OPINION: News this week the NSW government is “seriously looking” at plans to build a Las Vegas-styled roof over a Sydney sports stadium had many coughing up their cornflakes in utter disbelief – this masthead included.

When the government refuses to up the funding balance to build the Gunnedah Hospital as originally planned – a critical piece of life-saving health infrastructure in this district – then floats this frivolous idea to pimp out one of its three football stadiums in Sydney town, is beyond the pale.

Plus, I have no doubt every Gunnedah resident could give you an opinion about which pot-hole-riddled road or highway in our region that stadium roof money would be better spent on instead.

It not only demonstrates how out of touch this NSW government is with mainstream society, it shows a complete disregard for those doing it tough – the ‘battlers’ which the Labor party supposedly represents.

Some people are crunching every dollar just to make ends meet as utility bills get higher, living expenses skyrocket, and wages plateau.

Meanwhile, the best this government can come up with is how they had a great time on the Vegas gravy train courtesy of the NRL and how regional NSW should help fund a Vegas stadium for Sydneysiders! It would be laughable if it wasn’t true.

I challenge the NSW minister responsible for this grandiose stadium proposal to meet with the those suffering illness and disease in Gunnedah who are forced to seek treatment elsewhere because the government believes money for hospital upgrades would be better spent on elite, city sports facilities.

This government needs a long, hard look at its priorities and consider what is really important to the whole state, not just their own wealthy, intercity constituencies.

Because when it comes down to a choice between a city stadium makeover and a potentially life-saving cancer-fighting treatment facility in a country hospital, I know which makes sense on a human level. But politically, well that’s another story.

Time for the pollies to get their head out of the Vegas clouds and deliver people in regional NSW something that really matters.

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