BRACE yourselves for the kissing of babies, the promises and all of the usual political rhetoric.
That’s right, this year 2019 will bring to you not one, but two government elections.
The NSW state election will be held on March 23, while a federal election will also take place, likely in May. An official date has yet to be announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
For Leeton that means the positions of Member for Murray (currently held by Austin Evans) and Member for Farrer (currently held by Sussan Ley) will be open and up-for-grabs.
The seat of Murray will likely be hotly-contested after Mr Evans won the ballot vote during a by-election in 2017 following the retirement of long-standing member Adrian Piccoli.
The vote was one of the most interesting in recent memory, with the Nationals Party keenly challenged by candidates from the Labor party and independents.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party have already announced their candidate for the seat will be local farmer Helen Dalton.
While not officially announced, it is likely Mr Evans will run again for the seat this year.
In the federal election, Ms Ley is yet to announce her intentions, but has given no indication she will be standing aside for a new candidate.
Kieren Drabsch, a Griffith school teacher, will be the federal candidate for Country Labor in the Farrer electorate.
With the state election first, it is possible voters will experience “political fatigue” in the lead up the federal poll.
Already both elections are in the news and voters appear slightly disinterested at this stage.
With that in mind, The Irrigator has looked at three of the key areas for voters in Leeton shire and where promises could be made and, hopefully, kept.
1 The Leeton District Hospital
VARIOUS issues continue to plague the Leeton District Hospital, making it one of the biggest concerns residents will want action on from all involved in the state and federal elections.
There is still no full-time obstetrician for the hospital, meaning only low-risk mothers can birth their babies in Leeton under the midwifery-led model of care.
Concerns have also been recently raised about the number of doctors currently on the on-call roster, as well as the operating theatre, which hasn’t been used in two years.
2 The Murray-Darling Basin Plan
THE plan continues to be the cause of debate and concern among many in the MIA.
As the plan forges ahead, irrigators and communities are continuing to fight for survival and a fair deal when it comes to servicing their needs, as well as those of the environment.
VARIOUS projects in Leeton shire will require funding assistance from the state and federal governments for them to go ahead.
This includes work at the Leeton pool, road upgrades and more.
Already work at the Leeton Showground and Roxy Theatre has been granted significant funds for upgrades, but local government will be relying on more to filter through from whoever wins the favour of the community.
- What do you think are the critical issues coming into these elections? Let us know by joining the conversation on our Facebook page or email email@example.com.
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