Raising the BARR – Week ending 23/02/2024

Raising the Barr


I know that there are many out there quick to criticise regulations and rules – often known as “red tape”. And yes, at times, I am one of those critics.

But in reality, the rules or regulations that have been put into place are more often than not in response to a person that has bent, twisted or skirted around the existing rules.

In most instances, 99% of people do the right thing in two ways – within the rules and within a moral internal guideline. Hence it is fair to say that 99% of people don’t need volumes and volumes of “red tape”.

But the 1% of people who find loopholes in rules and regulations or simply ignore them behind closed doors take a selfish advantage that the rest of us will ultimately pay for.

The current dilemma of asbestos being found in mulch, across many venues in Sydney appears to be a case of the right thing not being done. There are already plenty of regulations around the handling and disposal of asbestos-making it difficult and expensive. Rightly so! Asbestos has the ability to cause painful and miserable death.

There should never be an instance where asbestos “accidentally” finds its way into a mulch product.

In the short term it is looking like the NSW taxpayer is going to be bearing the brunt of the costs in dealing with this problem given that the contaminated mulch is being found in public spaces, schools, and hospitals. But what is even more important than that is the risk of someone out there in the public paying with their life.

We the people of NSW are very much paying for what looks a lot like a business entity making all sorts of unlawful and immoral decisions in the quest for an extra dollar. I guess the next time that I am cursing the red tape I will need to stop and think about those 1% of people that have been the cause of the tape that tests me.


In great news, the Cessnock State Electorate will be receiving 6 new preschools to be located in 6 of our current public schools. This will create better access for our precious young minds and undoubtedly make drop-offs and pick-ups so much simpler for parents and carers.

Regular readers will know that I have long called for extra support in educating our people. Sadly, against many census data statistics, we have the lowest levels of education in the entire state.

To change the future of our communities, we need to change the way we approach education.

Co-locating preschools in our existing schools is one of the many things that we can do differently. I’m excited!