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Libraries, dog racing latest pre-election funding winners

NSW library pre-election funding winner

PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND greyhound racing clubs are the latest beneficiaries of NSW Government funding, in this case $60.7 million, in the run up to the March 2019 state election.

The NSW Liberal National coalition government has been rolling out a succession of funding announcements as it stares down the prospect of losing office. Party polling must be telling a grim story if the number and scope of announcements is any guide.

The decision to inject $60 million into public libraries follows the launch of a campaign by the NSW Public Libraries Association for more funding. It also comes after NSW Labor pledged to invest $50 million in libraries and challenged the NSW Government to match it.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the biggest single cash injection in the history of NSW libraries would lift per capita spending from $1.85 to $2.85, the first increase in more than 20 years.

Each of the state’s 370-plus public libraries will benefit. Funds may be used to:
•   Extend library opening hours
•   Expand book collections
•   Deliver English lessons
•   Provide HSC study help
•   Provide classes and outreach programs for seniors
•   Assist smaller libraries to expand and deliver mobile services in remove locations
•   Provide Service NSW kiosks for government services.

There were no details on how much funding will go to particular libraries. This allows local Members of Parliament to make announcements in their own electorates.

Greyhound racing for Monaro gets another lift
More pitch for regional votes on backs of animals

The government is going around the track again for greyhound racing, which it banned two years ago only to reverse its decision three months later.

Some $700,000 has been provided to upgrade safety at the Goulburn racing track to accommodate the ACT Greyhound Club after the Territory Government’s industry ban in May this year.

At the time of the ACT ban, Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, promised to have a racing track available in Queanbeyan by mid-year but nothing more had been heard of the proposal, until now.

Mr Barilaro announced that the government was preparing a business case to build a track at Queanbeyan to give the industry a new home. The Guardian, Australia reported that the study would explore building the track within an existing sporting facility.

In a sign of pre-election silliness, the NSW Coalition said the Queanbeyan facility is to provide a greyhound “centre of excellence”.

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