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What do Crookwell and Redfern have in common?

In the April Edition of the South Sydney Herald Trevor Davies interview with the National Partys Duncan Gay who is a Redfern resident when parliament is sitting.

Duncan Gay is the Leader of the National party in the NSW Upper House and has been there since 1988.

He lives in Redfern while parliament is sitting and, at other times, he lives with his family in Crookwell. Crookwell is north of Goulburn in the high country on the western slope of the Great Dividing Range. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is just 4339.

Like most politicians, Duncan has a very heavy workload, especially as a member of the NSW Upper house where every question time he slogs it out with some of the Labor Party’s toughest pollies. He relaxes by watching Rugby Union, which he has played in the past, plus a bit of Ruby League.

He also enjoys walking the streets of Redfern and his home town of Crookwell.

He reads “trashy novels”, as well as the classics, and is a regular attendee at performances of the Bell Shakespeare company. The South Sydney Herald canvassed with Duncan his position on some of those inner-city type issues such as:

Lowering age of consent for gay men - He is opposed to this because he believes that boys take longer to mature and that aged 16 is too young for boys to make lifestyle choices.

Same sex parent’s adoption - He holds to the view that what is best for the child is of course is the most important issue. Duncan says “These are issues that are not foremost in my mind. I spend much more of my time fighting for the people of rural and regional NSW.”

Why live in Redfern when parliament is in session?

He experiences Redfern as a nice place, “a bit like a small country town”. During his early morning power walks, he meets a whole range of people and says that there is a real sense of community. He also likes some of our local politicians - the Labor Party’s Tony Pooley is someone whom he has met over the years and he holds him in high regard, as well as the Liberal Party’s Shayne Mallard.

The Future of Redfern Waterloo with the Redfern Waterloo Authority - Duncan said that the Coalition supports what the RWA is trying to do in Redfern-Waterloo but admits they have some concerns about the style of the Minister. He also added that the Redfern-Waterloo Act probably gives the minister a bit too much power.

How to get rid of those roller shutters on Redfern shop fronts - While a new Police Station was long overdue, all that has happened is they have moved from one station hidden in Turner Street to a compound way off the street level. He thinks that they should set up two shop-front Police Stations - one in Regent Street and one in Redfern Street. With a higher police profile on the streets, this may give shop owners more confidence to take off their shutters, which he agrees do make the streets of Redfern look like Baghdad by night. As well, he suggests that, perhaps for 12 months, either the Council or the RWA or both could share the cost of shop insurance premiums. While National Party politicians aren’t very popular in the inner city, most people would say Duncan is a good bloke - the sort of bloke you could have a beer with – and, besides that, he likes Redfern.

If you want to have a beer with Duncan come and meet him at the South Sydney Herald fundraiser at 4pm Sunday 28 May