IN just over three months, voters in the Tamworth electorate will head to the polls to pick their state representative for the next term of government.
Below, The NVI has selected a number of broad issues that are bound to come up during the course of the Tamworth campaign trail. While they are all issues in need of attention, we want to know which is your number one.
For example, local health issues include funding for a new Banksia Mental Health Unit and the recently started petition for a large-scale drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the electorate.
As for education, TAFE funding, or the lack there of, has already been mentioned by a number of candidates. The region’s school also face a maintenance backlog that runs in to the millions of dollars.
Roads are always a big selling point at state elections. Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Jeff Bacon has made the upgrade of Werris Creek Road part of his election platform, while independent Mark Rodda says the electorate only gets big road upgrades when there’s an election around the corner.
Environmentally, water issues are becoming more prominent than ever, particularly given the drought – Lake Keepit is below one per cent capacity. Also, the concern around the environmental impacts of the mining industry, along with those of coal seam gas up near Narrabri will inevitably be raised.
Speaking of drought, the big dry is expected to be a big talking point this election. Many people were disappointed by a perceived lack of response by both state and federal governments. Expect contenders to attack the government’s response, while there’s the potential for the government to announce more support and funding.
There are a bunch of big infrastructure projects that’ll need state government funding to get off the ground. There’s Tamworth council’s new performing arts centre and its proposed aquatic centre. Labor is pushing for a new police station in South Tamworth, and there is the previously mentioned Bankisa.
Major state government responsibilities include schools, hospitals, conservation and environment, roads, railways and public transport, public works, agriculture and fishing, industrial relations, community services, sport and recreation, consumer affairs, police, prisons and emergency services.
If you think we’ve left an issue out, send an email to email@example.com, or click here to write a letter to the editor about it.
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