Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Victor Dominello: Liberal MP For Ryde

Victor Dominello: Liberal MP for Ryde

On Monday night, I attended a community forum hosted by The Northern District Times for Victor Dominello.

The Hon. Victor Dominello is M.P for City of Ryde. Every single day, I drive through the congested streets of Ryde and past the huge poster of his smiling mug which you can see on the left. More often than not, I'm stuck at the Ryde Road and Victoria Road intersection directly where his office is located.

If you would like to read more about Victor Dominello, his working history as a solicitor/lawyer/partner and professed advocacy for the vulnerable members of society, you can read his inaugural speech here, here and some interesting history about his Italian life, aversion to pork meat and market gardening(farming) heritage here.

When he posted a brochure inviting people to join the 'Ask Victor Forum', I thought it would be a good opportunity to listen to what the community concerns were, understand a bit more about politics, the decision makers for local areas and while I was doing that, vent my grievances about traffic congestion, rubbish dumpers and graffiti.

I phoned Dominello's office and his staff Michael, kindly and politely jotted down my idea on how to alleviate traffic in the area. They'll even compose a letter to the Transport Minister on my behalf.
Before I go on any further, I'd like to clarify that I am neither pro Liberal nor pro Labor. My family and and I are mainly swinging voters depending on which party has the most reasonable policy. So far, the Liberal State Government appears to be doing alright. (Just get rid of Tony Abbott and have Malcolm Turnbull in place and there would be a stampede to vote Liberal at the next Federal elections).

I couldn't wait for Liberals to get into office for NSW so that Barry O'Farrell could repeal Part 3A laws as he promised in his election campaigns. (Part 3A of the EP And A. Act caused havoc across several communities such as Greendale, Silverdale, Luddenham and Ryde to name a few and I'm totally opposed to it).

Some Of The Issues Raised At The 'Ask Victor Forum'

The Northern District Times hosted the forum. It's good to have someone to anchor the forum because the forum was swamped by a rather vocal group up front concerned about the Ryde Civic Centre sell off by council. Justifiably so however it is a bit frustrating that they took up so much air time when it really is a council issue and they should be lobbying the Ryde councillors instead.

It's a shame that not all the questions were covered. One lady I spoke to attended because she wanted to know about the proposed North West Rail Link and whether associated infrastructures such as car parking facilities would be catered for. There's plenty of contradictions in our society. One gentleman was opposed to illegal boarding houses for Macquarie University students and the folks seated near him were opposed to more high density apartments being developed in the area. It's a zero-sum-game. It will be near impossible to cut back on illegal boarding house demands without having more housing development.

And if rental affordability were an issue, then illegal boarding houses would be cheaper than the ones that are legally registered. To cut illegal boarding houses and drop rental prices is to increase supply- thus build more rental property. A zero-sum-game indeed.

Issues covered:

* Ryde Civic Centre proposed rezoning and apartment development with potential to build 500 units and only 600 car parking spaces. What a disaster that would be. Throw more traffic onto an absolutely congested road. If anything, the high rises need to be built on top of Macquarie Shopping Centre, Macquarie Park and North Ryde station. High density office and apartments should be located at, on top and near the stations. Since the skyline in Rhodes has been ruined by the two new high rise atrocities, they may as well keep it consistent and keep building until Rhodes can be renamed Hong Kong Rhodes.

* Ivanhoe Social Housing Estate development taskforce - The forum threw out a rough statistics that the Salvation Army owns 10% of the Ivanhoe Social Housing Estate? Impoverished and poor members of our society will always be easy targets. An ex-bf of mine always disliked the social housing estates claiming that they were dangerous and resulted in lower socio-economic households not really attempting to improve their lot. I think he bought a townhouse in the area so he'll proably be pleased with the taskforce.

* Stance on Euthanasia - Dominello is against euthanasia, citing that there needs to be a lot of controls in place before even venturing near the topic. He refrained from saying it, but I'll put it out there- the politicians and a possibly a large group in our society may be worried that legalising euthanasia will result in some eager younger folks popping off their oldies in order to obtain their inheritance. Sounds sickening doesn't it? Money can be at the root of all evil, divorces and arguments so better being safe than sorry is probably the motive behind not legalising euthanasia.

* School Garden Projects and Solar Rebate Scheme

* National Disability Insurance Scheme (Peter Wilkins on behalf of Achieve Australia)

* Devolution Fiscal Budget Cuts

* Illegal Boarding Houses - Drafting of legislation for boarding houses to be registered

There were approximately 60 to 70 older generational attendees and I think that the younger crowds were neglecting a huge opportunity to create a direction and vision for their area.

If Liverpool Council and Penrith City Council held forum consultation sessions with local MPs similar to Ryde's electorate, then they would be more aware of what the community concerns are instead of leaving the rural community stuck with DAs from wealthy doctors and developers wanting to get wealthier by building cemeteries and crematoriums regardless of how many rural residents they have to trample on.

Dominello's staff member Michael, queried me for some feedback about the forum session. I think the forum is a great idea for the community to voice their grievances and ideas. If Ryde Council councillors attended too then it would be perfect. That way, anything that is of council concern could be addressed directly by the council and anything that is Dominello's concern can be addressed towards Victor. That would enable the forum to cover more topics instead of Dominello having to insistently state that he's not a decision maker on behalf of council. Oh, and starting promptly on time would also assist in managing more questions.

As for Dominello as Ryde's Liberal MP, he's rather affable, friendly and articulate, like all politicians. His office likes to send out a lot of letters and publications so it's impossible to forget that he's the local MP. He's giving the impression that he cares about the area a lot due to family history but that's what all politicians do. The try to evoke the warm fuzzy feelings. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to exchange more than a greeting with him since the crowd was clamouring all around him. All in all, it was an interesting forum.


  1. Hi Lea,

    It's Michael, the ever quering staff member you spoke to back at the forum.

    I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the State Government leading into the 2015 NSW Election. Considered doing a blog post?

    1. Hi Michael, it's been almost one month since you've posted. Since then, O'Farrell has toppled over with his 'forgotten' bottle of Grange. Let's hope he wasn't saving it for a happy occasion, because those happier political days are probably long gone. If you have any press releases you'd like me to possibly write about, you're welcome to email it to cardilcious@gmail.com and if it concerns topics that I do blog about, I will consider writing a post in reflection. Cheers.