Shot at Mur­ray

Party seeks to have for­mer chal­lenger on side

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

The Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party is be­lieved to be court­ing Grif­fith’s He­len Dal­ton to stand as its can­di­date in the NSW Mur­ray by-elec­tion.

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, leav­ing lit­tle time for cam­paign­ing.

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.

Mrs Dal­ton is be­lieved to be their top choice, but she de­clined to com­ment on the pos­si­bil­ity when con­tacted by the SOUTH­ERN RIVE­RINA NEWS this week.

It was pre­vi­ously spec­u­lated Mrs Dal­ton could be an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date, and she said she would make a public an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing her in­ten­tions to­mor­row.

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.

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

Mrs Dal­ton said what­ever her choice, she be­lieves the peo­ple of Mur­ray want change.

‘‘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 hos­pi­tals are also in a bad way and peo­ple have had enough.’’

Who­ever it gets as its can­di­date, 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.

Two of the district’s com­mu­nity lead­ers have in­di­cated they will seek pre-se­lec­tion as a The Na­tion­als can­di­dates in the by­elec­tion — for­mer Mur­rumbidgee Shire mayor and soon to-be-elected Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil coun­cil­lor Austin Evans and De­niliquin The Na­tion­als branch chair David Lan­dini.

De­niliquin branch vice chair Perin Davey still will not con­firm spec­u­la­tion she will also seek pre-se­lec­tion for the party.

Grif­fith’s Brian Mills has in­formed he will stand as an in­de­pen­dent.

Early vot­ing is ex­pected to open on Oc­to­ber 2.

Po­lice al­lege the woman recorded a blood al­co­hol level of 0.141 when stopped while driv­ing on Golf Course Rd, Ba­rooga about 8pm on Septm­ber 8.

She was taken to Tocumwal Po­lice Sta­tion for fur­ther test­ing. She was charged with mid-range pre­scribed con­tent of al­co­hol.

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