Larissa Penn, Local independent candidate for Willoughby at the Northbridge Suspension Bridge

Meet Larissa
New leadership delivering results for our local community

It's time for a Fresh Start and a Fresh Future for Willoughby!


I was born in the area and had the honour of serving as the school captain of Cammeray Public School in 1985! I lived in Cammeray and Cremorne whilst attending North Sydney Girls High School. Coming from a single parent family I also spent many happy days at my  Grandparents home in Chatswood.


As an adult I have lived in Crows Nest and have had a house in Naremburn for the past 18 years. I can remember growing up with the landfill site in Flat Rock and I'm extremely thankful to those that have worked long and hard to cap it and regenerate the bushland. I love living in Willoughby and am passionate about it's people, it's parks , it's community and it's history. I enjoy learning about the Cammeraygal peoples, Henry Lawson and the Natural History of the area and getting to know our many small business owners whilst drinking a few too many coffees! 


As a mum of three kids we use the area extensively from swimming lessons at Willoughby Leisure Centre, to walks with the dog to Artarmon Park, to shopping at Chatswood to Saturday Mornings in Tunks! However as a professional working mum and a regular volunteer and carer for a disabled Mum I have experienced the impact of our traffic, lack of parking and  development.


One of my children has severe asthma and allergies and it was due to this that I became interested in the proposed development in the area. With a professional background as a Biotechnologist, Quality Assurance Auditor and Risk Assessor  (Health and Food) I quickly realised that there would be risks to children's health and safety particularly with so many State based infrastructure projects coinciding in a densely packed residential zone. 


Through my involvement with Cammeray Public School P&C and membership of several other local bodies I began to research these projects, alongside many other experts, and was alarmed at the scope of risk that we found and the lack of justification for the projects. I have been working hard representing the community regarding these projects for the past year through community groups such as Stop the Tunnels and like many am frustrated and disappointed by a government who does not listen and places priority on road projects above environment, amenity and health.


I do believe that we need to address congestion to ensure a strong economy and quality of life but a car tunnel and densifying already congested residential areas are not the way to do that. Having lived in Europe for three years I know that maintaining the "village" centre and providing public and active transport systems works. Not only does it work it provides significant health, amenity and environmental benefits. 


We need to support our population growth with transport systems that are built to serve the public and not developers and toll companies. We need planning that spreads our population whilst allowing access to employment centres without destroying the communities they cross. We need sustainable transport systems which support our push to a low emissions economy and not roads which lock us in to draconian forms of transport for the next half century due to toll contracts. We need affordable transport systems which connect the young and elderly alike rather than isolating them due to cost or inaccessibility. 


As an independent I will question the justification for planning projects, call for changes to planning laws and demand worlds best practice. I will hold the government to account regarding their climate change promises.  I will ensure transparency and collaboration with the community and I will continue to tirelessly represent the interests of the people of Willoughby free from party politics, distraction and big business donations.

Larissa Penn, Local independent candidate for Willoughby