The promise of an election is invariably cue for a host of promises of the vote-winning kind.
The kind that affect your back pocket.
The bonus of a by-election is that so much more attention seems to be paid to us now that the big heads in Sydney don't have to spread themselves across the whole state.
(Conversely it means that we journalists get caught up in the maelstrom of countless MP visits and party leader photo ops)
I'm certainly not going to be the one who tells you how to vote next Saturday, but I will say it's nice to have the spotlight being shone on key local issues.
We're no stranger to having a political spotlight pointed our way over the past two years. In many respects it feels like it has faded somewhat though as the state and nation's attention is drawn to the next shiny thing.
All we can hope for is that in the wash-up, the scales tip significantly in favour of positive outcomes for as many as possible here.
Speaking of shiny things, who doesn't love a ceremonial "sod turning"? Where do they get those chrome shovels from I wonder?
The new police station for Bega flagged two years ago will soon see construction start after some dirt was lifted this week by Premier Dominic Perrottet (never mind that it was a small pile of loose potting mix he was digging into, not actually breaking ground - that's always the case at these events)
I've since seen some commentary about the $16million spend on the new facility being "a waste" or "better spent elsewhere".
No doubt there are worthy causes in the Bega electorate that are in need of funds and government support. But does it have to be one or the other?
The money for the police station was committed in 2019 - with a bit extra added now so Bega can have its own forensic services unit instead of being reliant on visiting crime scene investigators from Nowra.
Yes we also need a focus on affordable housing, on rehoming those devastated during the 2019/20 bushfires, on making sure our small businesses and their employees are secure.
If there was ever a time for other sectors in our community to make some noise and hold their hats out it's in an election period - there never seems to be a shortage of dollars being thrown around.
Maybe the promises won't come to pass if the election result doesn't go the way you hope. But it can't hurt to ask and get the commitment recorded.
Some call it pork barrelling and buying votes. I say, if it benefits our community bring it on.
- Ben Smyth, Editor
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