by Rozzi Smith
The tragedy of last weekend’s Orange By-Election are the losses for the National Party – and the loss of young politicians who could have, should have, had long careers.
Naiveness, lack of skills? Not tough enough to stand up to Baird and his street wise Liberals? Lack of experience in dealing with faceless bureaucrats? Forgetting about where they came from?
I don’t know of any Nationals member or long-time supporter who would have found great pleasure in voting against their once trusted party last weekend. Indeed, many hands would have been shaking as the boxes were ticked – whilst generations of long ago would have ‘turned in their graves’ at what today’s voters were forced to do in order to put some sense back into the party that once stood and fought for the greater good of rural NSW.
What game is it that Baird is playing on behalf of his Liberal colleagues and party members? Or is it on his own behalf? Surrounded by young and inexperienced Nationals – Baird is having a ‘field day’ with the careers and lives of the young Nats – like Troy Grant, Paul Toole and young party hopeful, Scott Barrett.
Then there are the others who have been struck off – Katrina Hodgkinson (Member for Cootamundra), and Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis who dared cross the floor when it came to the Greyhound ban. Both losing their Parliamentary Secretary roles.
Grant, Toole, Barrett, Hodgkinson, Gulaptis, Nationals members and fine families across rural NSW are the victims of what? Baird himself as Shakespeare described in ‘As You Like It’ “And one man in his time plays many parts?”.
Thank heavens the people of the Orange By-Election were brave enough to send Baird and his Liberals/Nationals in Macquarie Street a courageous message that all is not well in rural NSW and to remind them of core country values …
… honesty, respect, trust, loyalty