New Pittwater MP Rory Amon has wasted no time setting an agenda for his first term in the NSW Parliament.

At the declaration of polls exactly two weeks ago (Thursday, 13 April), Rory Amon was formally declared the successful candidate in the Pittwater electorate. He was congratulated at the time by his main opponent Jacqui Scruby (image below, right), who had been running as the Teal candidate.

Rory Amon and Jacqui Scruby shake hands

Following the win, Mr Amon wasted no time. He took possession of the electorate office of his predecessor Rob Stokes last week (Monday, 17 April) and spent his first morning meeting with the staff and taking care of administrative tasks associated with starting a new job.

“It’s all those little things, accessing the computer system, and using the phones. I didn’t have independent access to the office until midway through the first week. The staff had to let me in and out of the office for the first few days, which was funny.

“One of the first things that we did in the office was fix the flagpole, which was out of service. We can now fly the state flag with pride out front of the office once more.

“We also had a [Liberal] party room meeting where we elected leader of the opposition [Mark Speakman] last Friday [21 April], which was an interesting experience. As we walked in the party room, I was behind a member who had been in opposition previously and he had some things to say. I am very motivated to do as much as we can to earn back the trust of the people of NSW to get back into government in 2027,” said Mr Amon.

Pittwater MP Rory Amon

After one week in the role, Mr Amon already has a list of concerns he is carrying into this term of parliament.

“Over the next four years, whilst we’re in opposition, there’s so much we need to do locally. We need to hold Labor to account to ensure that the projects that had been committed to by the previous government are seen out and implemented.

“Those include Mona Vale Road West, which has been allocated $340m in the budget. That’s legislated and allocated funds to that project, we need to make sure that project goes ahead.

“I have concerns about every single project in the Pittwater area under a Labor Government. Be it the Narrabeen North Primary School and Narrabeen Sports High upgrade, which has $60m allocated to that project. I have concerns that a Labor Government might rip that money away.

“With Mona Vale Road West widening and the Wakehurst Parkway flood mitigation works as well, I have concerns that the Labor government might take those monies away, including the $75m which the government had budgeted, allocated and actually scoped out works to improve Wakehurst Parkway.

“I have concerns that they may remove services like Keoride and reduce bus services on the Northern Beaches. Labor has also flagged increased density on the North Shore and the Northern Beaches.

“We have a lot to do in terms of not only protecting the legacy projects, which have been committed to, but ensuring that Labor don’t withdraw base services and planned infrastructure.

“I’m mindful that we have an upper house which Labor do not control, and Labor do not control the lower house either. So I think there is scope to get a lot done in the local area, which I’ll be fighting for,” said Mr Amon.

Rory Amon

In terms of specific agenda items he would like to see progressed in his first term, Mr Amon reflected on long running infrastructure projects, in particular the issue of flooding of the Wakehurst Parkway.

“Wakehurst Parkway flood mitigation works have been in the pipeline and in the consciousness of our community for decades. It is at a point now where it has effectively stalled over the last few years, due to Council sitting on money, and inaction.

“Irrespective of where projects are up to, a local member can do a lot to kick them along. I will be very happy by the end of this term if the flood mitigation works have been completed on the Wakehurst Parkway, and I think that’s very achievable.

“Newport and North Narrabeen surf club upgrades are a real need. North Narrabeen need about $750k to get that moving imminently, that’s also something I’ve gone in to bat for.

“The long-term one is the Beaches Link Tunnel. Labor have said they will cancel that. That’s to the detriment of our entire community, but not only our community, but also the greater city.

“Studies show when you reduce congestion in one part of the city, it helps in other parts of the city. WestConnex reduced traffic congestion on Parramatta Road by 40 percent. That’s positive even for those who don’t use a toll road because it actually frees up the non-toll road alternatives. It’s a matter of keeping the pressure on to make sure that we continue those projects and getting them underway,” said Mr Amon.

Rory Amon and Alex McTaggart

Echoing comments made by Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan, who was the successful candidate for Wakehurst, Mr Amon said his time on Northern Beaches Council as a Councillor since 2017 prepared him for his move to State Parliament.

“The thing I’m most grateful for, from the experience on Council, is you develop a great and deep understanding of not only all the issues in the community, but all the community groups, and the identities within those groups.

