On Thursday 19 October I attended a hearing of the Public Works Committee which was inquiring into the Oaklands Crossing Grade Separation Project.
Several Members of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, responsible for the project, were also present.
As I am not a member of the Committee I was not permitted to ask questions, however I had the opportunity to make a brief presentation to the committee.
My full statement:
Mr WINGARD: "I thank you for the opportunity to speak on this project. Obviously the Oaklands project is a very ongoing, passionate issue in my community.
We have been running a campaign, the Fix Oaklands Crossing campaign, for four years now, and everyone has wanted to have their say on that, and we have had great engagement with the community—thousands of pieces of correspondence, emails and what not throughout that process, so it has been wonderful.
I have lived in the area and been around this issue since I was a teenager, which sadly is a very long time now, and it is something the community has always been passionate about.
I have some concerns with the fact that there has been little or no consultation with the project along the path so far. I have written to the minister and asked for a number of briefings on this project once the funds were committed from the federal government, and I would like to take this moment to acknowledge Nicolle Flint and her efforts in making this project happen as the local federal member.
One of the examples I cite as far as a lack of communication with this project is the Vietnam Veterans, who are a key stakeholder around this precinct and have had their property compulsorily acquired without any conversations about finding them a new home or a new location.
My community is concerned they are not being kept in the loop on how this is progressing, so I hope in future the community that I represent—and I am happy to facilitate this conversation—are adequately updated with what is going on so that they can be taken through this process. Everyone is very happy to see it go forward, but they want to be consulted with the process."