Parliamentary war over City Hub

Kiama MP Gareth Ward has expressed his opposition to Shellharbour City Council's proposed City Hub after the controversial $57 million project reached State Parliament.

An artist's impression of the proposed Shellharbour City Hub.

An artist's impression of the proposed Shellharbour City Hub.

"I don't support [the hub] ... I think there are many other things Shellharbour council could be doing," Mr Ward said.

"I constantly receive complaints about maintenance issues - these are the priorities, not costly projects that will send the council into debt."

Mr Ward's comments came as he "condemned" Shellharbour MP Anna Watson for using Parliament to "intimidate and bully the community in relation to the Shellharbour City Hub project".

Ms Watson has put a question on notice to the Minister for Local Government asking for "the names of the individuals and community organisations who have written to him or signed or petition in relation to the Shellharbour City Hub project".

"This sort of McCarthyism is completely unnecessary," Mr Ward said.

"Shellharbour residents who have a view regarding this project have every right to express their opinions to the minister and the government ... and are entitled to have their say without being harassed or investigated by the Member for Shellharbour."

Ms Watson said Mr Ward should "take a Bex and have a lie down".

"I met with representatives of a group opposed to the Shellharbour City Hub in my office about a month ago," she said.

"They indicated that many people were opposed to the proposal and had made contact with the minister's office."

She had asked the minister a simple question to ascertain whether this claim was accurate.

"Gareth Ward should be reminded, given he's so fond of starting petitions, that people who sign them do so with their names.

"That petition becomes a public document because they get publicly tabled, so any assertion that anyone is being intimidated by me asking the minister a simple question is childish and stupid.

"I also wanted confirmation from the minister that the hub proposal doesn't involve any state government funding."

Ms Watson said the hub proposal was a matter for elected officials on Shellharbour council.


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