Six in the fight for Far­rer

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Six can­di­dates are con­firmed to be in the run­ning for the seat of Far­rer at the fed­eral elec­tion on May 18.

This in­cludes sit­ting Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley who is ex­pected to face the fight of her po­lit­i­cal life at the elec­tion.

Pro­vid­ing the big­gest chal­lenge for the Lib­eral in­cum­bent will be In­de­pen­dent Kevin Mack, a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer, cur­rent Mayor of Al­bury City Coun­cil and chair of the Rive­rina and Mur­ray Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils.

La­bor’s Kieran Dab­sch en­tered the race early, launch­ing his cam­paign in May last year.

Con­firm­ing their can­di­dacy in the last week have been Mathoura’s Mike Rose who will stand for Clive Palmer’s United Aus­tralia Party, Al­bury’s Ross Hamil­ton who is stand­ing for Sus­tain­able Aus­tralia Party and Al­bury’s Dean Moss who will rep­re­sent The Greens.

Each of the can­di­dates is be­ing in­vited to a can­di­dates’ fo­rum later this month, to be hosted jointly by the De­niliquin, Bun­naloo and Ber­ri­gan/Jer­ilderie NSW Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion branches.

The fo­rum will be held at the De­niliquin RSL Club on Mon­day, April 29 from 6.30pm.

Mr Mack has the back­ing of dis­trict grass­roots farm­ers, com­mu­nity mem­bers and small busi­ness own­ers who formed Voices or Far­rer ear­lier this year.

Among its mem­bers are for­mer staunch Lib­eral and Coali­tion sup­port­ers, who say they are fed up with the lack of ac­tion from a party which has taken their safe Far­rer seat for granted.

At a rally or­gan­ised by the group and South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors in Al­bury last Tues­day, Ms Ley re­ceived what is be­lieved to have been one of the most hos­tile re­cep­tions in her own elec­torate since she was elected to Par­lia­ment in 2001. The rally at­tracted about 1000 peo­ple and al­most 140 trucks bran­dish­ing mes­sages to pause the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan for the sake of fu­ture farm­ing in the elec­torate (see page 11).

Ms Ley was met with ‘ boos’ and had ‘Pause the Plan’ signs thrust in her face as she tried to ad­dress the rally.

Mr Mack said the NSW elec­tion re­sult on March 23 — which saw The Na­tion­als lose their strong­hold seat of Mur­ray to Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers can­di­date Helen Dal­ton — shows this re­gion is disil­lu­sioned with its rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Mrs Dal­ton won the seat with a swing of nearly 27 per cent, and Mr Mack will have to achieve about 20 per cent to take Far­rer.

He said he ex­pects a sim­i­lar mes­sage will be de­liv­ered in May.

‘‘What we saw in Al­bury on Tues­day was a great rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how Far­rer is feel­ing,’’ Mr Mack said. ‘‘They feel their voice is not be­ing heard. ‘‘The voice in Mur­ray shows it did not have a lot of faith in the ma­jor par­ties, and they are now see­ing that they can make change by vot­ing.

‘‘That to me is far more im­por­tant (than pre-polling num­bers).

‘‘I have al­ready done 6000 kilo­me­tres get­ting around the elec­torate and lis­ten­ing to a lot of great peo­ple.

‘‘The elec­tion be­ing called just for­malises that process — I don’t just sit around and wait for an an­nounce­ment, I just get it done.’’

Ms Ley said her top pri­or­ity re­mains the re­cently an­nounced re­view of the im­pact of zero per cent gen­eral se­cu­rity al­lo­ca­tions.

‘‘I sus­pect that’s the type of sched­ule I’ll have right up to polling day and that’s be­cause this elec­tion is about hear­ing what peo­ple want from their MP not what I want to tell them,’’ she said.

‘‘Tues­day’s protest in Al­bury was about the Basin Plan be­ing too in­flex­i­ble, with not enough give and take be­tween environmental wa­ter and wa­ter for farm­ers, and I ac­tu­ally agree with that ar­gu­ment.

‘‘But as I said af­ter the rally, if ev­ery one of Far­rer’s farm­ers and ir­ri­ga­tors wanted to pause the Plan then I would fight for that — the re­al­ity is dif­fer­ent.

‘‘And that’s be­cause if you ei­ther stop the plan or hold an­other Royal Com­mis­sion, what hap­pens next could ac­tu­ally be worse for us, and cer­tainly will be if La­bor, the Greens or In­de­pen­dents have con­trol of the Par­lia­ment.

‘‘That’s why my big­gest pri­or­ity was to se­cure an ‘in­de­pen­dent’ re­view of how our com­mu­ni­ties are be­ing im­pacted by zero gen­eral se­cu­rity wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions through this drought.

‘‘The Min­is­ter an­nounced this re­view on Wed­nes­day, and I was pleased to see it re­ceived im­me­di­ate back­ing by both the NSW Ir­ri­ga­tors Coun­cil and Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion.

‘‘The re­port will eval­u­ate the cur­rent rules, wa­ter trad­ing and out­comes af­fect­ing the Basin Plan, and I am con­fi­dent it will lead to the com­mon-sense changes our re­gion is cry­ing out for.’’

Mr Mack’s pri­or­i­ties head­ing in to the elec­tion are on mo­bile and NBN con­nec­tiv­ity, im­proved health ser­vices, the devel­op­ment of a na­tional strat­egy to tackle do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sup­port its vic­tims and sus­tain­able re­gional pol­icy. He said un­pin­ning each is wa­ter pol­icy, and get­ting a gen­eral se­cu­rity al­lo­ca­tion for the NSW Mur­ray Val­ley.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.