Former Prime Minister Paul Keating and television actor Rhys Muldoon joined local Labor supporters in officially launching Ed Husic’s re-election campaign yesterday.
Speaking to nearly 200 supporters at Bunya Reserve in Doonside, Mr Keating charted the range of reforms Labor had been responsible for across governments.
"Labor governments not only think with their hearts, they think with their heads and build the productive basis for the place," Mr Keating said.
"That's why, as a result of what Labor started and continued in office, you've seen a 36% increase in real wages since 1991. Labor lifts people up. And not 5% of the people; 95%."
In a broad ranging speech, Mr Keating touched on the key "bread and butter" issues for Western Sydney: education and health.
"When we took office in 1993, only three out of ten students finished their HSC - by the time we left office it was nine in ten. Labor built on that by trebling university places and lifting the spots in TAFE.”
"And this Labor Government wants to keep this momentum going with what it plans for schools."
Reflecting on our recent win to secure a MRI for Mount Druitt Hospital, Mr Keating also spoke about the importance of having publicly accessible healthcare underpinned by Medicare.
"The health of any one of us should be important to all of us."
He took a swipe at the Coalition's lack of imagination and ideas, saying they kept using a "rear view" mirror when it came to governing.
"Those guys have first, second and third gears but they're all reverse gears. They want to go faster, backwards."
Mr Husic said it was an honour to have Mr Keating in Chifley, to reinforce the value of Labor reforms for Western Sydney residents.
"Every election is important - but this one in particular, because we have done so much in education, health and infrastructure: the things that are daily priorities for us all in Western Sydney.
"In Chifley, Labor's delivered an MRI license for Mount Druitt Hospital and invested in local health services, we've rebuilt school infrastructure, seen a massive jump in young people going on to uni and we supported the building of trade training centres.
"I held the launch deliberately at the Bunya estate in Doonside because it was among the first new estate areas in the country to get connected to the NBN.
"With Blacktown, Arndell Park, Doonside and Woodcroft joining them now and over the next 12 months, we can get real economic advantage by having the NBN switched on here.
"But this is all at risk should a Tony Abbott led Opposition get into office.
"We've seen Liberal controlled State and Local Government's cut services and put pressure on costs of living.
"Tony Abbott's Opposition will be even worse, cutting the SchoolKids bonus, cutting super, cutting school funding, cutting Medicare Locals and stopping the NBN.
"We can't afford to go backwards under a Tony Abbott led Opposition."