Welcome to this week’s editorial,
If you haven’t noticed there appears to be an election brewing.
For all of us out here in the boondocks away from Macquarie Street and Parliament House in Canberra. The only time we ever see a politician, other than our own local members, is on the TV. Mike Kelly, Federal member for Eden Monaro, manages to pop in to the northern section of his electorate catching up with Narooma locals. With his electorate finishing at Turlinjah it is rare to see him any further north. The same applies to Gilmore where present incumbent Ann Sudmalis makes a point of including the very southern extent of Gilmore into her bosom and over her term she has spent quality time there and delivered for the southern most towns of her electorate. Equally present for the term has been Ann’s opposite, Labor candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips and whilst not in Parliament Fiona has been there at every turn best representing her community within her own capacities. At a local level Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, has always had a strong presence in his electorate and has achieved much for this region. Often criticised over metropolitan transport issues he has been a solid representative for his region and whilst there are those who disagree with the policies of his government there would be few who know Andrew who could ever say he isn’t a hard working and a committed and dedicated representative.
On Andrew’s heels is Labor’s Candidate for the seat of Bega, Leanne Atkinson. Leanne has committed herself to getting up to running speed and being across the hundreds of minor and major issues a politician needs to be familiar with in an electorate. Not an easy task however she has made good inroads into the electorate. The above four we are now used to. What we aren’t used to is the rollout of faces we only ever see on TV. The Prime Minister comes wandering into the Shire, the Deputy Prime Minister arrives with his entourage of media and keepers, the Premier of NSW makes so many local announcements that she has become a familiar face. Added to the mix are the various Federal and State Ministers and Shadow Ministers and at every turn they come with either buckets overflowing to announce yet another package for roads, health, education, environment or employment or brickbats and scorn. There is so much mana from the heavens that it makes your head spin in remembering what was a commitment of funds NOW and what is a promise if re-elected. The South East is being wooed as we have never been before. Nearly $1.5 billion by my last count of announcements and promises. Whilst all of that might entice is remains critical that YOUR Vote. Your single vote … is aimed at what you believe in for a better future for you, yours and ours. If there are meetings then attend. If you have questions ask the candidates and expect answers that you can trust. Until next, Lei