There’s one thing candidates across South West Sydney all agree on: the NSW election tomorrow will be too close to call.
A selection of Labor, Liberal, minor party and independent candidates who spoke to the South West Voice in Macarthur could not pick a clear winner.
They were also asked to nominate the two issues that resonated in their electorates.
The rapid rate of development is without a doubt the major concern in our region, as is the lack of matching infrastructure, especially roads and schools.
The high profile independent candidate in Camden, Andrew Simpson, pictured at right, said he also found a serious pushback against the Liberal Party.
“The Liberals have a stranglehold in Camden in all three tiers of government and locals are starting to react to that now,’’ he said.
He said the schools issue was also resonating among Camden voters.
“It’s indicative of overdevelopment and infrastructure not keeping pace, meaning we have overcrowded schools,’’ he said.
“As for the overall result it’s just too close to call.’’
His Liberal opponent, Camden mayor Peter Sidgreaves, agrees on that at least.
“I think it’s going to be very close. I do,’’ he told the Voice.
“I would like to think the Liberal Government are going to win because of their track record over the last eight years.
“What hopefully the people of NSW do is give Liberals another term to kind of finish a lot of those projects that they’ve already kicked off but we just need to finish.
“So that’s my feeling, that the Liberals will get up by a small margin, and it may be as close as a minority government.
“Let’s hope that’s not the case, for the sake of getting things done.’’
Mr Sidgreaves nominated cost of living pressures such as rising electricity bills a major concern among Camden voters.
“Secondly, there are a lot of people who are concerned with growth that’s coming to Camden, and how fast it’s coming,’’ he said.
“I agree that it has been too rapid, and the Premier agrees that it has been too rapid, and she has agreed to slow that down.
“What slowing it down also allows us to do is deliver the infrastructure, as the people are arriving, whether it be roads, or schools, or hospitals, and that’s we are investing in,’’ he said.
In the electorate of Campbelltown, sitting Labor MP Greg Warren, who is seeking a second term, nominates trains services and funding for hospitals as local concerns.
“There is a need to invest in more nurses and other hospital staff and Labor, if elected, will be acting on that,’’ he said.
“As to who wins government, it’s really close.
“But there is a clear choice; I’d like to see a Daley Labor Government, but either way if I am re-elected I will keep fighting for the people of Campbelltown for the next four years,’’ Mr Warren said.
His Labor colleague in the electorate of Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong, also nominated overdevelopment as a real worry for local voters.
“Our local area has had enough of the Liberal Government’s overdevelopment agenda, which has led to more congestion, overcrowding of our schools and hospitals, and destroyed our green open spaces,’’ he said.
The second major concern was commuter car parking infrastructure and train services to the city.
“Our commuter carparks at Edmondson Park and Leppington are at crisis point and commuters deserve better,’’ Mr Chanthivong said.
“Commuters also deserve air-conditioned trains and a fairer timetable.
“ I am hopeful for a Labor victory tomorrow to put schools and hospitals before stadiums and put people first.’’
Community advocate Michael Byrne, who is standing under the Pauline Hanson One Nation banner in the seat of Holsworthy, says “Labor’s not good enough to beat someone they should, but it is too close to call.
“As for issues voters have spoken to me about, congestion on our roads and lack of infrastructure were the main ones,’’ he said.
Commuter car park advocate Michael Andjelkovic, (pictured above) who is standing as an independent in Liverpool, also thought the election result would be tight.
“Yep, too close to call, but the way things are going, the Libs by a smidgin,’’ he said.
Mr Andjelkovic, who said the rising cost of living and the need for better commuter parking and public transport were the two big issues, also called on the major parties to change the way they campaign.
“Spending promises magically appear just before we vote and it’s from both parties,’’ he said.
One of the independents with a realistic chance of winning a South West Sydney seat is Judy Hannnan in Wollondilly.
“Overdevelopment and lack of infrastructure, that’s what people have been saying to me since I started campaigning,’’ says the former mayor.
“I don’t know who will win government, we’ll just wait and see,’’ Ms Hannan said.