OPINION

Campbelltown Matters with Greg Warren: It's time NSW government treated all NSW residents with the same respect, dignity and importance

One of the biggest challenges politicians face is earning the trust of the people they represent.

When a government creates a $650 taxpayer-funded slush fund, earning that trust becomes even harder.

The $252 million Stronger Communities Fund and $400 million Stronger Communities Fund have rightly become the focus of an NSW Parliament Upper House inquiry into the government's administration - or more appropriately, maladministration - of grants programs.

This inquiry is so important for several reasons.

Firstly, we all pay taxes so we all have an invested interest of where that money actually ends up.

Taxes are there to fund projects and infrastructure like schools and hospitals, taxes should never be used for the purpose of propping up the election prospects of NSW Liberals and NSW Nationals.

Secondly, grants should be awarded on a needs basis - they should never be awarded to "curry favour" with voters (those words will make more sense when you read on a bit further).

If governments are not transparent and open with the public, then it makes it even harder to earn the trust and respect of the people politicians are appointed to represent.

To date, the grants inquiry has exposed a deliberate system where the Premier and her colleagues have used grants programs like the Stronger Communities Funds to prop up certain communities at the expense of others.

In November the Premier brazenly admitted the government engaged in pork-barrelling.

She said: "All government and oppositions make commitments to the community in order to curry favour. That's part of the political process whether we like it or not."

It was an astonishing admission - yet not very surprising given the government's track record since 2011.

We know all too well what the NSW Liberals think of Campbelltown - our broken down schools, shambles of a local health system and diabolical public transport network are constant reminders of an electorate this government has refused to invest in adequately.

It's time this government treated all NSW residents with the same respect, dignity and importance

This story Campbelltown Matters with Greg Warren: It's time NSW government treated all NSW residents with the same respect, dignity and importance first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.