then Minister for Local Government and the then Minister for Planning and Environment, the Hon. Bob Carr, the New South Wales Animal Welfare Advisory Council inquired into duck and quail hunting practices in New South Wales. The report, completed in 1988, concluded, first, that the cessation of sports hunting would not have significant economic consequences; and, secondly, that the level of suffering and pain caused through cruelty was unreasonably high. As a result, open season on duck hunting was banned—and duck hunting was effectively banned completely.

This had an impact on rice farmers and a regime was put in place that enabled owners to protect their crops by hunting ducks on private property. A two-stage process was put in place: The Game Council provided approval for the shooting and the Department of Environment assessed whether it was appropriate and whether the shooters could tell a duck from other wildlife. This bill gives control to the Game Council, which is a retrograde step for the protection of the environment. A retrograde step for the environment should not be compounded by the environmental destruction that is about to occur for those who live around Botany Bay and which caused this legislation to be brought to the House in the first place.

Redfern RSL a moving ANZAC commemoration - Thank you

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."

The "Last Post"
Two minutes silence
Part of the moving ANZAC Commemoration organised by Redfern RSL at Redfern Park that I had the honour to attend with many dignitaries including The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, Federal Minister for Health and Member for Sydney and Cr. Linda Scott of Sydney City Council.

I know that the RSL has a sacred task in maintaining that remembrance and so too do all of us. Not only must we remember on defined days and defined places. It is something that is constant not overwhelming but constant.

It is important that we all continue that remembrance and continue to and recognise the men and women from our little place in the world who have proudly worn the uniforms of our Australian defence forces. We who have not worn those uniforms are honoured to be among you and are proud to know you. You represent our finest. You are inherently and definitively Australians.

Those who made the supreme sacrifice for their nation must never be forgotten.

Mobile Office in Waterloo

A big thank you to all those residents who braved the rain and wind last week to come along and have a chat to me in Crystal Street, Waterloo last week.

It was great to get your feedback and to learn of your concerns. Being a Local Member is a two-way conversation. I need your input so that I can do the best job on your behalf. It is also important that we get to know each other so next time you receive my letter in your mail box don’t hesitate to pop along and say hello. 

Some of the issues raised with me to-day included, concerns with traffic and parking, concerns regarding education cuts, and electricity prices.

Again, thank you to all those who came along. 

If you missed me today please don’t hesitate to contact my Electorate Office at any time on 96998166 or email me at

I will be holding regular mobile offices throughout the electorate at times outside office hours to enable those who work to have direct access. This weekend I will be at Mascot Shopping Centre and Turruwul Park, Rosebery. 

As I move around the electorate I will letter box each area advising those residents of times and locations.

O'Farrell Liberals sell off the family silver in a move that could send petrol prices soaring for families

The O’Farrell Government’s decision to sell off Port Botany and Port Kembla could send petrol prices soaring – with the money raised just a drop in the ocean when it comes to building major projects like the WestConnex.

“The O’Farrell Government has sold off the family silver,” Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley said today.

“The Government promised it wouldn’t sell off our public ports at the election because they knew it wasn’t in the long term interests of NSW, but they have done it anyway.

“Industry has already warned petrol and LPG prices could soar under the privatisation of the ports because new fees and charges will be imposed by the private operator.

“Under the O'Farrell Government's legislation to privatise Port Botany and Port Kembla, the new monopoly operators will have the power to impose unlimited rents and charges on companies responsible for importing, transporting and distributing petrol, gas and jet fuel from Australia's major port.”

Industry has warned the O'Farrell Government's privatisation will lead to:

"Raising petrol and jet fuel prices across NSW, due to the impact on storage and transportation costs of independent retailers, distributors and importers of petrol, diesel and jet fuel."
(Letter from the primary users of Port Botany, 23 October 2012)

“The money raised by this dual privatisation is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the infrastructure needs of NSW,” Mr Daley said.

“Putting just $1.8 billion into what could be a $15-$20 billion WestConnex project isn’t going to see this project built anytime soon for the motorists of Sydney.

