Premier encouraged to press the flesh with locals
RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot is calling on the NSW Premier to attend a town hall style meeting when the state leader visits the Tweed next week.
Ms Berejiklian is due to travel to the Tweed on Monday and is scheduled to meet local business owners in Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah for pre-arranged breakfast and lunch meetings via the respective town chamber of commerce groups.
The visit will be the second to the Tweed for Ms Berejiklian since assuming leadership of the state in January, with the premier visiting the region in the immediate aftermath of the March 30 flood that devastated much of the shire.
Her meeting on that occasion coincided with a flying visit by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, whom she joined for a briefing at the SES office in Murwillumbah.
In an invite issued to the Premier yesterday, Mrs Elliot called on Ms Berejiklian to extend her visit to the region and attend a town hall-style meeting in the Murwillumbah CBD to give residents more access to her.
"I understand you are scheduled to attend a function at the Tweed River Regional Art Gallery,” Mrs Elliot wrote to the Premier.
"I am certain that you will enjoy our outstanding art gallery and that you will appreciate how proud we are of this valuable community asset.
"However, I am very disappointed that your visit does not seem to include an opportunity for more locals to speak directly with you. Therefore, I would like to propose arranging a public town hall meeting in the Murwillumbah CBD. This would enable members of our community to speak directly with you about critical State Government issues.”
Mrs Elliot said while the flood recovery remained top of the agenda, particularly in Murwillumbah, other issues were also important to the region, including:
- Lack of police at Murwillumbah station;
- Declining hospital front line services at Murwillumbah hospital;
- The closure of the Murwillumbah TAFE;
- The closure of the Tweed Valley Women's Service; and
- The urgent need for more funding to address housing and homelessness concerns.
Mrs Elliot said she would arrange the town hall meeting as soon as the Premier accepted her invitation.
The Premier has been approached for comment.