BY-ELECTION VOTERS SEND MR BAIRD A MESSAGE

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Voters around the state have used by-elections in Orange, Wollongong and Canterbury to deliver the Baird Government a massive rebuff over its arrogant policies and decisions to ignore the community.

In Orange, Scott Barrett - the handpicked candidate of Mr Baird’s Deputy Troy Grant - has suffered an extraordinary primary vote swing of more than 30 per cent and could lose the seat that the Nationals and its predecessor the Country Party have held for nearly 70 years. 

Labor’s positive policies for NSW saw swings towards the party in both Wollongong and Canterbury.

Labor Candidate for Canterbury Sophie Cotsis walked away with a double digit primary vote swing toward her. 

In Wollongong Labor candidate Paul Scully’s vision for the region's future saw him win the seat with an impressive primary vote swing towards Labor.

This was an exceptional result against an extremely popular Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery, described by many as the Clover Moore of Wollongong.

An issue common amongst voters in all seats was Mr Baird’s program of forced council mergers of;

  • Shellharbour and Wollongong councils;
  • Canterbury and Bankstown councils; and
  • Orange City and Cabonne Shire

Mr Baird suffered a major swing against his merger plans in the local council elections in September, making this the second rebuff in less than two months against the Government on the same issue.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley

“When will Mr Baird start listening? People in three different by-elections have given an emphatic thumbs down to his program of forced council mergers.

“These results happen when a Premier like Mr Baird completely loses touch with the community and stops listening.

“I challenge Mr Baird to come into Parliament this week with a plan to scrap all forced council mergers; to allow a Parliamentary vote on Labor’s legislation to revoke the greyhound racing ban this year; and abandon its privatisation of hospitals.”