Lindsay, covering the Penrith-St Marys district of outer western Sydney, was one of the Liberals' most unexpected scalps in 1996 when Jackie Kelly toppled Ross Free. Kelly has said "enough" after eleven years and one of her staffers, Karen Chijoff, is aspiring to succeed her. David Bradbury, a corporate lawyer who is a former Mayor of Penrith and antibusinessunionist (no, not the acclaimed documentary-maker) needs a 2.9% swing to make Lindsay one of the Sweet Sixteen Seats the ALP needs to claim government.
Yesterday, John Winston Howard visited St Marys, and rolled out the barrel while he was there. As in other parts of the country, he was playing wedge politics against the State Government. This excerpt from yesterday's doorstop (source - Liberal Party website), which starts with yet another example of the PM's numeracy difficulties:
PRIME MINISTER: [...] Now secondly, thirdly rather here in the electorate of Lindsay I’m proud to have Karen Chijoff who is the Liberal candidate for Lindsay beside me. Karen has through her association with the community and also working very closely with Jackie Kelly, the retiring member for Lindsay, Karen has a very good understanding of the worries and concerns of the community of Lindsay. She knows what it’s like to raise a young family in this area. She understands both the opportunities and the challenges of Lindsay. She’s had plenty of real life experience in relation to her former career activities and she represents a wonderful replacement for Jackie Kelly as the hard working Member for Lindsay. One of the things that is of enormous concern to people in this part of western Sydney are car and traffic hoons and criminal and anti-social behaviour is of very great concern and as a result the Government has decided to provide some $550,000 to the local council for the installation of closed circuit cameras to combat street racing and antisocial behaviour in the St Marys area.
Now the Western Highway, which is just over there, has witnessed several serious accidents over recent months which have been in part at least attributable to nothing short of criminal behaviour and antisocial behaviour on the roads and what we want to do is to give the local council the money to purchase a mobile closed circuit television system that will allow the police to closely monitor the road and respond quickly to further incidents of street racing. It will enable the photographing of car number plates and it will significantly increase the policing capacity by having this additional asset. We don’t think the State Government has provided enough police for this area and what we’re going to do is step in and provide the local community with the wherewithal to provide this extra device to fight antisocial behaviour. Now Karen, who’s campaigned very hard for this and my announcement today responds to the concerns that she has articulated on behalf of the local community. It is a very strong, practical gesture designed to assist the local community and I’m delighted to be able to make this announcement with Karen by my side. Are there any questions?
JOURNALIST: Mr Howard, isn’t this just pork barrelling? I mean, are you planning to offer this to any other council who has the same problem?
Well I think it’s fair to say if you understand this part of Sydney that it is actually a bigger problem here. I’m not saying it’s only a problem here but it is a particularly big problem here and therefore your allegation of pork barrelling is quite false. It’s never pork barrelling to do something that the community legitimately wants you to do and which legitimately improves the amenities of a local community but if you have followed antisocial behaviour closely in Sydney you would be aware of how much concern there is in western Sydney about this particular problem.
Didn't actually answer the journalist's second question, did he? I mean, too many safe Labor seats in Sydney to worry about, eh?