11 September 2019

Battle for Bega - What happened this week on the NSW Election trail?

| Ian Campbell
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Election Day is looming and while the week saw the NSW Premier visit Moruya and Batemans Bay for two big announcements the volume of pledges, commitments, and promises from the two big parties seemed to slow.

But with 16 days still to go no doubt there is more up their sleeve.

The order in which candidate names will appear on the ballot paper come March 23 was decided this week, alerting voters to a new player from Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.

The sitting Member for Bega, Liberal Andrew Constance won the prized top spot on the ballot paper, followed by Will Douglas from The Greens, Country Labor candidate Leanne Atkinson, Joshua Shoobridge from Australian Conservatives in fourth, Coral Anderson from the Animal Justice Party in fifth, and Eric Thomas, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party in last spot.

Here’s your form guide from this week, who promised what in the battle for Bega.

Leanne Atkinson, Country Labor candidate for Bega:

Labor to deliver nurse to patient ratios

A Daley Labor Government will ensure mandated nurse to patient ratios as part of the commitment to add more than 5,500 nurses and midwives to NSW hospitals.

“Whether you have a kid visiting the emergency room or you are expecting a baby, mandating nurse to patient ratios will improve the standards of care for everyone,” Ms Atkinson says

“A Daley Labor Government will deliver more nurses and midwives for Bega.”

Implementation will begin after the March 2019 election and it will be rolled out throughout Labor’s first term.

The commitment will increase the amount of time each nurse or midwife can spend in patient care, creating better workplaces, reducing stress and the risk of errors, and leading to higher retention of nurses and midwives.

Labor’s nurse to patient ratio system will mean one nurse for every three patients in major emergency departments and paediatric wards; one midwife for every three mothers in postnatal wards; and one nurse to each patient in resuscitation beds in adult and paediatric emergency departments.

In medical and surgical wards, it will mean one nurse to every four patients in the day time and one to seven at night.
There will also be more support for community health nurses, including those working in palliative care.

Rocky Lagana - Bermagui Fisherman’s Co-op, Country Labor candidate - Leanne Atkinsin, and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs - Mick Veitch MLC. Photo: Leanne Atkinsin Facebook.

Rocky Lagana – Bermagui Fisherman’s Co-op, Country Labor candidate – Leanne Atkinson, and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs – Mick Veitch MLC. Photo: Leanne Atkinson Facebook.

More support for co-operatives

A Daley Labor Government will establish and resource a new unit to assist and advise co-operative enterprises.

Co-operatives are business and organisations that are jointly owned and run by members, who share the profits or benefits. There are approximately 600 member owned co-operatives in NSW, with some 8,000 employees operating in childcare, healthcare, financial services, taxis, farming, dairy, and fishing.

Labor believes that co-operative business are constrained by a lack of understanding around the co-operative model, insufficient business development support, barriers to capital raising, and an absence of specialist sector data.

The proposed NSW Co-operatives Unit would support existing co-operatives with both business development and governance support, as well as advocacy and education programs.

Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Mick Veitch says, “By their very nature cooperatives are people centred and therefore not only benefit cooperative members but the wider community as well.”

“Coops are having a bit of a renaissance in recent years, but more needs to be done from government to assist their establishment and growth.”

Andrew Constance, Member for Bega, Liberal:

$3.5 million for essential water infrastructure in Nelligen

Eurobodalla Shire Council has secured $3.5 million for the construction of new water treatment and sewerage systems in Nelligen, under the Government’s $1 billion Safe and Secure Water Program.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance says Nelligen does not yet have access to a drinking water supply or wastewater collection, with the community currently relying on rainwater tanks.

“This funding will be used for the construction of an essential water supply scheme and sewage scheme, having an enormous impact on water security for the community, as well as improved environmental outcomes,” Mr Constance says.

Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes welcomed the announcement, saying the funding will go a long way, with the delivery of the project expected to cost close to $14 million.

Mayor Liz Innes with Andrew Constance and Gladys Berejiklian and supporters at the Prices Highway announcement. Photo: Alex Rea.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes with Andrew Constance and Gladys Berejiklian and supporters at the Princes Highway announcement. Photo: Alex Rea.

Major Boost to duplication of the Princes Highway

The NSW Liberal & Nationals Government will invest another $960 million upgrading more of the Princes Highway – making the road safer and bringing new jobs and investment to the South Coast.

In the next term of government, the NSW Liberals & Nationals will:

  • Duplicate sections of the Princes Highway from Jervis Bay Road to Sussex Inlet Road;
  • Build the Moruya Bypass;
  • Start detailed planning work for the Milton and Ulladulla Bypass and upgrades for the Princes Highway from Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay.

Ultimately, the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government is committed to duplicating the entire Princes Highway between Nowra and the Victorian border.

It is expected the investment will be more than $15 billion across the next 20 years to upgrade the Princes Highway.

Coral Anderson, Animal Justice Party candidate for Bega:

Animal Justice Party aims to prohibit recreational hunting in NSW

The Animal Justice Party candidate for Bega, Coral Anderson, has announced the Party’s priorities for the Bega electorate in the run-up to March 23.

These included ending logging in native forests, banning puppy farming, banning the use of 1080 poison, and banning all forms of intensive animal production, with a special focus on the battery cage.

One local animal cruelty concern is the annual Narooma HuntFest.

Coral Anderson, Animal Justice Party. Photo: Supplied.

Coral Anderson, Animal Justice Party. Photo: Supplied.

Mrs Anderson says, in 2014 Eurobodalla Shire Council sought community views on allowing gun sales at HuntFest.

“81%, of Shire residents who responded were opposed. A petition opposing HuntFest signed by 931 Shire residents was submitted to and tabled in the NSW Legislative Assembly in the same year.

“Despite community sentiment, Eurobodalla Shire Council licensed this festival and went so far as to extend HuntFest’s licence until 2022.

“Recreational hunting is a bloodsport which has no place in 21st Century society.

“It should join all the other bloodsports that are already banned under sections 18-21 of the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

“The Council may have refused to recognise the wishes of a majority of the community, but State government law overrules local government decisions.”

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