Bracing for loss: Labor, Greens target Shooters deal
MICHAEL Daley and the Greens are plotting an unholy alliance to form a bizarre minority government with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers party in the case of a hung NSW parliament.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal the government is bracing for the loss of another two lower house seats to the SFF in Saturday's election.
That would give the party a powerful bloc of three in the lower house with NSW facing the possibility of a parliament without a workable majority.
The rural seats of Barwon and Murray are both at risk of being lost by the Nationals to the Shooters Fishers and Farmers on the basis of support from Labor preferences.
The Nationals will launch a last-ditch effort to urge Labor voters to only vote one, instead of following how to vote cards and issuing preferences in a bid to keep the Shooters out of the lower house.
With the polls deadlocked 50-50, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has explicitly ruled out doing a deal with the SFF but Mr Daley remains open to the prospect.
"They can support us on confidence and supply," Mr Daley told Wednesday night's People's Forum.
"We will take support of anyone these people dish up but we will not be beholden to them and we will not do deals with them."
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal the Greens have drawn up a hit-list of potential "common ground" issues with the SFF on which the two parties could work together under a minority Labor government.
Taken together, this scenario opens the door to a parliament driven by the priorities of the minor parties.
The Australian Gun Safety Alliance, which includes Walter Mikac who lost his daughters Alannah and Madeline in the Port Arthur massacre, has warned against the SFF holding the balance of power.
"The gun safety framework as we know it is under threat from many candidates in this forthcoming NSW election," the Alliance said.
"We are serious about gun safety and, more than most, understand how important strong gun laws are to national safety. We ask all NSW voters to make sure that their vote counts for community safety and not to support any candidate who wants to weaken our gun laws."
The SFF have previously advocated for 10-year-olds to have gun permits.
SFF leader Robert Borsak told The Daily Telegraph the party had "nothing on the agenda as far as firearms are concerned".
However the Nationals and Liberals argue that the party will put firearms on the agenda once the election is over.
Mr Borsak said the party was not willing to form government with either major party and would use its power on a bill by bill basis.
He conceded his voter base would expect his party to align with the Coalition over Labor. "But if Labor will preference us, we'll take it," he said.
The SFF internal research indicates it should retain Orange and the party is confident in Barwon.
Both major parties have struggled with phone polling in Murray and Barwon with voters unwilling to pick up the phone.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said if the SFF won three seats it would empower the party.
"With three MPs in parliament, the Shooters would have the power to hold the State to ransom unless it agreed to a reversal of John Howard's gun laws," Mr Barilaro said.
"At the Orange by-election, Labor preferences were the sole reason the Shooters took a seat in the lower house and now they are trying to do it again in Barwon and Murray."
Greens Upper House MP David Shoebridge said his party would work with the SFF on stopping stadiums spending and retaining the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney city and on a royal commission into planning.
"It's a reform agenda we could push Labor on," he said. "It's really going to be an arm wrestle over the next four years."
Mr Shoebridge said winding back gun control would be on the SFF's agenda.
"If there are a series of additional Shooters in the lower house it is inevitable that they will push to weaken gun control. They will use language like simplify and modernise but the goal will be to strip them down," he said.
VOTERS OPEN TO NEWBIES
By Danielle Le Messurier
The Keep Sydney Open Party is eating away at the Greens' vote, with young Sydneysiders being won over by the pledge to end lockout laws and repeal new restrictions on music festivals.
New polling from the seat of Sydney shows in the 18 to 35-year-old vote, the party leads the Greens by 4.3 per cent in the race for the upper house, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.
According to the polling from last Saturday, Keep Sydney Open secured 13.3 per cent of the younger vote while the Greens only secured 9 per cent.
But the Greens were still more popular overall, scoring 13.3 per cent of the total vote compared with Keep Sydney Open's 8.4 per cent.
Both parties share similar policies on the lockout laws and support pill testing.
There are 63 candidates running for Keep Sydney Open in the state election tomorrow and they have an average age of just 32.
Among them are former City of Sydney deputy mayor Jess Miller, who is running for the upper house.
The organisation was recently registered as a political party by leader Tyson Koh.
At 18 years old, Campbelltown's Wendell French - who performs in drag as Felicia Foxx - is the party's youngest candidate.
Mr French said the lockout laws had had a serious impact on the drag community.
"We don't have as many platforms now in the pub venues," he said. "Drag is a form of me telling a story - like Aboriginal people telling their stories through art."
Greens MP David Shoebridge said he was not worried about the party grabbing voters.