Disappointed: Senator Fiona Nash joined Nationals candidate Alan Hunter in lambasting the independents who sided with Labor.
Disappointed: Senator Fiona Nash joined Nationals candidate Alan Hunter in lambasting the independents who sided with Labor.

Nash slams independents' decision

NATIONAL Party senator Fiona Nash has followed her party's Richmond candidate Alan Hunter in slamming the decision of two rural independents to back a Labor minority government.

Senator Nash, who has been given special responsibility for the NSW North Coast by the Nationals, says the decision announced by mid-North Coast MP Rob Oakeshott and fellow independent, New England MP Tony Windsor, “makes little sense”.

“I am extremely disappointed in their decision and deeply concerned about what a Labor-Greens government will mean for rural and regional Australia,” said Senator Nash.

“On the other hand, Bob Katter saw sense and his decision to back a Coalition government is both sensible and appreciated.”

Immediately after the announcement on Tuesday Mr Hunter attacked the decision, describing the two NSW independents as “dummy spitters” who would likely change their mind, and warned that voters who choose independents cannot be sure where those candidates stand.

Senator Nash said over the past three years Labor had “sunk the boot into regional and rural Australia by cutting funding and through bad policy”.

However the Tweed-based lobby group Community Voice, which urged voters to choose independent candidates in the seat of Richmond, says it is good news that independents have the balance of power in the House of Representatives.

Spokeswoman Dr Fiona McCormick said: “At last the issues that matter to all Australians will be taken seriously in our national political forum.

“Issues such as endemic health inequities and the need for integrated transport and communications infrastructure require a non-partisan approach,” she added.

“These items will finally get the attention they deserve.”



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