Raising the BARR – Week ending 27th March

Raising the Barr

Post Election Wash Up

As I write this column, I am in many ways unemployed. It looks almost certain that the people of our community have re-elected me to represent them, but until the poll is declared (approx. 12 April), I am technically not yet confirmed as being elected.

Meanwhile, we all pretty much get on with serving our communities. The Cessnock Electorate office is still open to take people’s calls and emails, or over-the-counter enquiries, and we can work through Departmental channels to try to get issues resolved, but it will obviously take some time for new Ministerial positions to become established and staffed.

A change in Government is an interesting experience. Having been first elected in 2011, my time serving our community has meant that for the past 12 years, I served from Opposition. I have spent that time building relationships and learning the trade, and I have achieved a number of good outcomes for our community.

But as we have since learnt, especially in recent years, the then Government were spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to pork-barrel their own seats and only those select few, on the inside, got the chance to access those funds, despite those same funds coming from the pockets of all of us. That practice was unacceptable.

Our State is a diverse one and there are many needs. Taxpayer dollars are not a “play-thing” for a Government to use inappropriately simply to feather their own nests. And once some money is set aside to be used as grant funding, then every corner of the State should have equal access to that grant fund.

I look forward to continuing to work for the community, on issues large and small, no matter who the Government is. More often than not, the issues that come through the Cessnock Electorate Office are modest and directly personal to the people that raise them. We assist people to have the various Government Departments review the facts and reconsider the current situation(s). That is our bread-and-butter work and a change of Government won’t change that.

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For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325. 

You can also follow me on my Facebook page “www.facebook.com/claytonbarrmp”, go to Twitter and search @claytonbarrmp, follow me on Instagram at “claytonbarrmp“ or check out my website at www.claytonbarr.com.au