FOLLOWING the $8 million Resources for Region announcement by the coalition government this morning, Independent candidate Tracy Norman has called them out for “missing the mark” with major funding and neglecting many grassroots issues such as retaining local doctors and teachers.
“When I spoke to the Singleton Council about the Resources for Regions they said they were happy with the current arrangements. The priority should be seed funding for the Upper Hunter’s Diversification Transition and more support for services and grass-roots community organisations,” Ms Norman said.
Ms Norman said during her time campaigning as an Upper Hunter by-election candidate, she has being made aware of the lack of funding and support for the region’s crucial grass-roots organisations.
“These organisations run off the blood, sweat and tears of dedicated community members but they also need funds to keep going and growing in their service and effect. The ripple effect created by our grass-roots organisations, without the big overheads and administration costs, is phenomenal. We need to decentralise and keep the money in the local communities.” Ms Norman said.
“There are so many vital services crying out for support, with no stability or sustainability without ongoing guaranteed funding, organisations like Youth Express, Where there’s a Will and Upper Hunter Homeless Support,” she said.
“The work these people are doing is the work that saves our people in times of desperation and devastation. Life can be tough and there is security in knowing that we have these care services available for ourselves and our families and friends in times of need,” said Ms Norman.
Last week, Ms Norman made an announcement regarding the lack of medical professionals and staff resources in the Upper Hunter region. She says funding should be aimed at people, not just buildings.
“I spoke about the Upper Hunter lacking in medical resources last week, but I also want to mention our education system here. I have been talking to teachers who cannot find permanent positions at schools, so we end up losing them to bigger and better opportunities elsewhere,” Ms Norman said.
“This means our kids miss out on having permanent, talented teachers. It seems that our country kids are missing out on a great education for no real reason. If we want to advance our kids, we need to advance how we treat our teachers and schools. It’s really not that hard,” she said.
“It’s about reaching a balanced solution,” Ms Norman said.
For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.
More stories on: Tracy Norman.