Westinvest Deal is all Smoke and Mirrors

Today, at the New South Wales Parliamentary Public

Accountability Committee hearing, Department of Premier and

Cabinet and Treasury confirmed that the WestInvest is all

announcement and no delivery.

It has also been revealed that the 340,000 residents in Bayside

and St George Council areas will be locked out from any of the

funds even though they have been locked down because of

COVID.

Under questions from Labor today, representatives from the NSW

Government confirmed that the promises made surrounding this

fund so far were all smoke and mirrors. It was noted the

government:

Do not know where the money will come from;

Were unclear whether it would even be new money, instead

of money already in the budget for existing projects;

Had no idea of what projects will be included, or what the

eligibility criteria will be;

Could not guarantee that any of the projects will be new,

instead of going to existing projects already announced;

Have no estimate of the number of jobs this fund may

create;

Could not explain why the chosen LGAs were selected, or

why Bayside or Georges River, (both also LGAs of concern),

were excluded;

Do not know which Minster will be responsible for the fund;

Set up the fund without involving the NSW Chief Economist

in any way; and

Could not guarantee that the fund would be governed any

better than the Stronger Communities Fund, which the

Premier has openly admitted was used for pork-barrelling

Government-held seats.

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns said, "Rebuilding West and South

West Sydney requires a comprehensive economic recovery

package that helps small business, workers and families.

"Building schools, repairing roads, properly resourcing hospitals,

and ensuring there is green space available does not require its

own special fund. This should be bread and butter for a state

government – that’s the day job.

“And to add insult to injury, they have left out two council areas

with no explanation as to why – even though they have been

subject to the harsh lockdowns and restrictions.

Labor Shadow Treasurer, Daniel Mookhey said, "It is unfair to

raise the hopes of the people of West and South West Sydney

with yet another smoke and mirrors fund that will never be

delivered, and will simply rebadge existing already-announced

projects, that should have been funded and delivered years ago.

"After having the harshest lockdowns imposed on them, West and

South West Sydney deserve better.

"They need real economic support. Support that recognises the

severe economic impact these areas have seen. Small business

trade down 70 per cent. 1 in 6 job lost. Job ads down 60 per cent.

30 per cent of businesses and 20 per cent of adults relying on

government support.

Shadow Minister for Western Sydney Greg Warren said

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