The tough conditions faced by Lithgow’s farmers, small business people and pensioners were the centre of Cr Cassandra Coleman’s address to the NSW Labor Party conference in Sydney last weekend.
Cr Coleman said she spoke to 800 Labor delegates about how resident and rate payers were struggling on a daily basis in Lithgow.
Councillor Coleman put the focus on the hardship of local farmers, business owners and pensioners.
“Our farmers are doing it tough dealing with the drought and dog attacks,” she said.
“Our home-based businesses are suffering with the delays to getting the NBN.
“Pensioners are struggling with the high-power bills especially during dead of winter.”
Cr Coleman said Lithgow was seeing a drop-in enrolment within small schools because families were moving away.
“The lack of employment opportunities is forcing people to leave Lithgow at the same time, the penalty rate cut is affecting the bottom line for many families. This is only a snapshot of what is occurring across rural and regional NSW,” Cr Coleman said.
She also advocated for improvements to nurse to resident ratios in aged care facilities.
“We need to be investing more in infrastructure in rural and regional NSW. We need to legislate protections in all NSW state awards and agreements so that penalty rates aren’t cut,” Cr Coleman said.
“Schools and hospitals need to be put before stadiums. We need a Fairer NSW where 100 per cent of the snowy hydro proceeds will be dedicated to new projects investing in country NSW.”