TODAY Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (SFF) candidate Sue Gilroy was locked out of one of her final press conference locations ahead of tomorrow’s by-election, the Muswellbrook Greyhound Track.
SFF Party Leader Robert Borsak said the lockout was a “typical example of National Party dirty tricks,” after the government recently funded a multi-million dollar facility upgrade for the benefit of new track’s owners, Greyhound Racing NSW.
“This is a typical example of the dirty tricks we see the National Party play in any election we compete with them, especially by-elections,” Mr Borsak said.
“Two days ago, the local Greyhound Racing Club made arrangements for us to get in at 9:30 am and here we are, it’s five past ten and nobody has turned up,” he said.
“This is exactly the sort of thing you’d expect to see from an entitled government . . . they’ve had this electorate tied up for 90 years and they don’t want to see a change,” he said.
From outside the track’s gates, Ms Gilroy and SFF Member for Orange Phil Donato, called out the National Party on its backflipping attitude towards the greyhound racing industry.
“In 2015, our current government made some decisions outlawing the greyhound industry, destroying people’s livelihoods, destroying industry. Certainly now through the by-election we find them supporting the greyhound industry, what a backflip,” Ms Gilroy said.
“I was elected on the back of the greyhound ban back in 2016 for the seat of Orange. This Liberal-National government voted to destroy and close down the greyhound industry . . . it was completely disproportionate and unfair,” Mr Donato said.
“Isn’t it a shame it takes a contested by-election that the National Party are possibly losing, before they decide to come out and make these [funding] announcements,” he said.
Ms Gilroy expects a tight by-election finish tomorrow and said there’s no strength behind Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s plea to “not change the jockey mid-race.”
“Really their [Nationals] jockey fell off, he got thrown off. If you think about racing, if the jockey gets thrown off, they usually lose the race,” Ms Gilroy said.
“There’s not a lot of strength behind his statement that you can’t change the jockey mid-race, we’re actually drawing another horse and we’re coming around from the outside,” she said.
“We’ve run a clean campaign. . . the current government has let the Upper Hunter electorate down and the SFF are willing to stand up behind these people so that they get their fair share,” she said.
“It’s not over until the last voter votes, it’s going to be a really tight finish,” said Ms Gilroy.
For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.