Parramatta – a changing city


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Mr Geoff Lee, MP, Member for Parramatta was invited to share his views with the community

Walk around Parramatta today and it’s hard not to get excited.

There are cranes in the air, businesses are buzzing, restaurants are overflowing and the perception is that Parramatta is a city on the up – a perception that is not misplaced.

I have seen Parramatta grow and change over my lifetime as a resident, worker and business owner.

My grandparents ran a small produce store and market garden on the banks of Duck Creek – they would have seen and known a vastly different Parramatta.

Twenty years ago, when I ran my small gardening business in Parramatta, the area was a good size town, but certainly not the booming city it is becoming today.

Whilst the key driver of Parramatta’s success is the people of Parramatta itself, working hard and striving o to do better each day, the NSW Government’s focus on Parramatta is certainly delivering a much welcome boost.

We have seen $1 billion for Parramatta Light Rail – this will transform forever the way we move around our city and suburbs, with four potential routes currently under investigation.

We have seen $900 million for the largest hospital redevelopment in NSW history here at Westmead, with more beds, 12 state-of-the-art operating theatres and 2,200 more car spaces – a project that is already underway.

We have seen $100m million for NSW’s first state-of-the-art vertical public school in Parramatta CBD – to be complete by 2019. When built, this will be the most modern public school in the country, whilst we have also committed $30 million to re-open the Old Kings School as a public school right here in the heart of our city.

We have seen a commitment to a brand new 30,000 seat stadium in Parramatta, ready to go for sports fans by 2019.

We have seen the Powerhouse Museum committed to relocate to Parramatta, forming the foundation of an arts and cultural precinct, with two locations shortlisted as potential sites.

We have seen 10,000 new homes planned for Camellia, transforming industrial wasteland into waterfront living – adding to the already significant construction of new apartments around Parramatta CBD – helping make our city more alive and dynamic as more people choose the inner city lifestyle – work, live and play in the heart of Parramatta.

And we have seen, more trains, more police, more nurses and better services not just for Parramatta, but across the city and state as well.

It’s easy to see what the NSW Government has delivered and plans to deliver for Parramatta in the future.

What is not so easy to see is that it is the spirit and determination of the people of Parramatta to make this city great that is the true driver of change and success in our city.

When I walk down the street in Harris Park and see the hustle and bustle of restaurants and shops in our own Little India, it reminds me not just of how far we have come, but how strong our future will be with strong communities such as this.

It continues to be my absolute honour and privilege not just to serve as a Member of Parliament, but to serve as the Member of Parliament for Parramatta, a city that has changed so much but will still grow so much more.

Safety audit for Harris Park

A safety audit for Harris Park will be undertaken by Parramatta City Council and NSW Police from the Parramatta Local Area Command, following a meeting with Geoff Lee MP, Member for Parramatta, Cr Scott Lloyd, Lord Mayor, Parramatta City Council and Superintendent Wayne Cox, Commander, NSW Police Parramatta LAC recently.

Following community concerns about recent incidents in the Harris Park area, the safety audit has been agreed upon to reduce the fear of crime and to build community confidence about safety in the area.

A community meeting will also be held following the outcome of the safety audit to update residents about planned actions.

“It is important to ensure the community is kept up to speed about future proposals for safety in the area,” says Geoff Lee, MP, Member for Parramatta.

Parramatta City Council has maintained extensive CCTV coverage in Harris Park since 2011 with 12 permanent and mobile cameras currently operating in strategic locations. Those cameras are due to be upgraded as part of Stage 2 of the Citysafe CCTV program, which will commence shortly.

“We will be adding extra cameras to the CBD as well as Harris Park, Westmead and Granville. There is also a tender out to upgrade Wigram Street, Harris Park with better lighting and improved sightlines to improve safety,” Cr Lloyd said.

“Harris Park is a vibrant community with so much to offer for residents, workers and visitors. The recent violence is unacceptable, and we will continue to work closely with the NSW Police to assist their efforts to ensure the safety of the Harris Park community.”

The installation of “Smart Poles”, encompassing a range of functions including CCTV, lighting, telecommunications and banners will be also be considered following the audit.

Commander Wayne Cox said, “The safety audit is predominantly focused on the environmental factors that may contribute to crime, such as lighting, foliage removal and areas of concealment. It’s about making maximum use of the area by the community to deter and report any criminal behaviour.”

Commander Cox encourages all community members to report any crime to Police and any information related to any of the crime that has occurred in the Harris Park Area.

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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