News

Slim senate chance

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Perin Davey says Farrer voters must remember Tony Burke and his plan to implement buybacks when they cast their Australian Senate vote.

The Conargo farmer is representing the Nationals in a bid to gain an upper house seat at Saturday’s federal election.

The spots for the Senate are tight. Only six people from each of the states will be elected to the upper house plus two people from the territories.

Ms Davey has a slim chance of being elected to the Australian Senate as she’s listed third on the ballot paper for the Coalition, however she is the top Nationals candidate.

There are 105 candidates vying for those six spots in NSW with Labor and The Greens expected to take at least one seat each.

Despite the odds stacked against her, Ms Davey said she has a 50/50 chance being elected to the upper house.

‘‘The national polls are saying the Coalition is around 48 per cent of the overall poll so hopefully that’s replicated in the Senate vote.

‘‘The Coalition needs to poll at or above 50 per cent to get three senators up. It will be quite tough considering only six people from NSW will be elected.

‘‘The Guardian newspaper analysis said the last spot will most likely come down to myself and the One Nation candidate.

‘‘My name was mentioned in the analysis so that gave me a boost,’’ she said with a laugh.

The last time the Coalition polled more than 50 per cent of the senate vote was in 1975 when Malcolm Fraser defeated Gough Whitlam, however it did manage to poll 49.4 per cent in NSW.

Since the start of the campaign, Ms Davey has been travelling through NSW and said the one issue that’s coming up more than water policy is drought policy.

‘‘We need a long term program in place to be able to withstand and be resilient through drought rather than reacting to drought and implementing policy on the run.’’

Ms Davey said she’s calling for better regulations on water policy so ultimately farmers can benefit.

‘‘From my perspective there are lots of things we can be looking at.

‘‘I would like to see a closer inspection and analysis on operations and management of the system so that it’s more efficient and minimise the loses, or we properly account for the loses.

‘‘The losses last year resulted in a third reading event, well that’s an environmental outcome, so maybe we need to get better negotiating with the environment to actually wear some of those losses rather than coming out of operational water.

‘‘I think there’s an appetite to start pushing for that analysis and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is going to look at the water market and how it operates so it can be operating fairly.

‘‘If there are problems then we need to adjust the rules to make it a fair market place,’’ Ms Davey said.

At the recent NSW election, the Nationals suffered from huge swings in some traditional safe seats including Murray and Barwon.

The losses were widely attributed to complacency and water policy.

Ms Davey said the choice at the federal election still comes down to who has the better water policy between the Coalition and Labor.

‘‘I would put to voters do you want Tony Burke who just a few days ago reconfirmed he’s going to come back with the buybacks, he’s committed to the full 450 gigalitres and returning the simplistic socio-economic test that we all fought so hard to have overturned.

‘‘Or you have a Coalition government who have agreed to a real tough socio-economic test, who have committed to a cap on buybacks and just want to get the basin plan to a point where we get it through our farmers can get on with what they do best,’’ Ms Davey said.