“My job is to serve our community. In order to serve the community, you need to know the constituent parts of that community. You need to know the groups, you need to know the people within those groups, who can talk to you about issues. You need to know where there are problems which you can help facilitate a resolution.

“I spent a part of last week calling through the various community groups, clubs and other groups, talking to the relevant person and saying, ‘I’m just letting you know I’m here. If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know’, and that’s been getting a really good response.

“Alex McTaggart (image above, right) put it really well during the campaign when he said, ‘You need someone who knows the community and knows the issues’. That’s what communities expect from their representatives.

“They don’t want someone grandstanding in Canberra or Macquarie Street. They want someone who knows them and knows their issues. That’s what they want from their representative, and Council is the perfect place to understand all those things,” said Mr Amon.

Rory Amon volunteering for Davidson RFS

Despite valuing his time on Council, Mr Amon reiterated his intention to stand down as a Pittwater Ward Councillor.

“I will be resigning from Council when we elect a new Mayor. Under the current rules, the Mayor, who was also elected to State Parliament, has said that he’s going to resign as Mayor.

“The timing is a matter for him, but he has now been declared as Member for Wakehurst. Once he resigns, Council will need to elect a new Mayor.

“I have said that I will stay on Council to participate in that vote, because if I resigned now, the people of Pittwater would lose a vote in that decision making process, which is not something I’m prepared to do.

“The people of Pittwater should have their say through me having a vote for our next Mayor. Once we have that vote, I will resign from Council and the Electoral Commission will go through its processes to appoint a replacement,” said Mr Amon.

Rory Amon

It has been a busy first week for Mr Amon, inviting new Ministers to Pittwater to learn about important infrastructure projects.

“I don’t care that the Minister is a Labor Minister, I’m here to work with whoever I need to work with on behalf of the people of Pittwater to get things done.

“I’ve written to the Roads Minister [John Graham] about the Wakehurst Parkway. Labor committed an extra $13m to that project. I will also be placing a question on notice within the Parliament, so we get an update on where that funding and project is up to. I have also invited him to come and check out Mona Vale Road East widening and have a chat about Mona Vale Road West widening.

“Also, I have written to the new Health Minister [Ryan Park] about the renal dialysis unit at Mona Vale Hospital, which was an election commitment of the past Liberal government. That was $6.8m to bring renal dialysis there, but that wasn’t a political commitment, it arose out of the expert advice and the need as assessed by the local health district and medical experts.

“I’ve secured a meeting with the CEO of Keolis Downer, who are the operator of bus services on the Northern Beaches. That’s quite a big step, because state members have typically only met with local management, not the Chief Executive Officers. I will be discussing the bus driver shortage and what needs to be done to improve that situation, and bus services.

“I got the B-Line to Parliament last week, and I’ll be going into the city most often on the bus to get to Parliament for work and sitting days. I am acutely aware of the great strengths of that system and the opportunities it has, but also what it means when buses are cancelled. That’s a big problem, and I am keen to work constructively for a solution.

“I am also in the process of arranging a meeting with the P&C [Parents and Citizens] for the Narrabeen North Primary School and Narrabeen Sports High, to talk through where the project is up to from their perspective and how we can move it forward, so they get what they need,” said Mr Amon.

Pittwater MP Rory Amon with electorate office staff

Mr Amon conceded his predecessor Rob Stokes (image below, left) had left a strong legacy as the Member for Pittwater for 16 years, and expressed gratitude to his former staff (image above) staying on to help him with his transition into office.

“This is a new job, and there is so much in terms of the nuts and bolts of an electorate office. It is great to have such an experienced group of people who are helping me learn how it’s all done,” praised Mr Amon.

Rob Stokes and Rory Amon

33-year-old Rory Amon is on the Roll of Solicitors of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia, having practised as a solicitor for a decade. A Narrabeen resident, he has been an active volunteer firefighter since 2013 and served as President and Vice-President of the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade for over eight years. First elected to Northern Beaches Council in 2017, he served two terms as an elected Liberal Councillor.

The Pittwater electorate office is located at 1725 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale, and can be contacted via email or phone on 02 9999 3599.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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