Friday, 24th May, 2019
By Callum Marshall
Local state member Roy Butler has offered his two cents on the federal election result, congratulating re-elected member for Parkes Mark Coulton and wanting to discuss with him key issues such as water, aged care and quality of life in regional towns.
Securing funding for local services such as Silverlea and LiveBetter would also be part of any future discussion, said Mr Butler.
“I’ve already got some issues we’re going to work together on, and I think the really good thing is that we’ve now got the state and federal elections out of the way,” he said.
“It’s now time to get the politics out of the way and for Mark and myself to get on with the business of addressing some of the issues, especially the ones that have crossover between state and federal.
“We’ve been talking a bit already about aged care services, multi-purpose health centres and aged care in Dunnedo, Lake Cargelligo and Warren.
“They’re the three that we’ve flagged to get together on.
“But obviously disability services, especially Silverlea and some of the funded agencies in town.
“I want to make sure that any services there are maintained at the very least and, if not, increased.
“I also want to have that discussion about quality of life in regional New South Wales, making our towns good places to live, making sure we’ve got the things in the towns that attract people to them and keep people in them.
“That’s a discussion that involves local, state and federal government, but I want to see where he stands on it and if he’s going to agree to push in the same direction (as me).
“At the end of the day both of us want to see our respective constituents, who are largely the same apart from major cities like Dubbo and Moree, see that things which make our towns a good place to live are maintained.”
On water issues, Mr Butler said his priority was still to push through with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers ten-point strategy on water, alongside gauging Mr Coulton’s views on how to address water issues across the electorate.
“The same ten-point strategy we took to the state election is what we’re still pursuing and I’ve shared that information with Minister (Melinda) Pavey (NSW Water Minister),” he said.
“I’ve sent her a copy of that, and we honestly believe that the ten-point strategy is the great starting point to be able to restore balance and health to the rivers.
“It also provides assurances to people who live along the rivers and in the communities affected by them.
“I believe that most people are doing the right thing, but there’s been a lot of unfair criticism towards certain crop types and industries.
“It takes all the heat out of that argument if everyone knows that everything’s metered, we have local decision making, and we ensure that we’ve got good value out of environmental water because we know that hasn’t always been the case.
“We’ve lost a lot of environmental water over the bank where they’re pushing rivers too hard.
“I think that true local management and decision making will address a lot of that too.
“I’ll also be talking to Mark about what I’ve learnt about water and some of the people that have helped me understand what happens with it and what we can do better.
“I haven’t tested water with Mark, I haven’t discussed it with him, so I’ll be interested to hear his opinion on how he thinks we’re doing so far on managing water.”
Regarding the Parkes and federal election results, Mr Butler said Mr Coulton’s win was not surprising given how well he was liked across the electorate, and he was happy to see that Labor’s economic policies, like negative gearing and franking credits, would not be going ahead.
“My lived experience is that the only way you can win any election, whether it’s state or federal, is to be on the ground and talking to people,” he said.
“And Mark is a known member and candidate, he’s well trusted and liked, which is probably why there wasn’t a swing against him.
“In terms of Labor, I think every commentator just about assumed they were going to win the election, so it was a pretty big surprise to a lot of those commentators when the LNP at a federal level romped it in.
“Also, I’ve met Jack Ayoub, the Labor Parkes candidate, and he’s a nice guy.
“But personally, and if I take my hat off as a member, (I was worried about) how self-funded retirees, property investors and people who receive frank dividends were going to be treated.
“So it was a bit of a relief to me to know that we’re not going to drastically create perverse outcomes in the housing market and rental market because that was a real concern for me.”