Q&A with Ray Williams Member for Castle Hill

We asked Ray Williams if he would be willing to answer some questions from the HDD group and he agreed! His answers are in red

-HDD

 

Firstly thanks for the opportunity to answer some questions on behalf of Hills District Dads, a great concept and important way for guys to engage in local political debate.

 

Simon H

Why did you and Dominic Perrottet effectively “swap” seats in 2015? Was this due to the redistribution?

Every 7 years electorates are assessed as being a standard size( usually 55k residents in each). When areas like the Hills grow in population they need to be redistributed to retain equity across electorates. This happened in 2007 when I was first elected and again in 2014. 85% of the constituents from my old electorate and approximately 12 suburbs are in the new boundary of Castle Hill. I live at the same place in Rouse Hill I have all my life and work in the same office in Rouse Hill every day, not much has changed except the name of the electorate, tis business as usual.

 

Braden K

With the metro rail coming up, are there any plans to zone more business/commercial areas near the train line to bring more diverse jobs other than retail?

Does he have any new or existing plans in place to address traffic congestion around Castle Towers? Although it’s 6 months away, has he spoken to the centre regarding the Christmas sales “lock-in” that happened where people were trapped for hours from leaving the centre at the end of the day?

Employment zones together with high residential housing are being located in areas approximately 400 m radius around rail stations and are incredibly important in order to provide jobs close to where people live, this will also help reduce traffic with families having one car in the future. Christmas traffic around Castle Towers was insane last year, hopefully QIC have recognised that and will make other arrangements. There’s an old saying never get between a “Mum and a Sale”, it can prove dangerous.

 

Colm F

How did Norwest business Park end up with only one way in and out? Via the boulevard… When will a new major exit be built? And please don’t tell us that traffic lights are the answer 🙂

Norwest is out of my electorate however, I’ll throw in my two cents worth. Norwest is a victim of its own success. It’s a world class business park which has attracted some of our countries top companies providing 45% of the employment of the working population of the Hills. It’s a great recipe, but the traffic in peak times is horrendous. Macquarie Park is similar and interestingly they both attract employees from their respective areas. The NWRL will provide rapid connectivity between the two centres at 4 minute intervals and will certainly help in reducing gridlock in the future.

 

Michael T

Why is the internet so bad in the hills? Have you ever thought about supporting labours NBN, that would have been here by now?

I have sorted Internet issues for hundreds of people and businesses since being elected. The problem usually exists because people and businesses choose a cheap provider ( you can’t blame people for trying to save a few bucks) but if you stick with the top Telcos, you will get the best service, its as simply as that. While it’s a Federal issue, if we adopted Labor’s NBN, we would end up being another billion dollars in debt  (already nearly $400 B) and it wouldn’t be here for another ten years!!!

 

Michael S

Why haven’t Showground Rd and Memorial Drive been upgraded to 2 lanes each way yet? When will it happen?

Showground Rd upgrade has already commenced, underground services are being relocated as we speak with major work to commence in the next two months. Memorial Drive is not in my area but earmarked to be completely upgraded to four lanes by council once developer contributions are received.

 

Michael S

It’s great that the new train line will be providing trains every 5 minutes to allow for greater movement of passengers. But what happens when they all terminate at an already congested Chatswood station? How is the rail system going to cater for 1000’s of additional passengers by putting them off at a station which already has trains going into the city at capacity?

Great question- the NWRL will have capacity for a train every 4 minutes increasing to a train every 2 minutes in the future as demand requires. The new rapid transport system can carry 45,000 passengers per hour, almost double that of our existing heavy rail double deckers!! Yes you will have to change at Chatswood initially but we have already started work on the second stage of the extension for another $10 billion dollars providing two new tunnels under Sydney Harbour and into the City. The line will then extend to Bankstown and perhaps even further in the future ( watch this space). Once complete we will have a complete Sydney metropolitan rapid rail service, complementing our heavy rail.

 

Michael S

Do you think it’s constitutional to sack local councils and then have them run by state appointed administrators?

I think its important Councils are efficient, sustainable and provide the best value for ratepayers in terms of , removing rubbish, road repairs and up keeping our parks and playing fields. Councils have a range of their top level staff on over $350k per year, more than the Premier of this state! Some councils have less than 40k residents. I represented more than that in my own North Ward when on Hills Council back in 2003. It’s ridiculous when we have some councils like Blacktown with 300k residents and residents receive the same services as the smaller councils who are going broke and costing us $1 million per day in the process. Bring on the amalgamations!!!

 

Michael S

Do you think party members who were aware of the illegal donations to the NSW LNP from the Free Enterprise Foundation should be stood down from any currently held positions, and held accountable in a court of law?

I think any directors of our party who were aware potentially illegal donors were being received should be punished as the buck stops with them. If they knew, they could have stopped it and not permitted donations to be used by any party members for campaigning purposes-  end of story

 

Michael S

In Australia, we are doing less 100% public investment than ever. Everything seems to be a public/private “partnership”, whereby the end result is a privately owned piece of infrastructure which the public then continually pay for through tolls (M2, LCT, M7, link roads) or higher fares (new private train lines). With interest rates at record lows, financial markets are telling us that it’s a very good time to build and repair infrastructure: real (inflation-adjusted) interest rates have fallen so low that it has become exceptionally cheap to finance the creation, improvement and repair of neglected roads, bridges, transport hubs, and public utilities. So why is the government so in favour of the creation of privately owned, for profit, public infrastructure?

