WHEN a premier comes to town there is always a lot that could be talked about but with Barry O’Farrell’s schedule as tight as it is today ordinary voters should not expect to see much of him.
The Premier is in Orange this morning to open the multimillion dollar Ron Finemore Transport freight terminal on the Orange bypass.
The complex is a great regional business and local employer, and should show the way for other businesses contemplating relocating to this arterial road address.
However, when the formalities are over Mr O’Farrell and his entourage will move on to Dubbo, where other official duties beckon.
This is disappointing for Orange which has been National Party heartland for decades and has waited patiently since March last year for the Premier to visit.
There have been other government ministers in the area of course, with Roads Minister Duncan Gay in Molong only yesterday.
But what Orange expects is the sort of visit underpinned by a country cabinet meeting and plenty of opportunity for interest groups, supporters, and, yes, detractors to have an opportunity to meet with a government that spruiks its regional credentials through the coalition with The Nationals.
The issue of workers’ compensation, featured on our front page today, is just one issue of the government’s making, but the plight of the young man critically injured in a crash on the Cargo Road in August should bring home to Premier O’Farrell and his government the human cost of changes to workers’ compensation laws.
And there are other issues too, including cuts to TAFE funding, staffing levels at our local ambulance station, the progress - or lack of it - of a 24-hour helicopter retrieval service, the region’s share of infrastructure funding and job cuts in the public service.
Orange mayor John Davis will have the Premier’s ear today and he is well known for getting his point of view across. On Cr Davis’s agenda should be getting Mr O’Farrell to accept the city’s hospitality for a more lengthy visit very soon.