By Lynda Voltz

[‘NSW Labor want people to have decent work in jobs that are secure, jobs that pay them what they are owed.  Jobs that allow them toLynda Voltz live their lives and support their families in the way that they need to. That is why we will introduce legislation to make wage theft an offence in law and protect workers pay]

As the holidays approach, Grandparents will begin to put up lights and scan the papers for a holiday outing with their grandchildren, parents will attend their local school for presentation days, trucks  will move produce from the bush to the city and many will pack up their cars and head out of the city to the coast.  All along the NSW coast and country, holiday makers will be visiting national parks and state forests, many might jump on a train and travel to Parkes for the Elvis Festival and our hospital emergency services, fire service and police will all be at work over the holidays keeping everyone safe and healthy.

As we approach the next NSW State Election in March 2019 communities and neighbourhoods will be able to look back and reflect the impact decisions made by this State Government have had.  A future NSW Labor Government wants people to live in neighbourhoods and communities where everyone is safe and included, where everyone feels that they belong. We want to have inclusive and caring communities that are able to look after each other. At every turn as we approach the end of the year, the decisions made by government will  influence whether our lives are a bit easier or a bit harder as we move into 2019.

And as those holiday lights are being put up around the neighbourhood it is time to reflect on just how government decision making impacts our lives.  The holiday lights and your air conditioning over summer will be powered by an energy sector that was built by the people of NSW but privatised under this NSW Liberal Government.  The NSW Liberals promised cheaper bills would come with privatisation, only for the public to see their electricity prices soar.

That presentation day at your local school will, more likely than not, see your child sitting in an un-air conditioned classrooms, in regions where temperatures can push 40 degrees in summer. That is why NSW Labor wants every school in New South Wales to be a great school, that is why we announced we would air-condition schools before we build stadiums.

Auburn Public Hospital was rebuilt by a Labor Government.  We understand how important a public health system is. We will ensure that people get the help and support that they need when they become ill and that health services do not rely on them having a lot of money, or any money at all. NSW Labor is committed to supporting nurse to patient ratios to ensure our public hospitals are properly staffed and patients get the attention they need.

Those trucks bringing in holiday fare will be moving along already congested roads.  Road that will be made worse by the re-introduction of the M4 tolls, which, according to the NSW Liberal Governments own reports, will see cars and trucks move from toll roads onto congested local roads to avoid paying the tolls.  And if you think it is bad enough that you are paying $2,000 a year for a toll road that the public has already paid for twice, you can triple that amount for trucks and add it to your grocery bill.   This is why NSW Labor has committed to re-introducing the M4 Cash back to ease cost of living pressure of families.

Congestion on our roads is compacted by overdevelopment, particularly in western Sydney, which is exacerbated by an ongoing reduction in our open spaces and parklands.  Fundamental to ensuring our neighbourhoods are happy healthy places to live is the protection of our recreation spaces.  Planning means that you don’t just build housing, you build the parks, public swimming pools, schools, hospitals and public spaces that go with them.   This NSW Liberal Government has fundamentally failed as it continues to plan for priority precincts, such as an additional 70,000 residencies in the Greater Parramatta area, without the infrastructure or open spaces to support them.

But it is in the environment and particularly the bio-diversity of our remaining bushlands, that the next state election represents another critical turning point.   Our natural environment is fundamental to our healthy lifestyles, not only in cleaning our air and water, but protecting our native fauna and flora.  Under this government we have seen the balanced native vegetation legislation ripped up.  The impacts on our bushlands and biodiversity are irreversible as many important habitats are destroyed.  Previous Labor Governments have worked with farmers and the environment movement to ensure there was balanced legislation, and we are committed to working with landowners into the future to protect this important biodiversity.

NSW Labor want people to have decent work in jobs that are secure, jobs that pay them what they are owed.  Jobs that allow them to live their lives and support their families in the way that they need to. That is why we will introduce legislation to make wage theft an offence in law and protect workers pay.

For these and many other reasons the next NSW State Election will be a turning point for our state.   It is about putting the needs of our communities at the forefront of decision making.  Fundamental to this is the announcement that a Daley Labor Government will redirect $1.5 billion from the knockdown and rebuild of stadiums to schools and hospitals across NSW.   It is a decision that draws a clear line in the sand on the difference between what NSW Labor Government offers and the current priorities of the current NSW Liberal Government.