LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘The era of complacency and laziness is over’: Donato

NICE TO SEE YOU HERE: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro (right) speaking to Richard and Katie Hazelton at last week's Pollies in the Pub event. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

NICE TO SEE YOU HERE: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro (right) speaking to Richard and Katie Hazelton at last week's Pollies in the Pub event. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

AS the member for Orange, I am pleased that our community is finally getting the attention it deserves from our elected representatives in Government after decades of inactivity, absence and arrogance.

Last week, NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, five of his own Cabinet Ministers from the Nationals, a Parliamentary Secretary and the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott all visited our region to announce a range of funding and projects.

This is on top of the $300 million plus in byelection promises last year.

It’s clear that if country people want something done, they should elect someone other than the Nationals – because it’s only then they take notice.

They’ve made these commitments because our community sent a clear message last year.

We weren’t getting our fair share from Government and now it’s my job to hold this Liberals-Nationals Government to account on every last cent of funding and every detail of their promises.

I’m proud to have made Orange a marginal electorate, because it has put our community at the very top of the Government’s agenda.

Last week the Deputy Premier cheekily suggested that “we don’t just do things at election time; we do things all the time”.

The simple fact is, if this were true, I wouldn’t have been elected.

For example, the Government’s announcement to invest $100 million in palliative care services was a direct response to the petition I submitted to Parliament on behalf of the 10,000 residents in our community supporting a dedicated palliative care ward at Orange Hospital.

If Orange were still held by the Nationals, I guarantee that this issue would never have seen the light of day as the petition would have gone against the Liberal Party agenda.

Our community is reaping the benefits of being a marginal seat, and not one that this Coalition Government can simply ignore because it’s a safe seat for them.

The era of complacency and laziness is over, and our community will become so much better for it.

Philip Donato, member for Orange

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