Your newspaper editorial last week was wrong to endorse the Shooters Party at the upcoming by-election and here is why.
Your editorial for some reason ignored most of the very big wins Deni and surrounding towns have had in the last few years courtesy of The Nationals and the NSW government.
You have covered these wins in your own newspaper, so you know about these wins but you ignored them in your editorial.
Your editorial failed to mention the $1 million for the renal unit at Deni hospital, $90 million for the long awaited Moama/Echuca Bridge, $20 million for the new hospital in Barham, $500,000 just a few weeks ago for the Deni Sports Stadium, the $3 million in Murray Darling restructure money that we worked together on that came directly to Deni businesses, or the $1 million NSW gave to the abattoir development in Deni just to mention a few recent wins that you seem to have forgotten.
Those projects don’t include the $10 million that the Edward River Council received as a result of the merger or the extra $1.85 million in Regional Rebuilding funds Deniliquin received just last month.
On red gums, we have made significant progress in the last 12 months and we will continue to make progress towards the right solution.
On water, Niall Blair has done more than any Minister to push back against South Australia and the Commonwealth.
Lots more to do on both issues and that work will require a local MP with close contacts with government and access to Ministers.
I am proud to be part of a political party that is prepared to make tough decisions that are in the long term interest of our community.
Decision making requires leadership and courage because change won’t please everyone.
By contrast, the Shooters Party will fly in to town and try to win votes by telling us they oppose every difficult decision the government has ever made. But they will happily take all the benefits our actions have delivered like actually having the money to build new bridges and hospitals, and employ more teachers. It would be naive to fall for that trick.
The Nationals are delivering for Deniliquin and the Murray electorate. The Nationals and Liberals will lead the government for the next year-and-a-half and we remain favourites to be the government for the four years after that.
I, for one, want a local member who is a respected voice in that government and Austin Evans is that person.
As for the Shooters Party, they have had MPs in the NSW Parliament for 20 years and had the balance of power in the Upper House for several of those years but never once used it to advance the interests of water, health, education, local government or the redgum industry.
On top of that they have done a secret preference deal with the Labor Party, the details of which they refuse to release. This fact alone should worry everyone.
I would simply ask one question — what has the Shooters Party done for Deniliquin in those 20 years? No one has yet been able to give me an answer to that question.
Former Member for Murray