No easy read for fo­rum chair Norm

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

While Sun­day’s ‘Meet the Can­di­dates’ fo­rum in De­niliquin was a mostly se­ri­ous af­fair, there were a cou­ple of lighter mo­ments.

The four Mur­ray by-elec­tion can­di­dates in at­ten­dance — The Na­tion­als’ Austin Evans, Shoot­ers Fish­ers and Farm­ers’ He­len Dal­ton, and In­de­pen­dents Brian Mills and Peter Robin­son — were each given five min­utes to ad­dress what was a small­ish crowd of about 45 peo­ple fol­lowed by ques­tions from the floor.

One of the ques­tion­ers, af­ter rat­tling off a long list of is­sues, then queried Mr Evans as to ‘‘what’s go­ing to change?’’ if The Na­tion­als are re-elected.

‘‘With re­gards to what?’’ Mr Evans re­sponded.

‘‘Every­thing!’’ was the stern re­sponse from the ques­tioner which drew some laughs and cheers.

New Ed­ward River Coun­cil mayor Norm Bren­nan chaired the fo­rum, and in the ab­sence of two can­di­dates — Coun­try La­bor’s Michael Kidd and Greens’ Ray Good­lass — Mr Bren­nan read an ad­dress of their be­half.

Not one to be known for green ide­olo­gies, Mr Bren­nan light-heart­edly noted af­ter read­ing Mr Good­lass’s state­ment: ‘‘That was very dif­fi­cult for me to read.’’

‘‘Well, you were very con­vinc­ing!’’ yelled some­one from the floor.

It was also noted that Mr Bren­nan was the only Ed­ward River coun­cil­lor at the event, how­ever there were three un­suc­cess­ful can­di­dates in at­ten­dance from the re­cent lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion, one of them be­ing by-elec­tion hope­ful Peter Robin­son.

■ The PAS­TORAL TIMES is­sued its own ques­tions to each of the Mur­ray can­di­dates. Five of the six re­sponded - see pages 18 and 19.

Naughty Kidd

Elec­tion cam­paign signs for Coun­try La­bor can­di­date Michael Kidd have been con­fis­cated by Ed­ward River Coun­cil.

Mayor Norm Bren­nan con­firmed coun­cil staff re­moved the signs Mr Kidd had placed in the De­niliquin cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict due to their ‘‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’’ place­ment.

Some of the signs were pinned on give way signs at al­most eye level on two of the CBD’s busiest round­abouts in the lead up to the NSW Labour Day long week­end, which is De­niliquin Ute Muster week­end.

Cr Bren­nan said as well as be­ing a safety hazard, Mr Kidd or Coun­try La­bor did not seek coun­cil per­mis­sion.

Some signs were also placed on pri­vate prop­erty, and Cr Bren­nan said there were also con­cerns that per­mis­sion was not sought for these ei­ther.

‘‘We have his signs at the coun­cil of­fice if Mr Kidd wants them back,’’ Cr Bren­nan said.

Try, try again

There are a coupe of fa­mil­iar faces step­ping up to the plate in this week­end’s Mur­ray by-elec­tion, with both He­len Dal­ton and Brian Mills un­suc­cess­fully chal­leng­ing Adrian Pic­coli in the 2015 state elec­tion.

Mrs Dal­ton has chal­lenged Mr Pic­coli twice, first un­suc­cess­fully seek­ing The Na­tion­als’ pre-se­lec­tion be­fore reg­is­ter­ing as an In­de­pen­dent.

Mrs Dal­ton did make her mark at that elec­tion, how­ever. The swing against The Na­tion­als that year was -22.3 per cent, with 18.2 per cent go­ing to Mrs Dal­ton. At the same elec­tion, Mr Mills polled 3.8 per cent of the vote.

Mr Pic­coli still won con­vinc­ingly though, with 55.5 per cent of the vote.

Mr Mills has also had a crack at rep­re­sent­ing the re­gion at a fed­eral level. He stood against in­cum­bent Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley at the 2016 elec­tion, polling 4.3 per cent.

Lady of The Land

With the lo­cal Speak Up cam­paign and the NSW Farm­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion tak­ing a huge in­ter­est in the Mur­ray by-elec­tion, agri­cul­tural and wa­ter man­age­ment is­sues are sure to play a key role in the re­sult.

And if you go by the po­ten­tial vot­ing habits of read­ers of The Land news­pa­per, the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers party will get the nod.

In a read­ers’ poll on its web­site, The Land asked peo­ple to in­di­cate who they would vote for in the Mur­ray by-elec­tion.

He­len Dal­ton re­ceived 70.24 per cent of the reader votes.

Austin Evans polled next high­est in the sur­vey, with 16.66 per cent, fol­lowed by 10.14 per cent for Michael Kidd, 1.43 per cent for Ray Good­lass, 1.15 per cent for Peter Robin­son and 0.37 per cent for Brian Mills.

Two horse race

Bet­ting agency Sports­bet has re­leased odds for tomorrow’s NSW Mur­ray by­elec­tion.

It rates The Na­tion­als as clear favourite to re­tain the seat, but with the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers party pos­ing a real threat.

Mar­kets yes­ter­day, sports­, were:

$1.72 – Austin Evans (Na­tional); $2.10 – He­len Dal­ton (Shoot­ers Fish­ers and Farm­ers); $15 – Peter Robin­son (In­de­pen­dent); $26 – Michael Kidd (Coun­try La­bor); $34 – Brian Mills (In­de­pen­dent); $67 – Ray Good­lass (Greens). cour­tesy of

Ed­ward River Coun­cil Mayor Norm Bren­nan (cen­tre) with Brian Mills, He­len Dal­ton, Austin Evans and Peter Robin­son at SUn­day’s fo­rum.

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