WE would like to detail our contact with NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey regarding the roundabout that is needed at the intersection of Suttor, Lambert and Mitre streets.
In August 2017, we contacted Melinda Pavey's office and were referred to her media adviser. When we told her that we had 4444 signatures on our petition regarding safety problems at the West Bathurst intersection, she suggested it would be appropriate to increase the number of signatures to over 5000 and get back in touch with them and they would see what action could be taken.
She said they had sold the electricity poles and wires for $30 billion and the State Government had plenty of money. She said the Government was looking to allocate the money to country projects.
We knocked on another 690 doors to achieve the required number.
After waiting to get an interview with Melinda Pavey (by inquiries through Paul Toole's office), out of sheer frustration we got up at 4am on Friday, November 17, 2017, caught the Bathurst Bullet and arrived at the ministerial headquarters at approximately 10am.
The reception staff contacted Minister Pavey's office and were told they were understaffed, so could not come down the lift for five minutes to receive our letter addressed to Minister Pavey, which had letters attached from Assumption School P and F, West Bathurst School P and C and Bathurst High Campus P and C all addressed to Minister Pavey.
We then rang Paul Toole's ministerial office (in the same building) and a young lady on his staff came down and said she would give our large letter and attachments to Paul Toole when he was next in the office and he would hand it to Melinda Pavey, who was in the next door ministerial office. She also took us to Parliament House to arrange for lodging our petition (with 5134 signatures) at the State Legislative Assembly at a suitable time.
On November 21/22, 2017, Minister Paul Toole delivered our letter to Melinda Pavey personally.
The petition was presented in Parliament after question time on Thursday, November 23, 2017.
We have been waiting for an interview with Minister Pavey since we first inquired through Paul Toole's office early in October 2017 to see whether she would provide any financial assistance to Bathurst Regional Council towards the cost of the roundabout at the intersection.
After receiving no response, we forwarded a letter on February 7, 2018 through the ministerial website and another reminder on February 21, 2018 to Melinda Pavey to ask why we had received no response to our November 2017 letter. We had not even had an acknowledgement from Minister Pavey's office.
Out of frustration, we sent a letter to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on March 21, 2018, asking why her ministers did not follow their "correspondence policy" of responding to correspondence within 20 working days.
As a result, we finally got a telephone call from Minister Pavey's office on April 5, 2018, indicating that our letter had been placed in the "urgent" category and we should receive a response within two weeks.
We also received a letter from the Premier's office apologising that our letter had not received a response and stating that: "Unfortunately, on occasions replies to correspondence can be delayed for a variety of reasons."
Or should we say incompetence was the major factor?
This is very poor service from a Minister of the Crown. Most offices have a standard, one sentence response which can be sent advising that a full response will be forwarded at a later date.
We wait, with anticipation, for the reply.