Shooters' candidate says Orange is the new black in politics
STUART Davidson has been announced as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party candidate to contest the State seat of Coffs Harbour in a bid to end the Nationals' 37-year-old iron grip on the seat.
Mr Davidson, a long-serving Justice Department worker who is also the secretary of the Coffs Harbour Rifle Club, will today at noon formally launch his campaign at the Dairyville club.
He is running for office for the first time, because he says the electorate has suffered under The Nationals' complacency.
"The Nationals have held this seat for 37 years. In that time, we've seen our roads crumble, our hospital downgraded and basic services stripped away," he said.
"I think some competition for this seat will help us get a better deal."
Mr Davidson singled out the Coffs Harbour bypass as a prime example of neglect.
"This has been talked about for 16 years. The preferred route was announced back in 2004," he said.
"The only way we're going to get that bypass is if we bypass the Nationals at the ballot box."
Robert Brown, a SFF representative in NSW Parliament, said the people of Coffs could learn from the town of Orange.
"Ever since SFF beat the Nats there in 2016, our local member Phil Donato has secured his region hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding," Mr Brown said.
"We hold the balance of power in Parliament (Upper House). We can get things done. The Nationals just give away your taxes to build shiny new things in Sydney."
Mr Brown will visit the region on Friday and Saturday officially launch his party's new candidate.
"Orange is the new black for State Politics, since the Nationals lost the seat of Orange in 2016 ... I no longer wanted to be a commentator on the sidelines it was time for someone to stand up and throw their hat into the ring," Mr Davidson said.