I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, to West Pennant Hills on Monday 24 October 2016 to inspect progress on the NorthConnex project. The construction team have completed the project’s deepest tunnel shaft (at 90m) and the rest of construction is well underway, on time and on budget, with seven roadheaders at work in three locations.
Pennant Hills Road is one of the worst roads in Australia. The NorthConnex project, linking the M1 and M2 with a 9km tunnel under Pennant Hills Road, is a critical project for our local area. NorthConnex will take 5,000 trucks off Pennant Hills Road every day and will offer motorists up to 15 minutes in saved travel time by allowing them to bypass up to 21 traffic lights. This will improve air and noise pollution and also lead to much improved road safety in our area. There are currently around 360 traffic incidents each year on Pennant Hills Road – that’s one almost every day. Taking the majority of heavy vehicles off Pennant Hills Road will lead to much improved road safety in our area and also to better access to local roads for local residents and local business.
I am a strong supporter of NorthConnex because I can see the benefits it is going to bring to the Berowra electorate. If you have any questions about the project, please contact my office.
MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION
I have been humbled and more than a little overwhelmed by the response to my maiden speech to the Parliament, which I gave on 14 September. I had thought that the speech would strike a chord but the number of people who have seen the speech and taken the time to be in touch with me has been quite extraordinary. I think it underscores the fact that mental health, depression and suicide are issues that touch every Australian family.
I have met with a number of great local organisations that work in the area of mental health and suicide prevention. Among others, Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury, the local Men’s Sheds, the RSL and several other fantastic local community groups play a crucial role in suicide prevention and mental health. Involvement in a community can be a very powerful mitigating factor for loneliness and depression and I will be working with local groups as well as with Suicide Prevention Australia to improve our efforts to reduce suicide rates.
I have taken the plunge and decided to join in Movember this year. During Movember (November), I will be growing a moustache to raise funds for men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
If you would like to contribute to my fundraising, or simply watch progress of the ‘Mo’, please visit my Facebook page – www.facebook. com/julianleesermp
HERE TO HELP
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is to help local residents when they have difficulties with federal government services. If there is anything that I or my staff can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact my office.