It’s called responsible financial management Michael and getting the best value for taxpayers money, why should Government compete with the private sector, business does everything better and more efficient. In 2011 the NSW Government inherited $30 billion of net state debt from our predecessors, not to mention budget deficits. 5 years later we are completely debt free, with surplus budgets for the foreseeable future and spending a record $68.5 billion on infrastructure o very this term, not to mention an additional $20 billion from the lease of the poles and wires. Remember this is a 49% lease, so we get the benefit of $20 billion for new infrastructure, we keep receiving $51% of future dividends and our grandkids get back the poles and wires- everyone wins.

 

Vijay R

Why are so many apartments being built in the hills? It’s dilutes the value and culture of the hills.

Increasing housing density in a 400 radius around major rail stations where people can walk to their mode of transport and to work makes good sense, it also protects the outer areas of our suburbs and retains the great attraction and quality of life in the Hills.

 

Also NSW are investing in infrastructure which is I great and recognised. The same investment doesn’t seem to be happening in the hills. Memorial, Norwest, seven hills/Windsor road junction to name a few.

$10 billion for NWRL, $400 million for new Rouse Hill hospital, $100 million on new buses and route services for the Hills to the City, $60 million for Showground Rd upgrade, $8 million for Glenhaven Rd intersection – not a bad start.

 

Patrick B

Why are motorcycle tolls the same as a car?

They also use the roads.

 

Patrick B

Why aren’t roads and public transport upgraded before new development. There is significant new development planned for Dural and still no plan to improve Newline or Boundary roads.

You might need to raise that with those local members of parliament. I believe plans are currently being considered for New Line Rd

 

Patrick B

With all the new development planned around the metro rail stations. When will we see more community facilities, sports fields, schools etc? That’s how they do it in Queensland, makes so much more sense. Do the work then charge the Developer, not the other way round.

There are dozens of new parks and playing fields being developed in new suburbs to cater for the growth in new released housing areas right across the Hills.

 

Dave P

Why is the M2 bus lane closed while a new lane is being built for cars? Why does the M2 bus lane not run the the entire length of the M2? If the speed limit on parts of the M2 is 40% of the normal 100km/h, why is the toll not reduced to 40%?

I imagine they need room to cater for the new construction from a safety perspective. You will need to raise the issue of bus lanes and tolls with Transurban who own the M2.

 

Dave P

Glenhaven Rd and Old Northern Rd traffic lights still don’t exist. Lots of intergovernmental Buck passing but no progress. Thoughts ?

Funds fully allocated for this work, however increased design work was required, it’s a major new intersection with four lanes with additional left turns and right turns ect and there have been property acquisitions as the design size has increased, together with new requirements for drainage. It’s coming.

 

Dave P

Rouse Rd weir still floods anytime someone even mentions the word rain. Blacktown council won’t fix it because they don’t care. Time for the state to step in and get shit done.

Marise Payne Federal Senator recently announced the Federal Government is fully funding this work, it’s not my area, perhaps google Rouse Hill Times announcement about two months ago.

 

Tee K

Have you ever rolled down the green hill at the front of Parliament House. If not, would you consider making it an election promise? Thanks

Sounds like fun- done!

 

Ramond K

When will we see PM or MP… Stand up for alienated parents(mostly Dads),stop the unfairness and the inconsistency$ in our family law court system…

Our courts are supposed to uphold justice on behalf of everyone.

 

Chad R

When you drive out through the major development areas near Campbelltown all of the major roads are completed before the houses are built. There has been houses in Kellyville for 20 years and they are only completing Samantha Riley now. And that is one example. Why is the infrastructure not completed first?

The roads you are seeing are either state or federal roads, similar to what is being constructed right now with Bringelly Rd, Narellan Rd, Camden Valley Way, Werrington Arterial By pass ect around Badgery’s Creek, the roads you have mentioned such as Samantha Reilly are local roads and require local developer contributions to council  before works can commence. Not ideal, but financially sustainable,

 

Andrew S

Do you play Basketball?

Not anymore

 

Braden K

What can be done to improve mobile reception in Castle Towers and the surrounding area?

Who is your provider, I have never had a problem with reception in the Towers, perhaps refer to previous answer

 

Braden K

What measures are in place to handle traffic once work on the Showground Road widening begins?

Usual safety precautions, bollards and lower speed limits ect , traffic congestion, but the pain will be worth it in the end

 

Braden K

Do you believe that parents should pay for their kids school’s air conditioning, especially in this day of more extreme weather conditions?

Some P and Cs are very good at raising funds for additional facilities in their schools, there are also local and state grants available that can be used for this purpose

 

Nigel M

BBQ or tomato sauce?

Tomato, but not on eggs, yuck!

 

Benjamin F

Are you for or against same sex marriage?

Against

 

Benjamin F

Are you for or against negative gearing on investment properties?

Negative gearing is a great incentive for people like myself who didn’t have super initially to help grow their wealth for retirement and also for helping children get into the housing market earlier, I have done both.

 

Cheers and thanks again

Ray

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