Nats roll out a pork barrel
By BELINDA F SCOTT
NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner yesterday pledged that the Coalition would provide $2.5 million for a new multipurpose seniors centre for Coffs Harbour, if elected to government on March 23.
In the best traditions of country pork barreling, Mr Stoner kept his eye firmly on local issues and the demographic of his audience and Mr Fraser's electorate.
The lack of a seniors and an entertainment centre to replace the demolished town hall has been a sore point in Coffs for many years.
Mr Fraser said Coffs Harbour council had developed a concept plan for the $5 million centre, although a location was yet to be confirmed. The proposal is for Coffs Harbour City Council to match the funding.
"Labor has been promising funding for a multi-purpose centre since 1995," Mr Fraser said.
Mr Stoner is also promising an independent review of political donations and campaign expenditure for both state and local government elections.
Yesterday Mr Fraser said Independents were never in government and questioned their true independence from Labor, in a swipe at Independent candidate, Coffs Harbour mayor, Keith Rhoades.
Mr Fraser said there were now more public servants in NSW than there were residents in Tasmania, which was an 'unreal' statistic.
Both Mr Fraser and Mr Stoner were upbeat about the Coalition's chances in the March election, saying they sensed a mood for change throughout the state, but Mr Fraser said if they did not win government, he would 'keep on keeping on.