Dubbo residents urged to think before they vote in NSW Election

As Dubbo residents head to the polls this weekend, I thought I would use this opportunity to reflect on the state of play that our city and region is in politically.

This region’s treatment by the Coalition Government has certainly been a mixed bag. Clearly black and white with not even a sliver of grey.

We know that the State Government has done its share of things that has made residents blood boil.

But just as there are a swag of examples of bad government, there is also a pile of positive things that has happened over the last few years that simply cannot be denied. The hospital redevelopment is certainly something that been drastically needed that has been ignored for years.

Over the last few months many people have asked me who I am voting for. Yes, people know I’m Liberal Party member - but they also know that I have had my fair share of brawls with the current Government.

The advice I offer to Dubbo residents is this. If you traditionally vote for the Coalition - vote for Dugald Saunders and if you are usually a Labor supporter back Stephen Lawrence.

There are two reasons why I am advocating backing either Dugald or Stephen. Obviously, MPs whose party is in Government get more for their electorate. That’s a fact. There is record funding coming into the electorate right now. Anyone who says otherwise is simply not telling the truth.

And secondly it’s a question of candidate’s motivation for running. Let me be clear when I say it is not a good idea to support a candidate who is running simply to settle old scores nor is it wise to simply back the candidate who spends a near fortune in election advertising.

It is essential that the new member for Dubbo hit the ground running, has a team of colleagues behind him that will work for the common good and seek to progress the electorate. It serves no purpose to simply have a big advertising spender seeking to turn back the clock on the amalgamation in office.

Labor has offered a swag of ideas that will work well for Dubbo. My personal favourite of the Labor policies is their commitment to fund a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. This centre is one of the most desperately needed pieces of social infrastructure that until now has been ignored. Labor also say they will relook at the River Street Bridge while guaranteeing the bridge funding will remain in Dubbo regardless of the eventual decision.

The Nationals have also come to the campaign with a barrage of great announcements that will benefit the community. My favourite Nationals policy is the $30 million multi-storey carpark for the hospital. I am also excited about the police training centre, the replacement of all the timber bridges in the region and their significant financial commitment to our tourism assets.

Both major party candidates Dugald Saunders and Stephen Lawrence have shown an incredibly positive attitude to the new Dubbo Regional Council. They understand the current administrations challenges financially and practically. Their enthusiasm to want work with Dubbo Regional Council is certainly welcome.

Likewise, Lara Quealy of the Shooters Party has also shown a passion to work directly with the new Dubbo Regional Council to get things done.

Whatever your political leanings are, I urge residents to vote strategically that will get the absolute maximum benefit for the electorate.

Last Edited: 20 Mar 2019

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