Pork barrelling artificial reef

Central Coast Labor MPs are calling out pork barrelling by the Perrottet Government after yet another project was greenlit for the Liberal-held seat of Terrigal.

17 June 2022

 

MEMBER for Wyong and Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris expressed his disappointment over the location chosen by the State Government for the artificial reef.

 

“Presumably the NSW Government will release the scientific data for making this decision and why other areas were not considered appropriate? Transparency in decision making would give Coast residents confidence this was the best decision,” he said.

 

David Mehan, Member for The Entrance, said “I am disappointed that the government has not taken into account the communities wishes when making their decision.”

 

The decision by the NSW Government is just another example of Liberal ‘pork barrelling’ and favouring the Liberal seat of Terrigal in preference to other suitable locations.

 

The new artificial reef will be established off the coast of Terrigal, which sits within Liberal MP Adam Crouch’s electorate.

 

This decision follows the NSW Government Department of Primary Industries expressions of interest period, which called for entries for an artificial reef to be developed in NSW.

 

Central Coast Labor MPs consulted with local community members about their preferred location of the reef via a survey. The top 2 responses were Shelley Beach and Catherine Hill Bay. Labor Members wrote to the former Minister for Agriculture.

 

Despite these efforts, the Liberal Government have failed to consider the views of Central Coast residents and will install the reef off Terrigal.

 

Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley said “I am utterly disappointed that the NSW Liberal Government have ignored the views of Coasties and have directly handed the artificial reef to their colleague Adam Crouch. This is an example of pork barrelling at its finest.”

 

Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford, said “Dominic Perrottet and the NSW Government have a track record of pork barrelling and unfair practices. It’s time that integrity was restored to processes in NSW.”

 

Pork barrelling by the NSW Government has been a well-documented and reported:

 

  • 96 percent of funding from the Stronger Communities Fund to Coalition and marginal seats.

 

  • Earlier this year, the NSW Government awarded Blue Plaques to heritage sites in exclusively Coalition electorates. No Labor electorate was a recipient of the Blue Plaques Program, despite 763 nominations being made by community members in those electorates.

 

  • In 2021, the NSW Government awarded no bushfire recovery funds to the Central Coast despite suffering nearly $160 million worth of damage in the 2019/20 bushfires.

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