State election: Rail timetable a concern for Oatley electorate

Gladys Berejiklian and Mark Coure.
Gladys Berejiklian and Mark Coure.

MARK COURE said infrastructure improvements were his main achievements since winning the seat for the Liberal Party four years ago.

"Generally, people are very happy with the progress we are making locally," he said.

Mr Coure said the major accomplishment was St George Hospital's new emergency department and a $307 million commitment to the next stage of rebuilding.

"The M5 West motorway has been widened and the M5 East will be duplicated, with development approval received for the Beverly Hills interchange. We have a new hall at Georges River College Peakhurst campus and Hurstville Public School, the biggest in the state, received a $6.8 million upgrade.

"Work will start shortly on the Oatley station upgrade, followed by similar work at Narwee."

Mr Coure said traffic congestion was the main matter raised with him during the campaign.

"I am launching a petition to seek on/off ramps on the M5 at Belmore Road, which I think would make a big difference," he said.

Oatley: Boundary changes, which saw the waterfront suburbs of Kyle Bay and Blakehurst moved into the electorate, have helped sitting Liberal Mark Coure, but he has a strong opponent in Labor's O'Bray Smith.

Oatley: Boundary changes, which saw the waterfront suburbs of Kyle Bay and Blakehurst moved into the electorate, have helped sitting Liberal Mark Coure, but he has a strong opponent in Labor's O'Bray Smith.

As well as the M5 East duplication, the government had announced several major intersections, using proceeds from the proposed leasing of the electricity "poles and wires".

Mr Coure said there was "confusion" among some voters over the power leasing.

"We are leasing only 49 per cent, prices will be controlled and we are putting the dividend straight into infrastructure," he said.

Mr Coure said the container-deposit scheme announced last month was satisfying as it was a "pet project", for which he had lobbied.

O'BRAY SMITH is more qualified than most candidates to speak on health matters, as a nurse and manager of the midwifery unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Labor:  O'Bray Smith.

Labor: O'Bray Smith.

But as is the case with all staff employed by NSW Health, she must adhere to a code of conduct that prevents public comment.

However, Ms Smith, the Labor candidate for Oatley, can talk about party policy, and she applauded Labor's promise to employ an extra 840 nurses and introduce nurse-to-patient ratios. (See story page 4.)

"I think it's fantastic," she said.

"While rebuilding St George Hospital is essential, it is just as important to provide staff to meet the needs of patients."

Ms Smith said other major concerns of voters included the train timetable changes, TAFE cuts, overdevelopment and the "poles and wires sell-off".

"Cuts to services at Penshurst and Mortdale stations are hurting businesses, and residents are having to go to Oatley to catch a train," she said.

"Trains not stopping at Kogarah is a massive issue for people travelling to three hospitals, a TAFE college, courthouse and numerous high schools."

"TAFE cuts are one of the main reasons I am running.

"I went to public schools, did two TAFE courses while I was in high school and then went to university.

"My nieces and nephew, who live in the electorate of Oatley, won't have those opportunities because they won't be able to afford university and there won't be a TAFE system left."

In response to the government's assertion it was expanding training opportunities through private colleges, she said "I would argue that's not always accessible for all socio-economic groups."

KNOWN CANDIDATES

■ O'Bray Smith (Labor), 34, grew up in Mortdale and Peakhurst, attended Peakhurst South Primary School and Peakhurst High School, and lives in Oatley.

Ms Smith studied nursing at the University of Sydney between 1999-2001 and returned to obtain a graduate diploma and masters degree in midwifery in 2003-04.

She has worked as a nurse for 13 years.

■ Mark Coure (Liberal), 36, is married with a son, 11 months, and lives at Penshurst.

Mr Coure grew up in the area and attended St Joseph's Primary School, Oatley, and Marist colleges at Penshurst and Kogarah.

He served on Kogarah Council for eight years and owned a franchised finance business before entering Parliament.

■ Philippa Clark (Greens) works for a law firm, volunteers at St Aidan's Anglican Church and is a member of the NSW Youth Parliament and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

NSW 2015 election: Philippa Clark, Greens candidate for Oatley

NSW 2015 election: Philippa Clark, Greens candidate for Oatley

Her priorities are "campaigning to restore peak-hour train services to stations such as Mortdale, improving our public transport system, transitioning to renewable energy and cleaning up infrastructure and planning process in NSW."

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