‘Not Glad Gladys’ was the theme of a union rally held in Belmore Park on March 1.
Members of various unions were voicing their concerns about what they said was continuing cuts to services and privatization under the NSW Liberals and Nationals’ government.
They also expressed their concerns that the State Government had a focus on the cities rather than the bush.
“The regions are the Berejiklian-Barilaro government’s forgotten land,” said Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey.
“All they care about is Sydney. Sydney roads, Sydney’s population and Sydney’s stadiums.”
The lunchtime rally drew local workers and unions, including the Public Service Association, Health Services Union, NSW Police Association, NSW Teachers Federation and the Nurses and Midwives Association.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Unions NSW’s said the Not Glad Gladys campaign would hold rallies across regional NSW, with a focus on rising unemployment and an absence of government spending.
“Workers in regional NSW are sick of the Nationals telling them they’ll fight for them, and then letting the Liberals forget about the bush,” Mr Morey told the crowd.
“When the Liberals and Nationals sold off public power assets they promised 30 percent would go straight to regional NSW. But the independent Auditor-General found that in the past four years the regions have received only half of this promised funding.
“Instead the Nationals let the Liberals throw away $14 billion in overspending on botched Sydney infrastructure, and another $2.2 billion on pulling down and rebuilding perfectly good Sydney stadiums.”
Public Sector Association assistant secretary Troy Wright cited examples in NSW National Parks where there had been job losses of rangers and other professionals.
"In corrections, a bench marking process has been introduced, which means job cuts that leaves jails less safe," he said.
Phil Chadwck, a union delegate speaking about TAFE said these graduates were: "brickies and sparkies and hairdresses as well early childcare educators and aged care workers and hospitality workers.
"TAFE graduates look after us from the cradle to the grave," he said.
"There are only two things the Liberals and Nationals (LNP) don’t like about TAFE – the students and the teachers, but they do value the land values that the TAFE colleges are set on."
"The LNP has cut over 5700 jobs across NSW. Students in Queanbeyan and Goulburn are doing lessons by Skype because there is not a teacher to deliver it face to face," he said.
Labor candidate for Goulburn Ursula Stephens also spoke at the rally.
"The commitment was that 30 per cent of the poles and wires sell off would come to the regions but the fact is that only 17 per cent has been spent in regional NSW," she said.
"Labor has been listening about the cuts to services. We have made a commitment to the NSWNMA about nurse to patient rations and upgrading hospitals right across the electorate.
"We are really concerned about the Coles workers in Goulburn who are going to lose their jobs. We want to provide opportunities for re-training them, including the 600,000 new TAFE places that will come online under a Daley Labor government."
"We want local jobs and local investment the regions is where the growth is happening – you can see the expansion of housing – where are the jobs is the question we have to ask by attracting jobs and investment to our region."