Last week I voted at the pre-polling booth on the corner of Fitzhardinge and Edward streets, the old Breusts Real Estate Building.
If you are not going to be near a Wagga-electorate polling booth next Saturday, I would suggest that you do likewise.
Being a byelection, you can’t vote absentee. And vote by numbering all the squares.
A Reachtel poll conducted last week for the Shooters party held little joy for them, but showed that there is no certain winner.
Your number two or three preference could decide the outcome.
Outside the booth I briefly met a few of the candidates, in a very friendly, happy atmosphere - the way voting should be conducted in a free democracy.KEITH WHEELER
Outside the booth I briefly met a few of the candidates, in a very friendly, happy atmosphere - the way voting should be conducted in a free democracy.
This election has been interesting in that many candidates are campaigning on the presumption that Wagga voters haven’t noticed the extent of major works in this electorate since the Liberal/National Government was first elected under Barry O’Farrell. The hospital and ambulance station head the list. However, I have been surprised that the Liberals appear to be running such a low-key campaign.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian may have visited, but two lots of election material from the Liberals have arrived in my letter box and neither named Julia Ham as the Liberal candidate. I believe that if we don’t elect a Liberal member, we can say goodbye to the priority treatment that Wagga has seen during the past several years.
The hospital must be completed, and we know from past experience that Labor will let the project slide.
I know from my time with the Education Department that Labor will soon forget school upgrades and the new Estella school.
While “making the community safer” is listed as one of the Liberal promises, I would like to see police numbers expanded massively to curtail house theft and car burning once and for all. Our insurance costs are based on the level of burglaries and car theft.
If you were thinking Labor could fix the problem, just look across the border into Victoria, to see that Labor ruthlessly issues fines for trivial traffic breaches, yet ignores crime gangs.
In fact, Victoria Police seems to want to pretend crime isn’t happening.
As Detective Inspector Pannell waffled, “I wouldn’t call them a gang, no, they’re a collective group of individuals who know each other!”
I thought that Labor’s Dan Hayes may regret the Prime News interview where he lauded the idea of Wagga becoming a “smart city” by including electronic buttons in parking spaces. Carried away with enthusiasm for this costly idea, he also agreed that parking officers would be alerted when someone overstayed their time limit.
I laughed, because who would want to vote for someone whose best idea was increasing your chance of being fined when you do the shopping?
Typical Labor government idea: Don’t build more parking spaces. Create a better fine system to snare shoppers. Labor’s pamphlet peddles the usual lies about cuts to hospitals and health services. In fact Liberal governments, both state and federal, have dramatically increased funding.
Only last Wednesday The Daily Telegraph revealed that “…federal money handed to the states to run hospitals will more than double from $13.3 billion in Labor’s final year of government in 2012-13 to a record pledge of $28.7 billion in 2024-25.”
We are seeing Liberal spending on hospitals and health in a big way in Wagga.
The new hospital is nearing completion, and will be completed under a Liberal government.
No matter how Labor spins the story, Wagga waited and waited, and would still be waiting if Labor was in government.
We waited and waited during the bad old Labor days for the new ambulance station. Additional ambulance officers are being appointed state-wide, with Wagga benefiting first. Buying votes? Who is complaining about us being at the head of the queue for once? Expanding Wagga’s ambulance staff from 28 to 40 is the type of result that should have us all cheering.
Regular readers of my columns would probably expect me to say that we should continue to support the Berejiklian government. I doubt that an Independent could produce better results.