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Councillor ‘doesn’t have ear of minister’

Wednesday, 24th December, 2014

By Darrin Manuel

The ability to influence State politicians would ordinarily be seen as a fine trait for a local councillor, but that’s not the case for deputy mayor Dave Gallagher.

Mr Gallagher has come under fire online for his perceived close relationship with Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, and the Nationals’ approach to the prospect of bore water being used to supply the city.

Posts on the “Menindee Lakes We Want Action” facebook page have questioned Mr Gallagher’s influence over the State MP, with some suggesting that he could drive a better deal for the city with Mr Humphries but is refraining from doing so.

They claim his reluctance is due to his friendship with Mr Humphries and his desire to “toe the party line” due to his role as the chairman of the local branch of the Nationals.

Mr Gallagher took umbrage with the comments when contacted by the BDT yesterday and said the claims were completely unfounded.

“I know Kevin, just the same as I know John (Williams). I’ve met him a few times and I regard him as a friend, I suppose, but as far as influencing him? Do I have his ear? No. I don’t think anyone has that,” said Mr Gallagher.

“He makes his own decisions with professionals and advisors. I’ll certainly discuss the community’s concerns with him when I get an opportunity though.”

Mr Gallagher said the best way to influence politicians was for locals and community groups to arm themselves with information and a variety of solutions and alternatives.

As for the suggestion that he was putting politics before people, Mr Gallagher said his views on the lake system were entirely his own and that the needs of locals trumped any political persuasions.

“Once the line is crossed in relation to Broken Hill, that’s it,” he said.


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