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I'm not rolled yet

Tuesday, 8th March, 2011

READY TO ROLL: Labor candidate Neville Gasmier officially joined the NSW election race when nominations opened yesterday. READY TO ROLL: Labor candidate Neville Gasmier officially joined the NSW election race when nominations opened yesterday.

By John Casey

Broken Hill's Labor candidate for the March 26 NSW State election, Neville Gasmier, is refusing to concede defeat despite a powerbroker from his own party hoisting the white flag.

On Sunday ALP NSW secretary Sam Dastiyari warned that "... (Opposition Leader) Barry O'Farrell is going to win this thing, and he is going to win it big".

But like Premier Kristina Keneally, Mr Gasmier says he isn't prepared to throw in the towel anytime soon.

"March 26 at 6pm (when polls close) is when I'll stop fighting," a defiant Mr Gasmier said yesterday as he officially signed on to contest the upcoming election.

"I'm not prepared to just curl up and die, I'm tougher than that and I won't be conceeding.

"If I listened to people who said I had no hope of winning this race I would never have got started," he added.

"I started this campaign because I thought I could win and I intend to continue campaigning on that basis."

Mr Gasmier said he was "disappointed" by the comments from within his own party but added that no-one should be surprised by Mr Dastiyari's prediction.

"The polls have been saying for many months that Labor is in a tough situation but that is no reason for people not to vote for me," Mr Gasmier continued.

"If I'm elected I promise to be a thorn in the side of the government if the Coalition wins power - they will learn to hate the day they first heard the name Neville Gasmier.

"I'm here to fight for the people of this electorate. I'll be vocal and make sure the communities of this region have a voice," he added.

Mr Gasmier also took issue with recent comments from sitting member John Williams, who last week said he wanted to be a "watchdog" in a Coalition Government to ensure election promises were kept.

"Less than three weeks out from the election John Williams says 'vote for me, I'll be a watchdog', ... quite frankly the people of this region deserve better than that," Mr Gasmier said.

"Our area needs someone who is committed to the area and ready to be proactive, not a person who is going to sit around and wait for things to happen and then get busy.

"By his own admission Mr Williams has indicated he will have no influence on what decisions are made until after the event and that would not be a good situation for the Murray-Darling electorate," Mr Gasmier continued.

The ALP needs a swing of 10.2 per cent to unseat Nationals MP John Williams who was elected in 2007 after a redistribution of electoral boundaries.

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