Tonight is the first chance the wider Hawkesbury community gets to ask about the options the New South Wales government has identified for a duplication of Richmond Bridge. I seem to talk a lot about bridges, and that's because they are the primary bottleneck in the Hawkesbury and make life really difficult for so many workers and families. Looking for ways to improve Richmond Bridge is one of the first things I did as a Labor candidate in the 2010 election, with $20 million of funding. I was proud to announce a $200 million commitment if Labor won office at this last election. There is a terrible track record of community consultation in the Hawkesbury, so this time I welcomed the approach of working with a stakeholder group.
Unfortunately, there's only been a little more than a week's notice of the two two-hour community information sessions, one tonight from five till seven at North Richmond Community Centre and one on Saturday from 10 to 12 at Richmond Community Services. The early information being put out was confusing. The news report said 13 December was the closing date for submissions, the website shows 20 December and a community group has been advised you can still put in a submission in January. I call on the New South Wales government and the RMS to extend the 20 December deadline into January because five days before Christmas Day is not good enough. It reminds us of how we were treated over Windsor Bridge, which was with contempt.