NSW Premier at Bourke last week with Mayor Barry Hollman and Deputy Premier John Barilaro PHOTO TWH
NSW Premier at Brewarrina last week with Councillor Bill Loughnan, Mayor Phillip O’Connor and landholder Dallas Codrington PHOTO SUPPLIED
A promise made a year ago to Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman was honoured last week when Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Bourke and Brewarrina.
The Premier was on a fact-finding tour with Deputy Premier John Barilaro to see first-hand the issues facing Bourke and other remote towns across western New South Wales.
But it was her personal promise to Mayor Hollman that was the motivating force behind her visit — and one she wasn’t going to break.
“I met the Mayor a year ago in Dubbo and he asked me when I was going to come to Bourke, and I said I will get there soon, so here I am,” the Premier said.
“The second reason is to learn on the ground about the opportunities the Deputy Premier and I have, as we head into our third term agenda.
“We asked — ‘what do our towns need from the state government and how can we start delivering on the ground now?’
“We don’t just want to be adding band aids to problems — I know a lot of the water infrastructure we’ve put in place is because of the deep drought we’re in — but what can we do that will provide long term viability so that people stay in the town, the town grows and we stop some of the young people having to leave to get jobs?
“I don’t like hearing those stories and I want to work with the Deputy Premier, the Mayor and the community to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support the community in the best way possible.
“As Premier of New South Wales I make it my mission to get to as many communities and be as accessible as possible.
“One of the things I have learnt in public life is that you can’t make a policy that applies equally to every town or city, every town has different needs and unless you get down and listen you won’t be doing that community a service.
“That’s why I’m here.”
Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.