Decisions have left me seriously disillusioned

Tamworth’s Mark Rodda writes with his impressions of how both state and federal politicians areletting their constituents down.
Nanjing Night Net

I PREVIOUSLY believed, and indeed, for many years spruiked, the rhetoric about the importance of electing your political representatives from inside the banner of party control with a seat at the table of government.

However, recent decisions at both state and federal level have left me seriously disillusioned and questioning the favourite mantra of the major parties because the notion is far better in theory than in practice.

At a state level we have a member with a seat at the table of government and yet, despite 2011 pre-election promises, our region suffers the highest water costs of any other valley in NSW, with no desire to rectify the inequity, just incessant talk.

Despite having a seat at the table of government, the NSW government is conducting a confusedand undemocratic campaign against local councils and their communities.

Around the state we see hundreds of rural Essential Energy, Transgrid, TAFE and railworker jobs made redundant because of the government’s decision to sell revenue-producing state assets, education and transport facilities and, subsequently, cut services to rural NSW.

But not a whimper from our representative that sits at the table of government, and yet we know into the future these redundancies equal service cuts and these significantly harm the economy of small communities, as well as the appeal and viability of our rural areas.

Worse still, TAFE changes made by the NSW government called Smart and Skilled would have to be an example of one of the biggest blunders made by the NSW government, dramatically thwarting enrolments because of an overpriced and unrealistic fee structure and putting education from this worthwhile institution out of reach of many potential NSW students.

You can imagine the social issues rural communities will suffer from this decision.

At a federal level we see the government proposing to privatise Medicare and no doubt into the future Australia Post, another bright-spark moment reminiscent of the Telstra privatisation decision – and look how badly that has gone for us in rural areas: mobile phone black spots that aren’t fixed without a business case or without the federal government reaching into the pocket of voters/taxpayers to pay to erect more towers.

Every time I see a politician smiling in front of a shiny new tower, I am reminded about the folly of the Telstra privatisation.

We have a federal representative with a seat at the table of government and yet all that is spoken about is increasing the taxation burden on the average taxpayer.

Their corporate political donors that pay very little are let off the hook.

This is because many current politicians will be working for their party donors when their political careers are over, hence that seedy whiff of collusion we see between big business, political lobbyists and the major parties.

Then the government wants to touch our superannuation funds, because according to the assistant treasurer, it’s only a “replacement for the pension” and the treasurer: it’s not meant to be for the “accumulation of wealth”.

Tamworth has lost the BAE flight training school contract to Victoria, worth many millions to our local economy annually and with it the future loss of many jobs when it pulls out of town.

On education we see the government wanting to deregulate university fees like the USA, with the costs of a university degree potentially rising to $250,000.

This despite most MPs making these decision at the table of government having benefited from a low-fee university educationsystem, but they seem to behappy to deny your kids the same opportunity.

We see the great Australia sell-off continue unabated under this government, as it did under the last and many before that, without a sound.

At both state and federal level we see rural electorates abolished – one local example, Gwydir, held by a former deputy prime minister, who incidentally, works for a political corporate donor – clear evidence of the demise of rural populations.

I believe we need representatives in parliament that understand that their actions are turning areas they represent into some of the most disadvantaged places in Australia but, most importantly, have a will to stop it.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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