Last week the Prime Minister shocked us all by finding his way to Tomago in the Paterson electorate, for which I was elected to represent.
Did he meet with the PFAS affected residents of Williamtown? No!
Did he meet with me to discuss the need to support business, jobs and investment across Kurri Kurri? No!
Or did he perhaps come and speak with the local stakeholders about the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace? The answer is a resounding no!
It deeply saddened me that the Prime Minister came to my electorate to speak on vital energy policy and end the uncertainty, yet failed to invite me as the region's elected representative.
I have no interest in seeing the debate on energy continue; the energy wars must stop.
The livelihoods of our workers and our region must be a priority. Our capacity to generate affordable and reliable power must also be a priority.
For too long, the energy industry has not been provided with a policy road map from this government.
Our region has seen no investment and no energy policy urgency from this government.
I was frustrated by the Prime Minister's short, sharp threat to business to invest in energy generation or else.
This was not a policy. This was just a few ifs, buts and maybes from the PM.
How can Hunter businesses confidently invest in new energy solutions if this government doesn't provide a clear energy policy?
I will continue to work with industry to build new generation capacity in the Hunter and to deliver more affordable energy solutions to support our region to both secure and create new jobs.
I am afraid I have to disagree with the PM's approach of laying the blame on business for not delivering an alternative to Liddell's closure, how any company can make a sensible investment in the absence of acceptable public policy and community engagement is beyond me.
If the government fronts up with investment for our region, I will welcome it with the appropriate public scrutiny.
We want jobs, but it must not threaten the prosperity of our region and must ensure all landholders are engaged and given a spot at the table before decisions are made.
TESTERS HOLLOW PROGRESSES
Last week I was pleased to read of the progress by Daracon Contractors on the works at Testers Hollow.
I have waited and watched eagerly to see this project finally commence and I know the depths of frustration this section of road has created over the years.
Despite being in opposition, I have championed the need for this vital upgrade continuously and am pleased to be delivering.
A total of $17 million has been committed to the project for upgrades, and like many in the community, I will watch this project closely to ensure that it is fit for purpose and meets the needs of our region long term.
I look forward to meeting and speaking with Daracon Contractors about the works and continued progress.
Our region has seen continued growth, and it remains a crucial priority for me to ensure we are not forgotten by any level of government when it comes to our shared infrastructure.
- Meryl Swanson is the Federal Member for Paterson. Her office can be contacted on (02) 4983 2401 or online via merylswanson.com.au.