ELECTION WATCH – what! There’s another election?
Yes, hot on the heels of the Hawkesbury Council election there is another one on the way – the 2022 Federal election, and we’re going to keep you up-to-date with all the developments, explain what’s happening and when, and we’ll cut through the political speak to give you the straightforward facts.
We’ll also call out scaremongering and negativity, and we’ll fact-check pollies’ claims too, and of course we’ll let you know what they will be promising as the election draws closer.
Which election is this?
It’s the Federal election to choose the MP who goes to Canberra to represent us. In our case it’s for the seat of Macquarie which covers the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains. The seat is the most marginal in the country – the sitting MP is there by the grace of just 371 votes.
Two so far, but there will be more. The current MP is Labor’s Susan Templeman who first won the seat from Liberal Louise Markus in 2016. Ms Templeman also won in 2019 against Liberal Sarah Richards. Ms Richards is contesting the seat again for the Liberals.
When is the election?
No date yet, but it has to happen by May 21 at the latest. PM Scott Morrison will call the date.
So they haven’t started campaigning yet?
Of course they have, or at least Liberal candidate Richards has, with a social media post which some commentators have said is scaremongering about the North Richmond bridge duplication project.
Remind me about that project?
It’s to provide a third river crossing to help ease congestion around North Richmond, due in part to more housing being built west of the river. It’s a State-run project with funding promised by both State and Federal governments.
Ms Richards’ Facebook post says “Don't risk Labor delaying this game-changing Infrastructure to appease the protesters. Only the Scott Morrison (ScoMo) Government can deliver this project to get you and your family home sooner and safer”.
Let’s break that down and look at the facts.
There’s no evidence Labor would delay the project if elected, which is a State-run, not a Federal run project anyway, so a simple bit of scaremongering there.
There is also no evidence, “Only the Scott Morrison (ScoMo) Government can deliver this project to get you and your family home sooner and safer.” Any elected government can deliver the project.
Fact: Labor has consistently pushed for a third river crossing, but they have not been in government at State level since 2011, or Federally since 2013.
It’s all been budgeted for anyway, hasn’t it?
Well…that’s a good question. The money Scott Morrison promised for the bridge duplication doesn’t appear on any Budget papers we have seen. Happy to be corrected on that one with some cold hard facts, but as they say, ‘show us the money’.
‘Appeasing the protestors…’
Councillor Richards – she’s just been re-elected to Hawkesbury Council - talks in her post about Labor potentially delaying the “Infrastructure” to “appease the protestors” but those protestors (folks who don’t like the chosen Green Route) are all Hawkesbury residents, and as a councillor, Ms Richards is obliged under the Local Government Act to, “represent the collective interests of residents, ratepayers and the local community” – in short that means she should not take sides.
Interestingly, Transport for NSW’s report last November (compiled following community feedback in September) said 60 per cent of people did not support the preferred bridge option (Green Route), and 40 per cent supported it or were indifferent.
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