ELECTION week is heating up with Labor bringing out the big guns in Leeton over the weekend.
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley was in town to officially launch Leeton resident Michael Kidd’s election campaign ahead of this weekend’s Murray by-election.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Foley said the Nationals were relying on “misplaced loyalty” to get them over the line.
He highlighted the lack of maternity services at the Leeton District Hospital for nearly two years, as well as rising electricity costs.
Mr Kidd, who has lived in Leeton for 35 years, was praised by Mr Foley for “understanding the region’s needs”.
Mr Kidd, who works in the health sector, said it was time that area was given more attention.
“The Nationals only have two basic approaches to rural and regional health – privatisation or cuts,” he said.
“So there have been no maternity services at Leeton for nearly two years.
“We’re demanding an investigation into the outsourcing of instrument sterilisation services and the failed attempt to cut pathology services at Griffith Base Hospital, which could be reversed once the by-election is over.”
His other key election campaign priority has been education, with a focus on TAFE services.
“The Nationals attack on TAFE involves thousands of teacher sackings, jacked up fees and decimation of courses, including removal of automotive, carpentry, hospitality and commercial cookery courses at Griffith,” Mr Kidd said.
“These are key courses, especially for students interested in local tourism and food/wine industry.
“A Labor government has guaranteed at least 70 per cent of all VET funding, for TAFE. And that is vital for this region.”
The campaign launch was held at Mountford Park, with many turning out to take part.
Other candidates – Helen Dalton, Austin Evans, Brian Mills, Ray Goodlass and Peter Robinson – are also spending this week hitting the ground to secure votes.
Pre-poll voting in Leeton is underway at the Leeton Shire Council chambers.