Federal Member for Macquarie – Susan Templeman MP

Susan Templeman calls for emergency heritage listing of thompson square

The Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, in her first Private Members Bill, today called on the Minister for the Environment and Energy to “…exercise his powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and grant emergency heritage listing to the Thompson Square Precinct to protect this unique place of Australia’s cultural heritage.”

In a passionate and articulate speech Ms Templeman made a robust case for Minister Frydenberg to place an emergency heritage listing on the historic precinct, pointing out that Thompson Square is Australia’s only surviving Georgian public town square: proclaimed by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, it was the first public place named to honour the contributions of an exconvict, thus sending a strong message about Australia as a place of the ‘fair go’.

Ms Templeman also condemned the NSW Government for ignoring the advice of its own Office of Environment and Heritage, the Heritage Council of NSW and the National Trust regarding Thompson Square.

On her Facebook page Ms Templeman says, “The Federal Government have the opportunity to do the right thing by the Hawkesbury community and steer the State Government towards a new bridge plan, a proper third crossing of the river, that actually addresses our traffic problems and SAVES THOMPSON SQUARE!”

CAWB President, Harry Terry couldn’t agree more. “We are delighted that Susan continues to bring this matter to the Federal arena, where it rightly belongs,” he says, noting, “Susan has been with us from the very beginning and it was through her efforts that Thompson Square was visited by an Australian Prime Minister.

“This Private Members Bill is a highly significant next step and we are hopeful Josh Frydenberg will recognise this is a matter that transcends party politics and deal with it on its merits.”

Ms Templeman praised the efforts of Community Action for Windsor Bridge and congratulated them for their patience and resilience, pointing out the group had now been continuously occupying a small corner of the Square for more than four years – no matter what the weather conditions!

CAWB members are committed to a strategic and logical traffic solution for the Hawkesbury, thereby protecting an historic location of national importance. They see the retention and renovation of the historic Windsor Bridge for local traffic and the construction of a town bypass for heavy and regional traffic as the obvious solution and say that, given almost every other country town in New South Wales has been blessed with the benefits of a bypass, this is a modest ambition.

What could $122 million be better spent on? Anything.

$122 million could go a long way in our community. It could go towards building a proper third crossing of the mighty Hawkesbury River, it could put a roof over the heads of the homeless, be invested in renewable energy to lower our electricity bills, or Maraylya Public School could finally get the hall they desperately need.

The Turnbull Government have instead decided to invest $122 million into a voluntary household postal survey- which has already lead to toxic and divisive debate, despite no one even being able to vote yet.

And no matter which way the survey goes, no Parliament has to take any notice of it.

I can assure my community that I will be campaigning for a YES vote, and I will be voting YES for marriage equality. If you would like to get involved in the YES campaign that is being run here in the Hawkesbury, get into contact with my office. It is time for marriage equality.

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A Noble Arborist