“To fatten up the port for sale, the government has also removed the cap on the number of components that can move through the port each year. This will mean a massive increase in trucks in and around Port Botany and the airport.

“With no money being invested in improving rail infrastructure, the roads will become choked costing the state millions in productivity each year.”

Shadow Minister for Ports, Ron Hoenig said: "Barry O'Farrell's decision to flog off our public ports to the private sector comes at the expense of families and businesses who will all be hit with higher petrol and gas prices.”

Soaring Power Bills under Mr O'Farrell's Liberals lead to record household disconnections

The record number of household disconnections in NSW are a direct result of Barry O’Farrell’s failure to put downward pressure on electricity prices, Opposition Leader John Robertson said today.

According to a new report by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, 23,000 people had their electricity cut off in the past year – including 44 per cent in paid employment.

In just two years, the O’Farrell Government has inflicted electricity price rises of up to $594 a year on NSW families. This includes:
  • An 18 per cent increase signed off by Barry O’Farrell in July 2011
  • An additional increase in July 2012 of 10 per cent for customers with Ausgrid, 9.5 per cent with Essential Energy and 2 per cent with Endeavour Energy.
The Government is also putting upward pressure on power bills by gouging a record $1.153 billion from the electricity companies – breaking its promise to freeze dividends.

"Mr O’Farrell promised to tackle the cost of living – but the electricity price rises under his Government have been relentless,” Mr Robertson said.

“The report by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre should serve as a wake-up call to anyone concerned about rising cost of living pressures in NSW."

“With winter approaching, thousands of households are having their electricity turned off because they simply can’t afford it.”

Premier O’Farrell has no concern for ordinary families battling to make ends meet. The State Government has got to show mercy and stop these power bill increases.

Thursday 4 April 2013

Sydney Credit Union at Mascot officially re-opens

After a six month refurbishment, I had the great pleasure of cutting the ribbon at the official re-opening of the Mascot branch of Sydney Credit Union (SCU). Located at 1197 Botany Road, this branch provides banking facilities to 3100 members, most of whom live or work locally. The new look branch coincides with a new website and the same friendly service for which SCU are well known. 

Next month SCU celebrates its 50th year in operation and I wish Chair, Brian Nevin, CEO, Ashley Jennings and Branch Manager, Elizabeth Oshana every continued success.
Eva Tahtouch, Area Director, Elizabeth Oshana, Manager, Brian Nevin, Chair, Ron Hoenig MP, Dominic Dunn, Abacus, Ashley Jennings CEO

Public Housing Pensions Hit as O'Farrell snatches pensions back

Pensioners, war widows and veterans in my electorate who live in public housing have had their recent Commonwealth pension increase snatched back by the O’Farrell Government.  My electorate has the highest public housing tenants in the state.

On March 20, pensioners across Australia received  fortnightly increase of $35.80 for singles and $54 for couples. 

However, the O’Farrell Government has confirmed it will raise public housing rents to take into account the pension increase – raiding money meant to help pensioners cope with the rising cost of living. 

Pensioners in my electorate received a payment increase on March 20 – but the O’Farrell Government has snatched it away. This is a mean and predatory act by the State Government. 

With winter around the corner, pensioners in my electorate could have really done with a little extra money to help pay the electricity bill. When you scrimp and save on a fixed income, every dollar counts. 

Rents for the poorest pensioners have already gone up $618 a year under the O’Farrell Government – even before this latest increase. The Liberals and Nationals have lost all sense of compassion for pensioners doing it tough. 

Pensioners, veterans and war widows have supported this country through thick and thin –Barry O’Farrell should respect that instead of milking them for cash. 

I encourage any pensioner affected by the increase to contact my office on 9699 8166.

Monday 1 April 2013

Commonwealth Puts Pensions Up - Will O'Farrell Gouge Seniors Again?

As the Premier marks his two year anniversary, pensioners and war widows are waiting to hear if the State Government will again gouge their recent Commonwealth pension increase by jacking up public housing rents.

