IN THE lead up to the state election, The Irrigator is catching up with Murray's candidates each week and giving them the chance to air their thoughts on the issues.
This week the focus was on what candidates would do to improve the lives of residents across the electorate.
How will you work to better improve the lives of residents living in the Murray electorate?
Alan Purtill, Country Labor
Western NSW is a great place to live.
How could it be made better?
Maybe if we were looked upon as equals to those on the East coast - maybe if a fraction of the money spent there was diverted to western NSW.
What a difference more doctors, more nurses, more police, more teachers, more paramedics would make to our life.
What a difference a consistent quantity and quality of water in our rivers would make.
What a difference a government that listened would make.
I visited Sydney with five other country mayors to discuss the problems in our rivers.
The minister didn't bother to show up or even send a representative.
Does that type of thinking make us feel wanted? No.
Labor will commit to country NSW and, if elected, I will make sure our voice is heard.
David Landini, Independent
Residents in Murray are able to improve their lives to the extent that their wealth allows them to.
A necessity of improving the lives of residents in Murray is for these people to be able to earn a living.
Otherwise they must leave.
This is why the current Water Act and Basin Plan are to be reviled; because they deprive many of the people in Murray of their ability to earn a living and live here.
However, NSW is so dominated by the green orientated population and politicians of Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong that this deprivation is certain to continue.
Of the 93 electorates in NSW, 70 are in the metropolitan areas.
In 2015, 362,000 people voted for The Greens.
Metropolitan politicians have no rural constituents and need to appeal to green constituents.
State politics is actually shutting irrigation down.
The people in Murray and the wider Riverina need to form a state separate from NSW.
Only a Riverina state can protect the irrigation and associated industries that provide the employment and prosperity that improves the lives of residents of Murray.
I will cause the formation of a Riverina state that will guarantee the prosperity of the people in Murray.
Carl Kendall, Sustainable Australia Party
The main reason I joined Sustainable Australia is I want my own children and grandchildren to enjoy the lifestyle we had growing up in 1970s/80s Australia.
My party's key concern is stopping unchecked overdevelopment, which threatens our quality of life.
This is clearly not just an issue in large cities. Even in small rural centres, in Murray's own subdivisions, we see housing blocks shrink yet become less affordable to first home buyers.
With today's ever increasing living costs and poor wage growth, many locals struggle just to pay the rent or the next bill - actually owning their home seems an unreachable dream. Sustainable Australia recognises that a responsible party must fight to take the pressure down - if elected with the balance of power, we will stop any proposals by major parties that are not in the best interests of the everyday working Australian family.
I would like all Murray residents to once again be able to enjoy enough backyard space for our kids to kick a football, to grow our own veggies, to have a shed for making the homemade salami, passata and keep alive the other family and cultural traditions that enrich our lives.
Philip Langfield, Christian Democratic Party
The biggest way we can improve the lives of people in Murray is through water security.
Water security is the key to everything.
Fixing everything in that area is what we need to do and that is what I will do.
The only way we can improve the lives of the people in Leeton and Griffith is through doing this.
Water is the lifeblood of our electorate.
Improving infrastructure will also help with this.
All of this can happen with better vision. Building more dams. It's all about a vision for the future.
Austin Evans, Nationals
In the 16 months since I've been elected, a priority has been to work closely with community groups and Leeton Shire Council to get outcomes that will make a real difference in the community.
Some candidates will only deliver headlines - I'm focused on delivering the funding our community deserves.
Together, we have secured $1.2 million for showground upgrades, $3.9 million to redevelop the Roxy theatre and $3 million for Leeton pool.
But there's still so much more I want to do to help Leeton residents get ahead.
First and foremost is the commitment I've made, if re-elected, of $2.5 million to upgrade Leeton hospital to ensure that we have adequate facilities into the future.
Helen Dalton, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
Twenty years ago, people in the Murrumbidgee lived longer than those in Sydney.
