Coali­tion warned

Went­worth not the only elec­torate that is ‘fed up’

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

The Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment can­not pre­sume any seat is safe fol­low­ing the mas­sive swing to In­de­pen­dent Ker­ryn Phelps in the pre­vi­ously safe seat of Went­worth.

The swing to in­de­pen­dents at state and fed­eral by-elec­tions in the past year should be ring­ing alarm bells in the Coali­tion, and not just in its ur­ban elec­torates, ac­cord­ing to Wakool Rivers As­so­ci­a­tion chair John Loli­cato.

Mr Loli­cato said peo­ple across Aus­tralia are tired of po­lit­i­cal games and short term poli­cies that don’t de­liver long term goals.

He said it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear with re­cent by-elec­tion re­sults.

‘‘The Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan was de­vised to ap­pease mar­ginal seats in South Aus­tralia and give the for­mer Howard Gov­ern­ment and ‘en­vi­ron­men­tal cause’, in­stead of de­vel­op­ing sus­tain­able so­lu­tions with re­al­is­tic time frames,’’ Mr Loli­cato said.

‘‘Peo­ple are fed up with po­lit­i­cal games. Why should the NSW Mur­ray re­gion suf­fer be­cause we have an in­dif­fer­ent Fed­eral Wa­ter Min­is­ter who ap­pears more in­tent on his own ca­reer than pro­tect­ing our com­mu­nity’s in­ter­ests?

‘‘This is the type of po­lit­i­cal game play­ing that is lead­ing to mas­sive swings at the bal­lot box and a shift away from the ma­jor par­ties.’’

Mr Loli­cato sug­gested wa­ter would be a key is­sue for vot­ers at up­com­ing state and fed­eral elec­tions next year, es­pe­cially in the cur­rent cli­mate where the lack of ef­fec­tive drought pol­icy is clearly ev­i­dent.

‘‘Our com­mu­ni­ties rely on af­ford­able and re­li­able ac­cess to wa­ter, and over a long pe­riod of time that has been dra­mat­i­cally eroded. How­ever, the Com­mon­wealth’s ap­proach on both sides of pol­i­tics to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Basin Plan is the straw that has bro­ken too many backs,’’ he said.

‘‘We want peo­ple we can trust to be trans­par­ent, call a spade a spade, keep a prom­ise and pro­vide well planned mean­ing­ful con­sul­ta­tion when they com­mit to it. That is not what we are get­ting at present, es­pe­cially in the Fed­eral sphere.

‘‘The Na­tion­als, in par­tic­u­lar, could suf­fer the wrath of poor rep­re­sen­ta­tion at both state and fed­eral level next year.

‘‘They must stop the sneaky games be­ing played by the Com­mon­wealth on the 450 gi­gal­itres.

‘‘The days of our com­mu­nity ac­cept­ing the bro­ken prom­ises and us­ing us as col­lat­eral dam­age for po­lit­i­cal gain are at and end.’’

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