On March 20, pensioners across Australia received a fortnightly increase of $35.80 for singles and $54 for couples.

In Parliament last week the NSW Minister for Finance and Services failed to clarify whether the O'Farrell Government will again increase public housing rents for pensioners. The O'Farrell Government has already lifted rents twice – effectively penalising pensioners for having slightly more income. 

"Barry O'Farrell has form on this issue – whenever pensioners are about to receive a little extra financial assistance from the Federal Government, he snatches it away," Shadow Minister for Housing Sophie Cotsis said.

"The Government raised pensioners' public housing rents in 2011, it did it again in 2012 – so the Premier must clarify his intentions regarding this latest pension increase.

"Under the O'Farrell Government, public housing rent for pensioners has gone up by $618 a year.

"Mr O'Farrell promised to tackle the cost of living.

"So why does he keep attacking the most defenceless members of our community – people who have loyally paid into our tax system all their lives and today subsist on fixed incomes?

“When asked in Parliament today to assure seniors that the Government won’t gouge their most recent pension increase by jacking up public housing rents, Minister Greg Pearce refused to provide any clarification.

“A Government that repeatedly resorts to this kind of cash grab clearly lacks compassion for those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

"It's a simple question, Minister. Will you raise public housing rents – yes or no?"

O'Farrell's Sobering Up Centres - A dangerous Stunt

NSW Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Linda Burney has condemned the O'Farrell Government's proposed "Sobering up Centres" as a dangerous and costly waste of resources – and a band-aid solution to alcohol-related violence.

As detailed in a Bill under debate in Parliament today, the O'Farrell Government is planning to trial three centres – one in Sydney City, one in Coogee and one in Wollongong – with two starting in July.

Ms Burney said the idea that locking a group of intoxicated people together would reduce drunken violence was misguided and dangerous – particularly for Kooris.

"While every State and Territory Government over the past 20 years has worked hard to reduce the number of Aboriginal people in custody, in NSW we are finding new and innovative ways to lock people up," Ms Burney said.

"This is a crazy idea. There is a strong likelihood of fights within the centres – so the Government will have to pour huge resources into trying to keep people safe.

"The health and wellbeing of detainees will also have to be monitored carefully – taking up the valuable time of doctors and nurses.

"Under the proposed legislation, some of the most vulnerable in our community – including those sleeping rough – could be locked up against their will without being arrested or charged with anything at all.

"The cost recovery provisions are particularly cruel – many people detained in these centres will already be suffering from financial hardship.

"What's more, I have not seen any evidence that the O'Farrell Government has seriously considered the particular impact that these centres could have on Aboriginal people – who, for a range of reasons – may attract more attention.

"This is a simplistic approach to a complex issue and is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

"It has been 22 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody – have we learned nothing?

"NSW Labor opposes this plan and I will continue to speak out against this dreadful legislation in the Parliament."

NSW Labor calls for Sydney's Taylor Square Rainbow Crossing to Stay

NSW Labor has thrown its support behind the community campaign to keep the rainbow crossing at Taylor Square as a way to permanently celebrate the contribution of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people and their families to the city.

Shadow Minister for Transport, Penny Sharpe said Oxford Street was known worldwide as the hub of the GLBTI community in Australia.

“Oxford Street is famous around the world and I am confident that the rainbow crossing will become another attraction for Sydneysiders and tourists to come and see when they are in the city,” she said.

“The Shadow Minister for Roads and I have written to Duncan Gay today urging him to keep the rainbow crossing.

"I hope that common sense prevails and the crossing can become a permanent part of Oxford Street." 

Shadow Minister for Roads, Ryan Park said: “This crossing has become a symbol of inclusivity and it makes no sense to paint over it – not least because it has been reported to cost up to $30,000 to have this work undertaken."

“There may be some individuals in the bureaucracy who will try and convince the Government that this can’t be done – but we need to take a common sense approach.

"The rainbow crossing is an attractive addition to Taylor Square that the community is enjoying – why would you get rid of it?"