Tony shines light on crime. Typical.

OK, I admit it: I do get a bit over-sensitive about Campbelltown and its reputation.

Like so many of you, I love my home town and hate it when we are endlessly portrayed by the Sydney media as some sort of drug-crazed, crime-ridden bogan wasteland.

Yes, I know we're not perfect.

But I also know we are a big-hearted, achieving, artistic, three-dimensional community.

A fact ignored by the Sydney media with its in-built sneer.

Even when TV news shows are actually being nice to us, they can't help being patronising or domineering — like when they call us "our west". (Our dog, our cat, our west.)

Visiting politicians are often the worst, making gushing declarations of their love for Campbelltown while trying not to get any of it on their shoes.

Barry O'Farrell, to his credit, was a rare exception.

I strongly disagreed with some of our former premier's political policies, but — fair's fair — he genuinely seemed to love and enjoy Campbelltown and was always popping in.

Any good actor could do that, I hear you say.

Yes, but the proof of the pudding was in the eating, and what Barry really did well was to hold media events that showcased our other sides — our botanic garden, our national park, our arts centre, our achievers, our events, etc.

It didn't always work but we appreciated his efforts.

Last week, we heard PM Tony Abbott was coming to Campbelltown to make some big budget announcement, so we wondered what it was.

A new road to Narellan? No.

Saving the successful Youth Connections program from being axed in the budget? No.

Telling local commuters that the fuel tax (sorry, I mean excise) won't affect them? No.

Something to generate local jobs, or make our schools or health care better? No.

Mr Abbott had chosen Campbelltown to announce . . . wait for it . . . crime cameras.

Why didn't he do it in Manly?

This stunt was designed to sell Mr Abbott — not us — and merely reinforced to a national audience that the words "crime" and "Campbelltown" do belong in the same sentence.

It also suggested that, amid all of the cuts and broken promises affecting Campbelltown families, that this was our biggest budget priority.

It wasn't.


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