Goulburn electorate ‘benefits from big state budget’: Tuckerman | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman, state budget, Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment, Police Academy, Wombeyan Caves, social housing

The state budget doesn’t contain any major new announcements for the Goulburn electorate. But MP Wendy Tuckerman said one of the biggest budgets in NSW’ history includes some sweeteners and continues vital infrastructure and stimulus spending amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It is about job creation and supporting those who are struggling the most,” she said. “We are very mindful that (the federal government’s) JobKeeper will run out in March and that it will be a big whack. We will need to continue supporting jobs.” READ MORE: Tax cuts, food vouchers in virus budget NSW budget pushes national tax reform Treasurer Damien Perrottet handed down the budget at midday Tuesday. He revealed a $6.9 billion deficit in 2019/20 and forecast a $16bn deficit by 2020/21. However he predicted a return to surplus by 2024/25. Mr Perottet said borrowings would be about five times that of 2010 levels but argued it was necessary for the times. The budget contains $29 billion in health and economic stimulus measures. Ms Tuckerman said although announced last week, the $60 million allocation to upgrade the Goulburn Police Academy was a “huge win.” A total $1.5m has been allocated this financial year. The money will be used to refurbish teaching areas, classrooms, accommodation areas and the pistol range. Work is expected to be completed by 2023. The budget also confirms $60.7m in 2020/21 as part of Goulburn Base Hospital’s $150m redevelopment. Work started in late 2019 and recently reached maximum height on the main clinical services building. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2021/early 2022. READ MORE: Goulburn Hospital redevelopment reaches maximum height Asked whether an MRI machine had received funding, Ms Tuckerman said it was “very much on (her) radar” but was not part of the budget. “The Health Department is working through how we would deliver that, whether they do it themselves or by tender,” she said. The MP told The Post that work was underway in the background to secure an MRI licence from the federal government. She hoped this would be finalised by the time the build was completed. Bathurst Hospital scored $4m in state money for an MRI service in this budget. READ MORE: Goulburn seeks MRI machine under full Medicare rebate to combat stats Goulburn misses out on MRI licence Tuesday’s budget also allocated $700,000 towards a $9.6m upgrade of Wombeyan Caves tourist park and $8m to improve Wombeyan Caves Road. Both projects were announced previously. In the southern part of the electorate, $24m is set aside to begin the $100m Barton Highway’s duplication from the ACT towards Murrumbateman. This money will also fund other safety improvements. “You will see shovels in the ground very shortly,” Ms Tuckerman said. Also in that neck of the woods, Murrumbateman Primary School won $3m for a previously announced new primary school. ALSO READ: Council puts hard word on owners of overgrown properties The MP said the electorate would share in $6.7 billion for upgraded and new schools over the next four years. A total $8.5m has been spent on STEM facilities at Yass High School. More broadly, the electorate would benefit from a $300m increase in the Regional Growth Fund to $2bn. “Goulburn has received some big wins from that program,” Ms Tuckerman said. Likewise, $4.4bn has been allocated to bushfire recovery support and $4.5bn to drought assistance and water security. On the social housing front, $1.8m has been set aside for new and upgraded social housing in the Goulburn electorate. Ms Tuckerman said some of this was already underway and it was “absolutely needed.” She also welcomed a $500m stimulus measure which would see each adult resident given four $25 digital vouchers to spend at eateries and on arts across the state. It will begin with a pilot in Sydney’s CBD and then roll out statewide. We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don’t forget to subscribe


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America’s Shockingly Moderate Electorate – WSJ

The more things change, the more they stay the same—or so it seems in American politics, after the electorate returned the Democratic establishment to power after rejecting it for a rogue outsider four years ago. The surprise finding of the exit polls is that moderates and men provided the crucial swing voters who put Joe Biden into office.

Has the American electorate changed? The answer is that despite billions of dollars spent on persuasion, massive increases in turnout, a media with an agenda, and racial unrest, the changes…

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SA Liberal Party says proposed electorate boundary changes ‘go too far’ ahead of 2022 election

The SA Liberal Party says proposed changes to the state’s electoral boundaries are unnecessary and some “appear to provide disruption” for the “sake” of disruption.

The Electoral Boundaries Commission released its draft redistribution of the state’s electoral boundaries last month, with both of the major parties filing formal responses.

The draft redistribution proposed major changes, including splitting the city of Port Augusta between the electorates of Giles and Stuart, and shifting the city of Port Pirie from the electorate of Frome into Stuart.

That move would give the Government an advantage by making it easier for them to win the seats of Stuart and independent MP Geoff Brock’s seat, Frome.

But the draft redistribution would also disadvantage the Liberal Party by leaving four of its seats with margins of under 4 per cent, as opposed to two seats under 4 per cent before the redistribution.

State director of the SA Liberal Party Sascha Meldrum said the proposed changes in Giles, Stuart and Frome would bring those districts “within the permissible tolerance” but changes beyond that “are not required”.

SA Liberal Party state director Sascha Meldrum described some of the proposed changes as unnecessary.(Twitter)

“The boundary changes — the subject of the draft report — go too far, displacing one in five South Australian electors [240,000 people] from their electorates — many of the seat-specific changes are not necessary and some appear to provide disruption for disruption sake only,” she wrote.

Ms Meldrum also said the predicted population changes are “inherently unreliable”, and are made even more difficult to predict by COVID-19.

“The Liberal Party submits, moreover, that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact on population and demographic changes, and that there is a real risk that any attempt to draw boundaries based on projected electoral data will result in a significant redraw which may turn out to be entirely unnecessary.”

Proposed boundaries ‘favour Liberal Party’

The Labor Party was far less critical of the proposed changes in its submission, but argued part of the proposal shows a “structural disparity in favour of the Liberal Party.”

“Labor has four marginal seats out of 20 on its side of the pendulum and the Liberals have four marginal seats out of 27 on its side of the pendulum.”

“That is, 20 per cent of the seats on the Labor side of the pendulum are marginal, whereas only 14.8 per cent of the Liberal Party’s seats are marginal.

A map showing South Australia's new electoral boundaries.
A map of South Australia’s proposed new electoral boundaries.(Supplied)

‘Significant’ community concern

An Electoral District Boundaries Commission hearing heard further submissions on one of the other major changes, which involves towns around Mount Barker being shifted from the electorate of Kavel into Hammond.

In her oral submissions to the hearing, Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson said the thought of separating the tight-knit communities was causing significant concern.

She said the changes do not meet the specified criteria of “communities of interest” or the “topography of the area”.

“Adjacent growth areas of Mount Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne should be within the same electorate, given the many shared infrastructure and recreational facilities that relate to all three communities.”

A 19th century classical building with columns
The electoral boundaries will influence the make-up of South Australia’s next parliament.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

Ms Ferguson said with the population expanding in the area, it is critical they have “effective state electoral representation” so that there is good understanding of what is needed for the area, and “there is a strong advocate for those communities”.

However, Ms Ferguson did not oppose moving the town Harrogate from Hammond to Kavel.

In his submission to the commission, current Kavel MP Dan Cregan criticised the idea and called it a “radical departure”.

Mr Cregan said it would not be appropriate to separate the commercial centre from the other towns.

A final decision on electoral boundaries is expected to be made in November.

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