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Nationals have lost rural respect

by
October 04, 2017

Sir,

I usually don’t care too much about what Adrian Piccoli says, but his latest outburst (Letter to Editor, Pastoral Times, September 22) needs a response.

The Nationals have lost the respect of regional rural NSW. They have become simply an extension of the city Liberals.

Recent disastrous decisions on greyhounds, forced council amalgamations and water policy signify a party that has lost its way and lost its principles.

The Nationals stopped being the country party years ago.

Their reluctance to stand up to the Liberal Party has resulted in poor outcomes for our electorate of Murray.

Mr Piccoli’s unwarranted outburst against the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party’s track record in Parliament is clutching at straws.

The SFF have used their balance of power in the Upper House to advocate on issues such as water, health, local government and the river red gum industry.

These are the facts.

Robert Brown MLC has led the way on reform for farmers with his Upper House inquiry into water management and the MDBA. Mr Piccoli has been conspicuously absent in the debate, instead simply parroting that this is the plan we have to have.

Phil Donato MP tabled a Bill to guarantee 24/7 nurses in high care nursing homes.

Robert Borsak MLC passed a Bill in the Upper House to support giving local communities a vote on the future of their councils only to have the Nationals block it in the lower house.

Since 2013, the SFF have had a bill to reverse the devastating decision to lock up and leave what was a sustainable forestry industry.

Robert Brown put a NSWF-sponsored Bill to the Upper House on repeal of the Native Vegetation Act, only to be rejected by the Nationals, Liberals, Greens, and Labor.

Rural infrastructure backlog is now in the tens of millions. Too many of our regional hospitals, roads and schools are showing obvious signs of neglect by the State Government especially in safe Nationals’ seats.

We are the fifth largest party and have put up more bills into legislation than any other minor party in recent history.

Together with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers I will make a difference. For far too long we have been treated as second class citizens despite the significant contribution Murray has made to the state of NSW.

Yours etc.

Helen Dalton

SFF candidate

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