NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro (pictured) will be a special guest at the Deniliquin Ute Muster on Friday.
Mr Barilaro’s office yesterday confirmed his appearance, where he will conduct the two-day event’s official opening.
This will be the Leader of the NSW Nationals’ third visit to Deniliquin since mid-August, with the previous two visits specifically relating to attempts to return timber harvesting to the Murray Valley National Park.
Ute Muster general manager Vicky Lowry said the committee is excited to give Mr Barilaro an introduction to the festival.
‘‘His acceptance to attend on behalf of the Premier is great for Deniliquin and the district,’’ Mrs Lowry said.
‘‘To have the Deputy Premier be part of our iconic event is a coup.
‘‘Our aim is to get an many politicians and people of Mr Barilaro’s calibre to our event, so they can see what this event does for the town and the region.’’
Mrs Lowry said Friday’s special guests will also include former Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli, who recently retired from the NSW Government.
There was speculation NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian would also be visiting Deniliquin this week, however her office confirmed yesterday that this was not the case.
A spokesperson said while the Premier is ‘‘intent on meeting with irrigators and others’’ in Deniliquin and district, a date for the visit has not yet been set.
Her office did say, however, it is likely a visit will be in the ‘‘coming weeks’’.
Ms Berejiklian was formally invited to visit Deniliquin by sawmiller and The Nationals’ Red Gum branch chair Ben Danckert, as part of the push to reinstate timber harvesting in the national park.
It is also believed the Premier has committed to meet with community members on health issues.
■The Deniliquin Ute Muster officially opens on Friday morning, and will close Saturday night. More on the event is on page 5.