Cansdell wants to finish what he started

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS - TIM HOWARD tim.howard@dai­lyex­am­iner.com.au

STEVE Cansdell gives the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party a real chance of build­ing on its NSW Lower House by-elec­tion suc­cess in Or­ange says party heavy­weight Robert Brown MLC.

The party, which has been around since 1992, is hav­ing its first statewide tilt and the party be­lieves Mr Cansdell gives them some real lower house mus­cle.

“We’re go­ing to run in maybe 15 coun­try elec­torates and five to six city elec­torates statewide,” Mr Brown said.

“We have a lit­tle bit of polling that’s not ours and the polling said this was a seat that was vul­ner­a­ble so we de­cided we’d have a crack.

“As we got to know him we de­cided if we’re go­ing to have a go in the Clarence then this is the sort of bloke we’d cam­paign for and we think he has a shot.”

He said their can­di­date had some bag­gage, fol­low­ing his 2011 res­ig­na­tion af­ter ad­mit­ting to falsely sign­ing a statu­tory dec­la­ra­tion to avoid a speed­ing fine.

“Yes, he does come with bag­gage that’s one of the rea­sons why we picked him,” Mr Brown said.

“He han­dled his in­dis­cre­tion like a man – stood up, took his medicine and what it did was leave him with a bit of a feel­ing he’d let his con­stituents down. Which he had.

“So I guess that left a lit­tle bit of an un­fin­ished busi­ness thing in his guts and he wanted to have a crack.”

Mr Brown said his party thought its ideas and those ex­pressed by Mr Cansdell were a good match.

“I think he saw that we were a po­lit­i­cal party that was big enough to sup­port him, num­ber one.”

“Num­ber two, our ideas are pretty much like his and for­tu­nately un­like the Na­tion­als, who don’t seem to be able to break them­selves free of the apron strings of their Lib­eral masters in Syd­ney, no-one tells us what to do.”

He said not hav­ing a hand on the lev­ers of gov­ern­ment isn’t a draw­back.

“We don’t need to be in gov­ern­ment,” he said.

“We are the fifth largest po­lit­i­cal party in the na­tion. We are ac­tu­ally ahead of Pauline Han­son in terms of the num­ber of peo­ple in par­lia­ment, al­though that al­ters from week to week as peo­ple leave her party and join her party.

“It’s taken us since 1992 to get here so we grow slowly, but no-one in the State or even the Com­mon­wealth can match us for mak­ing law. That is turn­ing bills into law and putting them through both houses.

“We have 10 pieces of leg­is­la­tion – and only two of those have got any­thing to do with shoot­ing, by the way.”

By stand­ing an SFF can­di­date in Clarence, the party be­lieves the com­mu­nity will be a win­ner, whether its can­di­date gets up or not.

“You watch what hap­pens,” he said. “In ev­ery seat where we have shown up – the three by-elec­tions – the gov­ern­ment has opened up the cof­fers.

“Why? Be­cause the gov­ern­ment is des­per­ate to hang onto those elec­torates.

“So what it means for the peo­ple of Clarence is that even stand­ing a can­di­date who has a chance will make gov­ern­ment bet­ter in­so­far as what’s de­liv­ered for the peo­ple of the Clarence.”

HE’S BACK: NSW Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party MLC Robert Brown with Clarence can­di­date Steve Cansdell.

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