Raising the BARR – Week ending 16 April 2021

Welcome Funding

In recent weeks our local area has had much to celebrate in terms of State Government funding invested into important local projects.  As a local MP, working 20 weeks of the year in Macquarie Street Sydney, I have a responsibility to lobby and advocate for our various needs.  This work includes putting forward logical and articulate justification as to why our region should receive funds ahead of other regions – and this is the case for every MP regardless of whether you sit on the Government or Opposition benches.

The work of the local MP can be helped enormously if the local Council also has the necessary plans and strategies in place to demonstrate that the project being applied for is important for the community at large and not just on the wish list of the MP.

Fortunately, across the Cessnock LGA, our community is reaping the rewards of those strategic plans falling neatly into place with funding opportunities and the advocacy of the local MP.

Bridges Hill Park and Playground is a perfect example of the broader funding successes.  Amongst other things it is in part funded as recognition of our low socio-economic status and need to build community fabric as well as a more active society.  This is a topic that I talk about quite frequently in Parliament along with the obvious link to our education levels.  This incredible new facility was built by our own Council workers and they have done an outstanding job.

By way of road infrastructure, just last week I had the pleasure of being onsite for the official opening of the new Gingers Lane and Hart Road roundabout.  Both Council and I had made this a key agenda item in all work with RMS (now TfNSW) and the Roads Minister.  It was a logical investment following the opening of the Hunter Expressway, but logic hadn’t been met with dollars, until recently.  And I want to stress the point that this brilliant new section of road was built by our very own Council work force and required tremendous patience and understanding from affected residents along that stretch.  Thank you all.

Another fine example of significant money being invested into our area is through the various sign strategies that have been brought to fruition.  Now I know that some people have described this money as “wasted” or that it “should have been spent on roads”.  But the truth is that no one in our area gets to decide which buckets of money are available – we only get to decide if we want some of the funds in the buckets that are available.  And my answer to that question is yes, yes and yes.  We should always be grabbing whatever funds we can.

There is no doubt that politics at times gets in the way of sensible Government, and pork-barrelling or money laundering is the very worst of it.  But on the other side of the equation are the times when sensible and thoughtful decisions are made about which projects are most deserving.  It is on these occasions that we always need to put our best foot forward and it is my absolute privilege to be working for the community in this way.

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For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325.

You can also follow me on my Facebook page “www.facebook.com/claytonbarrmp”, go to Twitter and search @claytonbarrmp or check out my website at www.claytonbarr.com.au 

Cheers Clayton