LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin wants the NSW Government to expand a trial of its NSW Washing Machine Replacement Program to help local residents whose machines were lost or damaged in the February and March floods.
Ms Saffin has also asked that rather than the Government, Sydney Water and Hunter Water partnering exclusively with The Good Guys for the trial, which ends today (June 30), a future program should be made available through more white goods retailers.
“Fundamentally, I welcome the program’s aim of helping eligible social housing tenants across the State by discounting the costs of replacing their old top loading washing machines with new front loading, energy-efficient machines,” Ms Saffin said.
“However, I’ve written to NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin outlining my reasons why the Government should consider changing the scope of the program.
“People want to have the choice to shop locally and with their white goods shop of choice. Treasurer Matt Kean in the Chamber, recently lauded the Liberals as the party of choice and they can put it into practice here on the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands.
“White goods stores in our regions have rightly complained to me that the Government appears to be picking winners by entering an exclusive arrangement with one retailer.
“Additionally, given what we have suffered here in Lismore, Murwillumbah and other towns, our white goods shops need all the business they can get. A program like this is more important than ever.”
Ms Saffin said that judging by The Good Guys’ website there has been strong take-up of applications so if the trial has been deemed a success, why not extend it to more residents and include chains like Bi-Rite, Harvey Norman or Betta at least?”
Under the trial NSW Washing Machine Replacement Program, eligible applicants could save more than $600 off the recommended retail cost of a new machine, according to The Good Guys website. There were no extra costs for delivery or removal of old machines.