By Joe Bourke
A modest crowd of around 30 people attended a candidates forum for the newly formed Summer Hill electorate at the Addison Road Community Centre last Sunday.
Present at the forum was notional Labor candidate Jo Haylen, Greens candidate Max Phillips and Socialist Alliance candidate Susan Price. Liberal candidate Julie Passas did not attend, despite earlier suggestions she would.
Former Marrickville mayor Jo Haylen said cuts to education were a key election issue.
“I will fight against the Liberals’ cuts to our schools and to TAFE. Labor will reverse the Liberals’ TAFE hikes and we’re also committed to replacing the demountables at our public schools,” she said.
Ms Haylen denounced the Liberal’s controversial WestConnex plan, despite Labor’s own plan coming under fire for being too similar.
“[The Liberals’ plan] will bring worse traffic jams to the inner west, the forced acquisitions of people’s homes and will tear up our local parks and open spaces,” she said.
Mr Phillips grilled the Labor party’s version of WestConnex and said “a vote for the Greens is a vote against WestConnex”.
“The next state parliament will make some critical decisions. Locally the WestConnex motorway will have a big impact on the inner west,” he said.
“It’s a great shame that the Labor party has not really listened to the community on this.”
Ms Price said her party’s plan was to build “a state and society where people and the environment are put before the right of corporations to profit from others’ expense”.
Ms Price also strongly opposed WestConnex and said NSW needed more public transport rather than roads.
Also heavily discussed throughout the meeting were the allegations of corruption raised by ICAC. Mr Phillips said the Greens aim to end all corporate donations to political parties. When asked by a resident why they should trust politicians, Ms Haylen replied with a promise to be upfront with her electorate.