State matters with Phil Donato, MP

Phil Donato with Central West Police District officers at the 2018 Parkes Show. Mr Donato has been actively advocating for more police in regional New South since 2017.
Phil Donato with Central West Police District officers at the 2018 Parkes Show. Mr Donato has been actively advocating for more police in regional New South since 2017.

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Career politicians tend to play games and tell lies, particularly when they fear the loss of their prestigious and well-paying jobs.

We all know this and it’s of no surprise; it’s actually one of the key reasons I came into politics in the first place – to cut through the nonsense and stand for fairness in the Orange electorate.

If I were to look for examples of how this unethical Government operates, I‘d come up with plenty, but none so perfect as the one the Premier herself just provided earlier this week in a twenty minute speech to the media in Orange. 

Gladys made some big promises in the form of blackmail and touched on several blatant mistruths, in a desperate attempt to win over the votes of the electorate.

Gladys commented on police numbers in Orange and stated that she was “disappointed” that I haven’t been more vocal and active about this.

Yet, the Premier knows full well I have repeatedly advocated for more police in regional New South Wales.

Since September 2017, I have spoken on many occasions with the media, in parliament and have presented many written representations to this Government on police numbers.

I have requested an increase in police resources in the Central West Police District including a drug detection dog and handler, a regional enforcement squad to be based within the Orange electorate, and have made the general call for the obvious necessity to have a stronger police presence throughout the electorate.

Of course, Gladys is well aware of this; she’s simply hoping that the community within our electorate are not. But she should know that it’s not quite that easy to pull the wool over the eyes of smaller, regional communities who have learned the hard way that the Government always have their own agenda.

I also know that Gladys is aware of my advocacy for more police numbers since it was my constant pressure, on behalf of our local community, which resulted in the Premier’s announcement that 1,500 additional police were being delivered across the state over the next four years, starting July 1 this year.

I will continue to stand for equitable resourcing in our electorate. Community safety and police presence to keep our community safe, has been, and will continue to be, one of my priorities. I’m proud to add, as a point of fact, that my priorities exist regardless of whether there is an upcoming election.

Flood-Proofing the Newell

Since being elected in 2016 I’ve raised the issue of flood-proofing the Newell Highway over and over again with the NSW Government. The flooding of the Newell Highway that cut-off the township of Forbes in 2016 almost sent many Forbes businesses broke, something that should not and cannot be allowed to happen again.

Nationals’ Roads Minister Melinda Pavey has paid nothing but lip service to prevent future economic devastation of Forbes and other rural townships from future flood events.

From my experience, I’ve learnt that even though the Government is not interested in the Orange electorate until an upcoming election where they want your vote, my consistent pressure on the Government does get results.

I’ve spoken for our community and forced the Government’s hand at providing $190 million in freight subsides, funding for domestic violence crisis centre, cuts to LLS rates for farmers, reductions to caravan rego, $113 million in primary producer registration refunds and rebates, and much more. 

In the same manner, I will continue to lobby on flood-proofing of the Newell until the Government has no choice but to pay attention and act.

Flood-proofing the Newell is an absolute necessity and I will not be quiet until the Government stops “talking the talk”, and makes this vital work actually happen.

Philip Donato, MP