For three years residents of the Northern Rivers have watched on in awe as Nationals Candidates in these North Coast electorates relentlessly engaged in highly publicized “pork-barrelling” campaigns, entirely financed by the massive sell-off of over $60 billion of our States public infrastructure assets, a fact they “conveniently” forget to mention.
In Coffs Harbour, their leader John Barilaro is now nicknamed ‘Porkbaril-aro”, with Sydney blow in and Nationals candidate for Ballina Ben Franklin fully primed to “roll out the barrel” further north. It’s getting so bad that they have now been referred to the Electoral Commission for attempting to bribe voters with a highly questionable seniors transport card, entirely dependent on the Nationals being re-elected. Shouldn’t that be an initiative of the entire State Govt.?
The burning question is; in electorates that the Nationals have held for decades, why do they have to resort to so much pork-barrelling to get re-elected; and why was public infrastructure so neglected; and why does the per-capita expenditure in regional NSW lag so far behind Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong?
A new political movement has emerged in regional Australia, called “Anyone but Nats”. It supports progressive independents to run against sitting Nationals, and already has had success both in NSW and Victoria. Nationals should no longer be elected on the back of random pork-barrelling promises coupled with blatant disregard for progressive policies. The country is calling for change and that is coming in 2019.
Keith Duncan, Pimlico