Kiama MP Gareth Ward called on the state government to improve public transport on the South Coast Line and to upgrade Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.
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In parliament on Thursday, Mr Ward used a private member’s statement to advocate for better services and facilities.
“As a public transport user, I make it clear to the house that more carriages are required on the South Coast line,” Mr Ward said.
“The 3:23pm and the 3:53pm Sydney to Kiama services are but two examples of trains that are consistently full and overflowing.
“It is not acceptable to read reports about passengers sitting on stairs. It is not acceptable to hear stories of people using toilets as seats due to the lack of space on our trains.
“In 2014, I took up the fight to increase the number of carriages on the 424 Kiama to Sydney service. I fought this campaign with letters, emails, speeches in this chamber, petitions and a meeting with the then Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, who heard the call.
“In just two weeks, more than 1200 people have signed the most recent petition that I started for my local community.
“I make no apologies for standing up to any minister in any government and at any level when it comes to achieving the best outcome for our community. My focus is on the need for this situation to change and to find a solution.”
Mr Ward said the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital is in drastic need of an upgraded.
“The Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock and I have met with the Minister for Health, the Premier and the Treasurer to seek the best possible outcome,” he said.
“Recently I held a forum in the Shoalhaven with doctors, health professionals, members of the board and the Minister for Health to press the case for a major upgrade of the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.
“Together – we have secured some great investments – the new South Coast Cancer Care Centre, upgrades to mental health services, aging services and the new emergency department. They have all made a difference. Indeed new car parking allocations, which I know are welcome, are on the way.
“We will not stop fighting until this government hears the call from our community for an improved hospital. We are members of the government but we have an obligation first and foremost to our local communities who elect us.
“Our community deserves it and we will not stop fighting until we win.”
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