Hundreds of residents tuned in on Wednesday night for Blacktown City Council’s first online Community Forum. COVID-19 restrictions had prevented Council hosting a community forum for Marsden Park residents and businesses in March, so Council provided a live ‘Have Your Say’ platform via online streaming.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM joined the Member for Chifley Ed Husic, the Member for Londonderry Prue Car, Councillor Brad Bunting and Sydney Business Park Director Owen Walsh for a lively online airing of the issues and concerns facing Marsden Park residents.
Ed Husic joined the forum from his Canberra Parliament House office while Owen Walsh was online from Sydney Business Park.
Panel members addressed questions that had been sent in earlier or during the live steam.
The hour-long online forum had an average audience at any one time of nearly 400 and a combined 7,600 views.
The lack of bus services and train station parking, traffic congestion on Richmond Road, along with inadequate schools, no progress with Rouse Hill Hospital and the lack of post boxes, were among the concerns raised by residents.
Mayor Bleasdale said; “We were delighted to see the level of engagement from the people and businesses of Marsden Park. The passionate engagement from a fast-growing community showed just how determined these people are to tell government that they want the services they need now”.
“We estimate there’ll be an extra 14-thousand homes and 40-thousand people moving into Marsden Park over the next 15-years.
“This huge growth is the result of NSW and Federal governments’ policies and planning regulations. NSW and Federal governments are responsible for funding and building major roads, schools, carparks, hospitals and providing the bus services.
“Council has worked with developers to provide local roads, drainage, waste collection, new parks and sporting fields, but in many cases, Council can’t access developer contributions to build the community amenities in those parks and sporting fields.
Prue Car said, “Totally inadequate bus services in Marsden Park have been causing real concerns for families and our seniors. Recently we were told there were no plans for a government bus service from Marsden Park to Schofields Station.
“Marsden Park Public School is badly overcrowded. There are plans for a new school in the Elara estate but there’s no commitment to a starting date.”
Ed Husic said, “The online forum provided a great opportunity for residents to raise their concerns. I congratulate Blacktown City Council on this initiative. Prue and I will definitely be raising those issues in the NSW and Federal Parliaments.
“Construction of the M9 motorway is going nowhere and we’re not hearing any progress from Government on the Metro extension from Tallawong to St Marys.”
Blacktown City Council hosts community forums and pop-up sessions throughout the City giving residents a chance to engage directly with Council.
Photo:(from left) Councillor Brad Bunting, Prue Car MP, CEO Kerry Robinson OAM and Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM on the ‘set’ of the online community forum.
The Marsden Park Online community forum: https://www.facebook.com/BlacktownCityCouncil/