Independent candidate Nigel Hicks

By Seymour Telegraph

Former Wyuna dairy farmer and independent candidate Nigel Hicks says he is disappointed personally with his election result, receiving 1.75 per cent of the primary vote.

Mr Hicks was running as an independent in his second consecutive federal election.

He said one of the biggest surprises in Nicholls was One Nation’s Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell securing more than 11 per cent of the vote, despite limited campaigning and non-attendance at public candidates’ forums.

‘‘That was so hard to fathom given their water policy had no relevance to our area,’’ he said, but added it was a ‘‘brilliant result’’ for Ms Tyrrell.

Mr Hicks said the Coalition forming government, either in a majority or minority, was preferable to a Labor government in terms of water policy.

Mr Hicks was referring to Labor water spokesman Tony Burke’s plan to loosen the qualification of the socio-economic impact test on the 450Gl to be delivered under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan if the ALP was elected, a position described as ‘‘frightening’’ by regional water leaders.

‘‘I’ve always fallen on the right side of the fence and the thought of an ALP government for me was scary, and their water policy more so,’’ Mr Hicks said.

Mr Hicks said he had sent a congratulatory message to Mr Drum yesterday, but said more work needed to be done to ensure more water was not taken out of the region.