Sunday, September 30, 2007

Commuting From Cabramatta Too Time Consuming

Reba Meagher
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel
The NSW Health Minister has publicly acknowledged what her constituents feel.

Reba Meagher is useless to Cabramatta. She is useless to Health ministry and her political presence is a bad joke. A bad joke on the people that voted for her. A bad joke on the bad joke of a party that she is a part.

She once went to Canley Vale HS Presentation Day and sat, gracelessly on stage, unable to say anything good about the prizewinning students she sneered at. Yet they vote for her.

She once found herself appointed to the plumb ALP seat as a result of an affair she conducted with a senior ALP figure. Now, despite her meaningless protestations that she would 'live among those she represents in parlaiment' she has acknowledged it preferable to live nearer the beach.

She is someone who doesn't live here. I wish she would go away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reba spurns Cabramatta, again
By Andrew Chesterton and Linda Silmalis
EMBATTLED NSW Health minister Reba Meagher has insulted western Sydney by claiming she is too busy to keep her promise to live in her electorate.

As the state health system lurches from crisis to crisis, Ms Meagher says she can do her job better from beachside Coogee than her seat of Cabramatta in Labor's heartland.

The Minister has quietly resumed living in her Coogee unit, three years after promising she would buy a home in her electorate and live among the people who elected her to parliament.

The Sunday Telegraph discovered the backflip after examining the register of MPs' pecuniary interests, which showed Ms Meagher was renting out her Fairfield West unit.

Ms Meagher moved back into her luxury Coogee apartment two months ago. And showing she has no intentions of moving back west any time soon, Ms Meagher has also enrolled to vote in the upcoming federal election in the eastern suburbs electorate of Kingsford-Smith.

In 2004, she promised to move back to Cabramatta after buying a unit. However, yesterday the Minister said through a spokesman she found it "more practical'' to handle the portfolio from Coogee, insinuating the commute from Cabramatta was too time-consuming.

"The minister purchased in the Cabramatta electorate and lived in the electorate,'' the spokeswoman said. "But with the busy portfolio of health and the public demands associated with that, it has been more practical to rent the property out.

"The minister remains close to the Cabramatta community and enjoys strong support.''

Ms Meagher was pilloried throughout last week for her performance as Health Minister following the disturbing case of a woman who miscarried in the toilet of the emergency ward of Royal North Shore Hospital.

Two weeks ago, The Sunday Telegraph revealed Ms Meagher was dubbed "Ms Invisible'' by the health industry because she was rarely sighted doing her job.

Coogee is approximately 8km from the CBD compared to 28km for Cabramatta.

However, several other state ministers manage to live in the western suburbs while doing their jobs, including the Premier Morris Iemma, whose home is in Lakemba.

Ms Meagher came under fire in 2004 for moving out of the western Sydney electorate which she has represented since 1994. At the time, she said she had moved after the lease on a Canley Vale property she had been renting had expired.

Ms Meagher later announced that she was looking for a place to buy and would move back into the electorate once a suitable property had been found.

"The move to my unit is only temporary,'' she said. "When I find the right property at the right price, I will make my home again in Cabramatta.''

Ms Meagher appeared to keep her word, purchasing a property at Fairfield West in December 2004.

A spokeswoman for Ms Meagher said the Fairfield West property had been rented out since July.

Her move did not impress local property agent Tony Mattiuzzo, of Harcourt Real Estate, who said the minister was neglecting the Cabramatta community by abandoning her electorate for her Coogee apartment.

"She's not putting much effort into helping the community by living away from the area,'' he said. "She's never around.

"All the constituents should put together a petition to get her back.''

An investigation of the property portfolios of the state's MPs has found some are reaping the rewards of the rental crisis.

The latest pecuniary interest register reveals some MPs lease out multiple properties.

Among the MPs with the most lucrative property portfolios include Housing Minister Matt Brown, who rents out 10 properties across several states.

In addition to NSW, Mr Brown has properties in Queensland and Western Australia.