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Humphries hits out at Boehm claims

Saturday, 21st March, 2015

By Darrin Manuel

Kevin Humphries may have struggled against independent candidates in the past, but the incumbent member for Barwon says recent revelations about key rival Rohan Boehm casts serious doubt on his opponent’s credibility.

Independent candidate Mr Boehm said recent polling showed that Mr Humphries’ seat is “highly vulnerable” due to his unpopularity with voters who are “fed up” with the Nationals’ antics.

It seems history also lends an element of credibility to the claim that he is vulnerable.

Mr Humphries has never had trouble shaking off opponents from The Greens, Labor and Christian Democrats, but faced his greatest challenge in 2007 when independent Tim Horan gathered 11,607 votes.

Mr Boehm said recent data proved The Nationals’ grip was again weak on the electorate, and claimed a recent ReachTEL poll showed that Mr Humphries’ primary vote has halved, and that on preferences he would face a clear defeat.

“Two independent polls have shown that the Nationals are on the nose in Barwon. Strong campaigning and a genuine appetite for change has put people in the mood for a major upset in Barwon,” he said.

“Everywhere I go in this electorate I get the same message. Voters are being neglected by an arrogant and out of touch government that does not listen to their needs, and proceeds with its own agendas as if rural communities do not matter in the slightest. Well let me tell you, this electorate is made up of people who are fed up with being ignored.

“Humphries has had four years to fix up the state’s water problems and instead of any action we just get more pre-election promises of money thrown at it - but that’s money based on the sale of our highly profitable poles and wires, and Premier Mike Baird has already been caught out lying about the damage this sale would do to our state budget.

“I have a simple message to voters fed up with four years of neglect and inactivity - Vote One, Independent, use all your preferences and put Kevin Humphries last.

“An Independent can make the changes that Barwon needs to move forward.” 

But Mr Humphries warned locals against trusting Mr Boehm after a letter, disclosed on radio yesterday, linked the independent to the Greens party.

Mr Humphries said the letter confirmed that ‘Mr Boehm was a financial member of the Greens NSW’ up until January this year, which contradicts his repeated claims that he has never been a member of a political party.

“Frankly, Mr Boehm’s admission on 2BH today, that he can’t remember whether he was a Member of the Greens, despite concrete evidence to the contrary, does not pass the credibility test.

“This means there are only two possible scenarios; one is that a number of years ago someone in a desperate bid to set him up took Mr Boehm’s credit card and signed him up as a member of the Greens in the anticipation that years down the track he would run as an Independent candidate, or, two; that he was a member of the Greens.

“Mr Boehm has dug himself into a very deep hole and he does not have the integrity to come clean and be honest about his past as a fully paid-up member of the Greens.

“How can Mr Boehm be trusted to faithfully serve the people of Barwon if he cannot even be honest about his political past? What else does he have to hide?”

Mr Humphries also dismissed the notion that Mr Boehm could make positive changes for the electorate, as he would simply have insufficient political clout as an independent, even in the unlikely event of a hung parliament.

“Despite what independents such as Rohan Boehm will lead people to believe, hung parliaments are the exception rather than the rule. On current predictions, it looks like it will be a decisive decision either way,” said Mr Humphries.

“Whether the result sees a hung parliament or not, an Independent can never achieve as much for an electorate as a member of Government.

“Currently, all Mr Boehm’s proposals are unfunded and he has repeatedly refused to detail how much any of them will cost or where he will get the money from.

“Furthermore, it is important to note that if he was elected they would never be implemented, as they are currently little more than thought bubbles.

“The Barwon electorate - and Broken Hill in particular - would risk losing once-in-a-generation funding if Mr Boehm was elected.”

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