Ku-ring-gai Electorate Events and Infrastructure; Tribute to Dr Nuli Lemoh

Construction work on side of highway
10 November 2021

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS (Ku-ring-gai—Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services) (21:59): The electorate of Ku-ring-gai is rich in bushland. Recently we saw back-burning operations in full swing when many members of my local community were actively involved in bushfire mitigation. On 11 and 12 September the Rural Fire Service, including the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby fire brigades, hosted Get Ready Weekend online, providing residents with the opportunity to engage with their local brigade and plan for the bushfire season. The Ku-ring-gai brigade also joined the council to host workshops for residents, using a live 3D simulation to show how a bushfire could spread in our local community. The workshops included possible bushfire scenarios and guidance to prepare emergency plans. Many residents in my local community attended the workshops, which are particularly important as we have previously experienced destructive bushfires in our area. I commend the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby fire brigades, as well as the local community for its participation.

I regretfully note the recent and sad passing of an outstanding person, Dr Nuli Lemoh, a member of Turramurra Rotary in my electorate of Ku-ring-gai. Nuli was born in Sierra Leone but came to Australia to study medicine at Sydney University. After his graduation he returned to Sierra Leone to give back to his community. Nuli eventually returned to Australia and started his career as a paediatrician. In the 1990s he joined Turramurra Rotary and in 2018 he was made an honorary member. Nuli's passion in life was to save the lives of children and babies in Sierra Leone, so he decided to build a children's hospital in his home town. Turramurra Rotary helped to raise the initial funds for the hospital, known as Bo Children's Hospital. The hospital has been operating since 2012 and has treated more than 21,000 patients. I offer my condolences to Nuli's family and all those at Turramurra Rotary who knew him. Vale Dr Lemoh.

Residents in my electorate of Ku-ring-gai will benefit from major upgrades to the Pacific Highway, particularly between Turramurra and Wahroonga, which are happening as part of the New South Wales Government's Pinch Point Program. Pleasingly, this program is delivering results in Ku-ring-gai along the Pacific Highway. It will alleviate the bottleneck of 60,000 motorists each day in this busy corridor. The widened highway will provide three continuous northbound lanes and improve the turning movements in and out of cross streets. Earlier this year work was completed at the intersection of Finlay Road. Construction is also underway at the intersections with Fox Valley Road and Redleaf Ave in Wahroonga. Driving up the Pacific Highway through Turramurra and Wahroonga, it is easy to see the substantial progress being made relocating utilities, installing traffic signals, improving road pavement, building retaining walls and landscaping. Construction of footpaths will also commence soon. The upgrade is expected to be completed next year and the community is looking forward to the improved safety, traffic flow and efficiency along the highway.

I believe that our community deserves modern, safe and accessible infrastructure. I am therefore pleased that planning approval has been granted for the Killara Station upgrade in my electorate of Ku-ring-gai as part of the New South Wales Government's Transport Access Program. From 30 June to 27 July the community was consulted over the design. Key feedback included improving accessibility, retaining trees around the station and ensuring that the design is sympathetic to the heritage character of the station. As a result, this upgrade will provide a better experience for transport customers and will importantly upgrade the station to be more accessible to people with disability, limited mobility, parents and carers with prams, and customers with luggage. Construction will commence on 1 November and continue until February 2023. I have long supported this upgrade and recently participated in discussions with Transport for NSW regarding the project. I thank our local community for its feedback and the New South Wales Government for its responsiveness to the community and financial support for the project.

I am happy to update the House that the Wahroonga station Transport Access Program [TAP] upgrade construction is nearing completion, with the expectation that commuters will be enjoying the new facilities early in the new year. The upgrade will enhance accessibility with a lift, an accessible ramp to the local village, accessible and ambulant toilets, and accessible parking as part of the New South Wales Government TAP program. I am pleased that construction is now underway at Normanhurst, Thornleigh and Pymble stations, and Waitara and Killara stations are in the design and planning phase.