All eyes will be on the rural NSW seat of Orange when it goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new state MP following Andrew Gee’s switch to federal parliament. The seat, which has been held by the Nationals since 1947 looks set to go down to the wire with shock jocks Alan Jones and Ray Hadley appealing to locals to send a message to the state government and vote against the Nationals.
Many are claiming that the predicted swing against the Nationals is due to the state government’s ballsed up greyhound racing ban, however there are other things on the minds of Orange voters.
Orange has a large rural referral hospital which has had major issues in recent times, with clinicians having no faith in senior management and it being tied up in the chemotherapy underdosing scandal (where health minister Jillian Skinner tried to play down the seriousness of the scandal).
Jobs in the area have evaporated as manufacturers have closed their factories – leaving many unemployed. There are also issues with local roads being poorly maintained and anger that the Northern Distributor Road should be maintained by the state and not the local council.
Many voters are seeing the Baird government’s massive infrastructure spending in Sydney and are left wondering “what about us?” As with many in regional NSW, voters are wondering if they are being left behind.
Only tomorrow night will we know if voters in Orange are upset with the government enough to swing behind another party but regardless of the outcome there will be a massive swing against the Nationals.
Image Credit: By Hpeterswald – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37692272