Look who's back

NSW shadow minister Steve Whan was in Cooma on Wednesday morning petitioning against the state government's funding cuts to education and other government departments.

The former member for Monaro, Mr Whan and Labor Party volunteer Bruce Bashford were outside Cooma North Public School asking parents and community members to sign a petition to 'Stop the Cuts'.

"So far on my count, we have DPI (Department of Primary Industries), CMA (Catchment Management Authorities), LHPA (Livestock Health and Pest Authorities), hospitals, schools and TAFE all facing cuts," Mr Whan said.

"Given the NSW government is the biggest employer in Cooma, that will have significant flow on impacts here."

Mr Whan said a number of Labor Party volunteers would take the petition to all schools on the Monaro and Bombala next Wednesday and he would take the signed petitions to the Legislative Assembly and also the lower house when parliament resumes in February next year.

"So far there has been no debate about these funding cuts in the parliament," Mr Whan said.

"These petitions will provide the opportunity to debate and vote on these cuts.

"With $1.7 billion cut from education over the next four years and cuts to DPI extension staff and other areas,

the comment John Barilaro made that the cuts to DPI wouldn't have an impact in Cooma was "outrageous." "The agronomist and the livestock officer positions are being merged into one position, not to mention all the other advisory positions that are going from the Victorian border to Bathurst."

Volunteer Bruce Bashford who was also collecting signatures for the petition said now is the time to put the bridle on.

"It will be too late when the next election is on in two years time," Mr Bashford said.

Mr Whan has a number of ministerial responsibilities including Shadow Minister for Resources and Primary Industries, Tourism Major Events Hospitality and Racing and Rural Water.

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