Finley has been forgotten again by the NSW government with no more promises or money to be distributed before the election.
Since the start of the year NSW Member for Murray Austin Evans has announced funding for Finley Community Gym and Finley Showgrounds totalling just $126,000 for a town that has lost four points on the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). A one point drop is considered significant.
It comes off the back of Finley missing out on round two of the Stronger Country Communities Fund last year.
In contrast the Riverine Grazier at Hay have been splashing the headlines in the past fortnight of ‘$8.9 million for Hay’ and ‘$4 million TAFE for Hay in pre-election promise’.
There has been widespread criticism of the neglect being faced in the southern part of the Murray electorate in the lead up to Saturday’s election, including lack of action to fix water issues.
Mr Evans confirmed Finley TAFE won’t be receiving funding but said there’s a chance Finley might receive money for a Connected Learning Centre (CLC) after the election.
‘‘Hay is receiving money for a CLC similar to the one in Deniliquin and it’s a model they want to roll out more.
‘‘I would certainly argue the case for Finley but it’s not happening before the election.
‘‘Deni being a bigger TAFE was probably an easier spot to put a CLC and was about eighth on the list of CLCs to be rolled out across the state which is why it was built early on.
‘‘With Hay’s isolation, it probably contributes towards their funding but it’s a model proposed a few years ago and working really well.
‘‘It’s the sort of thing we will certainly see more of but there are no firm plans for Finley at this stage,’’ Mr Evans said.
In three days Mr Evans finds out if the Murray electorate think he’s the right person for the job.
This Saturday, the Southern Riverina and the rest of NSW will vote on who will lead the state for the next four years.
Mr Evans holds the seat with a margin of only 3.3 per cent lead, reduced from The Nationals’ safe seat status of 22 per cent at the 2015 election won by Adrian Piccoli.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Helen Dalton is again likely to be the key challenger on Saturday. The Murrumbidgee farmer has a strong background in the water policy debate, and with little happening to resolve the present crisis is expected to get considerable support.
Mr Evans is expected to poll well in the more populated northern booths of Griffith, Leeton and his home town Coleambally.
The Nationals have targeted Griffith and Leeton in the lead up to the election by pouring money into the region.
However down south he is most likely to suffer heavy losses particularly in Deniliquin and Mathoura where there is discontent at what many consider lack of action on key issues including water, health, education and forestry.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate Tom Weyrich might also poll well in southern booths as a local Mathoura man and councillor for the Murray River Council covering Moama and Wakool. Where to vote in the Murray electorate:
● Barooga Public School — Hay St.
● Berrigan Public School — 25-29 Momalong St.
● Blighty Public School — Blighty School Rd.
● Finley High School — Tocumwal St.
● Tocumwal Public School —Morris St. Albury is a safe Liberal seat and has been held by that party since 1988.
For the past 16 years Greg Aplin has been the local member, however he is retiring at this election.
Replacing Mr Aplin as the Liberal candidate is veterinarian Justin Clancy. Where to vote in the Albury electorate:
● Jerilderie Civic Hall — 33 Jerilderie St.
● Oaklands Central School — Coreen St.
● Urana Public School — 62 William St.