Small turn out for Nationals

The National Party tour bus rolled into Lismore last Thursday with 17 State and Federal MPs joining Page candidate Kevin Hogan at the Workers Club for morning tea, followed by appointment-only sessions with community members and groups.

One lone protester, Ray Mezieres, greeted the Nats’ party with a message about live animal exports.

“Surely, any future escalation of the live animal export trade into an increasingly westernised China would see yet another enormous challenge upon Australia’s national interest, environmentally, economically and socially,” Mr Mezieres said. “It truly is in Australia’s best interest to see it end.”

Inside the Workers Club the crowd wasn’t much bigger, with many more pollies than community members at the morning tea.

Senator Barnaby Joyce trotted out some figures about debt, borrowing and interest rates but declined to speak with The Echo, saying something about how he regularly cops a hammering from the paper.

However, Nationals leader Warren Truss had a chat about mining.

“In NSW with the current laws, mining companies pay huge prices to explore and when they’ve paid so much, they’re going to have an expectation that they’ll be able to proceed with a mine,” Mr Truss said. “There are certainly problems when you’ve got competing land use, like in the Hunter Valley, which has one of the best horse studs in the world and open cut coal mines. You have to look at lifestyle issues, and long and medium term solutions, not just short term.”


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