By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney;
Most politicians around the world are known for their diplomatic nature, charisma and charm when it comes to dealing with the members of the public. However, an honest and sincere politician with a kind heart that puts people first, always has a longer life span in the public service sphere where accountability and transparency are tested often.
I first met Hon Victor Dominello when he became the Minister for Citizenship and Communities during 2013 –
2015. He previously was also the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Today, he is the Minister for Finance, Services and Property. I have met many politicians, parliamentarians, and ministers in the last 3 decades as a part of my media and events engagements. I found Hon Victor Dominello to be a well cultured man with high value of human relations and family values. I remember in the last NSW election campaign, I went to attend his public meeting in relation to his election campaign in Eastwood, he told the story of his grandfather that how his grandfather came to Australia,
story of his journey, settlement in Australia and the hard work he did to have his children and grandchildren lead a better and prosperous life in Australia. I was so much inspired with his high level of respect for his elders.
I found Mr. Dominello a very generous, openhearted and pragmatic man. He is a man with real vision of multiculturalism. I cannot forget an event when I took couple of my media colleagues visiting from Pakistan couple
of years ago to a Pakistani Resolution Day function by a local Pakistani organisation. I was standing near the entrance, he saw me from the stage and smiled, I acknowledged by waving my hand, then while delivering his speech Mr. Dominello referred me by name and my social work and said celebrating resolution day Pakistanis should make a resolution to learn from this person from your community. He loves people without knowing their background and focuses on their deliverable for the community. Whoever he finds working in the interest of our multicultural society he openly and generously talks about them. He leads by example by acknowledging the services of the people in different communities.
In my observation, Mr. Dominello’s services as a politician, parliamentarian and a minister are so many that it is hard for me to document in this article, however I must say his services are at par excellence. When he was the Minister for Multiculturalism and currently as a Minister for Finance, Services and Property, he has delivered so many remarkable projects for the betterment of the people of NSW. Here are few of his amazing major ministerial achievements in the Finance Portfolio:
- Cleared the debt and balanced the budget. As a finance minister, he has helped secure a strong financial position for NSW that allows the ministry to invest in critical infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and roads.
- Implemented a Telematics in-car technology pilot with 1000 young drivers under 25. Telematics is like a
“black box” for cars and “fit bit” for drivers that is installed in a car and provides drivers with feedback via their smartphones on their driving behaviour, such as speed, acceleration, braking and turning. The technology has the potential to save lives and reduce Green Slip premiums.
- Launched a digital driver license trial in Dubbo and Sydney’s Eastern Beaches region. Participants who opt-in can use their DDL, accessible on a mobile phone, for proof of identity and proof of age to gain entry into pubs and clubs as well for roadside police checks in the trial area. The DDL is hosted securely on the new Service NSW app, locks with a PIN and can be accessed offline. It will provide additional levels of security and protection against identity fraud, compared to the plastic driver license.
Invested $600 million in the government’s radio network that will expand the network’s coverage from 35 per cent to over 80 per cent. By expanding the network, the NSW Government is delivering enhanced mission-critical communications services to support frontline responders including police, paramedics, fire fighters and emergency response organisations.
- Overhauled the NSW CTP Green Slip Scheme, which has slashed Green Slips across the State by $120 on
average. Green Slips will reduce to $499 on average in January 2019, their lowest in 7 years.
- Launched the real-time FuelCheck app, which allows motorists to find the cheapest fuel anywhere in NSW, and could save them $500 a year.
- Introduced a Cost of Living Service at Service NSW, which provides families and households with a one-stop shop for the NSW Government’s 40 cost of living rebates and incentives. On average, eligible customers are walking away with more than $500 in their pocket.
- Launched the Energy Switch service, which could save households hundreds of dollars a year, by allowing them to find out the best available plans and have the Government make the switch for them. The service is available online via Service NSW, or by visiting any Service NSW centre.
- Delivered reforms that better protect purchasers that buy property off-the-plan. The changes affect disclosures, cooling off periods, holding of deposits and sunset clauses.
Although as a minister his services are spread all over the state of NSW, some of his major Achievements for the Ryde Electorate:
- Announced that the Meadowbank TAFE site will be transformed into a new education powerhouse. This will include a new K-12 school, massively boosting enrolment numbers in the area. The site will also include a technology focused TAFE, training students for the jobs of the future. The education precinct is one of the single largest investments in public education and VET infrastructure in the country.
- Announced the Electorate will receive five new schools and three major upgrades. The first new school to be completed will be Smalls Road Public School. Opening in 2020 it will have the capacity to cater for up to 1000 students along with special education teaching spaces, a library, hall and other upgraded core facilities.
- Actively campaigned against over-development in the area. This has resulted in a two-year development freeze in Ryde. He has successfully secured the Greater Sydney Commission to undertake a review into local planning matters.
- Delivered a MoU between the NSW Government and the Ryde Hunters Hills District Hockey Club that will help secure new playing fields for hockey players. The preferred location is Christie Park in Macquarie Park.
Hon Victor Dominello has done outstanding work in his ministries as a minister for multiculturalism and minister for finance, services and property but I would like to see him even in bigger role in his next tenure. The diverse communities of NSW and broader Australia need people such as him to lead the country for building a prosperous, harmonious and safer Australia.
I expect the people of Mr. Dominello’s constituency will vote him in the next coming NSW election so that we all continue to receiving benefits from his experience and future plans.
Wish you all the best Mr. Dominello, may God bless you and your family for continuing delivering outstanding services for the people using your God-gifted talent. (The writer is a Sydney-based journalist, writer, editor Tribune International and a community leader, he can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org ).