IN WHAT is a huge win for much of this electorate, the daily train service to Bathurst, dubbed the Bathurst Bullet got underway at the weekend.
All too often these days, Government’s are taking services away from the bush, and locals are becoming increasingly frustrated with the divide in the availability of public services between the city and regional areas.
To see the establishment of a new, fast, daily train service between Sydney and Bathurst - which will benefit not only Bathurst residents, but pensioners, business people and families in Oberon, Blayney, Orange and surrounds is a win for the community and one we should embrace.
Budget black hole
Is anyone surprised by the Federal Government’s revelation this week of major spending cuts to make up for $20 billion being wiped off its Budget?
I’m certainly not.
Having delivered the four worst budget deficits in Australia’s history, Labor has rushed out a budget update this week far ahead of schedule, in its endless efforts to trick Australians it can achieve a budget surplus.
But while Labor talks about surpluses and savings, its spending has outstripped revenue by an incredible $173 billion since 2007.
And at what cost?
We know $1 billion will be wiped from private health insurance rebates, and the baby bonus will be restricted.
But Calare - and all of regional Australia - will suffer greatly in particular, thanks to the freezing of $2 billion in future regional development Australia fund (RADF) grants.
Without anyone from regional Australia in the Gillard cabinet, regional Australia will bear the brunt of the cuts.
The vital RADF scheme is currently funding important projects like the Orange Airport redevelopment and the upgrade of Mount Panorama.
What important future projects for our region will now be shelved thanks to Labor’s fiscal mismanagement?
This week, local community groups will get together for a cup of tea, in support of DisabiliTEA Day, raising awareness of and supporting the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS).
I think we all agree on the need for a better resourced and managed disability funding structure.
However, it is totally incorrect of the Gillard Government to make any claims that they have funded it - they have not.
It’s great to hear of events like these, which are working to make an NDIS a reality.
What’s not great is to learn in senate estimates hearings last week that there is no funding for the national disability insurance scheme beyond the forward estimates.
The Gillard Government has provided only a quarter of the money required over the forward estimates for the first phase of the NDIS and nothing beyond that period.