Independent candidate Larissa Penn believes her ongoing advocacy for the Willoughby community in the Stop the Tunnels campaign is proof she will work hard for the electorate.

The risk assessment expert is the convener of the grass-roots community campaign to put a stop to the NSW Government’s plans for the Northern Beaches Link and Western Harbour Tunnel, while also representing the community on the Willoughby Progress Association and council bushland authority.

Larissa Penn

“I am a mother of three, we have lived in the area for most of my life and are very connected in the local community,” Ms Penn said. “What I am most known for is the advocacy and risk assessment against the Western Harbour Tunnel and Northern Beaches Link.

“We are fighting the NSW Government and challenging poor work already underway, contamination issues, pollution stacks and extra traffic.

“In some ways the tunnel projects show that our voices are not being heard — not just with the tunnels but with overdevelopment, schools and a lack of transparency in planning.”

The local volunteer said the NSW Government “treat Willoughby as a through-suburb, rather than a destination”.

“We have been and are being taken for granted,” she said.

“We have seen unsustainable development across the entire electorate, which is something that needs to stop.

“Our parks are run bare, our schools are over capacity and our hospitals are at breaking point, we cannot face more development without the infrastructure to match.”

Ms Penn said her main commitment would be to “step in and hit the ground running as the voice of Willoughby”.

“My ongoing commitment to our community means I can show parliament the needs of Willoughby now and in the future,” she said. “I don’t give up, I am very tenacious and have been an advocate for our community for several years — if elected, that isn’t going to change.”

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