Former state MP ready to serve in federal politics

ALISON Megarrity could not be accused of living in the past as she attempts to win Hughes for the Labor Party at Saturday’s election. In her 12 years as state MP for Menai, Woronora Bridge, Bangor Bypass and the Alfords Point Bridge duplication were built. “I do have runs on the board, but it’s not about the things I have done in the past, but about the future,” she said.

“There is a stark difference between what the two parties are offering, particularly in education, broadband and climate change.” Ms Megarrity, 52, lives with her husband and their sons, 19 and 15, at Chipping Norton. She served on Liverpool Council and worked in public sector organisations dealing with education, housing and consumer affairs.

She became Menai MP in 1999 and bowed out at the 2010 election, citing her husband’s ill health. Ms Megarrity said her husband’s condition had since improved and she decided to stand for a federal seat because of the “very big issues on the table, which will effect Australia for decades to come”. Education is a main concern.

“The Coalition is perpetrating a cruel hoax by claiming they have made the same commitment to funding the Gonski reforms. Their refusal to guarantee the last 2 years of funding under Labor’s Better Schools Plan will hit schools and families very hard,” Ms Megarrity said. She said examples of extra funding at risk included $5.5 million for Menai High School, $4.7 million for Engadine High School, $3.7 million for Engadine West Public School and $2.1 million for Bangor Public School.

“This program is about funding based on needs and I don’t think that change will come again,” she said. “The fact the NSW government has signed up to it shows the value they place on it.” She said Labor’s policies on broadband and climate change were other “stark differences” to the Coalition’s.

She said businesses, schools and households were seeking the faster, more reliable broadband that the NBN would provide. Ms Megarrity believed her experience representing communities was crucial. “If someone came to me with a problem, whether it was a federal, state or local matter, I would try to help them.

I feel I have more to give and I want to get in there and make the proverbial difference,” she said.

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