Small amounts of funding doesn't address the real problem of under-investment
It's been great to see some members of the NSW Government finding their way out to Barwon - and not just the eastern side of the electorate but way out west to Broken Hill.
They're making their way around when Parliament isn't sitting to hand out funding to some worthy community groups.
For many years now, the Government has under-invested in our regional communities. I welcome the investment they’re now making and look forward to hearing about local trades and councils undertaking the work, investing back into the community. When we support local business, they support our community groups, which is a win for everyone.
The NSW Nationals held the seat of Barwon for 69 years, they had ample opportunity then to ensure that Barwon communities were well funded and supported by Government. But they didn’t.
The NSW Liberal-National Government is in arrears billions of dollars in its legislated payments of Restart NSW funds to communities in rural and regional NSW.
This failure of the Government over successive years, years when the former Member for Barwon was in Government and a Cabinet Minister is laid out on the table in the Audit Office of NSW Report on State Finances. This report detailed the fact that the Government has only directed 19.6% of Restart NSW funds to rural and regional infrastructure projects since the fund's inception in 2011, meaning the city has received a whopping 80.4% of the fund.
The National Liberal Government owe rural and regional NSW $1,186,019,328.00 in unpaid Restart NSW funds. This money would provide much needed infrastructure and in the process would provide job opportunities and boost local economies.
I welcome members of the Government and Opposition visiting Barwon. The more people in NSW Parliament that know what’s happening in the west, and can advocate for people in regional and rural communities the better.