Well if it wasn’t already clear the Labor Party would do anything to hold the seat of Wollongong, then it is now.
Labor leader Luke Foley has been in the region that often of late he’d almost qualify as a “local”.
By the same token we haven’t seen his Liberal counterpart, the Premier Mike Baird, for an awfully long time.
It’s clear the party is throwing the kitchen sink at the seat vacated by Noreen Hay.
Mr Foley and his shadow cabinet were in Wollongong for a community forum on Monday.
Front and centre was Labor’s Wollongong candidate Paul Scully.
Mr Scully is the man charged with running in a fiercely Labor seat against his main challenger – a strong independent candidate in Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery.
In another attempt to show how much the seat of Wollongong and the people of the Illawarra mean to the Labor party, Luke Foley announced Keira MP Ryan Park would hold both the job of Treasurer and Minister for the Illawarra if Labor should they win the next state election.
“I’m very proud that the next Labor government of NSW will see a Treasurer of NSW who’s from Wollongong,’’ My Foley said.
“Ryan Park will serve as both treasurer of the state and Minister for the Illawarra.
“What kind of message does that send about Labor’s commitment to this region? The Illawarra and its people matter to us.”
While the Liberal Party is unlikely to run a candidate in the byelection, the last thing the Labor Party needs is to lose the unloseable seat.
ANOTHER SPORTING HERO
The Illawarra has another sporting hero.
James Turner’s jump for joy after winning gold medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics is an iconic image.
Wollongong Athletics president Michael McClelland said James’ performance would inspire a whole other generation of athletes from our region and he is spot on.
James smashed the world record by three seconds to win the T36 cerebral palsy class 800 m on Sunday.
“We are immensely proud of him,” McClelland said.
“He is not only a spectacular athlete, he is also a lovely guy that we love having around the club. ”
Originally from the mid-north coast, James moved to the region to study at the University of Wollongong.