The Beagle Editor,
So, the ‘turning the sod’ ceremony for the new bridge at Nowra across the Shoalhaven River was held last Friday, with the NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads (Paul Toole, National Party), the State Member for the South Coast (Shelley Hancock, Liberal) and State Member for Kiama (Gareth Ward, Liberal) officiating.
The local Federal Member (Fiona Phillips, Labor) was not invited to the ceremony.
She is reported as having observed ‘it’s a bit insulting – I am the Federal Member’.
It’s not just insulting. It’s unacceptable rudeness!
If two State Members were invited to the event, then the Federal Member should also have received an invitation to attend in an official capacity.
The same thing occurred a few years ago when the State (Liberal/National) Government didn’t invite (Labor) Federal Member, Mike Kelly, to the opening of the new Bega Hospital. There was considerable community criticism of that ’oversight’, especially because Mike played a significant role in securing funding for the hospital.
It seems the State Liberal Government are slow learners. They are simply playing petty politics – and most in the community would feel the government (of any persuasion) should be above that on occasions such as these.
Let’s hope that in future ALL appropriate people (irrespective of their political allegiances) are given the courtesy of an invitation to the ‘cutting of the ribbon’ ceremony when the Nowra Bridge is completed, and to EVERY other official ceremony relating to significant public infrastructure.
Photo: Shelley Hancock MP Facebook