■ Let­ters to the edi­tor

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Sir,

Since be­ing en­dorsed as the Shoot­ers Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party can­di­date for the Mur­ray by-elec­tion I have trav­elled ex­ten­sively through­out the vast elec­torate, talk­ing to peo­ple in its many com­mu­ni­ties.

I have spent a lot of time in De­niliquin be­cause I wanted to learn more about your unique is­sues and frus­tra­tions.

With­out doubt, the mes­sage that has been de­liv­ered is your com­mu­nity has ‘had enough’. You’ve had enough of bro­ken prom­ises, poor govern­ment pol­icy and total in­ac­tion on vi­tal is­sues like wa­ter, health, forestry and polic­ing.

Fol­low­ing is some of what your com­mu­nity has told me, and what I in­tend to do about it:

Wa­ter: I have fol­lowed the progress of the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan since the orig­i­nal, po­lit­i­cally-driven de­ci­sion to amend the Wa­ter Act 2007. We all know this plan has been a dis­as­ter for our com­mu­ni­ties, who are pay­ing the price to ap­pease city en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and save South Aus­tralian seats. This dis­as­ter has all un­folded un­der the watch of The Na­tion­als. I pledge to fight like no other po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive in our re­gion has fought be­fore, to en­sure we are not the sac­ri­fi­cial lamb for this un­work­able Basin Plan.

Health: How could our former sit­ting Mem­ber al­low a sit­u­a­tion to de­velop where young expectant Mums can­not even have their ba­bies de­liv­ered at De­niliquin Hospi­tal? The De­niliquin health sys­tem has been steadily eroded, with in­suf­fi­cient sup­port from Mur­rumbidgee Health District and an ap­palling dis­re­gard by your po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives. From my first day in of­fice I will be fight­ing to en­sure De­niliquin and District res­i­dents have the ac­cess they de­serve to qual­ity health ser­vices, and there is gen­uine lo­cal in­put into how they are de­liv­ered.

Forestry: The Shoot­ers Fish­ers and Farm­ers al­ready has a Bill in the Up­per House to re­verse the dev­as­tat­ing de­ci­sion to lock up your forests into Na­tional Parks, thus sac­ri­fic­ing your sus­tain­able timber in­dus­try and all the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity that it gen­er­ated. Un­for­tu­nately, your Na­tion­als’ Mem­ber and his party have re­fused to sup­port it. I pledge to keep up the fight to have this Bill passed.

Po­lice: As the new De­niliquin Po­lice Sta­tion nears com­ple­tion, it ap­pears the NSW Govern­ment is go­ing to re­lo­cate the Lo­cal Area Com­mand head­quar­ters to a larger re­gional cen­tre. This is a lu­di­crous de­ci­sion that I will fight to the end. My op­po­nent, Na­tion­als’ can­di­date Austin Evans, has de­scribed the LAC re­struc­ture plans as “a good thing”. It seems, like his pre­de­ces­sors, he’s not pre­pared to go out on a limb and op­pose any­thing that has been pro­posed by his city-based Coali­tion col­leagues. I will fight to keep the LAC head­quar­ters in De­niliquin.

In re­la­tion to the Deni Ute Muster, your lo­cal vol­un­tary board has paid al­most $1 mil­lion to the NSW Govern­ment in un­fair po­lice charges since the Coali­tion told your com­mu­nity in 2006 that it aimed to make po­lice avail­able to the Ute Muster free of charge. The Govern­ment has been able to en­sure that ma­jor city events are ex­empt from these ex­or­bi­tant po­lice fees, but in Deni you still pay! That must change.

There are many other is­sues of con­cern in­clud­ing the man­ner in which lo­cal govern­ment amal­ga­ma­tions were forced upon your com­mu­nity after you were promised this would not hap­pen, and the total mess the NSW Govern­ment has made of our elec­tric­ity sys­tem and en­ergy pol­icy in gen­eral.

But more than any­thing, peo­ple tell me your voice is not heard and ad­e­quately rep­re­sented in Sydney.

If I am given the hon­our of rep­re­sent­ing De­niliquin and District in the NSW Par­lia­ment, you have my ab­so­lute com­mit­ment that I will do ev­ery­thing in my power to change that.

Yours etc.

He­len Dal­ton

Yenda

Shoot­ers Fish­ers and Farm­ers can­di­date for NSW Mur­ray

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