BATHURST has been revealed as one of 10 key seats the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party plans to target at the 2019 state election.
The party has been boosted by Phil Donato’s surprise win in the Orange by-election last year and has now set its sights on increasing its presence in state parliament after 2019.
SFF Upper House member Robert Borsak said Bathurst MP Paul Toole had failed in his previous portfolio as local government minister and would be under pressure to secure the future of the state’s greyhound racing industry in his new role as racing minister.
Mr Borsak said Nationals MPs, including Mr Toole, had taken their electorates for granted for too long because there had been no viable right-wing alternative for voters.
“There’s a bit of an ‘it’s time’ factor at play here as well,” he said.
“In the past there has been no other party from the right that has consistently contested country seats and, to some degree, a lot of National Party people have been taking these seats for granted.
“The Orange by-election was a test and we were lucky enough to win by 84 votes but that allowed us to hone our skills a lot more and what we’re going to do is provide a viable right-wing alternative focused on the issues that matter in these areas.”
Mr Borsak was not intimidated by Mr Toole’s imposing 16 per cent margin.
“He had a pretty significant swing against him at the last election and we believe that with the right candidate and a solid campaign on real, local issues that we can make an impact.”
Mr Borsak said the party was looking for a quality candidate to run in Bathurst and said two people were already being considered.