Central West Jobs and Infrastructure

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It is a joke that this motion has been accorded priority, and what a sad joke this Government has become.

There must be a by-election in Orange this weekend, but I do not know what the Government thinks this motion will do for it. Voters in Orange already have switched off from the nonsense this Government peddles.

That is why Bernard Fitzsimon is giving The Nationals a run for their money in an area that usually delivers 65 per cent of the primary votes to The Nationals. That primary vote is in tatters.

The member for Tamworth is deluding himself by moving this motion.

The voters of Orange have stopped listening to the Government and to the failed Deputy Premier, Troy Grant. I say to the Deputy Premier, wherever he is, "It is okay; the result in Orange will give your colleagues pause for thought and soon you may not have to get to work so early every day!”

Cheer up with the thought of that. I'll buy you a beer on your first day as a backbencher.

Why is the Deputy Premier on the verge of being replaced by Minister Barilaro? It is because The Nationals vote is flatlining. It has absolutely tanked in Orange. That is down to one thing, and one thing only—the poor record of this Government.

Voters in Orange are sick of the waste and incompetence of this Government and its agenda. A couple of weeks ago services were cut. There is no growth in full-time jobs; full-time jobs do not exist. TAFE has been eroded.

The opening hours of Service NSW centres have been slashed, and people in the Central West are in despair. The Government is a joke.

The Central West unemployment rates were 4.9 per cent when Labor left office, but in August this year the rate was higher at 5.3 per cent. The proportion of part-time jobs since a Labor left office has increased to 35.7 per cent, which represents an increase of almost 7 per cent.

We must create more full-time jobs in the regions. We need meaningful permanent, full-time work for young people and opportunities for workers to retrain and reskill in the middle of their careers to remain productive and successful.

In the meantime, the Baird-Grant Government has an infrastructure program that is in tatters. The Government is not just stuffing up infrastructure but also presiding over job losses, flatlined wages and soaring cost-of-living increases.

It is incompetent and its incompetence is leading to the destruction of TAFE, where teachers are losing their jobs and students are losing the opportunity for a decent education.

That is the wretched legacy of this Government. The Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills, and Minister for Small Business, the next Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, was asked during budget estimates to rule out the sale of TAFE campuses in Orange, Scone, Singleton and Murwillumbah in regional New South Wales. He refused to do so.

That means there is a guarantee that the sell-off of TAFEs is on the cards—we can take that to the bank. 

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