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  • Writer's pictureHugh McDermott

It’s time the NSW Government Governed for all!

Governing for all and not just a select few is one of the great traditions of our democracy in NSW.

I have watched aghast as this Government continues to act with impunity, when it comes to grants, rorts and schemes that benefit Coalition seats, whilst ignoring seats held by Labor.

In the electorate of Prospect, our community has been incredibly disappointed to know that this Government has acted in such a way, and this is a view is shared around the state.

After the repeated rorts and pork barrelling, which goes against the highest standards of fairness, and due process- enough is enough!

The people of NSW deserve better from the Berejilikian Government.

We deserve to be treated with fairness and respect by the Government, no matter what electorate we happen to reside and how we vote.

Our community deserves to have equal access to Government grants and services.

It should not be so heavily influenced by partisan politics for Ministerial discretion.

Frankly, like many of my Labor colleagues, I am angry.

Angry at the impunity that this Government acts with, when dealing with constituents right across the entire electorate.

The Government has accepted pork barrelling as a simple part of the political process.

Rather than calling it out for what it is- a shameful act that leaves people behind, the Government continues unperturbed.

The Government’s actions have demonstrated a clear pattern.

The rorts with grants to the sports community denied grants to hard working clubs, which run off the lifeblood of volunteers, parents and players.

Local clubs went to tremendous efforts by sourcing information and applying for these grants, only to be denied based on the electorate they reside.

The Government has acted disgracefully with the Arts sector, where 44-million dollars in funding, again went to Coalition held seats only.

I note that the Arts sector itself, has openly stated that they have lost confidence in the Government’s grants program.

Now the Government have shown that there is no level to which they won’t sink.

Rorting our economic recovery from the Black Summer Bushfires!

The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund has distributed 177 million of tax payer dollars.

Out of that 177 million just 2.5 million dollars was allocated to Labor held seats.

Just 2.5 million!

It reeks of a complete lack of due process and respect.

The powers of partisan politics for ‘Ministerial discretion’ has gone too far.

The Premier has visited Labor held seats impacted by the Bushfires, such as the Blue Mountains, and the community is yet to benefit from the funding the Government has splashed around.

I note that the Member for the Blue Mountains was not even contacted by the Government to see if any projects in her electorate would be able to access this vital funding.

It would appear communities in which Labor hold seats, are being punished.

Punished simply for not voting for the Coalition.

Why does a vote for Labor mean less than a Liberal vote in the eyes of this Government?

There are those across this chamber that have begun to pick and choose their departmental spending, often ignoring the advice of the public service.

It is a truly dangerous act to witness, and damaging to our democracy.

One of the great traditions of our system of Government is that our community expects the Government of the day to govern for all people in the state fairly.

The constant rorts, pork barrelling, shredding and damaging of important documents, as well as the lack of communication, and transparency from this Government, needs to be called out and held to account.

At a time of a pandemic, when the people of NSW have come together, the likes of which we haven’t seen since wartime - the Berejilikian Government still sees our electorates as different colours of red and blue on a map.

How can we trust this Government to manage the pandemic, and our economic recovery, if we can not guarantee that they are not just governing for NSW Coalition seats, and Coalition votes?

The Premier must answer how the people of NSW can have the confidence in this Government, to govern for all people in this state, when the Government acts in such a vindictive and partisan way?

I call on the Berejilikian Government to establish an Inquiry into the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund so that the people of this state can understand how and why this money was distributed.

The Premier must front the enquiry and answer these questions.

It is time for the Government to come clean on all of these rorts, which attack the fabric of our democracy, and end this shameful practice.

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