Candidate for Penrith
I am the Greens candidate for Penrith in the NSW Parliament. I have been heavily involved with the Penrith and Lower Mountains community for 20 years and have a desire to provide a clean, Green advocate for Penrith’s interests both locally and at Macquarie Street. I am focused on helping improve public amenities like transport and the importance of the performing arts in the region.
Mark grew up in the Lower Mountains and was a student at Blaxland High. His parents were involved heavily with the Penrith City Eisteddfod and Penrith Regional Art Gallery while Mark played with local orchestras, including the Penrith Symphony Orchestra. Mark also played hockey with the Blaxland Rovers. He went onto become a High School English teacher who has taught in public, independent and systemic Catholic schools. He is currently a Guidance Co-ordinator, looking after the social, emotional and academic concerns of students on a daily basis. Mark is also an enthusiastic foundation supporter of the GWS Giants.
It was during his youth in the area that Mark learnt about the issues and concerns that are at the heart of the Penrith and Lower Mountains community. It is these that have led him to stand for the seat of Penrith in the NSW Parliament. These issues include:
Easy living in a district with natural beauty. Mark grew up knowing that one of the greatest advantages of a life in the Penrith area has been the parklands, lakes and the Nepean River and these advantages need protecting from repetition of the kinds of hastily made development decisions that have been made in the recent past.
Good, reliable transport. A reality of life for people in the region is having reliable transport around the region and into the city. As a regular user of public transport, Mark understands well that there has been increasing neglect of transport, especially public transport from both of the old parties. There’s a need for increased and better bus services in the region as well as more frequent, better train services, rather than have trains that skip important stations for false efficiencies.
Fair, Equitable Education. Having worked in a variety of systems, Mark knows that there are considerable issues of equity of access to facilities and opportunities that need to be addressed. It is a significant problem, for example, that a great local school like Kingswood High School is in desperate need of a school hall in order to give the students of that school a fair go at a decent education. Mark also knows of the wonderful opportunities the TAFE system has provided many of his former students and is dismayed at the degradation of the system caused by defunding it.
Vibrant Social and Cultural Life. Mark knows, as a member of the cultural community groups of the region, that Penrith has many things to offer in terms of social and cultural activities. The improvement in the restaurant, café, arts and music scenes over the years has meant that more people are happier staying in the community and enjoying those activities. Mark believes that if he was to be the local MP, he would work hard to help foster that vibrancy and advocate for increased arts and culture funding.