The Liberal Campaign Launch for Fiona Kotvojs was held today (Tuesday 25 January, 2022) at the proposed Hanging Rock Catalina TAFE construction site with a handful of attending members urged to support and donate to the campaign funding being told "Make no mistake, Labor, The Greens, Independents and other third party campaigners will all be well-resourced, as they mount their campaigns against us." The Liberals have been thick on the ground in the past week with visitations by Ministers and a host of announcements being made. Fortunately most of the announcements are not election promises with a "If you Vote for me" proviso but are genuine, and well deserved funds that are made available via tax payer dollars into purpose built funding areas such as Disaster Relief, Disaster Infrastructure and Marine Rescue Infrastructure. Oddly, and more often than not, such announcements are made as if the money is coming directly from the Minister's pocket or at the Minister's discretion. The money is tax payer funds and, as we know, if they come via a Minister's discretion, it is called Pork Barrelling. One possible Pork Barrel promise might apply to the recent backflip by NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, who now promises to Open the new Eurobodalla Hospital as a functioning Level Four Hospital. With respect to process we saw the announcement yesterday by Commissioner for Resilience Shane Fitzsimmons stating that $50,000 Disaster Relief grants have been extended to the Mogo community after countless calls from those flood affected advised that their situation had become dire. Oddly that announcement came after extreme social media outcry and considerable, and embarrassing pressure being applied by the Federal Member for Gilmore on behalf of the township. One wonders if the announcement, made jointly with NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke with two Liberal candidates on display was not a well timed marketing ploy ahead of the Bega by-election and upcoming Federal election. The announcement gravy train with those two candidates in tow to the Batemans Bay Marine Rescue where a justifiably welcomed announcement was made of further funding for the facility with a $520,000 facilities upgrade. As to why the Liberal candidates were in tow is unclear other than to appear in photo ops and take a 'share' of the announcement.
This morning saw the announcement of $15 million for new co-located Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Fire Control Centre (FCC) at Moruya to ensure our emergency services have purpose-built infrastructure in place to respond to future major emergencies. Again the announcement was made by a Minister with the two candidates dutifully in tow for their photo opportunity. This time the media were not called and were instead advised that photos had been taken for publication along with a media release issued. There is little doubt that the Labor and Greens candidates will see their own State and Federal supporters arrive for endorsement and support. Neither of these camps are able to make announcements and they are not in control of the buckets of money. They can make promises of "if we are elected" and those will be measured and weighed by the voters. There is an election on and we deserve to have a decent match.
Above: And the take home comment from the Campaign Launch "We as community members must comment that the Labour Candidate has resigned a Medical Specialist while complaining about the paucity of Medical resources in the area to try to become a Member of the State Parliament. A strange selection of priorities! Surely a Specialist Doctor is of greater community need."