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Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Pork-barrelling Ben

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Cartoon of the week – June 19, 2024

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

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Keith Duncan, Pimlico.

An interesting letter from Keith Williams and Ballina Country Labor (Echo, February 28) regarding the ongoing pork barrelling activities by the Nationals Ben Franklin, yes this fellow is like father Christmas, he’s popping down every chimney in the Ballina electorate, the cash splash is great Ben but were probably just suffering from the shock of seeing someone from the Nationals doing it.

The Nationals love beating their chests over recent spending on local hospitals and roads and that’s fine, they’re badly needed, but they conveniently forget most of these projects were started by the previous Labor government, and the sudden cash splash has come from flogging off our public infrastructure.

The sad result of selling our electricity grid has already resulted in the loss of at least 600 jobs in regional NSW, with another 600 scheduled to go.

As of July 2017 NCOSS reported that 77 per cent of low income NSW households are going without heating in a bid to reduce their onerous power bills.

NSW electricity consumers have experienced the biggest price rise in Aust., with almost half of regional customers now suffering bill crisis.

NSW now has the dubious honour of having some of the highest electricity prices in the world, and is currently being investigated by the ACCC as to whether there is price collusion as a result of only a few generators now operating.

I’m sure from recent election disasters the Nationals have already got the message and that’s what all the pork barrelling is about, but don’t be too surprised if we’re somewhat reluctant to be enticed with our own money.


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