Now we are dying five years earlier on average, according to NSW Health data.
However, our hospitals and services keep getting stripped away by a complacent National Party who assume they will always win this seat.
If I win this election, I will hold the balance of power in parliament.
This means I will cast the deciding vote on laws and funding decisions.
I will use this power to force the NSW Government fund incentive packages to attract doctors, nurses and teachers to the MIA.
I will also ensure services such as orthopedics and mental health are introduced in Griffith and Leeton hospital within the next two years.
I will also seek to abolish the toxic Murrumbidgee Local Health District, who have stripped services from our smaller hospitals and centralised them in Wagga.
I want to bring back a local boards system - where each hospital lobbies government directly for funding.
To stimulate the economy, I plan to establish an international air freight hub in Griffith to export high value agricultural exports directly into Asia.
I will also scrap payroll tax and stamp duty for regional businesses for the next five years.
This will all be non-negotiable if I'm elected. I'll block spending for Sydney if we don't get all of the above.
Dr Nivanka De Silva, Greens
I'm passionate about social equity and believe that regardless of your bank balance, postcode or your background, every human being is deserving of the right to access the same basic services to live a good life.
Our society should be built in a way to support people who are most vulnerable, including people who are unwell and the elderly.
Our public schools should be as well funded as private schools in the city - young people in growing up here in Murray should have all the resources they need to realise their potential.
We need to embrace diversity in all its forms - differences in skin colour, language, sexuality and levels of ability make us stronger as a community.
In my work as a doctor, I listen to peoples stories everyday and learn so much about the ways in which our current system lets our community down.
Lack of access to free early mental health care, especially in regional and rural areas can lead people to crisis point.
We need to do better and we can, if we address political corruption and tax big corporations.
Tom Weyrich, One Nation
First we must address the water issue.
I'm aware that there is a growing number of supporters for pausing the Murray-Daring Basin Plan and I'm not totally against it if we had time.
Unfortunately, we don't have time - all pausing the plan will do is start a whole range of meetings from Berrigan to Euston and Moama to Griffith.
I say let's walk away and start again.
The current plan is a disaster why pause it (wasting time) there are three different systems and they all require different solutions.
Also spending $800 million on a stadium is ridiculous.
We need to abolish the $85 a year green tax on electricity bills.
We need to give farmers back the right to farm there land the way they want to.
We need to increase spending on health and education emphasis on mental health.
We need to reinstate the timber industry and convert it back to state forests it's a renewable sustainable industry which employed around 1700 and worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the region.
Brian Mills, Independent
Griffith was the citrus capital.
Riverina Citrus based in Griffith had been the statutory body which represented 600 citrus farmers, 50 packing houses and eight juice manufacturers in the Riverina.
However, this magnificent organisation imploded.
We knew that there were moves to reorganise it. It seemed that the main purpose of the Senate Inquiry into citrus was for the re-organisation but it did not succeed.
After years of research I know how to achieve this and very recently published a leaflet with the double heading of: 'Senate Inquiry into Citrus.' 'No fungicide (carbendazim) to be imported into Australia after April 2012.'
There was a stroke of luck when in The Area News of 25th February there was a heading of Griffith to be citrus brain-centre of MIA. Plenty of cheap irrigation water has been the makings of our region and for 93 magnificent years Griffith grew strongly. Things have changed.
I have a book whose sub heading is: How Free Trade in Water will Cripple Australian Agriculture. The authors say the increase in the cost of water can be and must be reversed. They then describe how it can be done. I have shown how it can be done in a leaflet.
Pre-poll voting details in Leeton
Where: Leeton Shire Council administration building (council chambers) in Chelmsford Place.
When: Now until Friday.
Times: Monday to Wednesday, Friday: 8am to 6pm, Thursday: 8am to 8pm
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox every Friday at 6am from The Irrigator. To make sure you're up to date with all news in Leeton sign up here.