Lan­dini steps up in Mur­ray

Branch chair’s in­ter­ested in Oc­to­ber 14 by-elec­tion

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - FRONT PAGE - By DE­LANEY COUROUPIS

De­niliquin’s David Lan­dini has con­firmed he will look to con­test the NSW seat of Mur­ray at next month’s by-elec­tion.

It comes af­ter NSW Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian con­firmed it would be held on Oc­to­ber 14, the same day at the Coota­mundra by-elec­tion to re­place Ka­t­rina Hodgkin­son.

Nom­i­na­tions will open on Septem­ber 25, and Mr Lan­dini — who is the De­niliquin The Na­tion­als’ party branch pres­i­dent — said he would seek party pre-se­lec­tion.

The party has not yet set a date for when this pre-se­lec­tion process would be fi­nalised.

Mr Lan­dini spec­u­lated there would be ‘‘other candidates’’ seek­ing The Na­tion­als’ pre-se­lec­tion, and one of th­ese could be his branch vice chair Perin Davey.

She would still not con­firm her in­ten­tions when speak­ing to the PAS­TORAL TIMES yes­ter­day, but said given the elec­tion’s quick turn­around, she was ex­pect­ing to ‘‘ make a de­ci­sion soon’’.

A Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers can­di­date won the seat of Orange from The Na­tion­als last year, and the party has con­firmed it will en­ter a can­di­date into the race for Mur­ray.

The party is spec­u­lated to be court­ing pre­vi­ous Adrian Pic­coli chal­lenger He­len Dal­ton as its can­di­date, but Mrs Dal­ton would not con­firm the news yes­ter­day.

She said said she will make a pub­lic an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing her in­ten­tions in Grif­fith on Thurs­day.

‘‘The Na­tion­als have let ru­ral-re­gional Aus­tralia down and I think that’s why there has been a swing to­wards to the Shoot­ers Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party,’’ she said.

‘‘We have three is­sues — health, ed­u­ca­tion and wa­ter — and the Na­tion­als have been to­tally ab­sent with wa­ter and not rep­re­sent­ing the re­gion at all, even though it is what links the whole Mur­ray elec­torate.

‘‘The Deni, Grif­fith and Barham hos­pi­tal are also in a bad way and peo­ple have had enough.’’

Mrs Dal­ton ran against Mr Pic­coli at the 2015 elec­tion. De­spite gain­ing the se­cond high­est num­ber of first pref­er­ence votes of any can­di­date — 6517 — Mrs Dal­ton was not able to give ad­e­quate chase to Mr Pic­coli who polled 20,158 first pref­er­ence votes, or 55.69 per cent.

Mrs Dal­ton also at­tempted to seek The Na­tion­als pre-se­lec­tion in his place in 2014.

Who­ever it gets as its candidates, pre­dic­tions are the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers will shake up the safe Coali­tion seat.

A sur­vey of over 1000 peo­ple con­ducted by Grif­fith-based news­pa­per The Area News found more than 81 per cent of peo­ple would vote for a Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers can­di­date in Mur­ray, while only 12 per cent said they would vote for a The Na­tion­als can­di­date.

The PAS­TORAL TIMES is only aware of two other peo­ple who are con­firmed to be eye­ing Mr Pic­coli’s seat.

For­mer Mur­rumbidgee Shire mayor and soon to-be-elected Mur­rumbidgee Council coun­cil­lor Austin Evans will seek The Na­tion­als pre-se­lec­tion, while Grif­fith’s Brian Mills has in­formed he will stand as an in­de­pen­dent.

Early vot­ing is ex­pected to open on Oc­to­ber 2.

David Lan­dini

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