Tony Issa MP Member for Granville to the "Middle East Times":
“We all must play a role to contribute to our community”
Tony Issa MP Member for Granville, continues to be a voice for his community
Tony Issa MP, the member for Granville has served in Local or State Government for almost 29 years. Over this time he has shown a great commitment and dedication to his community. Granville has been home to Mr. Issa since arriving in Australia from Lebanon in 1973, and he continues to strive to improve his electorate, especially through consultation with the community and lobbying the various levels of Government. This year he is committed to priorities in local transport, education, and seniors needs.
The “Middle East Times Int’l” conducted an interview with Mr Issa in his office. The conversation was as follows:
What changes to Granville’s public transport infrastructure will 2014 bring?
The previous Government took Granville for granted because its considered a safe seat for Labor. Little work was done for Granville, so when I entered office I looked at Granville’s priorities. Transport was a key issue, especially for people travelling long distances for work. Not having a station car park for commuters was a problem. I secured 14 million dollars from the Government to provide a car park and forty-eight extra parking spaces. The work will start this year, and during construction I’ll lobby again for more car parks in the area.
Preschool funding has increased. Why was this important?
We believe we should invest in future generations and education is the way. We know from a survey that kids who attend preschool are more advanced and integrate more easily into kindergarten. Preschool gets kids out of the routine of being close to their parents at home and gets them used to the school lifestyle.
Public school funding will also increase. How will the extra funds be distributed?
Every NSW school will benefit from the Gonski funding. The NSW government will increasingly hand funding management to school principals. We want the school community to have a say based on the outcome they desire. This government has already built a new school in my electorate. Last year we funded over 8 million dollars to build a school in Holroyd for people with disabilities.
You support NSW Seniors Week (15 March – 23 March). Do seniors play an important role in our communities?
I’m pleased to see the Government recognising that people contribute to this nation all their lives. Seniors play a very important role in this state. It’s a magnificent idea to nominate for the Local Achievement Awards. I find it hard to pick one senior because we all contribute in different ways. I encourage the community to bring news of seniors’ contributions to my attention so I can bring their name forward for recognition.
Why do you support the “Fair Go for Safe Drivers” campaign, which rewards safe drivers with discounted license renewal fees?
This campaign creates community awareness and safer, more qualified drivers. When drivers obey the road rules, accidents are reduced. The discounts encourage a safe environment. This year road accidents dropped significantly because the Government put in tougher rules and more police on our roads.
You’ve been consistently dedicated to community involvement. What are you looking forward to for your community in 2014?
I have a long association with communities, with nearly twenty-nine years involvement in Local and State Government. We all must play a role to contribute to our community. When I joined Local Government, I thought a voice was needed to represent the community’s views. Since then I’ve found my role benefits a lot of people. I work hard at whatever I’m doing, and consult the community with every decision. I present their needs to a different level of Government. I receive a great response from the community, which is an endorsement to continue what I’m doing.
In 2014 I’d like to see the community getting what it deserves. I’ll push hard through the Government to give my community what it deserves, and I’ll acknowledge it’s people’s contributions. The time will come when everyone’s hard work is recognised. I’m looking forward to continuing to support my community and I don’t think I’ll be asking more than that. I hope I’ll fulfill my role in the proper way with the community’s endorsement for the year to come.